26 July 2022

Women are Important!

 This post is part of the General Conference OdesseyThis week covers the General Relief Society session of the October 1997 conference.

Sister Mary Ellen Smoot began her talk with the story of Esther, so it fits right in with this week's Come Follow Me lesson. She talked about the importance of our roles as women in building the kingdom. I met her when she visited her sister who lived in the stake next to ours in Virginia, and they hastily put together a two stake Relief Society conference. Sister Smoot was so gracious and kind, and forgiving of my social faux pas. (I've had some awkward, embarrassing moments throughout my life that I wish I could erase.) I well remember the excitement we felt about the new Presidents of the Church curriculum for Relief Society and Melchizedek Priesthood quorums. I was in a stake RS presidency and got to teach the sisters how to teach the new lessons. Which, by the way, I loved! I still have all the manuals and refer to them when preparing other lessons and talks.

Sister Virginia U. Jensen spoke of our role in creating places of security. ". . . what a great opportunity we as women have to influence the lives of those around us. . . . Sometimes this world is a frightening place to be. I believe, however that women have unique opportunities and special gifts and talents to protect, nurture, and influence others. We can create places of security where marriages, children, and families can thrive and avoid the evil of the world." 

I loved her story about Captain Moroni, my hero. "While his enemies gained power through fraud and deceit, Moroni empowered the Nephites by teaching them to be faithful to God." Isn't that a timely statement. As I read it I felt that it applied directly to our day. President Nelson is doing exactly the same thing with us!

Another important teaching from Sister Jensen is, 
"Adherence to the Lord's commandments is the foundation of her fortress.
To provide safety for those around us, we as sisters need to expand our knowledge of all things spiritual. We need to learn and progress in understanding and teach our children those things that will make them less vulnerable to deceit and to the designs of those who conspire against righteousness. Ignorance is not bliss; it is dangerous."

Oh how we need this reminder today! I teach Primary with nine children in my class. We regularly have three to five children, as someone is always on vacation or home sick, or just not fully active. These nine children represent seven families in our branch. Only two of those families study the Come Follow Me lessons each week or read any scriptures daily. Last week I sent a letter to the parents to remind them of their responsibility to teach their children. The twenty minutes I have with them on Sunday is not enough time to teach them anything; we barely have time to review the story. 

It seems to me that too many families are involved in too many worldly pursuits and activities while neglecting the spiritual education of their children. Sister Jensen's talk would be a good one to share with the parents.

Sister Sheri L. Dew spoke next and charmed us all with her humor, directness and riveting testimony. One of the things she said struck me as something that comes from someone who has been through fiery trials. "As our testimony of Him expands and matures, we begin to care more about life forever than life today, and we have no desire but to do what He needs us to do and to live as He has asked us to live."

It is not only prophets who call us to repentance, Sister Dew did a pretty good job,
He needs us today. He needs us to speak up for what is right, even when doing so is unpopular. He needs us to develop the spiritual maturity to hear the voice of the Lord and detect the deceptions of the adversary. He delights in women who keep their covenants with precision, women who reverence the power of the priesthood, women who are willing to "lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better" (D&C 25:10). He needs us to be everything we can be, to "arise and shine forth, that [our] light may be a standard for the nations" (D&C 115:5).
She asked two penetrating questions: 1) How much good might we do if at this very hour we rededicated ourselves to Him who is our Redeemer and our Rescuer? And 2) Might we commit to do just a little better than we have been doing, and in the process marshal our forces to lead the women of the world in all that is Godlike and ennobling?

I get rather frustrated at how little our branch Relief Society does, both with the sisters, and in the community. I wish we could unite and do so much more. Sometimes I think that many of the sisters, who have attended only this branch, don't know that they are part of a larger Society. They don't realize that the sisterhood of the Relief Society numbers in the millions! And together we can make a positive difference in our homes, communities and the world.

24 July 2022

Pioneers Today

This is the talk I gave today in Sacrament Meeting.

Once while serving as a missionary we were teaching and inviting a person to be baptized, the person said something like this, "I can't join the church because I don't have anyone in my family who was a pioneer." I

responded, "I don't have any 'cross the plains' ancestors either. But I will love and honor forever my grandfather who listened to the missionaries and joined the church in Norway in 1905."


