“It is our prayer day and night that God will open the heart of the churches to pour in men and means to assist us, for the redemption of Zion and upbuilding of Zion.” “…be comforted and look forward to the day when the trials and tribulations of this life will be at an end, and we all enjoy the fruits of our labor if we hold out faithful to the end which I pray may be the happy lot of us all.”
— Joseph Smith, Jr., June 4, 1834 (portions of a letter to Emma Smith)
Joseph Smith, Jr. was so moved by the things heaven revealed to him, that he chose to labor for God’s purposes to the best of his abilities. He and his wife Emma served through excitement and joy as well as hardship and persecution because they believed what they were tasked with was significant. Because they were hungry for God’s truth, they were able to brush away man’s objections and trust fully in God’s plans to restore the scattered House of Israel, God’s covenant people, to a knowledge of the truth.
In their journey alongside other Saints and believers, the revelations received for them show a pattern of wrestling, asking, believing, learning, seeking further enlightenment, striving, succeeding, sometimes failing, accepting rebuke, and striving anew. For those “all-in” for the Lord, they endured and pressed forward like many today. And yet… much of what was asked of the church in those early years remains unfulfilled. Why is that? Have we done ALL that Yehovah has asked of us? How can we be certain?
In the next five months, let us examine the latter-day scriptures that ushered in the church’s labors upon the land of Zion. Let us examine our history, God’s callings, and our failings. Let us find those gaps in our response in need of mending. Let us strive wholeheartedly to honor our covenants and the great Yehovah. Let us labor with profound effort to move forward in one, that we may rejoice in the day when all of Israel’s lost are reunited, and the movement toward restoration fulfilled.