Revelation offered hope, promises

The revelation given to Brigham Young at Winter Quarters on Jan. 14, 1847, was not only ratification that he was the approved leader of the Church, but also it provided guidance and hope to the refugee Saints in Winter Quarters and nearby settlements then preparing for the trek west.

The revelation extended beyond the initial trek and addressed other issues including the settling of so many people in an arid, untested country. In the revelation was this promise: "And if ye do this with a pure heart, in all faithfulness, ye shall be blessed; you shall be blessed in your flocks, and in your herds, and in your fields, and in your houses, and in your families." (D&C 136:11.)Speaking at a welfare session of general conference in April 1981, President Spencer W. Kimball commented: "As I have pondered the social and economic conditions which confront us today, my thoughts have taken me back to our pioneer heritage. Our people have always been challenged by many and varied hardships which have tried our faith. It has been so from the beginning. . . .

"Few miracles in our history exceed that of establishing our settlements in a desolate land no one else wanted and then making the desert blossom as a rose. Our people not only survived but flourished because of their faith and their family solidarity. Our pioneer character was molded in the crucible of hard work, sacrifice, pulling together, and depending upon the Lord.

"How well I remember my boyhood years in Arizona. Our living came from the soil. There was little money and seldom enough to go around. Going without and making do was our way of life. We learned to share: we shared the work; we shared joys and sorrows; we shared our food and our means. We had genuine concern for one another. Our daily prayers reminded us how dependent we are upon the Lord. We prayed and worked continually for our daily bread.

"Out of those pioneer experiences were formed strong family ties. Now, once again, our resources are being severely strained. But once again our pioneer discipline can and will see us through. . . .

"As we concern ourselves with the basic economic needs of our people, we must go back to basic principles. I am grateful for the lessons of our pioneer past in which our people were rich, spiritually, even though they had to do without much of this world's goods.

"Those of us in the Lord's work must recognize that work is a spiritual necessity as well as an economic necessity. Our pioneer forebears understood this.

"Just as the pioneers shared what they had with the poor among them, we must do likewise by the giving of more generous fast offerings - not merely the cost of two meals.

"Our pioneer ancestors did not look to government to care for their families. They knew that their families were their treasure and their own responsibility.

"Brethren and sisters, plan and work in a way that will permit you to be happy even as you do without certain things that in times of affluence may have been available to you. Live within your means and not beyond them. Where you have a plot of land, however small, plant a garden. Staying close to the soil is good for the soul. Purchase your essentials wisely and carefully. Strive to save a portion of that which you earn. Do not mistake many wants for basic needs."

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