Over the years I have viewed many inspiring paintings honoring pioneer members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each painting portrayed amazing stories. Many pioneers kept journals of those early days of Christ’s restored Church, and we are forever grateful they did. I would never have thought that I would have connected so spiritually with those magnificent, God-loving people who literally sacrificed their time, talents, money, belongings, and even their lives to establish Zion.
As I have read about sufferings of the stranded handcart pioneers of the Willie Company, I have been moved to tears. President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, explained that when Brigham Young was made aware of their dire sufferings, he cancelled general conference and sent multiple rescue teams to “Go and bring in those people now upon the plains” (“Go Bring Them in from the Plains,” Ensign, Jul. 1997). Their challenges seem so much more difficult than those we face today.
I look to those who crossed the plains and marvel. Their trials were so physically and spiritually taxing that I find it difficult to fathom all they endured. Their sacrifices show us the importance of staying true to the Lord and never giving up.
Guided by the Holy Ghost
Our trials today seem much different. We face a world of contention, temptations, and false philosophies. We still need to be careful with the decisions and journeys we undertake. If we walk with faith, however, we can also be comforted by the Holy Ghost.
President Russell M. Nelson has counseled: “Our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, will perform some of His mightiest works between now and when He comes again. We will see miraculous indications that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, preside over this Church in majesty and glory. But in coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost” (“Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2018).
Receiving Angelic Help
In addition to personal revelation from the Holy Ghost, we can ask angels for help. One of the “Ideas for Personal Scripture Study” in the September 27-October 3, 2021 Come, Follow Me lesson states, “As we make and honor temple covenants, the Lord gives us power to do His work.” Such angelic assistance is affirmed in this blessing from the Kirtland Temple dedicatory prayer, “that thy servants may go forth from this house armed with thy power, and that thy name may be upon them, and thy glory be round about them, and thine angels have charge over them” (Doctrine and Covenants 109:22).
President Joseph F. Smith explained, “When messengers are sent to minister to the inhabitants of this earth, they are not strangers, but from the ranks of our kindred, friends, and fellow-beings and fellow-servants. … In like manner our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters, and friends who have passed away from this earth, having been faithful, and worthy to enjoy these rights and privileges, may have a mission given them to visit their relatives and friends upon the earth again, bringing from the divine Presence messages of love, of warning, or reproof and instruction, to those whom they had learned to love in the flesh” (Gospel Doctrine, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970, pp. 435–36; see also Larry E. Dahl, “Is There Any Truth to the Idea That We Have Guardian Angels Who Watch Over and Protect Us?,” Ensign, Mar. 1988).
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, has stated: “I testify that angels are still sent to help us, even as they were sent to help Adam and Eve, to help the prophets, and indeed to help the Savior of the world Himself … But when we speak of those who are instruments in the hand of God, we are reminded that not all angels are from the other side of the veil. Some of them we walk with and talk with—here, now, every day. Some of them reside in our own neighborhoods. Some of them gave birth to us, and in my case, one of them consented to marry me. Indeed heaven never seems closer than when we see the love of God manifested in the kindness and devotion of people so good and so pure that angelic is the only word that comes to mind” (“The Ministry of Angels,” Ensign, Nov. 2008).
Ministering to Each Other
Do you require help in your life? Does your son or daughter need support? Do you need relief? Does a friend need cheering-up? If so, we need to stay on the covenant path, repent, keep the commandments, and pray for the daily guidance of the Holy Ghost. Taking those steps will fill us with joy as we minister to one another.
If angels can help our ancestors, they can certainly help us with our pressing needs of today. We need to pray to our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ to send us angelic help—from either this or the other side of the veil. Each and every one of us has a great work to do in these challenging times.