Monday, May 7, 2012

GCBC Week 6: “Mountains to Climb”

Image Credit: Maltesen

I wrote in my journal a while ago about how I have wanted to have spiritual strength and spiritual knowledge in spite of a relative lack of adversity in my life. While wondering why I have been experiencing some recent adversity which has been kind of on going, I received some personal revelation of sorts.

We cannot become like God without experiencing adversity – and sometimes very hard adversity. Each person’s experiences are different – for some their adversity comes through physical ailments and disability, for some it comes through effects of the sins of others, for some it comes through our own sins. Some mountains are spiritual, some are temporal, some are physical, some are mental – there are many varieties of ‘mountains’ but we all must climb a few in order to really understand what it is to be like our Heavenly Father.

I realized that while my life had been generally adversity-free, this was now my time to experience a refiner’s fire. It was my time to climb what looked like an insurmountable mountain – a mountain so big, so scary looking that often I just wanted to turn back and find another way. There is no other way. We have to face adversity, and we don’t always get to choose what adversity we face.

Heavenly Father was giving me this adversity not to punish me, not to put a stumbling block in my way, but to really refine me and make me better than I was before. But Heavenly Father wanted to make sure that I had a sure foundation before He gave me my mountains to climb, and so my relatively “adversity-free” childhood and young adulthood. He knew what was coming, He knew I needed it, and He knew how to prepare me.

How grateful I am now for that foundation!

Mountains to Climb - by President Henry B. Eyring

“And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

“Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.”

What struck you from President Eyring’s talk?

PS – I am so sorry for this being late!
I will repent and do better next week, promise!
Thank you to everyone for participating so far.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I have previously considered the response by God to Joseph Smith in his hour of need to be harsh. (Sorry if that seems offensive to some, but I have never found peace in that scripture personally.) After listening to this talk I have a new appreciation for that scripture. The "fear not what man can do" is what changed it for me. I realized that all this time I was looking at that scripture with a very MORTAL perspective. A new way of facing trials has come from listening to this talk, one that has a more eternal perspective. Oh to be able to pull this from my memory in the moments when I am feeling far too mortal!

  3. The promise from the Lord that we will have angels at our sides to bear us up is one that I counted on literally on my mission. When times were troubling, or I was discouraged, I would envision angels at each side of me and the Lord before my face. Somewhere in the dailies of motherhood, the messes and the simple nitty gritty of it all, I lost the enoblement; I forgot the promise. Pres Eyring said God always keeps His word. I know that to be true. I have felt it. I want to seek it and feel it again in my current sphere.

    i was a little surprised by the trajectory of his talk: that "preparation" was linked to the integrity of our choices and that reinforcement was linked to covenants, ordinances and principles. But I was touched by that thought, by the dailiness of the preparation of integrity compared to the occasionality of covenant making--it makes perfect sense, though I never thought if it like this exactly before. But our covenants, when we keep them, bind us to Him, strengthen us for Him. When we look to the promises of our covenants, we are strengthened, we are ennobled and guided by the blessings of gospel principles and better able to make all the regular choices that create integrity. The idea that faith is how all miracles are wrought--again, something I have read and known from the scriptures--became very powerful today. It is through my faith that I will teach my children miracles.

    This idea that trials are polishing, that difficulties are a small moment in the eternal perspective is one that motherhood seems to be teaching me daily--as I tell my children to wait, or that their grand trials are passable and small, I hear the words He spoke to Joseph, I hear the Lord saying 'wait' to me and things click. I needed this motherhood to better understand daughterhood, to feel and see the perspective the Lord wants for me.

  4. "acting on even a twig of faith allows God to grow it"
    This was a good talk to study this week, this is the message I am planning to share with one of the sisters I visit teach, particularly the quote above. What a touching talk. I appreciate both the comments above.