Grandpa Hansen was born on a tiny island where the Arctic circle intersects the coast of Norway. He left the island in 1901 to go to a city and begin an apprenticeship as a baker. After two months he decided that wasn't for him and joined his sister in another city who introduced him to a tailor who gave him a job. After a few months of satisfactory work he signed a contract for a three year apprenticeship. While learning that trade, he was introduced to some Mormon missionaries and began to learn the doctrines of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.


On 10 February 1905 Grandpa visited the missionaries and applied for baptism. They told him they'd arrange things and for him to meet them at 7:00 that evening.


He said, "All forenoon I studied the scriptures, and I meditated on my procedure till late in the afternoon. Suddenly a terrible storm arose. The wind shook the building till the rafters squeaked, and the snow pierced through every crevice. The darkness of the long evening had covered the town, and only a faint flicker from the street lamps could be seen. I lounged on the bed, as I felt very tired, and fell into a comfortable sleep. It is possible that I slept for several hours, but a clear and loud voice called: Conrad! It is seven o'clock!"


He thought someone on the stairs had called out to him, but he couldn't find anyone. He returned to his room, saw that the clock said 7:00 and remembered his appointment.


He was baptized in the Arctic ocean in the midst of a snowstorm in February! I love my Grandpa Hansen. He was faithful his whole life and believing that his ancestors had awakened him to remember his baptism appointment he did genealogy and temple work his whole life leaving a book of pedigrees and family group sheets over a foot tall.


He didn't cross the plains in a wagon or handcart, but he was a pioneer in his family. He left Norway and headed to Zion, Salt Lake City, Utah in 1906. He eventually met Rose Christensen and married her in the Salt Lake Temple on September 1, 1909. They had 15 children; my mother was number 12. Grandpa died while I was serving my mission in 1979, he was 96.


President Dallin Oaks gave a talk in 1997 called Following the Pioneers. That was the year of the Sesquicentennial of the arrival of the pioneers in the Salt Lake Valley, and there were reenactments of the trek, and celebrations of all kinds. He said:

"Now after all these studies and activities, it is appropriate to ask ourselves, "Therefore, what?" Are these pioneer celebrations academic, merely increasing our fund of experiences and knowledge? Or will they have a profound impact on how we live our lives?

This question applies to all of us. As President Hinckley (then prophet and president) reminded us last April, "Whether you are among the posterity of the pioneers or whether you were baptized only yesterday, each is the beneficiary of their great undertaking." All of us enjoy the blessings of their efforts and all of us have the responsibilities which go with that heritage. . .  We need to identify the great, eternal principles they applied to achieve all they achieved for our benefit and then apply those principles to the challenges of our day."


Elder Oaks finished his talk by telling the story of some young men who risked their lives to find out about a plot to kill the prophet Joseph Smith. He said, "The faith, commitment, and courage of these young men is an example to all of us. These pioneer qualities and the others I have mentioned--integrity, inclusion, cooperation, unity, unselfishness, sacrifice, obedience--are as vital today as when they guided the actions of our pioneer forebears, early and modern. To honor those pioneers, we must honor and act upon the eternal principles that guided their actions."


So what do all those lovely qualities have to do with us today in this place? How do we put them into practice? What does it mean to be a pioneer today?


Let's review some religious practices that need the qualities of faith, sacrifice and obedience. Perhaps you are the first in your family to pray daily. It takes faith to kneel down each day and give thanks for blessings and ask for guidance and forgiveness. The Lord said through Joseph Smith, "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things." (D&C 59:7)


Are you the first in your family to study the scriptures? That takes some sacrifice of other activities to accomplish. The Lord commanded us to "Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled." (D&C 1:37) We should know what those prophecies and promises are! We can, through daily scripture study. I tell my Primary class that just as we need daily physical food, we need daily spiritual food. Fasting too long from spiritual food makes us weak and vulnerable to temptations.


