Sunday, August 11, 2013

Reflections and Gratitude

We are into August of this year, as unbelievable as it may seem.  July seemed to skip right passed in a merry, mocking fashion.  I can not let her leave without making comment.  July is the month to remember.  We need to remember those precious, brave souls who became our pioneer ancestors.

Today, I listened to some comments by college students.  They were grateful to Heavenly Father for helping them through their trials.  I sat listening with some compassion.  I have been in their shoes.  Now, however, I have lived a little longer.  I wanted to remind them that what they are going through is minor (for most) compared to what is ahead for them.  Definitely, their trials, for the most part, pale in comparison to those who came before us.

Those ancestral men, women, and children did what they did and went through what they did not for fame, not for glory, and not for wealth.  They didn't know that they would someday be revered.   I think they would have been immensely surprised  and doubtful if someone would have told them..."someday the entire church, over 14 million people, will hold you in highest esteem, will honor your name and your life, will wish to emulate your courage and conviction."  Theirs was not a desire for fame

There may have been a desire for glory in their hearts--but not the glory of the world.  They were pushing forward--upward and onward--to reach their Father's glory.  Each step, whether light or heavy, enjoyable or painful was for one purpose.  They wanted to reach Zion.  That is the only glory they sought.

Wealth would have been an insult to them.  They could not be paid off to stop and end their goal.  They sacrificed all they had in this world to make their journey.  When they arrived, there were no motels with fresh, clean sheets and comfortable beds.  There wasn't even an abundance of food that following winter.  Clothing had to be made from wool that was sheared from the sheep, corded, spun, and finally weaved into cloth.  After all that effort, then the material would be sown by hand into clothing.  While most achieved a comfortable life for that period of time, none became wealthy because of their sacrifice for Zion.

How easy we have it!  Today, I feel gratitude for the ease of my life.  I am grateful to them for giving me such a gift!  As a result, I definitely can not let July pass by without a "thank you."  Thank you to Elizabeth and  Hiram, Samuel and Mary Jane, Nielsand Laura, Anna and William.  You are the pioneers who reached through time to me and our generation and touched us forever.   Thank you!