Thursday, April 3, 2008

sailing home to safe harbor...

Have you ever stopped to consider how closely this mortal experience can be compared to a journey upon the seas?...a spiritual sea voyage? Our Heavenly Father has sent us all out into the great deep, as captains of our own vessels, with instructions to find safe harbor by following the lighthouse. In other words, He has given us the gift of life, and each of us is endowed with the power to choose which direction our lives will take us...which way we will turn that wheel. He has lovingly given us a Savior - the light of the world - to lead us back home. Home to safe harbor. Home to the Celestial Kingdom. Not only has our Heavenly Father given us a Savior, but He has given us all the tools necessary to make it across the great deep. We are not alone. We have shipmates and stewards, (or friends, parents, leaders...prophets...etc.) all of whom have sailed the seas before us and who can warn us of the dangerous waters or hidden reefs (sin and temptation) that could cause the destruction of our vessels. We have been blessed with the companionship of The Holy Ghost - our pre-eminent Navigator - who will be our constant guide and lead us to safe harbor throughout our voyage. We have been given special tools such as navigational maps, compasses, binoculars, (scriptures, patriarchal blessings, church magazines), to help us cross these vast waters. We have a two way radio (prayer) that we are encouraged to use often. These tools will safeguard us from the destructive waters. They will protect our vessels from being twisted and tossed in the ferocious waves, and will preclude us from the possibility of being thrown from our ships into the dark, tempestuous waters (sin). We know that if that happens, there is only one way out for us, and that is with the help of our Savior and through His atonement. Repentance is our life preserver...our only hope to conquer the waves of sin.
Sometimes, however, we are required to endure certain afflictions that are beyond our control. At some point in our mortal sea voyage, we will all face adversity, trials, loss, failure, sorrow, even the death of loved ones. The storms of trial will come for all of us. The winds of heartache will blow. The skies of success will darken at some point. The sea of death and sorrow will rage. Our vessel will be tossed to and fro. At times we feel as if these waves are almost too great to encounter, let alone endure. But we must always remember...that it will not last forever. The sun will eventually shine through the clouds. The winds will cease. The waves will calm...and through it all, we will be able to look across the great expanse, and find the lighthouse shining through the storm, the rage, and the dark abyss that sometimes is life. The light of the Savior will always shine through the darkness. If we follow the light, it will lead us to the safest of all harbors...even the celestial kingdom.

I was in charge of putting on New Beginnings this year for the young women and parents in our ward. After much prayer and deliberation with the Lord, he revealed the theme of the evening to me...Sailing Home to Safe Harbor. I couldn't believe how much He inspired me and directed me through the entire planning process...and then, of course, throughout the evening. My testimony has been strengthened. I truly know that a special mantle is placed upon us when we are set apart for our callings; and with that mantle, we are entitled to receive direction from the Lord. As we counsel with Him, He will lead us, guide us, inspire us, direct us, help us, sustain us. I love Him. And I'm so grateful that I had an open heart and mind, that I counseled with Him, and that He inspired me with something that hopefully edified and uplifted those in attendance.

13 comments:

buddens said...

Nicole, you are pretty much just amazing! Thanks for being you and keeping things in the blogosphere in perspective for the rest of us. You truly are fantastic and so talented and I'm sure it was amazing night. Those girls are lucky to have you.

Oh, and I'm impressed (though not shocked) that you have the perfect outfit for the event. Love it!

ahe said...

I wish I was still in YW I would borrow this idea. You did a great job!

Travis and Teresa Wilson said...

What lucky Young Women to have an advisor like you. What a perfect evening.

Dad said...

Dearest Nicole,

Somewhere, I know, your mom is beaming with pride just as much as I am!

Love,
Dad

Rachel said...

What a great idea! I am also in the YW presidency and that would be awesome to do! You're faith is so inspiring to everyone--especially with everything you have been through. You are such and good example to me and everyone around you!

Sarah Anthony said...

Wow you are amazing! What fun and amazing idea. Thanks for sharing it with us.

~~Heidi~~ said...

Nicole, wow that was amazing, you are so close to the spirit its so amazing, and what an inspiration you are to all of us to come closer to our Heavenly Father. I agree with you that we are on a voyage to get those the rough seas! Thanks so much for your thoughts and words!

Layn & Celeste said...

Nicole you are such a fabulous writer... You never cease to inspire and amaze me with your testimony and spirituality. You are absolutely amazing and its true, those Young Women are sure lucky to have such a fabulous leader as yourself. I love the comment your dad made, your mom probably couldn't be more proud of her remarkable daughter.

Jon and Ashlyn Ellsworth said...

Nicole, the New Beginnings looked beautiful! What an amazing testimony and description or everything. You are simply wonderful! Your hard work turned out great. I am so sad to leave such a wonderful ward. I will miss you and the rest of the great friends I have made!!

Blackner Family said...

Wow, you are truly inspiring! You are just what the youth need! You are setting such amazing anchors in their lives and I am sure when they face temptation they will remember nights like that and choose the right.
(I also love that you carried the theme out so well. No details missed! Love and appreciate that!! I'm guessing that you must be a blue?!?)

Angela said...

So well put, and inspirational. I love reading your blog, you have such a great way with words. And my goodness did everything look great! You did not miss a thing with that theme!

Layn & Celeste said...

And by the way... what an incredible job you did on all the decorations, planning, etc. amidst everything you were going through with Ruby. I can't say it enough- you are amazing

Julie Knowlton said...

Nicole, I was wondering if you would be speaking in General Conference?