Saturday, November 1, 2008

“For a Pleasant Journey, Pack Light”

When writing my newsletter, I always have Hans edit it. In the past, after he had finished editing, I wondered if my name should still be on the article. I have matured and so has my writing and I'm noticing more and more of my words are still in the finished product. Thank you Hans for helping me and reminding me that "Brevity is the soul of wit."

“For a Pleasant Journey, Pack Light”

Monica Rawhouser

As always, this past General Conference was wonderful. I come away from the end of each session, renewed and rededicated to living the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. But more importantly, I feel a greater sense of hope that I can make it back to live with my Father in Heaven. I wanted to share with you some of the messages that I enjoyed.

In “Come what may & love it,” Elder Wirthlin suggested that “Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives. We can learn to love it. And as we look for humor, seek for the eternal perspective, understand the principle of compensation, and draw near to our Heavenly Father, we can endure hardship and trial.”

In, “Finding Joy in the Journey” President Monson counseled us: may “we be found among those

who give our thanks to our Heavenly Father.” and “despite the changes which come into our lives and with gratitude in our hearts, may we fill our days—as much as we can—with those things which matter most. May we cherish those we hold dear and express our love to them in word and in deed.”

In “Let Him do it with Simplicity,” Elder Perry discussed the life of Thoreau and how he discovered that by simplifying life, a person needed 4 basic things to survive: food, clothing, shelter & fuel. He noted that by following the Word of Wisdom, found in D&C 89, our body & soul will be more receptive to the spirit. Regarding clothing he noted, “A simplified life that brings spiritual blessings requires the wearing of simple and modest clothing. Our dress and grooming send a message to others about who we are, and they also affect the way we act around others. When we are modestly dressed, we also invite the Spirit of the Lord to be a shield and a protection to us.” Regarding shelter, Elder Perry reminded, “Newspapers are filled with reports of the current housing crisis. We have been encouraged at almost every general conference of the Church not to live beyond our means. Our income should determine the kind of housing we can afford, not the neighbor’s big home across the street.” Finally when discussing fuel, he was most concerned about spiritually replenishing our souls. “We must acquire knowledge of God’s eternal plan and our role in it, and then by living righteously, surrendering our will to the will of the Lord, we receive the promised blessings.”

I think that these principles are well-illustrated in my experience traveling. A lot of times when we travel, we are in such a hurry to get to our destinations, but when we look back, we realize that it was experiencing the journey, with all of the surprises and difficulties, rather than actually arriving that was most memorable. The well-traveled take joy in the journey. The well-traveled also prepare well, but pack light so that they are not burdened by extra weight and can adjust to the unexpected. So it can be with our lives’ journeys.

Our achievement-oriented society would have us lose sight of a simplified life in which we find joy in the journey and love whatever comes by focusing on achievement (i.e. degrees, money, “that” job). Let us not wait until we “arrive” to live. If we do, we will find that when we do arrive at our destination, it will be sorely anticlimactic. More importantly, we will miss seeing the people who are traveling at our side. In truth the view on top of a mountain is so beautiful partly because of the difficulty of the journey and the people who shared our path.


Jill Mennig said...

Love it. I like how you say that packing light IS being well prepared, because it is so easy to convince ourselves that the exact opposite is true. I will work on this

Farnsworth Family said...

As always, you are so on target with life and have such a realistic way of wording things!!!