  5. I love this talk in conjunction with Elder Christofferson's older talk about chastening. It also reminds me of a talk by Bruce Hafen about the pathway of the disciple. We are fooling ourselves if we think we can become who we are supposed to become without the trials or mountains. It's natural for us to fear them, but God will make his people pure, and often it's the hardest times that draw us to him in the most ways. I love Elder Eyring and his sweet humility about it all. Hard to imagine what some of these men/leaders have had to endure to lay hold upon the testimonies that they've gained.

  6. I love all the comments above; thanks for sharing them.

    Mine aren't nearly as profound, but I loved the focus on faith as our foundation. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ really is the first principle of the gospel, and the better we get at making it the first principle in our lives, the more help we'll feel as we go through life.

    And I think this just might be a recurring theme of President Eyring. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes:

    October 2005 general conference: "So, the great test of life is to see whether we will hearken to and obey God’s commands in the midst of the storms of life. It is not to endure storms, but to choose the right while they rage."

    April 2004 general conference: "But the test a loving God has set before us is not to see if we can endure difficulty. It is to see if we can endure it well. We pass the test by showing that we remembered Him and the commandments He gave us. And to endure well is to keep those commandments whatever the opposition, whatever the temptation, and whatever the tumult around us."

    Increasing our faith, and recognizing the miracles that surround us, helps us weather the storm.

  7. "Choosing the right consistently whenever the choice is placed before us creates the solid ground under our faith."
    "There is someone you can forgive. There is someone you can thank. There is someone you can serve and lift."
    The thing that stuck out to me was the idea that even when we aren't facing huge trials, at those moments when life seems to be going fairly good, even then we can be working on building ourselves. We must be constantly striving to improve ourselves, it is an everyday thing, otherwise we will have nothing to fall back on during those tough times.

  8. The word integrity really stuck out to me. I got to thinking about how soon we learn integrity- we star making sldecisikns that effect our integrity at an early age. Seeing how Heavenly Father blesses us abundantly for continually makIng the right decisions is something that has touched my heart so dearly! I began thinking of my children and wOndering how I can helP them develop the integrity necessary to chose the right through out their lives. As I pondered on this and reread elder eyrings talk I began to see that feeling Heavenly Fathers love for me and how he has blessed me for making the right decisions (big & small) has moved me to continue to make righteous decisions. This is a pattern I feel will be essential in helping my boys want to make the right decisions- making sure they feel my lOve along w/knowing how to feel Heavenly Fathers as well as making sure I notice theM making right choices, big AND the small.

  9. I love Pres. Eyring's story about the woman who had been through unimaginable losses, and had received strength from repeating endlessly "I know that my Redeemer lives." That is a phrase/song I love repeating, and that is the basic knowledge that helps me through so much.

  10. I am, of course, late commenting again, but I am really glad because on Sunday our Seminary Council spoke to us. The theme the council chose this year was "Give Me This Mountain". The kids who spoke shared stories from the scriptures of people who had mountains to conquer. The Seminary teacher, (we only have one in our stake/town) spoke about the mountains that mothers have to climb. He told the men to 1)Get out of the way and 2)Help them. Seems contradictory but it's not.
    It was a great extension of this talk's theme, which I had read in the week before church.
    I was a naive person a few years ago who really thought that I should not be having so much trouble because I was really trying to do what I was commanded to do. Why was that not rewarded? Wow. I finally had an epiphany that it was through these trials that I was being refined. That the impurities in me were being burned off, like when silver or gold is refined.
    While I don't ask for them, or love climbing them, I am thankful for the mountains in my way. I'm thankful for the growth and knowledge that these experiences have given me. I have to admit that after Sacrament mtg on Sunday I *almost* wanted to say, "Give Me This Mountain!"
    This talk also reminded me of the song, Beautiful Heartbreak, by Hilary Weeks. If you haven't watched/listened to it, do. It's an inspiring song and video. It's on YouTube.


What makes your soul delight? This is my invitation to you to share your thoughts right here on my blog. I read every one of them, and I appreciate them!

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