I admit, after I made a list and scheduled October’s conference talks for my Sunday posts I wondered what prompted me to combine these two talks. I have to combine some commentary on talks due to timing issues and I usually pair two similar themes. After re-reading the two talks I chose for today’s post I wondered what my motivation for this pairing could have been. But as I looked over them again I could see a link between committing to living the gospel and maybe not feeling the promised happiness from doing so. I hope I do both speakers justice in this combination.
Elder Vinson describes the commitment needed to be a true disciple. When we start this road we need to be all in or we will not make it very far on our journey.
Sister Aburto offers hope to those who may have started on that committed covenant path and through no fault of their own do not feel happiness. In fact, they cannot feel happiness because they suffer from depression.
How do the two come together?
Let’s look at Lehi’s well known vision of the iron rod. That rod never changes. It never moves. It is always there. Only our hold on the iron rod changes. If we grab onto it and use both hands to let it guide we will arrive at the tree which represents the love of God. It is important that we use both hands – or our whole self – to follow the iron rod because there will be mists of darkness that will hinder our sight. We will have to rely on what we feel as we make our way to the tree. In other words, we need to be fully committed to following that iron rod even when our other senses may be deceived. As Elder Vinson put it, we need to be “fair dinkum about living the gospel.”
How does Sister Aburto’s talk tie in to this talk about being committed to the gospel?
For some, it is the hope of joy that will pull them through the mist of darkness. And that is an acceptable offering to give. The path along the iron rod is not smooth it can be difficult. Some will find obstacles where others didn’t. The point is we are not the only travelers along this path and we can help those around us. Continuing with the metaphor a warning call to those behind us of “there is a big rock in this spot. To get past it there are certain footholds that I’ve marked for you.” It’s okay to not be okay all the time and hopefully someone is helping us get through our mists of darkness and other obstacles and then we can do the same for our fellow travelers.
In short, we do need to be committed to living the gospel because we need to be strong enough to overcome approaching obstacles. Once we have made it past those particular stumbling blocks we can help others do the same.