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How to develop pioneering qualities, character

The following are pioneering qualities and how we can develop them:

  • Faith: With faith the pioneers followed the Brethren and endured persecutions. Through their examples, we can gauge our faithfulness.- Determination: They were determined to live the gospel and to overcome their personal trials. We could, in turn, apply these examples in our personal lives today.
  • Dedication: They fulfilled their responsibilities and duties. In turn, we need to be dedicated to whatever we are asked to do in our callings and in the responsibilities of life.
  • Patience: They were willing to be patient because they could see the vision, they had a glimpse of what they could have. They were willing to work and live to have it. The mentality we have today is we want it now. We don't want to live the law of the harvest. We want instant gratification. We need to remember to plant the seed and to nourish it. That's what the pioneers did.
  • Endurance: They endured whatever persecutions they had. To endure is to not only endure in this life but also to prepare for the eternities.
  • Good work ethic: The pioneers were responsible. They saw a job to completion. We can learn a great deal from that. We've gone away from that. Generally speaking, many in our society don't have that patience. We can learn this work ethic by being responsible and completing what we start.
  • Priority driven: They aligned priorities with needs versus their wants. They were forced into this situation. They evaluated what they truly needed and learned how to live with what they had. They prepared for the future.
  • Cooperation and respect: They had cooperation and respect for others. We can learn this by being better home and visiting teachers and having cooperation and respect within our families. Respect for others is something that needs to be taught and instilled in our children so they grow up to be adults who are respectful.

In addition, the pioneers were helpful. They had a willingness to serve and be of assistance to others.

All these characteristics apply within and without the Church. - William Danner, Cochran, Ga.


What we did:

Same devotion, courage

If we look to the pioneers of the past, we see their devotion and qualities. By applying these examples, we can gain the same devotion and the same courage. We can gain strength for whatever lies ahead, wherever we live.

We develop these qualities by simply living the gospel in whatever times of struggles and sacrifices. We can be pioneers in our own place and time, wherever we are. - Edith Odom, Killeen, Texas

Gain desire

  • Gain a desire to seek out and incorporate these qualities in your life. Praying for this desire and humbly asking for inspiring sources is a major beginning.
  • Look for others who have these character traits you admire. What did it take for them to develop these in their lives? Begin to change yourself through mighty prayer and effort, never giving up, enduring until you see progress within yourself.
  • Look especially to older neighbors. I have noticed how much self-discipline they have developed that enables them to do the difficult, tedious and unpleasant things in life. - Coleen C. Heaton, Alton, Utah

Feel kinship

We like to tell our children stories about their grandparents and great-grandparents and things that they did that show faith and courage. This helps our children focus their energies on these qualities and gives them a sense of belonging. Also, we can get a sense that we know these people and feel a kinship with and want to emulate them. Our ancestors can be inspiring.

Also, as parents, set a good example. If you have faith and courage - like the pioneers did - the children are more likely to develop the same traits. If the parents set a good example, the children are more likely to follow that pattern. - Suzanne Clayson, Las Vegas, Nev.

Faith into action

Follow the prophet. Just as the early pioneers followed Brigham Young, we must follow the prophet. They left their homes and humbly followed his guidance in spite of opposition, naysayers and hardships. This requires faith and putting your faith into action, being willing to go forth and live the gospel in these latter days where there may not be support from our family or from society.

We can develop and maintain pioneering qualities by:

  • Being obedient to the tenets of the gospel when others challenge you.
  • Sacrificing to fulfill the requirements of our callings.
  • Not murmuring as Church leaders point the way into perceived difficult unknown territory.
  • Having a humble attitude.
  • Being ready and willing to serve even in the face of hardships.

As we faithfully follow the prophet and the leaders he has called, we can gain a countenance and attitude worthy of being a pioneer in this day and age and endure to the end. - Teryl Holloway, Plattsmouth, Neb.

Establish righteous homes

We are all pioneers as we face the challenges of different stages and callings in our lives. The pioneers' examples of faith, determination and perseverance can help us overcome these difficulties in our lives. The following expounds on these qualities:

  • As they had faith to follow the prophet, we can look to President Gordon B. Hinckley to help guide our lives in these troubled times.
  • As they were determined to reach the the Salt Lake Valley, we can determine to become more Christlike and establish righteous families and homes.
  • As they persevered, so can we persevere. It's so easy to give up when the going gets rough, but if we follow the pioneers' examples and endure to the end, we will be blessed. - Melody Dickson, Falls Church, Va.

Diaries, biographies

Many Church history books describe events with dates and places, but the most interesting knowledge can be gained from reading diaries and biographies. As an example, the Mormon Battalion came through New Mexico in 1846. Each year we read the various accounts of what happened to the Mormon Battalion in this area, and then we hike a portion of their route.

We view the same landmarks, watering holes and petroglyphs that were described 150 years ago. The real appreciation comes after carrying a pack for 15 miles along the route and realizing that is what they did everyday for a year with worn-out shoes and clothing, scant food and little knowledge of where they were going. Suddenly, our challenges in life don't seem so difficult or impossible. - Earl Wood, Las Cruces, N.M.


How to checklist:

1 Determine pioneering qualities; study examples in diaries, biographies.

2 Live gospel on daily basis; follow the current prophet.

3 Realize pioneer qualities still apply; develop patience, faith, courage in own life.

4 Be dedicated to responsibilities, callings; follow through.


WRITE TO US:

July 27 "How to ensure you are not worshipping 20th century false gods."

Aug. 3 "How to help yourself and your children support your bishop husband."

Aug. 10"How to find time in a busy schedule to keep a journal."

Aug. 17 "How to most wisely harvest and preserve produce from family garden."

Aug. 24 "How to help LDS youth have social opportunities when they are few in number."

Aug. 31 "How to overcome emotional, physical burnout."

Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2121 or use internet E-mail: [email protected] Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.

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