Tribute to pioneers

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    By MELISSA ROBERTSON

    Brent L. Top, associate dean of religious education, said he wants to pay tribute to the Latter-day Saint pioneers and recommit himself to staying true to the faith, during the Devotional today at 11 a.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall.

    “It dishonors the pioneers when we learn and read about their experiences and yet not become better because of them,” he said. “If our lives are not made better, it is just like reading stories.”

    Top said he feels the pioneers would not want to trade places with people today.

    The problems people face today are more emotional than physical, he said, but they are equally difficult.

    “Our challenges, while totally different in nature, are daunting in and of themselves,” Top said.

    “I have learned that in a life of physical comfort there are other challenges. It is just as difficult to be faithful in comfort as it is to be faithful in distress,” he said.

    Top said as he studied pioneer accounts, he was amazed how they kept their covenants, despite their challenges and their diverse backgrounds.

    “The people had many different backgrounds and circumstances. The pioneers were not all the same and neither are we,” he said.

    However, even though people have different experiences, they all need to do the same things.

    Faith, obedience and being true to covenants are requirements for all people, he said. “We must be true to our covenants whether it is 1847 or 1997.”

    “No matter how diverse we are, that faith brings us together,” he said.

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