Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The flowers on the side

Since as long as I can remember I've always loved riding horses. One of my best memories was a horseback trip south of Yellowstone National park with my cousins Levi and Josh and my brother Sean. We rode for a couple of days in and then we camped out, saddled up and rode back out. We only took one bath the whole week and that lasted about 5 seconds in a near frozen stream. The reason our trip was so enjoyable was because the horses did all the work and we got to enjoy the scenery. There were a lot of rotten things that happened on the trip. To start things off Josh's horse was on it's first trip and still did not like being ridden and so she fell down in the first river we had to cross and got all of Josh's things wet. Then there were bears and the second day in we rode all day in the rain. It was freezing cold and I remember having to pry my hands off the rains when we finally arrived at camp and got off our horses. The pack horse kicked me on the way in because he was being lazy so I had to flip him with my homemade switch. (Sean says I deserved to get kicked but he's wrong). I'm sure I could have left that trip thinking it was the most miserable trip I'd ever been on, but that wouldn't be right. It was enjoyable because there were many more good and fun things that happened than miserable things. First off, all of the miserable things (with the exception of the rain) were all pretty funny at the time. Second, I could go on for quite a while with all the cool things we saw. I'm just going to list them here:
1. I was amazed at the horses sense of smell. He could smell a bear a mile away and I was appreciative of that.
2. The scenery was just amazing. Everything back there was almost untouched by man.
3. When we made camp after finally getting all the way back in, the rain stopped and we enjoyed a warm fire (that was against the law but we all decided that it was worth the risk. If a ranger caught us we decided that we would all split the fine. If Bishop Hyde happens to read this or any other ranger then the statute of limitations is up.)
4. While we were enjoying the campfire a little fawn walked right up to our camp and just stared at us for a few minutes. It obviously hadn't been around humans much. It was really neat to see how it could be so close to us and not fear us.
5. I remember the injured eagle that sat on a limb by our path almost daring us to cross him. His talons here enormous! We were all afraid to admit it but that eagle was pretty darn scary. I got the feeling that if it wasn't injured it could have ripped us to shreds.
When I am driving my car through beautiful country I miss out on some of God's most amazing creations because I have to focus on the road. However on that horseback trip I got to experience all the sights while the horse followed the proper course. I think often in life we have a tendency to drive our cars through life rather than enjoy the scenery on horseback. Even worse we sometimes focus on all the negative things that are happing and let those things shadow all of the beautiful blessings that we have. Take for example the following quote from a talk by Elder Holland:
"If we constantly focus only on the stones in our mortal path, we will 
almost surely miss the beautiful flower or cool stream provided by the 
loving Father who outlined our journey. Each day can bring more joy 
than sorrow when our mortal and spiritual eyes are open to God's 
goodness. Joy in the gospel is not something that begins only in the 
next life. It is our privilege now, this very day. We must never allow 
our burdens to obscure our blessings. There will always be more 
blessings than burdens--even if some days it doesn't seem so. Jesus 
said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it 
more abundantly." Enjoy those blessings right now. They are yours and 
always will be." 
 Jeffrey R. Holland
As Elder Holland says, "there will always be more blessings than burdens". In our hardest days it certainly doesn't seem to be true, but if our spiritual eyes are open then we will see that it really is. I believe that when we let the negative overcome us that we are disobeying an important commandment of the Saviour. "Be of good cheer". When our lives and burdens seem too much to bare and we lose focus of the blessings let us do as the Saviour asks when he said "Come unto meall ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28)  If we do this, Jesus will take our load, our spiritual eyes will be opened and we will be able to see the wonderful things that God has prepared for us to be happy in this life.
I think back to that day we rode in the rain. I wasn't smiling the whole time and I wasn't happy always either, but if I would have let the rain become my whole focus I would have missed out on some amazing views. 


  1. I feel like maybe this post had something to do with my [less than] amazing attitude on Monday... HA! Thanks so much for being my support and always having a level head even when I'm COMPLETELY irrational! Also, for always giving me great insight (even if I don't appreciate it until after the moment has passed:)). I love you so much!

  2. haha I thought you would say that but I was just looking through some Elder Holland quotes to find something to write about and I liked this one a lot.