The history of the nations of the world, from the beginning of time, has been influenced by the righteousness of the people and the hand of the Lord. Nations rise and fall, flourish and perish, as the Lord directs.
John Smith had been made President of the Nauvoo Stake when William Marks refused to follow the leadership of the Twelve. John Smith would go west with the Saints and become the first Stake President in Salt Lake City. As most of the Saints, with their leadership, crossed the Mississippi River to move west, Nauvoo became a waste place of Zion with few Saints remaining.
Here we are at the beginning of another year. There is anticipation of what the new year will bring. For me, it is a time to reflect on the year that has past and the year that lies ahead. The past year had experiences of pain, sorrow, and difficulties, but also joy, happiness, and wonderful memories.
Washington, fearing the worst, asked for a list of casualties. To his amazement, not one American soldier had been killed. He quickly took his prisoners and marched back across the river before British reinforcements could arrive. Washington had his first victory, and in the cold bitter reality of defeat and death, a nation was born.
He has given us records we call scriptures, that teach us the dealings of God with those who have gone before, and modern prophets to help us understand His dealings with us today. He has given us the opportunity to be born in families that serve as a model for what has been and will be. The family is where we experience our greatest joys and our greatest sorrows.
As a newly ordained deacon, Jacob was passing the sacrament for what I believe was only the second time. He is a fine, nice young man with the rare distinction of being very blond similar to myself at his age. I looked up and saw him coming down the aisle. Frustrated and angry, I thought to myself, “I don’t even have a family or a son, but if I did have a son, he would probably look a lot like him.”
We have the opportunity to take part in the great work of the Lord each day as we raise righteous families,support missionaries, pay tithing, share the gospel with others, teach nursery, attend to our temple work, and minister and serve those around us. Let each of us catch the vision of the Church through the eyes of Him whose Kingdom it is.