On 28 July 1847, four days after his arrival in that valley, Brigham Young stood upon the spot where now rises the magnificent Salt Lake Temple and exclaimed to his companions: "Here [we will build] the Temple of our God!" (James H. Anderson, "The Salt Lake Temple," Contributor [The Young Men's Mutual Improvement Associations of Zion], no. 6, April 1893, p. 243).
Its grounds would cover an eighth of a square mile, and it would be built to stand through eternity. Who cares about the money or stone or timber or glass or gold they don't have? So what that seeds are not even planted and the Saints are yet without homes? Why worry that crickets will soon be coming--and so will the United States Army?
They just marched forth and broke ground for the most massive, permanent, inspiring edifice they could conceive. And they would spend forty years of their lives trying to complete it.
The work seemed ill-fated from the start. The excavation for the basement required tr…
"We need to commit to serve the Lord and our communities with
the same diligence and faith that the pioneers had. We must ever be on our
guard that we do not become casual in keeping God's commandments, in abiding by
His laws, and in being honest and trustworthy in all that we do." —M. Russell Ballard, "Pioneer Faith
and Fortitude—Then and Now"
Prophecies regarding the last days often refer to large-scale
calamities such as earthquakes or famines or floods. These in turn may
be linked to widespread economic or political upheavals of one kind or
there is one kind of latter-day destruction that has always sounded to
me more personal than public, more individual than collective—a warning,
perhaps more applicable inside the Church than outside it. The Savior
warned that in the last days even those of the covenant, the very elect,
could be deceived by the enemy of truth.1 If we think of this as a form of spiritual destruction, it may
cast light on another latter-day prophecy. Think of the heart as the
figurative center of our faith, the poetic location of our loyalties and
our values; then consider Jesus’s declaration that in the last days
“men’s hearts [shall fail] them.”2 The
encouraging thing, of course, is that our Father in Heaven knows all of
these latter-day dangers, these troubles of the …