Monday, July 5, 2010

What I Have Learned from the Pioneers - Lesson #5

Nixon and Stephen - Pioneer Day 2004

I needed a few weeks to clear my mind and sort out the fact that in one post I was saying I was going to use this blog to record what was important to me and the very next post I was talking about Star Wars toys. Geesh!

I used those few weeks to camp, swim, hike, work in the garden, hang out with my boys and decide once and for all that no, Star Wars toys are not that important! Lucky for me, President Monson has given us some direction towards even better riches:

"The Master spoke of riches within the grasp of all - even joy unspeakable here and eternal happiness hereafter. I wish to provide the three pieces of your treasure map to guide you to your eternal happiness. They are: 1. Learn from the past. 2. Prepare for the future. 3. Live in the present."

So in the spirit of July - the month we celebrate Pioneers here in Utah by taking a day off of work, attending parades and rodeos, and blowing stuff up - I've decided to write about the things I have learned from studying the people who walked across a country to start a new life. If you've ever spent any time in Wyoming, you feel admiration for the strength they had and a deep understanding of why they kept walking!

I'll hold myself accountable for completing what I started by counting down:

Lesson #5 - There is only room for so much in the Handcart - what is worth taking?

Have you ever done the FHE/Sharing Time lesson where you use masking tape to mark the size of a handcart and try to fit everything you think you need to live in it? You should try it!

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - "I've often thought, and I've said to my children, that those parents who kept going past Chimney Rock and past Martin's Cove (and a few didn't get farther than that) where those little graves are dotted all across the historic landscape of this Church - they didn't do it for a social activity, they did it because the faith of the gospel of Jesus Christ was in their soul, it was in the marrow of their bones. That's the only way those mothers could bury that baby in a breadbox and move on, saying, 'The promised land is out there somewhere. We're going to make it to the valley.' They could say that because of the covenants and doctrine and faith and revelation and spirit. If we can keep that in our families and in the Church, maybe a lot of other things start to take care of themselves. Maybe a lot of other less-needed things sort of fall out of the wagon. I'm told that those handcarts could only hold so much Just as our ancestors Had to choose what they took, maybe the 21st century will drive us to decide, 'What can we put on this handcart?' It's the substance of our soul; it's the stuff right down in the marrow of our bones."

There are so many areas of life I need to sort through and rid myself of the excess, the unnecessary and the downright harmful. What is in the cart of my physical surroundings, the cart of my talents, of my time, of my spirituality? Action Plan #5: Unload the Excess!

Easton and Cameron - Pioneer Day 2004

Amanda, Jessica, Sara, Megan, Courtney, Kari, Luke, David - Pioneer Day 2004

1 comment:

Gray Family said...

I sat looking at these photos thinking they looked familiar! They do! I was there too - for some reason I thought they were in Utah, but no, good ol' Mission Viejo! We're trying to go back for this year's celebration, my kids just love it! Fun to see pictures of "when they were younger!"