Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Trek Prep Devotional - Russ Christensen

Trek is a hard thing for most of us.  The heat, bugs, dirt, sweat and blisters. Away from modern conveniences and loved ones. There are plenty of things to complain about. And there are no exceptions, we all get to walk in the same heat and the same dirt. As I was thinking about our great staff and all the great couples that are helping out as Ma's and Pa's and all they are putting aside for this trip, I was overcome with gratitude. Thanks again for your efforts and sacrifice. I also started thinking about how everyday life isn't so different from trek. Everyday life can be hard too. Dealing with school, work, money,  sports, etc. With grass to mow, windows to wash, laundry to  do, meals to cook, kitchens to clean. There are plenty of things to complain about.
So how are we to wend our way with joy?

Doctrine and Covenants 58: 2-6
2 For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven.
3 Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation.
4 For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand.
5 Remember this, which I tell you before, that you may lay it to heart, and receive that which is to follow.
6 Behold, verily I say unto you, for this cause I have sent you—that you might be obedient, and that your hearts might be prepared to bear testimony of the things which are to come;

We keep an eternal perspective and remember that this life is but a moment, given to prove ourselves through faithfulness and service. And we will have our reward.

President Hinckley was a happy man. He lived through hardship with joy, and spoke often about living happier lives. He counseled: “Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others...By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley

I find this very true of myself, and pray that we may think of the youth and those around us more than ourselves. We will then look to this adventure with excitement rather than impending doom. We will walk the sand pits with a smile rather than a frown. The spirit will be stronger in our families, and we will lift our youth to a higher place.

Remember: “It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers.” ― Gordon B. Hinckley

Let's pray for our youth, be specific in your prayer. Pray for youth you know are going. Pray that you will know how to help them draw nearer to Christ. Pray for guidance as you search the scriptures and pioneer history, that you will be guided to those materials that will be most effective.

Thanks again for all that you are doing for our youth. Remember to "dream of your mansions above" or as I like to sing it "dream of your endless ski slopes above"

Russ Christensen

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