As we go through life, we may think that we are in control. We work hard with our education, careers and families to get a desired outcome. With myself, I work hard with my studies to further my career, work hard with my calling and make sure my relationship with my wife is happy and progressing forward. I have been successful in some areas and not so much in others. I would be a liar if I said that I always accomplish all of my goals in relation to my calling or work, I sometimes am lazy, forget things and as a consequence have to rush to complete a task, or face-up to the fact it won't be completed in a timely manner. That's life, I guess.
I see lots of people all throughout the church and some, from what I see, look like they have it all worked out. Everything nailed down to a T. I, at times, have compared myself to these people and put myself down. It can be demanding to be a member of the Church, the burden of various church programs can be heavy. However, I have found solace in knowing that real happiness comes through the simple truths taught in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This doesn't mean we should shirk our responsibilities, but we should hold fast to the simple truths that we know, let them motivate us to do good for ourselves, families and others around us.
God will feel after you, and He will take hold of you and wrench your very heart strings and if you cannot stand it you will not be fit for an inheritance in the Celestial kingdom of God.
- Joseph Smith
We can fight our way through the difficulties in life, whether they are emotional, spiritual, temporal or even family related through holding fast to the truth that comes through Christ and receive of our reward in the arms of our Father in Heaven.
And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.
- 1 Nephi 11:25
I like to think that I am in a nice, fast, small car driving through life. Going through forests, up and down mountain ranges, and cruising along the coast. I have decided to go in different directions, with the map (scriptures) open on the passenger seat next to me as a guide of where I want to go. (I guess that seat has been filled with my beautiful companion for nearly two years now!) But as I listened to Elder Ballard at the recent General Conference I feel like I had it wrong. I need to be "safely aboard the Old Ship Zion." This life isn't about me cruising by pretty landscapes, trying to have it easy, it is about doing what is right on this life's journey. I am crossing the ocean of this life, no road to go by and most certainly would get lost if I didn't know what I was doing. I need to hold fast to Old Ship Zion as our Father in Heaven is at the helm with His Son Jesus Christ as first mate, often letting out lifeboats to collect those who have lost their way. We need to give our all to this cause, that we can bring others aboard and be wary not to fall away into dark, unknown seas.
Clearly, our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ have outfitted the Old Ship Zion with clear and simple eternal truths that will help us stay the course through the troubled waters of mortal life.
- Elder M. Russell Ballard