Thursday, October 16, 2014

Climbing Mountains

At times, events in our lives don't always turn out the way we envisioned or hoped they would. As humans, we see things how we want them to be, or how we think they should be. But the reality is, it doesn't always turn out like that.

One Friday evening, while hanging out with some mates, we all decided that it would be a great idea to go and climb a mountain. We set out the next morning in search of a suitable mountain to climb. Now the weather report had said that it would be cloudy in the morning, but should be clearing towards the afternoon, so we weren't too worried about the weather. It was going to be a great adventure.

After two hours of driving, we arrived at the foot of the mountain. It was wet and cloudy, but that didn't put us off. The idea of of climbing a mountain was exciting! We had been told that once at the top, the view out over the valley was amazing; and on a clear day, even the city and ocean could be seen.

As we went along, the rain began to get heavier, and it got cooler. The climb got steeper and steeper, and wasn't quite what I had remembered. But this didn't discourage us; we were determined to reach the top and look out over the valley. The trail became muddy and slippery, and the higher up we got, the more we felt the cold wind and rain falling on us. The markers on the track became hard to find, and we were unsure if we were heading in the right direction. But in faith, we pushed on.

At last, after hours of climbing through trees, bushes, muddy trails and rock faces, we reached the plateau. As we came towards the edge, our hearts sunk as we realized that the clouds hadn't actually cleared away, and we couldn't far in front of us. Even though it was fun getting up there, we were still disappointed that we weren't able to experience what we had been told about by many people.

In life, we often set out to do something after learning about the possibilities that may come. With faith, we put in the effort to climb our personal mountains only to realize that what somebody else had seen, isn't what we would see as well. It may just be timing, physical or mental health problems or the impact of others. It may be a lack of skills or knowledge or even motivation. It may just be that we aren't meant to have that same experience. Whatever the reason, in life we are always going to face disappointment and discouragement. That is something we cannot change. But how we react to these situations is up to us. It is always mind over matter.

Now to finish the story... Instead of being able to enjoy the view, or find our way further, we decided to head back down the mountain. We could have been upset that we missed out on what so many claimed to have experienced, but we weren't. We were grateful that we at least tried and gained the experience from it. My mission has been very much the same. Although I haven't experienced what so many have experienced; I am still grateful for the experience I have had. And at least I can say I tried.

Life is not always easy. Often, taking these chances can seem a risk. But as Bear Grylls puts it, "If you risk nothing, you gain nothing." I have seen that come true many times. Please, always try and do something good, even if it doesn't seem like you will succeed. There is always something that we can gain from our experiences.

-Elder Benjamin H. Cullen

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Because of Him

Do you ever feel alone, like you are carrying a burden all by yourself? Do you ever feel as though nobody understands what you are going through? I think at times we all get these feelings of desertion and inadequacy; but we don't need to feel this. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ; His sacrifice in the garden of Gethsemene, and suffering on the cross, We do not need to feel this way, He can heal us. I know this because I have had the loving arms of our Savior stretched out to me, and have felt the love that He has to offer.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Because I Love You

Because I Love You

This week has been on of enlightenment and understanding. I really have come to understand at a deeper level, the infinite love that our Savior and Heavenly Father have for us. How often do we fall? How often do we make a mistake or fail to live up to the Lord's expectations? Because we are all mortal, we all make mistakes. No unclean thing can enter the kingdom of God, we fall short of the possibility of eternal life with our families. Eternal regret is all that we will have forever; unless we repent and are made clean through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

No Gold!

There's No Gold Here!

