Monday, January 28, 2008

"We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet"

as i reflect today on the life of president gordon b. hinckley & the effect he had on my life, i can't help but remember his optimism, his wonderful humor, and the happiness that just radiated from him. i realized last night that he had been the prophet of the church for over half of my life, and that he had a direct and powerful influence on me during my formative years. his many talks to the youth always stood as a guiding light when i needed direction, and although i was not perfect, i made it through that pressured time in my life unharmed by regrettable mistakes. no longer a "youth," it's been him unfailing optimism that has encouraged me and brought light to the dark tunnels of life i've often experienced:

"Life is like an old-time rail journey—delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

and i struggle, everyday, to thank the Lord for the rides i experience, no matter how bumpy, long, or difficult they may be. i thought yesterday of a something my best friend once told me. i called her one difficult day, one where my patience and endurance were failing, and i said, "i feel so weak." her reply was, "just because you feel weak doesn't mean you are." i know that by myself, i am weak, but with my Savior by my side, i am never weak. the trials of life are necessary for our salvation, necessary to mold and shape our characters, to purge the dross out of us. i seek to find contentment and gratitude for that journey, especially knowing that these challenges exist in my life because the Lord loves me.

one of my favorite anecdotes from president hinckley's life is when he was leaving on his mission to England. before he left, his father handed him a card with these 5 words: "Be not afraid, only believe."

words to live by, indeed. while i have been sad since hearing the news of his passing last night, i can't help but feel joy. he lived an incredible life and was able to serve actively until he passed. he was a wonderful example of hope and faith, and i will always be grateful for that example. and just think, he's with his beloved marjorie again.

"On one occasion the ruler of the synagogue came to Jesus pleading for help for his dying daughter. While he yet spoke to the Master, those of the ruler's house came and said: 'Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe' (Mark 5:35-36).

"I commend those tremendous words to you. Be not afraid, only believe."

1 comment:

  1. That old-time rail quote is one of my favorites. It's probably one of the few all-time quotes that has really impacted my life.