By LINDSAY LICHFIELD
The journey saints make today equates to the pioneers’ trek West in difficulty and dedication, Tessa M. Santiago said at the Devotional on Tuesday in the de Jong Concert Hall.
Santiago, a lecturer and instructor in the General Education and Honors Department, said pioneer heritage extends beyond ancestry lines to every member of the church.
“The Saint under covenant must be devoted to the concept of journeying, not destination,” she said.
Everyone is on a journey, Santiago said. It is not enough to be moving unless we are moving toward God. Following a covenant journey means the trail will lead upward, to higher, more elevated ground, she said.
“Ultimately though, this covenant journey is about willingness and worthiness to enter the kingdom of God,” she said.
“Once we are under covenant, we may not travel alone, even if we think that by staying with the group we lessen our own chances of success.”
Salvation is not an individual process, it is connected to the salvation of others, she said.
“The pioneer saints’ treatment of the widows, poor fatherless would be either their justification or condemnation,” she said.
In token, saints today must pledge themselves to people whom the Lord has given stewardship to care, Santiago said.
“We realize that we cannot be saved without our kindred dead, without our husband or wife, without our children, without our neighbors,” she said.
Our journey is not complete until those who need help along the way have been helped, she said.
Stewardship may involve repeated efforts and may at times be monotonous, but the stewardship God assigns has a mission and a purpose, she said.
“We may be asked in our journey to Zion to do what we have already done: teach the CTRs for the fifth time; lead the Relief Society music for another seven years; serve another leadership mission to a country where the Church members are just beginning their journey,” she said.
By adding weight to the load of another, we fail in our stewardship and will be reproved by the Lord, Santiago said.
“We are sometimes tempted to separate ourselves, mostly when we lose our focus of the temple covenants,” Santiago said.
The journey to eternal life is also built upon the sacrifice and devotion of our pioneer progenitors, Santiago said. We must be united with them in our efforts to attain salvation.