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