Are you the first to pay tithing? Everyone who has a testimony of tithing knows that it takes faith and sacrifice, rather than money, to be obedient to that commandment. But we're told that the windows of heaven will be opened and "pour [us] out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." What a promise! (Malachi 3:10)  I have seen it happen over and over again.


Maybe you're the first to attend church every Sunday? It takes integrity to live up to our beliefs and attend church each week rather than seeking and participating in worldly activities and entertainments. The Lord said, "And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High." The promise given for this commandment is that all the good things of the earth will be ours! Did you notice though, that we are asked to rest from OUR labors, but not the Lord's labors?  

Are you the first to accept and serve in a calling at church? Many other churches are spectator churches, where only the pastor leads and speaks; but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is one in which we all are asked to participate in some capacity. The Lord wants us to grow and develop as we journey along. He has given us talents to increase and improve, skills to develop and share, and He asks us to serve each other. Moroni describes meetings of the saints saying: "And their meetings were conducted by the church after the manner of the workings of the Spirit, and by the power of the Holy Ghost; for as the power of the Holy Ghost led them whether to preach, or to exhort, to pray, or to supplicate, or to sing, even so it was done." (Moroni 6:9) Everyone can participate!


Are you the first in your family to give up tobacco and alcohol, coffee and tea? The Word of Wisdom was "adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints, who are or can be called saints." (D&C 89:3) God, who designed our bodies knows what is best for them. We are temples of the Spirit and need to be clean and pure to have health both in body and spirit. His commandments help us to do that.


Are you the first in your family to choose to follow God's commandments rather that the fads, trends, and morals of the world? The Lord told the Israelites through Moses, "Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation." (Exodus 19:5-6) The apostle Peter reminded the people of his time, "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" (1 Peter 2:9) In the series The Chosen, Jesus gives an instruction and Peter says, "Well that's different." Jesus answers, "Get used to different." We are called to be different from the world. Different in our beliefs, our morals, our values, our actions.


If you have done all or even some of these things you are a pioneer. You are blazing a new path for your family. Just like my Grandpa Hansen. And those who follow you will love and honor you for your faith, sacrifices and obedience.


The best part of being on this trek is that we are not alone. There are many who have gone before, and many on the path now, who can help us along when the going gets tough. And it will, because this life is a test. Remember what Abraham was told: ". . . we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." (Moses 3:25) Do all things! Not just when it's easy, not just when we feel like it, not just when we have the time or money or whatever. We are to do all things God commands us. All the time!


No doubt there were days when the original pioneer's fervor for the journey was at low ebb; when walking in the dust of the wagon train, or pushing the handcart seemed more than they could bear another day. But they kept going through the motions of putting one foot in front of the other and made progress to their promised land in spite of the difficulties or the lack of glamor and excitement on the trail. Perhaps the best thing that happened on those dull days was a cooling breeze, a bright wildflower, a colorful sunset, or a brilliant moonrise. Perhaps gathering with fellow travelers after supper was enough to strengthen them for the next day. Prayer, hymns, and scriptures were the spiritual food to give them strength to carry on. Feeding their spirits was just as important as feeding their bodies.


Today we may go through similar times of low ebb, when the journey seems long and our enthusiasm is waning. But rather than sit at the side of the road, or worse, turn back, if we'll just keep going through the motions of reading scriptures each day, praying each day, and keeping the commandments each day, we too will make progress to our promised land. Our best thing might be a scripture verse that speaks deeply to our heart and soul, a cheerful text from a friend, an uplifting email or post on social media; perhaps gathering on Sunday with fellow saints will allow us to hear just the thing to lift our spirits and feed our souls.


The hymn Come, Come Ye Saints is as applicable to us today as it was for those who crossed the plains in wagons, handcarts and on foot.

Come, come ye saints, no toil nor labor fear;

But with joy, wend your way.

Though hard to you, this journey may appear,

Grace shall be, as your day.

'Tis better far for us to strive

Our useless cares from us to drive

Do this, and joy your hearts will swell--

All is well! All is well!


Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard?

'Tis not so, all is right.

Why should we think to earn a great reward

If we now shun the fight?

Gird up your loins, fresh courage take.

