The Backpack

Two buddies, Mitch and Zach, embarked on a day hike in a gulch lined with red cliffs. Each wore a backpack carrying his lunch, snacks, and water. Mitch was smaller and not as strong as Zach, but this wasn’t his first hike, and he kept up with his taller, stronger companion. Mitch knew that if he started to flag, Zach would offer and even insist on carrying both packs. So Mitch committed to himself that he would keep up.

The day passed without incident as they enjoyed the scenery. A creek that snaked through the gulch required multiple crossings, but its shallow bed was no obstacle. And then the end of the hike came—with the climb out of the gulch.

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A Gracious Victor

By David Armstrong

Camille N. Johnson gave a talk in October 2021 general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints called “Invite Christ to Author Your Story.” In this talk, she said:

“[Christ] is mercifully willing to use me, a scrawny pencil, as an instrument in His hands, if I have the faith to let Him, if I will let Him author my story. . . . Letting God prevail, letting Him be the author and finisher of our stories, does require us to keep His commandments and the covenants we have made. It is our commandment and covenant keeping that will open the line of communication for us to receive revelation through the Holy Ghost.”

Sister Johnson is talking about surrendering to God and letting his will prevail in her life and in mine. To surrender is to stop fighting and accept the opponent as the victor. Except, God is not my opponent. At least, He doesn’t want to be. He doesn’t want to fight with me. He wants to join with me and have me join with Him in His glorious work. I’m the only one who is fighting. Like the old farmer in the Parable of the Meddling Neighbor, I foolishly put up resistance to everything that is meant for my good.

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