In Our Lovely Deseret: Early Saints' experiences teach us to wait upon the Lord

Published: Saturday, Oct. 19 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

"We are now living in Commerce, on the bank of the great Mississippi River. The situation is very pleasant; you would be much pleased to see it. How long we may be permitted to enjoy it I know not; but the Lord knows what is best for us. I feel but little concerned about where I am, if I can keep my mind staid upon God; for, you know in this there is perfect peace. I believe the Lord is overruling all things for our good."

Parley Pratt was not released with Joseph and Hyrum Smith in the late spring of 1839, but suffered imprisonment for nearly nine months, and he was at length able to escape and make a hazardous and painful way to Quincy, Ill., where his wife was living. She had received word that her husband might be at last coming home.

Describing the event he wrote in his autobiography, "We dismounted and gave a gentle knock at the door. She had watched for four successive nights and most of the fifth, and had now just lain down and given up all for lost. On hearing the knock she sprang from bed and opened the door, and in another instant I had clasped her in my arms."

Wrought upon by fear and anxiety, the early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints pushed it all aside and concentrated on what they knew and what they wanted: truth revealed from heaven and a place in the kingdom of God after the trials of this life were through, knowing, as only the proven can know, that the Lord would overrule all things for their good.

Lucy Smith wrote in her "History of Joseph Smith by His Mother" about spending a night alone, guarding the Book of Mormon manuscript in a trunk beneath her bed:

"Shall I fear what man can do? Will not the angels watch over the precious relic of the worthy dead and the hope of the living? ... My heart bounded at the thought of the great condescension of the Almighty."

In a way, our entire mortal lives are "waiting upon the Lord" — to see his arm bared, to see his purposes fulfilled, written upon our hearts and revealed before our eyes.

The simple majesty in the lives of the faithful gives a more thrilling and sacred meaning to the poetic utterance of Isaiah:

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:31).

Susan Evans McCloud is author of more than 40 books and has published screenplays, a book of poetry and lyrics, including two in the LDS hymnbook. She has six children. She blogs at susanevansmccloud.blogspot.com.

Email: susasays@broadweave.net

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