Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What I Have Learned from the Pioneers - Lesson #4

Jill, Valine and I at the end of Trek - 2008


M. Russell Ballard said "Life isn't always easy. At some point in our journey we may feel much as the pioneers did as they crossed Iowa - up to our knees in mud, forced to bury some of our dreams along hte way. We all face rocky ridges, with the wind in our face and winter coming on too soon. Sometimes it seems as though there is no end to the dust that stings our eyes and clouds our vision. Sharp edges of despair and discouragement jut out of the terrain to slow our passage. Always, there is a Devil's Gate, which will swing wide open to lure us in. Those who are wise and faithful will steer a course as far from such temptation as possible, while others - sometimes those who are nearest and dearest to us - succumb to the attraction of ease, comfort, convenience, and rest. Occasionally we reach the top of one summit in life, as the pioneers did, only to see more mountain peaks ahead, higher and more challenging than the one we have just traversed. Tapping unseen reserviors of faith and endurance, we, as did our forebearers, inch ever forward toward that day when our voices can join with those of all pioneers who have endured in faith, singing: 'All is well! All is well!'"

Yep, sometimes life is hard. I do not know anyone who has led a life free of struggles. When I have times of trial, of heartache, I find inspiration in those who have gone before and not only survivied - but are grateful for - these experiences that strengthen us, give us empathy, bring us closer to our Heavenly Father. I find comfort in the words of Ether 12:27 -

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things becaome strong unto them."

One of my favorite things about the gospel of Jesus Christ is that He only asks us to do OUR best. He takes each of us where we are, and He makes up our shortfall - different as that may be for each of us. I know that I can't be just like any of my fantastic friends or role models, but I do know that in the strength of the Lord, I can do all things I have been asked to do, even hard things! Action Plan #4 - Start where I am - be better tomorrow!

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