It is wonderful to hear, directly or indirectly, of the success of the Lord's work in your assigned area. Now and then a week passes with fewer than usual opportunities, but how characteristic that is in life. We pray for the good days; sometimes we grow most from having bad ones. We at home pray continually for your "success," but we realize that sometimes the Lord's definition of success may be far wiser than our own.
Today as I sat next to a dear friend in Sunday School class, I noticed once again that his wife was not with him. I knew that she had health issues, but she is such a wonderful person that today I felt that I should inquire about her. Sure enough, I learned that she is being challenged with a round of health problems. When I asked her husband to extend my good wishes to her and to tell her that she will be remembered in my prayers, he extended warm appreciation for my interest. I think that Heavenly Father wants us to show love for one another in any way that we can, and sometimes prayer is the only (but the best)way we can be of help.
Since listening to a wonderfully prepared Sunday School lesson today, I have pondered what our pioneer ancestors' prayers were life. In our weekly sessions I continue to learn more and more about the little details of pioneer life that I thought I had understood quite well previously. I continue to see the wisdom in our "meeting together often to teach one another the doctrines of the kingdom." Here I am well past the age of 90 and have prided myself on having a regular church attendance record, yet I continue to learn new ideas from others who instruct us in some way or other.
Today our Sunday School class instructor taught some ideas that enlarged my understanding. Why did Brigham Young arrange to have mainly MEN in the first company of pioneers to come from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley? He understood the need to have a group of home-builders and crop planters to prepare for those who would follow. As soon as the groundwork was laid, he returned to Winter Quarters, where according to the Lord's will, the reorganization of the First Presidency took place. Also, may of the men who had left their families behind in Winter Quarters were able to return and arrange to bring their loved ones with them to "Zion." One thing that I had not considered previously was the fact that as Brigham Young returned eastward, what about the Saints who were on their way to Utah and met their noble leader returning eastward? Do you think that for a time those westward-bound pioneers were a little concerned with how they could build a Zion without their leader in attendance? Isn't it interesting that everything worked out just the way it was supposed to! Divine guidance!
Another fact that became clearer in my mind today was the reason the Saints did not come straight through to the Salt Lake Valley when they were driven out of Nauvoo. I had captured part of the picture previously, but did not remember that because of delays in crossing Iowa, it was necessary stop and build homes and plant crops for the benefit of themselves as well as those who would come later.
Today I came away from our meetings with a stronger-than-ever testimony that the Lord was indeed guiding the affairs of our pioneer ancestors. This applies equally well to those in the "vanguard" companies and those who later crossed the ocean to come to Zion. I treasure the collection of biographies that our family has been able to assemble so we may more fully appreciate their sacrifices for our generation. We all need to remember that only an organization that requires some sacrifice by its members can qualify as the Lord's true Church. I'm just glad that my sacrifices have been the type that they were: I wonder what kind of pioneer I would have made!