Our God will never us forsake;

And soon we'll have this tale to tell--

All is well! All is well!


The scriptures are full of stories of pioneers. Lehi was one, taking his family into the wilderness to escape the destruction of Jerusalem and being led to a promised land. His son Nephi had learned how to inquire of the Lord and receive answers. He was commanded to build a ship, and although he knew to ask where to get ore to manufacture tools, he had never built a ship. But he gives us a pattern to live by.

And the Lord did show me from time to time after what manner I should work the timbers of the ship.

Now I, Nephi, did not work the timbers after the manner which was learned by men, neither did I build the ship after the manner of men; but I did build it after the manner which the Lord had shown unto me; . . . (1 Nephi 18:3)


When is our "from time to time" where we learn how to build our lives in the manner the Lord wants? I suggest that General Conference is one such time. Every six months we receive instructions and encouragement, as well as calls for repentance or to change, from our leaders, called of God to do so. But what good is General Conference if we don't tune in, don't listen, and then don't study each talk and glean the message that is there for us? Let's clear our calendar for that weekend, gather our family, watch together and enjoy the spiritual feast of good music and uplifting talks. It's a wonderful pause in our daily trek to the promised land.


Another "from time to time" can be the time spent in the temple. The early pioneers recognized how important temple covenants would be on their trek and made the effort to finish the temple and receive their endowments and sealings before they left Nauvoo. They didn't get to go to the temple again for a very long time. We are so blessed! Our temple is relatively close and we can return again and again to feel the sweet spirit that is there. While there we are instructed and encouraged for our journey through life. You can be the first in your family to receive these blessings and know the richness of Heavenly Father's gifts. I promise it is worth all the work to get there.


My parents lived in the same house and attended the same ward for over sixty years. I loved those ward members as my extended family. Then I married a Marine and began moving to one new ward family after another as we moved around the country. Some wards are easier to fit into than others. Some church families have more crazy relatives than others. But we still journey together and help each other. We love the older members for their wisdom and patience, and we love the younger members for their energy and enthusiasm.


Because we are not traveling side by side as the pioneers did on their trek across the plains we don't always see what is going on in each other's lives. We don't see when the wheel falls off the wagon, or the ox is lame, or when the flour barrel is running low. We don't see sicknesses of body, mind or spirit. We generally only see each other at our relative best on Sunday. We put on a cheerful face, our nicest clothes, and do our best to appear to be doing well on our journey.


However, I've learned through my own family experiences and getting to know others in our church families that absolutely NO ONE, is free from challenges of one kind or another throughout life. This is why those eternal principles of inclusion, cooperation, unity, and unselfishness are so vital to us today. We need each other to make it faithfully to the end of our journey. We are all part of each other's church family: we are brothers and sisters, parents and children, aunts, uncles and cousins. We simply cannot make it alone. We need the strengths of each other to compensate for our weaknesses as we help each other overcome and conquer those weaknesses and remain faithful to the end.


I want to end with a parable Jesus taught. He said:

The kingdom of heaven is like a householder who went out in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. And he agreed with the workers for a silver coin per day, and he sent them into his vineyard. And the third hour came, and he saw others standing in the marketplace idle, and he said to them, 'Go to the vineyard, and whatever is just I will pay you.' And they went. Again, he went in the sixth and ninth hours, and he did the same. About the eleventh hour, he came and found other standing, and he said to them, 'Why did you stand here idle all day long?' They said to him, 'Because no one hired us.' He said to them, 'Go to the vineyard.' When it was evening, the master of the vineyard said to his caretaker, 'Call the workers and give them their wages beginning from the last until the first.' And those hired in the eleventh hour came, and each received a silver coin. And those who came first thought they would be paid more, but each received a silver coin. (Matt 20:1-10)


We are like those laborers. No matter when we join the church, early or late, we all can receive the same blessings from our Father in Heaven. It doesn't matter how or when we begin, what matters is how we end.


That we might help each other endure and serve faithfully to the end is my fervent hope and prayer.



19 July 2022

The Basics

This post is part of the General Conference OdesseyThis week covers the Sunday afternoon session of the October 1997 conference.

