Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Preparing for Trek

Made by my father

My thoughts are on a trek as we head off with 25 youth  to Martins Cove and other sites nearby for our ward youth conference.  Our trek will be a 3 day experience not meant to be physically grueling but spiritually stirring.  I am sure it will be challenging regardless.

We plan on experiencing Independence Rock, Martin's Cove, Rocky Ridge, and Rock Creek Cemetery.

Our theme for Trek is the mutual theme for this year, "Arise and Shine Forth" (Doctrine and Covenants 115:5) focusing on how each of us can arise and shine forth in our day much like the pioneers were asked to arise and shine forth in their day.

We are:
  • Dressing in pioneer clothing
  • Going in a pioneer name
  • Pushing a handcart
  • journaling and reflecting
  • Having the men and young men carry us across the Sweet water
  • Doing a women's pull
  • camping at Sun Ranch near Martin's Cove
  • taking our youth to sacred sites
  • Square dancing
  • eating well  with our cooking crew
  • being organized into trek families
  • among many other things

Here are some quotes I have displayed with the handcart above.  I don't have the source, but I believe they are from James E. Faust:

"We must continue to move this work forward as a covenanted, consecrated people, with faith in every footstep"
Every footstep those pioneers took came from faith and required faith.  Are we any different?  We must also have faith in every footstep we take as we strive to live our lives.

"This is not a time for the spiritually faint of heart.  We cannot afford to be superficially righteous.  Our testimonies must run deep, with spiritual roots firmly embedded."
Living during this time in the history of the world is not for the spiritually faint of heart.  As it says, we cannot afford to be superficially faithful.  Our conversion must be real.  Our testimonies must be constantly growing. 

 As we know, testimonies don't stand still.  They are either growing or shrinking.

In order for the pioneers to have endured their trials and hardships their spiritual roots had to have been deeply and firmly embedded.  How did they embed their testimonies?  How can we embed ours? 
"The Lord isn't asking us to load up a handcart.  He is asking us to fortify our faith.  He isn't asking us to die  martyr's death;  He is asking us to live a disciples life." 
How can we fortify our faith?  This is more about knowing.  It is about doing, living, and becoming. 
Living a disciples life:  Is it harder to die for the truth or to live for it?