Holding the priesthood, men can accomplish heroic feats

Rely on the Spirit

Perform miracles- Complete the journey

Relating a heroic incident involving handcart pioneers, Elder Jack H Goaslind of the Presidency of the Seventy declared at the priesthood session Saturday evening: "Ordinary men, blessed with the privilege of holding the priesthood of God, may be called upon to do extraordinary tasks. Holders of the holy priesthood can accomplish mighty feats of heroism, bravery and service through faith in that sacred power."

The incident involved young men - some of priest or teacher age - who willingly made sacrifices when they received the call.

"Theirs was the same priesthood which today empowers you to perform great and small acts of service to your fellowman," Elder Goaslind said.

The pioneers bore frequent witness the Spirit of the Lord guided and directed them, he affirmed. "I declare unto you that His Spirit is with each of us. He desires to bless and strengthen us. He will make us equal to every righteous task we undertake in His name. He will magnify many times over our own natural ability. You can succeed beyond your own strength, if you rely on the Spirit of the Lord."

Recounting the story, Elder Goaslind said Dan Jones was one of a party of men sent by Brigham Young to rescue the imperiled Willie and Martin handcart companies.

Brother Jones, a convert of less than five years, was called to stay behind with others of the relief party and 17 young men from two wagon trains that were found with the Martin Company. They were to guard the travelers' possessions through the winter because there was not room in the rescue wagons to take the property to the Salt Lake Valley.

Enduring extreme privation, Brother Jones and the other men were reduced to living on animal hides, leather strapping and moccasins before spring brought the relief wagons. A letter from Brigham Young containing necessary instructions did not arrive with the wagons, so Brother Jones sought the Lord in prayer to know how to proceed. Later, he found his actions conformed exactly to what President Young had instructed him in a letter that had been lost before its arrival.

Commenting on the deeds of Brother Jones and his companions and on a statement from Ammon in the Book of Mormon, who said that in the strength of God he could do all things (See Alma 26:12), Elder Goaslind remarked, "Each of us has a miracle to perform, a journey to complete, and a marvelous mission to fulfill. With His strength and the guidance of the Spirit, you too, can do all things!"

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