President Nelson has several times admonished us to feel the joy of daily repentance so it was wonderful to come upon this sentence in Elder Duane B. Gerrard's talk:
The repentance process should become a frequent normal procedure to teach us to deal with the infrequent abnormal occurrences of life--oh, the difference between nearly right and exactly right!
He was a commercial airline pilot and shared the analogy of the three specific areas of procedures and checklists used by pilots: normal procedures, abnormal procedures, and emergency procedures.

This talk resonated with me because for years I have talked about and taught that we should establish in our lives the habits of righteousness, as I call them. Daily prayer, scripture study, weekly Family Home Evening and church attendance, and participation in semi-annual stake and general conferences. Those are the bare minimums for a Latter-day Saint. Being temple worthy with all that entails, holding callings and being a ministering brother or sister move us further along the path to becoming who the Lord wants us to be.

Elder Wayne M. Hancock also spoke of faithfulness. He described the stalwart Swiss sisters he had known while serving there. He described them:
The lack of a car for transportation, or a husband for love and protection, or a supportive family, or a special understanding friend does not dampen their enthusiasm for the gospel of Jesus Christ or their participation in Church meetings and related activities.

No ones life is perfect; we all face challenges of one kind or another, but staying faithful despite our trials is exactly why we came to earth. This life is a test! "And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them." (Abraham 3:25)

It is easier to stay faithful through challenges when our habits of righteousness are in place and automatic.  When we can go through the motions even when we don't feel like doing so, we will eventually break through our fog and be able to feel the spirit again.

Listening to and reading at least one general conference talk each day has helped me tremendously to remember the things that are important and to keep putting one foot in front of the other along the strait and narrow path. 


12 July 2022

I Remember

This post is part of the General Conference OdesseyThis week covers the Sunday morning session of the October 1997 conference.

I remember this session of conference. Our oldest child had been baptized that summer, her brothers were 6 1/2, 4, and 1; another was in the making and would be born the next June. We watched conference at home via cable. I'd call the cable company a week before and have it set up for the conference weekend, then on Monday would call to have it cancelled. After a couple of times they got to know me and didn't bat an eye.

President Faust told the poignant story of him neglecting to help his grandmother fill the woodbox and how sorry he was for that sin of omission. Many of us wondered if we'd ever be that spiritually mature. He counseled us that:
Those who extend judgement, mercy, faith, and forgiveness exhibit a greatness of soul and mind consistent with the spirit of the Lord's teachings and example. This higher gospel requires that we look inward to our own souls, for we cannot deceive the Lord.

Elder Harold G. Hillam told of the opening of an 1899 time capsule in 1949. A letter in the capsule included this description:
The people were in a dry and barren land and were subjected to many privations. It required all their time and strength to secure the necessaries of life; yet in the midst of it all, with the limited facilities at hand, they began the education of their children.

I wonder if we understand what the settlers of the Salt Lake valley went through. It's hard to imagine life without groceries stores, hardware stores, restaurants, etc.  To take time to build churches and schools while attempting to grow enough food to last through the year until the next harvest is difficult to fathom. We can't conceive of the labor and toil it took. I for one am so grateful that they didn't give up! They didn't say "It's too hard!" And return to eastern cities where life could have been easier. The gospel is worth every sacrifice!

Elder Hillam went on to talk about teaching, knowledge, information, and media. 
Perhaps every person who is listening might also ask these question of himself or herself and expect an honest reply: "Is the information I am receiving from this tool of learning edifying, and adding truth into my life? Are the hours I am investing an effective use of my valuable time? Does this computer game assist me in fulfilling my responsibilities and goals?" If the answer is not a resounding yes, then we should have the courage and determination to click off the button and direct our lives to more important tasks.

Those are still important questions to ask.

Elder Holland said something that must have been where I got the idea for a new name for the church.
Now, if you feel too spiritually maimed to come to the feast, please realize that the Church is not a monastery for perfect people, though all of us ought to be striving on the road to godliness. No, at least one aspect of the Church is more like a hospital or an aid station, provided for those who are ill and want to get well, where one can get an infusion of spiritual nutrition and a supply of sustaining water in order to keep on climbing.

