Tuesday, November 3, 2009

GC Recap #5 - Hold On

How guilty do I feel - I didn't post yesterday. Time got away from me and I got home from work at 2am. Excuses, excuses - I know. But enough about that.

Sister Ann M. Dibb, Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency gave a wonderful talk about enduring to the end. She said,

"A number of years ago, a one-inch article in my local newspaper caught my attention, and I have remembered it ever since: “Four people were killed and seven workers were rescued after clinging for more than an hour to the underside of a 125-foot-high [38-m] bridge in St. Catharines, Ontario, [Canada,] after the scaffolding they were working on collapsed” (“News Capsules,” Deseret News, June 9, 1993, A2).

I was, and I continue to be, fascinated by this brief story. Shortly after reading this account, I called a family friend who lived in St. Catharines. She explained that the workers had been painting the Garden City Skyway bridge for about a year and were two weeks short of completing the project when the accident happened. After the accident, officials were asked why these men did not have any safety equipment. The answer was simple: they had the equipment; they just chose not to wear it. After the scaffolding gave way, the survivors held on to a one-inch (2.5-cm) lip of steel girder and stood on an eight-inch (20-cm) ledge of steel for over an hour until rescue teams could reach them. One survivor related that as he clung to the bridge, he thought a lot about his family. He said, “I just thank the Lord for me being here today. . . . It was pretty scary, I tell you” (in Rick Bogacz, “Skyway Horror,” Standard, June 9, 1993).

We may feel as though we are holding on to what may seem to be a one-inch lip of steel girder. Our mortal probation is not easy, and it is not brief. We are blessed to come to this earth and gain a mortal body. This life is our opportunity to prove ourselves and exercise our agency (see Abraham 3:25). We can choose to follow Heavenly Father’s eternal plan of salvation (see Jarom 1:2; Alma 42:5; Moses 6:62) and redemption (see Jacob 6:8; Alma 12:25; 42:11), or we can try to find our own way. We can be obedient and keep His commandments, or we can reject them and face the consequences that will surely follow."

How many times do we chose not wear out equipment of safety in this world? Heavenly Father has provided for us so many things that it yielded, will keep us safe. Yet, many times I choose not to use them and walk the dangerous path. "Why read my scriptures every night - my life is going pretty well right now - I am happy and its just so hard to read them at night when I am so tired." Or I justify, knowing that we could be doing more. "I say my prayers", but do I really speak to Heavenly Father or do I just mumble a few memorized phrases before slipping off to sleep?

She continued, "We too have a hazardous job description and duty. We must deal with challenges. We may experience loneliness, strained relationships, betrayal of trust, temptations, addictions, limitations of our physical body, or the loss of much-needed employment. We may be challenged with feelings of disappointment because our righteous hopes and dreams have not been met in our personal timetable. We may question our abilities and fear the possibility of failure, even in our Church and family callings. The challenges and the dangers we live with today, including society’s tolerance of sin, have been prophesied by ancient and living prophets. These are just as precarious and real as the threat of falling 125 feet (38 m) to certain death from a high bridge."

We will face many if not most of these challenges sometime in our lives. It is my prayer that I will, my family and those I love will be prepared to battle these with the necessary equipment that Heavenly Father has provided for us. I know that by doing the seemingly small things, our armor will become stronger.

This week I am going to strengthen my harness, and my children's harness by doing and teaching them the importance of doing the things the Lord has counciled us to do.

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