Every time I hear the story of the Martin and Willie handcart companies, I see in my mind's eye the people shivering in the cold, wanting to survive, having given everything they have, hoping against all odds that they can finally arrive in Zion. They've watched their brothers and sisters and friends die along the trail, and they've finally reached the point where they have no more strength, no more hope, nothing left to give.

And I'm there with them.

I've been there, in the place between spiritual life and death, watching as people fall around me, and wondering if I'll have the strength to live another day, or if I'll just give up. I've been the person who prayed for God's strength and felt it pushing me on one more day... not transporting me to Zion, but helping me move to the next day or even the next hour. And I, somehow, was rescued by the hand of God from the storm. But once you've felt the suffering, you can never forget it. It's different from anything else in the world, in a way... And I don't think that anyone who hasn't been called to pass through this way of life could ever understand the feelings and lessons learned from it.

Today, there isn't a physical storm raging in life. There is no snow or blizzard or darkening clouds. But, among my friends and neighbors, there are hundreds, thousands of men and women who are holding on to life in the gospel. Men and women who have given everything they have, who wonder if help will ever come, who turn to God and simply cry for relief of their pain and the strength to live one more day. And, as a saint, I have a responsibility to look, to search, and to never stop looking until I find them and bring them safely home. President Brigham Young told the Saints when he heard about the handcart companies struggling 300 miles away that their salvation rested upon their application of the Gospel in the realities of life - whether or not they were willing to give their lives in the service of their brethren, immediately... and I believe the same applies today. My brothers and sisters are searching, hoping to find hope and peace and faith, and the proof of my faith will come as I show my love for them... and my willingness to sacrifice on their behalf. I was rescued once, twice, countless times by the hand of God... now it's my turn to be His hand and help others along the way.
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