Nothing to fear from journey if faith is constant companion

Exercise faith, trust

Focus on truths- Look to heaven for peace

For Church members today, there are lessons in every footstep the pioneers took - lessons of love, courage, commitment, devotion, endurance, and, most of all, faith, Elder M. Russell Ballard said Sunday morning.

"This is a year for remembering our past and drawing strength to face and conquer the challenges of today from the exemplary faith and courage of those who faced and conquered the challenges of yesterday," said Elder Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve.

He told Church members that they cannot begin to understand the journeys made by the pioneers until they understand their spiritual underpinnings. "Once we make that connection, however," he said, "we will begin to see how their journeys parallel our own."

Elder Ballard explained that the faith of the 1847 pioneers was grounded in principle.

"Each wagon and handcart was heavily laden with faith - faith in God, faith in the restoration of His Church through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and faith that God knew where they were going and that He would see them through."

The pioneers never set out to be heroes, and yet they accomplished heroic things, Elder Ballard explained. The pioneers knew that they had "nothing to fear in the journey" if faith was their constant companion.

"The faith that motivated the pioneers of 1847, as well as the pioneers in other lands, was a simple faith centered in the basic doctrines of the restored Gospel which they knew to be true," he said. "That's all that mattered to them, and I believe that is all that should matter to us."

He told Church members that their faith should be focused on the fundamental truths that God lives and they are His children, and that Jesus Christ is His only begotten Son and He is their Savior.

"No matter how difficult the trail, and regardless of how heavy our load, we can take comfort in knowing that others before us have borne life's most grievous trials and tragedies by looking to heaven for peace, comfort, and hopeful assurance," Elder Ballard declared.

"We can know, as they knew, that God is our Father, that He cares about us individually and collectively and that as long as we continue to exercise our faith and trust in Him there is `nothing to fear in the journey.'

"We are the inheritors of a tremendous heritage," continued Elder Ballard. "Now it is our privilege and responsibility to be part of the Restoration's continuing drama, and there are great and heroic stories of faith to be written in our day."

He noted, that while Church members should appreciate the footsteps of faith walked by the pioneers, they should "ever stand in reverential awe" as they contemplate the path trod by the Master.

"His faithful footsteps to Gethsemane and to Calvary rescued all of us and opened the way for us to return to our heavenly home," he said. ". . . Our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the source of spiritual power that will give you and me the assurance that we have nothing to fear from the journey."

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed