Saturday, September 24, 2011

Zion and Glacier

Glacier National Park is beautiful. I had the opportunity to hike to Hidden Lake up in Logan Pass.  The majesty of the sheer cliffs is hard to put into words.  A feeling of insignificance is all that accompanies each who journeys there.  As we proceeded with our hike I was reminded of a beautiful place much closer to home.  Zion National Park is the desert version of Glacier.  IN Zion there is a popular hike called Eagle's Landing.  The hike begins low in the valley and ascends up the side of the mountain.  In the final stretch of the hike the trail narrows until it is only a few feet wide with a thousand foot fall on either side.  There is chain to hold on to so you don't fall.  This hike has claimed many lives.  This difficult hike is often like our journey as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland says it well. "Obviously as the path of discipleship ascends, that trail gets ever more narrow until we come to that knee-buckling pinnacle of the sermon of which Elder Christofferson just spoke: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” What was gentle in the lowlands of initial loyalty becomes deeply strenuous and very demanding at the summit of true discipleship. Clearly anyone who thinks Jesus taught no-fault theology did not read the fine print in the contract! No, in matters of discipleship the Church is not a fast-food outlet; we can’t always have it “our way.” Some day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ and that salvation can only come His way."

Often the path is not easy but we need to remember to stop and look around and appreciate the beauty of it.  The end of Eagle's Landing puts you on a safe pad of rock to overlook the rest of the canyon from a unique perspective and a sense of accomplishment. So too will be our final embrace in the arms of our Savior. When at the end of this life we can hope to hear not only "You're done" but "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Children...Children of God

I grew up with 3 younger sisters and a little brother. I remember being one my mothers helpers to baby-sit and care for my younger siblings. I remember how tiny they were when mom and dad brought them home for the first time.  I can't say I have any idea what being a parent is like but I'm grateful for the glimpse I had of taking care of a little one.  As a missionary I don't have that privilege.   The other day as I was trying to catch the eye of 7 week old baby that hadn't had his eyes open for long, and it hit me that this little guy was in the presents of our Heavenly Father just weeks ago. I was humbled at the thought.  As I pondered about this I thought about the plan of salvation and our important role in having families to move this plan forward.  Children are pure and clean.  Children are to whom we should look for a reminder of what we are supposed to become. Not childish but childlike. We will become more like our Savior Jesus Christ as we strive for the innocents of a child that can be found daily through the Atonement.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Twice a Year

It's that time of year again when the weather is cooling off and we are all ready for another renewal of our spirits.  Each of us has a spirit.  Our spirit needs nutrients just like our physical body does.  You wouldn't go weeks or months without eating or drinking, so you probably shouldn't go weeks or months without feeding your spirit either.  We get our spiritual nutrients from daily scripture study, personal prayer and weekly sacrament meetings.  We have a 6 month check up on our spirits just like we have regular check ups on our bodies.  Our spiritual check up is at the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  At genereal conference we hear from a living prophet, a modern-day Moses.  We can be instructed on current issues and feel the spirit of the Lord as we listen to the beautiful music.  All are invited to attend or tune in to hear or watch.  As you approach general conference, come with questions and see if they aren't answered.  I testify that we have a living prophet on the earth today.  Let us all listen to him so we can maintain and achieve peace and safety in this world and keep good spiritual health.