While giving two years of their lives, missionaries are put in an environment where rapid personal growth and development can be achieved. As young people, they learn to live away from home, with complete strangers in a foreign place, and are expected to perform and achieve under a high workload. The missionaries are able to mature and learn how to live a respectable life, and gain many qualities and habits that will be of benefit for the rest of their lives. There's no wonder why many people would say that two years on a mission, is worth ten years back in normal life.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Conquer Your Fears

Conquer Your Fears

Fear is the opposite to faith. When fear starts to creep in, faith is pushed out. This lack of faith often restricts what we can do with our lives, and usually limits the success we originally planned to have. Many dreams have been thrown away because fear was allowed to overpower faith. One question I often ask myself, "Why is it so hard to replace my fear with faith? What more can I do?" The conclusion I have drawn came from some decisions and experience I had about this time last year.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Not Today

Not Today

Growing up in country Australia, I always enjoyed the outdoors. From playing with my friends, to taking the dog for a walk, or climbing through the mountains and rainforests. I love spending time outdoors. There is always so much to explore and see. There are also a lot of lessons that can be learned. One particular lesson I learnt was from a choice of whether to go swimming on a hot summers day or follow what my mother taught me.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Second Left

The Second Left

Many people I meet on my mission, often express their concern and confusion about not knowing what direction to take in life. They feel as though God does not love or listen to them, because they have not yet learnt how to recognize the still, small voice of the Spirit. This still, small voice is not a loud or obvious voice, but one of perfect meekness that can touch our very hearts. I have learnt the importance of always being in tune, and trying my hardest to listen to what Heavenly Father would have me know. I have seen so many times in my life, where trusting in Heavenly Father and listening for the voice of the spirit, has guided me and my path.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Waste Not

Waste Not, Want Not

Image from
I remember an experience I had when I was ten years old, which taught me an important lesson. We had just moved house back to where we had left nine months earlier. Being half way though the school year, mum took me back to my old school in a little country town. At this point, everybody that I had once associated with, had forgotten who I was. One sunny morning, my grandmother had taken me to school. My grandmother is a dear little old lady, with a heart of gold. Before school, she took me across to the bakery and bought me a little bottle of orange juice for my morning tea. Being a 10 year old, this was quite an exciting thing to have for morning tea, especially since I loved orange juice.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Warning Signs

The Warning Signs 

Photo by:
Before leaving for my full time mission, I volunteered as a rural firefighter in Australia. During this period, I learnt just how powerful the forces of nature can be, and it taught me many valuable lessons about how fragile life can be, and how important it is to pay attention to all the warning signs in an emergency.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Be Not Judged

Judge Not, That Ye Be Not Judged

Are we looking through a dirty window? Are we seeing life through a warped view of
pessimism and judgement of others? When we judge or compare others, we are digging ourselves into a hole that can trap our future and bring loneliness and broken relationships. Unrighteous judgement comes from Satan, and can never lead to happiness or prosperity.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Can You Prove It?

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

God is not the author of confusion. He is the publisher of truth, and order. His grand designs do not allow for chaos; this is man made. Putting our trust in God will allow us to find His truth, and eventually leads us back to His presence. Where do we find that truth in such a perplexed world?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Earthly Father, Heavenly Father

Earthly Father, Heavenly Father

God is our loving Heavenly Father, He loves us and wants to communicate with us. He wants the very best for us in this life, and is always there to answer our prayers.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The First Step

Jesus Christ was the master teacher, He showed us how to live our lives and what we must do in order for us to gain eternal salvation. The first principle of the Gospel is Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Faith that He is the Only Begotten Son of God, and Savior and Redeemer of the world.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Be Still My Soul

The Prophet Joseph Smith suffered many trials and tribulations in His lifetime as He worked to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the earth. Many people persecuted him and his followers. Eventually, he was murdered. While suffering in liberty jail, after being falsely accused, The Lord comforted him saying:

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" D&C 121:7-8

Thursday, January 9, 2014

All We Can Give

Why do bad things happen to good people? As a missionary, that is a common question I get asked. My simple answer, because He loves us enough to teach us.
During my life, I have discovered not only how much God loves me, but how important His plan is for me. God is the author of our lives. At times it may seem like we are running the show, but really, it is all Him. He has given us all that we have, everything from our bodies, to our possessions to life itself. There is nothing we have that does not belong to our Father in Heaven. Thus, there is pretty much nothing that we can give back to Him. Nothing except our will. Our will and the agency behind will are the only factors in life that we control.