Quotes: The Mormon Pioneers

Not surprisingly, as the pioneer theme is presented, each goes back in memory to his or her own family line. There are usually examples to identify and which fit the definition of a pioneer: “one who goes before, showing others the way to follow.” Some, if not all, made great sacrifices to leave behind comfort and ease and respond to that clarion call of their newly found faith. — Thomas S. Monson

Can we somehow find the courage and that steadfastness of purpose which characterized the pioneers of a former generation? Can you and I, in actual fact, be pioneers today? A dictionary defines a pioneer as “one who goes before, showing others the way to follow.” Oh, how the world needs pioneers today! — Thomas S. Monson

It is not enough to study or reenact the accomplishments of our pioneers. 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. In that way we honor their pioneering efforts, and we also reaffirm our heritage and strengthen its capacity to bless our own posterity and those millions of our Heavenly Father’s children who have yet to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all pioneers in doing so. — Dallin H. Oaks

It is good to look to the past to gain appreciation for the present and perspective for the future. It is good to look upon the virtues of those who have gone before, to gain strength for whatever lies ahead. It is good to reflect upon the work of those who labored so hard and gained so little in this world, but out of whose dreams and early plans, so well nurtured, has come a great harvest of which we are the beneficiaries. Their tremendous example can become a compelling motivation for us all, for each of us is a pioneer in his own life, often in his own family, and many of us pioneer daily in trying to establish a gospel foothold in distant parts of the world. — Gordon B. Hinckley

Let us never forget the faith of our fathers and the selfless sacrifice of our mothers, those pioneering Saints who set such an inspiring example of obedience. Let us remember them as we strive to be valiant servants in our work to ‘invite all to come unto Christ’ (D&C 20:59) and ‘be perfected in him’ (Moroni 10:32). — Joseph B. Wirthlin

How can we pay our debt of gratitude for the heritage of faith demonstrated by pioneers in many lands across the earth who struggled and sacrificed so that the gospel might take root? How is thankfulness expressed for the intrepid handcart pioneers who, by their own brute strength, pulled their meager belongings in handcarts across the scorching plains and through the snows of the high mountain passes to escape persecution and find peaceful worship in these valleys? How can the debt of gratitude possibly be paid by the descendants of the Martin and the Willie and the other handcart companies for the faith of their forebears? . . .The descendants of these pioneers can partially settle the account by being true to the cause for which their ancestors suffered so much to be part of. — James E. Faust

Two companion qualities evident in the lives of our pioneers, early and modern, are unselfishness and sacrifice. Our Utah pioneers excelled at putting ‘the general welfare and community goals over individual gain and personal ambition’. That same quality is evident in the conversion stories of modern pioneers. Upon receiving a testimony of the truth of the restored gospel, they have unhesitatingly sacrificed all that was required to assure that its blessings will be available to their children and to generations unborn. — Dallin H. Oaks

This month, we commemorate the historic trek of the Mormon pioneers who, 130 years ago, left the beautiful city of Nauvoo, Illinois, and their comfortable homes to escape their persecutors and march 2300 kms. across a hostile wilderness in order to worship their God according to the dictates of their own conscience. In July of 1847, they reached the Great Salt Lake Valley and founded the city which is now the headquarters of Christ’s church on earth. It is not enough merely to observe these various anniversaries, but we must recommit and rededicate ourselves to uphold the convictions and the principles upon which the blessings we enjoy are predicated. We, too, must be prepared to sacrifice, where necessary, to keep our freedoms inviolate. My father used to say: ‘The true way to honor the past is to improve upon it.’ Therefore, we should love God more. We should serve our fellowmen better. We should keep all the commandments. We should be better prepared as parents to teach our children to pray and to walk uprightly before the Lord, and to assume their responsibilities. We should be constantly striving for improvement of ourselves and our surroundings. — N. Eldon Tanner

I shall call upon the Bishops this day. I shall not wait until tomorrow, nor until the next day, for 60 good mule teams and 12 or 15 wagons. I do not want to send oxen. I want good horses and mules. They are in this Territory, and we must have them. Also 12 tons of flour and 40 good teamsters, besides those that drive the teams. I will tell you all that your faith, religion, and profession of religion, will never save one soul of you in the Celestial Kingdom of our God, unless you carry out just such principles as I am now teaching you. Go and bring in those people now on the plains. — Brigham Young

This country was unknown to them. They believed that God had given to President Young a vision of the future home for the Latter-day Saints. They had faith in their leader, and they were willing to go into the unknown with him. . . . Who should ever forget the faith, . . . the bravery, of those who had such confidence in Brigham Young as to follow him into these valleys of the mountains — Ben E. Rich

The passage of time dims our memories and diminishes our appreciation for those who walked the path of pain, leaving behind a tear-marked trail of nameless graves. But what of today’s challenge? Are there no rocky roads to travel, no rugged mountains to climb, no chasms to cross, no trails to blaze, no rivers to ford? Or is there a very present need for that pioneer spirit to guide us away from the dangers that threaten to engulf us, and lead us to a Zion of safety? — Thomas S. Monson

I have faith in the future of this promised land of America and in its institutions of representative government, but more than that, I have faith in you, the youth of America, to build even more securely on the foundations laid by the faith and devotion of your pioneer fathers. — Harold B. Lee

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