Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trick or Treat



I was thinking about this... TRICK or TREAT...

It seems that the real "Trick" is Obedience. Standing for what is right. Steadfast and immovable.

And, the "TREAT" is Eternal. Eternal life. Eternal families. Celestial Kingdom.

It is just that easy. AND. YET. oh so hard.
It reminds me of Numbers 21:8-9 in the Old Testament.

I feel that we are living in trying times. I know of 3 very close fiends and families that are being broken up due to divorce. I know of good strong people who have children struggling with the gay life style... I know of MANY MANY people who have children struggling for one reason or another. Our country really NEEDS help right now. It is a scary world out there.

I really enjoyed Sister Daltons talk to the young women in April this year. Let me just quote a bit from it...

"Several years ago, I had the opportunity to run the Boston Marathon. I had trained hard and felt I was prepared, but at mile 20 there are hills. The locals call the steepest and longest hill Heartbreak Hill. When I reached that point, I was physically spent. The hill was long, and because I was a novice, I allowed myself to do something no seasoned runner ever does—I started to think negatively. This slowed my pace, so I tried to think positively and visualize the finish line. But as I did this, I suddenly realized that I was in a big city, there were thousands of people lining the route, and I had not made any arrangements to locate my husband at the end of the marathon. I felt lost and alone, and I started to cry. I was wearing a big red T-shirt with the word Utah printed on the front in big block letters. As the spectators saw that I was crying, they would yell, “Keep going, Utah.” “Don’t cry, Utah.” “You’re almost finished, Utah.” But I knew I wasn’t, and I was lost. I also knew that even if I stopped running and dropped out of the race, I would still be lost.

Do any of you ever feel like you’re running up Heartbreak Hill and that even though there are people lining the route, you are alone? That’s how I felt. So I did what every one of you would do—I began to pray right there on that marathon route. I told Heavenly Father that I was alone and that I was on a hill. I told Him that I was discouraged and afraid and that I felt lost. I asked for help and strength to be steadfast and to finish the race. As I continued to run, these words came into my mind:

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
(“How Firm a Foundation,” Hymns, no. 85)

That sweet answer to my prayer gave me the strength to continue on until I crossed the finish line. And despite my fears, my husband was right there and all was well.

That day I experienced more than a marathon. I learned some important lessons. First of all, never wear a big red shirt with the word Utah printed on it. Second, I learned that no matter how well prepared you think you are, there are hills on the course. I learned that people cheering for you along the way are absolutely essential. I learned again that day that we are never alone. Our Heavenly Father is only a prayer away, and the Holy Ghost is within whispering distance."

I know there are times when we too are physically spent too. (or emotionally, or spiritually) I pray that we will not start to think negatively... thinking that we cant make it... that it doesn't really matter... We can. And, it does. I pray that we will ALL think positively and visualize the FINISH line... that we will be strong. That we will stop and pray whenever and where ever we might be...

I pray that as we meet whatever life holds for us, that we will remember that we need only care about what the Lord thinks of us, that we will turn our whole heart over to the Savior and be at one with him!

Remember... the trick is obedience and the treat is eternal!

26 comments:

Bren's Life said...

That is a Wonderful post. I love that story. You are so wise & so strong. I have learned a lot from you & really respect you.
How is your dad doing? Your home right?

nikkicrumpet said...

Dang woman...You need to give this talk in Conference! That was so remarkably well done. I hope you get the chance to share this with more than use here in blogland. Thank you so much for that!

tammy said...

I love this Shaila. You brought tears to my eyes. I will always think of this when I hear trick or treat now.

Shauna said...

Wow~! How beautiful :) Thank You very much for this post!

Frumpy Luv said...

Thanks for this different spin on halloween - love it!! So, regarding Cordy: http://mysuperhopelessromance.blogspot.com/

check out navel gazing to after you've read it to get the rest of the story

So, you are not in Utah any longer?????? Or are you??

MERRIANNE said...

wow shaila! that was GREAT!

i love it!!!! this is a way to make HALLOWEEN very Spiritual!!!!

way to go girl...thank you!!!!!!

da Bergs said...

Bren, you are too nice, but thank you... the blog world is great, we all learn from one another!!! Yep, I am home!!! yeah! My dad... well, one day at a time. We had to take him into the ER last week but this week he seems to be doing great! Thanks for asking!!!