I've long felt that an alternative name of the church could be The Hospital of Jesus Christ for Latter-day Sinners. Perhaps then, more would feel "worthy" to attend and partake of the bread of life and the living water.

Elder Holland finished with his testimony:
I pray this morning that all who are hungering and thirsting, and sometimes wandering, will hear this invitation from Him who is the Bread of Life, the Fountain of Living Water, the Good Shepherd of us all, the Son of God: "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, . . . and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Truly He does fill "the hungry with good things," as His own mother Mary testified. Come and feast at the table of the Lord in what I testify to be His true and living Church, led by a true and living prophet, . . . 

President Gordon B. Hinckley was the concluding speaker, for 22 minutes! He talked of many subjects, but what I remember most was:
If we will go forward, never losing sight of our goal, speaking ill of no one, living the great principles we know to be true, this cause will roll on in majesty and power to fill the earth. Doors now closed to the preaching of the gospel will be opened. The Almighty, if necessary, may have to shake the nations to humble them and cause them to listen to the servants of the living God. Whatever is needed will come to pass.

Shake the nations! I got goosebumps hearing that and wondered what we would see in the future. We've seen plenty! Many nations have opened up to the preaching of the Gospel. More is to come, I'm sure.

We live in exciting times. Technology has come a long way, opening nations to the gospel, as well as drawing weak saints away. It is the opinion of many that the sifting of the wheat and tares has begun in earnest. Temples are proliferating in fulfillment of prophecy. Zion is being gathered. We will probably have to be as strong and resourceful as the early pioneers were in order to endure to the end.

President Hinckley said;
If we will cling to our values, if we will build on our inheritance, if we will walk in obedience before the Lord, if we will simply live the gospel we will be blessed in a magnificent and wonderful way. 

What more could we want! 

05 July 2022

Pioneers of the Future

This post is part of the General Conference OdesseyThis week covers the Priesthood session of the October 1997 conference.

It seems to me that the future Elder Faust spoke of has arrived!

Elder Faust related that all of the Sesquicentennial events and activities, celebrating 150 years since the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley, had been under the prophetic leadership of President Gordon B. Hinckley.
Now he is directing us to become pioneers of the future with all its exciting opportunities. Faith in every future footstep will fulfill prophetic vision concerning the glorious destiny of this church.

We live in exciting times when the church and kingdom is moving forward rapidly, hastening the work. If we don't keep up we'll be left behind.
We must believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost. We must believe in the Atonement and the Resurrection of the Savior. We must believe in the words of the prophets, both ancient and modern. We should also believe in ourselves.
Believing requires action. If you prepare to walk down the path of life, you can be rewarded beyond your dreams and expectations. But to achieve this, you must work very hard, save, be wise, and be alert. You must learn to deny yourselves of worldly gratification. You must be faithful in paying tithes; you must keep the Word of Wisdom; you must be free from other addictions. You must be chaste and morally clean in every respect. You should accept and be faithful in all of the calls that come to you. Steadiness and toil will serve you better than brilliance.

The basics have never changed! I think his statement "Steadiness and toil will serve you better than brilliance," could be cross-stitched and hung in every home! They are words to live by. One of my favorite quotes from author Ralph Moody is his Uncle Levi saying, "Slow and steady goes far in a day." Seems to be saying the same thing.

Elder Faust relates the story of Elisha and the young servant who asked, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" I feel like that so often; overwhelmed by the situations in the world, fatigued from all the undone tasks I'm surrounded by, anxious because of interruptions to my plans. He ends his talk with this wisdom:
We should remember that in our challenges and struggles against the powers of evil and darkness, "they that be with us are more than they that be with them." We belong to the greatest cause on earth. We are the pioneers of the future. Let us go forth like the armies of Helaman and build the kingdom of God. Like the royal army, let us be "united, bold, and strong, . . . marching forth to conquer on life's great battlefield."

As each of us do our pioneer part to build personal righteousness, and then strengthen our fellow saints, we can build Zion and prepare for the Second Coming. What a glorious day that will be!