I had thought that I would have several blog pages, for different topics. I may yet do that, but right now not having the time to set up the site is a barrier to my writing at all. So here’s a post that is not organized into any category. 🙂
President Boyd K. Packer relates the following story and gives an application:
“In April of 1847, Brigham Young led the first company of pioneers out of Winter Quarters. At that same time, 1,600 miles [2,575 km] to the west the pathetic survivors of the Donner Party straggled down the slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains into the Sacramento Valley.
“They had spent the ferocious winter trapped in the snowdrifts below the summit. That any survived the days and weeks and months of starvation and indescribable suffering is almost beyond belief.
“Among them was fifteen-year-old John Breen. On the night of April 24 he walked into Johnson’s Ranch. Years later John wrote:
“‘It was long after dark when we got to Johnson’s Ranch, so the first time I saw it was early in the morning. The weather was fine, the ground was covered with green grass, the birds were singing from the tops of the trees, and the journey was over. I could scarcely believe that I was alive.
“‘The scene that I saw that morning seems to be photographed on my mind. Most of the incidents are gone from memory, but I can always see the camp near Johnson’s Ranch.’”
Said President Packer: “At first I was very puzzled by his statement that ‘most of the incidents are gone from memory.’ How could long months of incredible suffering and sorrow ever be gone from his mind? How could that brutal dark winter be replaced with one brilliant morning?
“On further reflection I decided it was not puzzling at all. I have seen something similar happen to people I have known. I have seen some who have spent a long winter of guilt and spiritual starvation emerge into the morning of forgiveness. When morning came, they learned this:
“‘Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more’ [D&C 58:42]” (Oct. 1995)
My reflection today is that I don’t spend enough time remembering the potential of the coming “bright morning.” I see myself wading through the dark winter all of the time, not realizing that the arrival at the camp is really not that far away—that at the very most, it’ll be just one short lifetime away. We have a brilliant morning to look forward to, in every instance. It is as Elder Wirthlin once encouraged, “no matter how dark our Friday, Sunday will come” (Nov. 2006)
My part is simply to keep going. To press forward in direction of the goal I have in mind. I can even keep that goal in mind as I work, setting before me a vision that will both lead and inspire. And at long last, regardless of the difficulty of the goal or the darkness of the journey, I will arrive at a brilliant and beautiful end.