by Patricia A Pitterle
Immigrants traveled hundreds of miles
leaving behind things they had loved and handed down
from generation to generation.
They left their familiar homes, and often their friends and families.
They came to America
with firm convictions, unity of purpose
and a true love of the Lord.
Crossing the vast ocean
and the wide expanse of prairie,
They suffered hunger and thirst
and the weather was often a bitter enemy in their midst.
Many lived through the hardships and trials
but others did not.
Friends and family were too often left
in shallow, unmarked graves.
The survivors often gave all they had to make the crossing
and came to the valley at last
with only themselves left to give.
Their offering was complete
and they joined the saints in Zion
building up the kingdom of God here upon the earth.
He had gathered
must find within ourselves the willingness to sacrifice,
to share with others those things which are
most sacred and dear.
With firm convictions, unity of purpose,
and the love of the gospel in our hearts
we cross the large oceans of opinion
and the prairies of disbelief and ridicule,
seeking those who hunger and thirst after righteousness.
We must hold high the lamp that leads and guides
to eternal life
so that some may see and find the way.
There are many who will choose not to look,
for they have buried themselves
in the darkness of pride and worldly persuasions.
Those of us who diligently seek
are often asked to give all that we have
to the service of our Lord
until at last, we stand before Him
with only ourselves left to give.
Our offering is complete
And we join the saints and become one, in Zion.
For He has gathered us,
"Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church and the lifesaving blessing to all who accept its message."
Ronald A. Rasband, "The Divine Call of a Missionary," Ensign, May 2010, 51