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."

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