Identify pioneer principles, apply them in modern times

Have faith in God

Be unselfish, sacrifice

Remember legacy of inclusion

Church members need to identify the great eternal principles applied by the pioneers, and apply those principles to the challenges of this day, said Elder Dallin H. Oaks.

"All of us enjoy the blessing of their efforts, and all of us have the responsibilities which go with that heritage," explained Elder Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve. "It is not enough to study or re-enact the accomplishments of our pioneers."

Speaking Sunday afternoon, Elder Oaks said that while the challenges faced today are different from those faced by the pioneers, they are just as significant.

"As for life-threatening obstacles, the wolves that prowled around the pioneer settlements were no more dangerous to their children than the drug dealers or pornographers who threaten our children," he declared.

Elder Oaks said the foremost quality of the pioneers was faith. "With faith in God, they did what every pioneer does - they stepped forward into the unknown."

Two companion qualities, evident in the lives pioneers, are unselfishness and sacrifice, Elder Oaks added.

"We praise what the pioneers' unselfishness and sacrifice have done for us, but that is not enough. We should also assure that these same qualities are guiding principles for each of us as we have opportunities to sacrifice for our nations, our families, our quorum members, and our Church."

Other great qualities of the early pioneers were obedience, unity, and cooperation, Elder Oaks continued. "Our people have always been characterized by their loyalty and obedience to the direction of their leaders, by their unity, and by their extraordinary capacity to cooperate in a common venture," Elder Oaks said.

Elder Oaks added that "in a day when the prophet has challenged us to reach out to welcome and fellowship new members and to reawaken the faith and fellowship of those who have strayed, we can gain strength from the example of the pioneers. The pioneer legacy was one of inclusion."

Another great pioneer virtue was their commitment to one another, to their leaders and to their faith. Church members, Elder Oaks said, honor that quality in the words of hymns such as "True to the Faith" (Hymns No. #254.)

"What does it mean to be true to the faith?" he questioned. "The word true implies commitment, integrity, endurance and courage."

Elder Oaks said the pioneer qualities he mentioned are as vital today as when they guided the actions of the pioneers - early and modern. "To honor those pioneers, we must honor and act upon the eternal principles that guided their actions," he concluded.

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