Nikki, you are TOO funny. I wonder what Sister Dalton would think of that? LOL...

Tammy, Shauna, Frumpy... you are too cute, thank you!

Ya'll actually crack me up... a little embarrassing... LOL... Thanks! This world is just a scary place right now. We have to cheer each other on! Come on Utah, you can do it!!! Love ya all!

Mother Goose said...

shaila, i have so missed you and your thoughts. I love the trick and treat reference.

I was seriously crying with you when you felt like giving up.

I also decided that if I ever think to run a marathon, i'm going to wear a shirt that make it easy for someone to CHEER ME ON!

how sweet and moving that people saw your plight understood and encouraged you and beckoned you forward!! KEEP GOING, KEEP MOVING UTAH, you are almost there!

Sometimes, i wish I could physically hear those words of encouragement from my friends and not just hear those words in my HEAD! I wish i came up with the trick or treat thing. I will always remember it.

Mother Goose said...

it's sad that good marriages and good couples are losing sight of the eternal plan.


It's sad how a small word of criticim or a seed planted can throw things out of perspective.

it is sad how lust can ruin lives.

binders said...

What a great analogy. You are so right.

My hill was infertility. I also crossed that finish line but today I had the opportunity to be the voice of experience on the sidelines of Heartbreak Hill encouraging and cheering on someone else who was currently trying to summit that same obstacle.

Using our trials to strengthen others is such a vital part. To me that's being the 1 in 10 who remembers to say thanks for all they've been blessed with.

Your post inspired me. Thank you!

Jan said...

I adore this Shaila. I really do. I was crying about the hills and your hubby and the alone feeling you felt. It is all consuming sometimes, but yet there are the cheers and the prayers and the power if we listen, look and seek.

Go Utah. Finish the race. Onward and upward. Thanks for the wonderful trick and treat thoughts too. I will never look at those words the same way again. :)

Scrappy Girl said...

Great post...you always make me think...

Glahn Family said...

WOW,, Tears, You truly have grown in spirit and testimony since the Moreno Beach Days! I'm awwwwwww'd
Thanks for the fabulous Post.
Your awesome !

da Bergs said...

Goose & Jan... that was a story that Sis. Dalton told in the YW Mtg. last April (conference time)... I didn't run in a marathon! I only WISH! HAHA!

Mechelle said...

Thanks, you feed my soul! M

beth at aunties said...

Wow! No wonder you are called to teach our precious Young Adults in Institute!! May I share this with the women I VT? And my Family and others that I love?
Shaila, this brought tears to my eyes and gave me wonderful chills. How many times do you get to feel the spirit in blogland?
Thank You for sharing and I am serious, May I please share your wonderful thoughts and insight with my family?
Beth

Mother Goose said...

rofl, I am laughing at myself! I am soooo sorry well, it still brought tears to my eyes, but not as much now that I realize it WASN'T YOU!! but I am still rooting for UTAH! because aren't we all UTAHNS??

wonder woman said...

What a great analogy! Thanks for the excerpt from her talk. That's good stuff! --And don't worry, I won't be voting for that Obama dude!

McEwens said...

Great message! She gave sucha powerful talk! Love the use of trick or treat!

Motherboard said...

That was my favorite talk! Thank you for the great spiritual feast this morning! You are the best!

The B's said...

Love the "Trick or Treat!" I agree with Cheryl - OHHHHH, but I LOVED Moreno Beach days....
You truely are amazing and have such good insight - someday I want to grow up and be an inspiring teacher like you!

Kaci said...

Very beautiful! Thanks!

Melinda said...

what a great Halloween post. YOU are so creative. Thanks I read it outloud to my hubby. I loved the UTAH t-shirt story. I pray that we will all have people cheering on the side lines for us in the coming months ahead. You are right life is definitely getting harder for many families.

nicolefurness said...

i am so glad we found each other. i needed you spiritual post. thanks for visiting my blog- i'll come back often!

Rosehaven Cottage said...

I came overat the suggestion of Beth at Auntie's and I'm so glad I did! What a wonderful inspirational post. We do live in a tumultuous time. But you have so wisely pointed out that we are never left alone--even when the tumult seems the greatest.

Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

wilma said...

O.K. I commented on the "I miss Ya Post instead of this one...I'm on pain meds so just overlook it..Love ya, Aunt Wilma