xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml'> Marshallland: September 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Endure...to the end

"Life is hard... 'There is an opposition in all things,' everywhere, for everyone. Life is hard for all of us." This phrase comes from a recent favorite General Conference address by Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge called "The Way".

Some days life is seemingly unbearable, feeling like I am doing well and progressing toward my goals and then, as though out of nowhere I get blasted by something that causes me to be hurt, feel alone, worthless, not good enough, or a variety of emotions that come from Satan. But too often instead of recognizing the adversary meddling with my life, I allow it to bring me down.

Elder Bruce C. Hafen recently said, in another one of my favorites, "'Endure to the end,' we say, as if that means relaxing in some eternal rocking chair. God will just reel us in, like a fish hooked on a line. But it’s not quite that simple." Enduring is, at times, very hard work. Sometimes it feels that I can't endure any longer. Sometimes I feel like the pioneer that kept telling himself that he could only make it to the next hill and there he must die. Yet every time he arrived to the next hill, he kept going.

My mom loves pioneer stories. I would have to say her favorite and one that I have heard many times from her, is the story of Robert and Ann Parker and their red shawl. But recently I think I have found maybe what can be considered my new favorite pioneer story.

Let me tell you of James Kirkwood. James was from Glasgow, Scotland. On the trip west, James was accompanied by his widowed mother and three brothers, one of whom, Thomas, was 19 and crippled and had to ride in the handcart. James’s primary responsibility on the trek was to care for his little four-year-old brother, Joseph, while his mother and oldest brother, Robert, pulled the cart. As they climbed Rocky Ridge, it was snowing and there was a bitter cold wind blowing. It took the whole company 27 hours to travel 15 miles. When little Joseph became too weary to walk, James, the older brother, had no choice but to carry him. Left behind the main group, James and Joseph made their way slowly to camp. When the two finally arrived at the fireside, James, “having so faithfully carried out his task, collapsed and died from exposure and over-exertion."

Why is this sad story my new favorite? James did all that he was asked to do. He cared for his brother until his very end. He gave all he had to fulfill the task given him. James Kirkwood has become one of my heroes. I hope to be like him and give everything that is required of me to endure to the end.