A dear sister in our stake who suffered a stroke hand cross-stitched 40 book markers for our pioneer trek youth. These book markers stating, “Follow Me to Zion” were replicas of two found in a pioneer journal, and served as a reminder of the sacrifice the pioneers made.
Because of the stroke, the beautiful markers weren’t perfect. Some questioned if they could be used. Thankfully a trek leader understood that all of our poor offerings made with a sincere heart are perfectly acceptable to the Lord and offered them to our youth, many trading their ‘stitch perfect’ bookmarks for these. After making sure all the youth had bookmarks, I was grateful when the same leader insisted I should have one also.
This is dear to me: beautifully and skillfully done. I keep it now as a reminder that my own imperfect offering may also be cherished by the Lord.
On our pioneer trek, I was the camp bugler. I played taps over the camp at Rock Creek Hollow, site of the Willie Handcart Company rescue. It was near the gravestone memorializing the names of 13 pioneers who died there. I was drawn to the hollow alone twice where I meditated on the offerings made in physical weakness by our pioneers.
There was laid to rest dear little Bodil Mortensen, the 9 year old girl who assisted a 6-year old to make the 27-hour journey to the hollow where Bodil died, still holding twigs of sage in her frozen hand that she was gathering to help kindle a fire.
I shed tears for 11-year old James Kirkwood, who on the same trip found his 4-year old brother Joseph unable to continue. So he carried Joseph on his back, until they reached Rock Creek Hollow, where he too quietly died of hunger and fatigue. Many made similar sacrifices.
Then I think of my Savior, his hands so full of blessing, being pierced for my sake and I am unable to speak. Tears well up freely when I consider what he did for me. I love Him. I never want to leave him.
40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth.
41 Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me;
42 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost.
And so I put my meager offering on His altar, and somehow know he will look at the tapestry of my life, and in the end he will make it perfectly right.
Please know you are not lost. Our Savior has “graven thee upon the palms of my hands” (Isaiah 49:16) He makes imperfect things, perfect. His is the perfect offering.