Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin on the Lord's help in life's journey

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917-2008) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1986, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1986 until his passing in 2008 at age 91.
"We all are going through different life experiences. While some are filled with joy today, others feel as though their hearts could burst with sorrow. Some feel as though the world is their oyster; others feel as though they were the oyster itself, plucked from the ocean, cracked open, and robbed of all that is precious to them....
"Our Heavenly Father loves each one of us and understands that this process of climbing higher takes preparation, time, and commitment. He understands that we will make mistakes at times, that we will stumble, that we will become discouraged and perhaps even wish to give up and say to ourselves it is not worth the struggle.
"We know it is worth the effort, for the prize, which is eternal life, is 'the greatest of all the gifts of God' (D&C 14:7). And to qualify, we must take one step after another and keep going to gain the spiritual heights we aspire to reach....
"My brothers and sisters, our time here is so precious and so short. How well I understand the prophet Jacob when he said, 'Our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream' (Jacob 7:26).
"All too soon, our time is finished. While we can—while we have the time to complete our work—let us walk in the right direction, taking one step after another.
"That is easy enough. We don't have to be perfect today. We don't have to be better than someone else. All we have to do is to be the very best we can.
"Though you may feel weary, though you sometimes may not be able to see the way, know that your Father in Heaven will never forsake His righteous followers. He will not leave you comfortless. He will be at your side, yes, guiding you every step of the way."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, "One Step after Another," Ensign, November 2001, pp. 25-27
Click here to read the full talk

I can personally confirm the truth of the thoughts of this excerpt:
  • We have varied experiences in this life, including both soul-bursting joy and soul-wrenching sorrow (agony, frustration, annoyance, etc.)
  • Climbing out of our challenges and upward to the heights does indeed take "preparation, time, and commitment"
  • In spite of signs of growth and progress, we often to have frustrations and discouragements along the climb that invite us to give up and fall back
  • Understanding the goal and purpose of the climb makes a tremendous difference on both our ability to continue eagerly upward and our strength to resist discouragement and back-sliding
  • Time is precious and short, and we should eagerly take advantage of each hour of the journey
  • It matters not a whit how we compare to others; only that we ourselves are making our own best effort
  • We do not have to make the climb alone; there is One willing to be by our side as a guide and counselor

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
April 23, 2016

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