(June 17, 2015)
I certainly don’t pretend to compare my life to the martyrdoms of the early Christian fathers, but I can understand in some little respect what it is like to be carried where I do not want to go. In many ways, the experience is agonizing beyond belief. But in other ways, it is such a blessing because it cuts away absolutely everything else that serves to distract from the relationship we each must have with the Savior.
I remember an experience from my mission. My day proselyting was unsuccessful, and I was riding the train back to the station where we had locked up our bikes. My companion and I, discouraged, were both a little bit grumpy and miserable. Then, when we arrived at the station, we saw that someone had stripped down our bikes and stolen just about everything from them. Nothing remained locked at the station other than our frames and front wheels.
It was like a spell had been broken – too much had gone wrong for any single thing to be overwhelming any more. We laughed, we joked, we carried our bikes for a while until a member saw us and gave us a ride home. When then ordered pizza, and when the delivery driver arrived we tried to give her a Book of Mormon. We went from trying to maintain something and serve ourselves to not caring about ourselves and serving God.
In some ways, this experience (though incredibly painful) is serving the same purpose. I am able to let go of things that I cared about – reputation, hope for the future, and so many other good things that I cared deeply about. The only thing that is left is my relationship with the Savior. And, of course, that will be enough (even if it doesn’t feel like it all the time).