I testify to you that there is another, greater One who lived, who walked the dusty roads of Galilee, atoned for our sins, was crucified and resurrected, and lives again. This Jesus is not the central character of some great work of literary fiction; He is the central figure in the great plan of redemption, and, in the words of King Benjamin, “there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ” (Mosiah 3:17).
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As you face the hard and uphill road ahead, please remember that you are not alone. We all face different and yet similar trails. As a reminder, periodically please remember when you look up at Y Mountain to ask yourself the question “Why Mountains?” My prayer is that you will remember that they are there not to befuddle us but to bless us.
Because the Father and the Son love us with infinite, perfect love, and because They know we cannot see everything They see, They have given us laws that will guide and protect us.
You are not here by accident. You have been gathered here by God. Whatever your background, whatever your talents, whatever your challenges or perceived weaknesses, you are a vital part of this gathering. You have something to gain from and something to offer in your interactions with those around you.
There are times when even the best plans go awry. The one plan that we never need a backup for, though, is the restored gospel—God’s plan for our success.
All of us can find ways to be more open and receptive to the transformative change that the Lord requires of us—even that mighty change that transforms us into someone new.
This intellectual and spiritual work can be difficult. It can be exhausting. I know some of you are tired. You are not sure you can keep at it. You go ahead and find some stillness today. Gather your strength today. Rest up today, because tomorrow we ride for Zion. And it is not quite Zion if you are not there.
In this life we know only in part, and in fact the more I learn, the more I see that I do not know. But I also believe that God knows us completely, that in our uncertainty we can accept God’s love for us as certain and constant. We may not know how God will turn our stones to light, but we can have hope that God will turn our stones to light.
The light of the gospel and the guidance of the Holy Ghost are the constants that you can rely on to help you make the right decisions when you reach life’s inevitable crossroads. That spiritual guidance is the only sure way to know whether to stop and camp for a while or to forge ahead on the path to the left or to the right.
In walking my path, I have been given the opportunity to choose to love and obey the Lord, even when I have felt sometimes forsaken. I am learning that my faith in the Lord is not conditioned on getting what I want when I want it. Instead, I have worked to develop trust and love for the Lord that is not transactional, but is relational. I love Him for who He is. I trust Him and His love for me. He is my Creator and Savior.
No matter where we are on the covenant path, regardless of our pace or progress, God loves us and is not willing for any of us to perish. As we journey on the covenant path, the Lord’s long suffering is evidence of his patience and desire to walk the path with us. We are bound to him and he bound to us.
What do we see Christ do with the marginalized? As previously mentioned, He ate with them, He walked with them, He cried with them, He healed them, He validated them, and He listened to them. Most important, Christ taught everyone the doctrine of His Father—the doctrine of ultimate liberation: that in Him and through Him alone we are made free from the bondage of sin and death and that in Him we overcome all things.
If you find yourself struggling at times, if you are in the midst of your long-suffering, take heart and have faith. Believe that you have a divine purpose. Believe that you have unique talents that are unmatched in the world. Work hard and pray. The Lord will help. He will direct you to your best self.
We can notice how false these comparisons most often are—that is, that they are often based on falsehoods and on faulty premises, both of others’ making and of our own making. That is worth noting, worth confronting, and worth constantly reminding ourselves.
With the battle raging between good and evil, I have seen many a modern, mighty woman stick her banner in the ground in her own way as she takes a stand and defends the doctrine of Jesus Christ.