Monday, September 22, 2008
Battling Mists of Darkness
Recently, as my husband and I traveled through a nearby canyon, we came upon a scene that was not only picturesque, but deeply symbolic in our LDS culture. I think most of us ponder the significance of Lehi's Dream and how it applies to our lives. I find that I'm always on the lookout for "tall and spacious buildings" (pride of the world), "iron rods" (scriptures, including inspired talks and counsel from our current priesthood leaders), and the "tree of life," (the love of God.)
This past weekend, we came across mists of darkness. It was a combination of a series of storms colliding with a crisp fall morning. The result was breathtaking---which meant that my husband patiently pulled over and gave me the opportunity to take several shots. ;) As I snapped the final image, I was struck with the symbolism of what we were seeing.
We all face challenging moments during our lives. These adventures can be the result of poor choices, temptations that lie in our path, or heartbreaking trials that descend without warning. Regardless of how these mists arrive, fearing doubt can keep us from continuing with our journey. The way ahead seems uncertain, the path unsure. At times, we may be tempted to remain where we are, or to wander off into the mist as we succumb to what the adversary would have us believe---that we are lost, there is no hope for a brighter future.
How do we press on under such conditions? How do we find our way? Returning to Lehi's Dream, the answer is clear. We must cling to the iron rod, even when the mists of darkness arrive in our lives, clouding our path with uncertainty. Despite the darkness that inspires fear, we hang onto hope. As Moroni tells us in the 12th chapter of Ether:
"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world . . . which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men . . ." (Ether 12:4)
Hope is an anchor that can steady our souls when challenging times descend. With hope, we can rise above all things. In his final words, Moroni explains:
"And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me . . . How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ . . ." (Moroni 7:33, 40-41).
Only the adversary would have us believe otherwise. Only he would have us give up and let go of the very things that will bring us the peace of heart that we seek.
In my own life, I have faced a myriad of misty times. Health challenges (I've been a Type 1 diabetic for a little over 26 years, plus I deal with a form of rheumatoid arthritis on an almost daily basis); heartbreaking loss (the suicide death of my father 25 years ago, plus the more recent passing of a brother-in-law, not to mention other loved ones we have lost along the way); and those "little trials" that plague us all on a too frequent basis: financial difficulties, stress, worry over loved ones, neighbors, and friends, ie: life in general. I could probably dedicate an entire blog to items that plunge us into misty darkness. I won't. =) I will say this---on my darkest days, the things that help me cling to hope are items we've been counseled to do repeatedly: read the scriptures, pray, fast, & attend the temple. It also helps to realize that the Atonement of our Savior, covers far more than any of us ever fully realize. Our Elder Brother suffered every pain, every sorrow any one of us would ever experience. (See Alma 7:11)
I can testify that if we will anchor ourselves in place, even when the darkest mists descend upon us without mercy, we can survive. It is up to us to allow the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to filter into our lives. This light will dispel the dark mists, making the way clear for us so we can continue on with our journey. It will never be an easy thing---it was never intended to be. But I believe with all of my heart that it is definitely worth every step we make as we continue forward toward the tree of life, knowing we're never as alone as we sometimes think we are. Our Elder Brother patiently waits for us to turn to Him. With His help, all things are possible.
Return to the Neighborhood