Infinity, eternity, everlasting, eternal. Sounds like a pretty big subject. Overwhelming? Perhaps. But my gratitude is enormous as well.
How could one write this time of year without mentioning gardening or, more specifically, farming? We are all involved in some kind of development. Whether you have the good fortune of turning the soil or turning a new leaf, both are worthwhile and have productivity and improvement in mind. Fortunately, we don’t have to do it all on our own. We have helps in many forms that help ensure a prosperous harvest.
One woman shared with her own mother a struggle by lamenting, “I realized that I could only be as happy as my saddest child, and one day it came to me that for the rest of my life, I would be sad because someone would always be down. With your classic, sage wisdom, you said, ‘This is true, but at the same time, you must not forget that the greatest joys you will ever know will come from your family — and those too will be endless.”
Like this woman learned, we are not alone and we don’t have to do it (face life’s challenges) all on our own, gratefully. We have tons of resources, including (but not limited to) the following list:
- Patriarchal blessing
- Sacrament meetings
- Conference talks
- Holy Ghost
- Joy of the gospel
- Our endowment
- Faith in Jesus Christ
- Ministering brothers and sisters
And this is really just the beginning. There is much more.
When you struggle as a parent or face times of trouble, you can feel the power that comes from a congregation of companionship involved in the same struggle, all with a common goal, and leave the results up to God. I read a phrase recently that I love:
Yes we can do it, but we need not do it all on our own.
Nobody questions the need for infrastructure. We drive cars, use our phones, charge our credit cards, and purchase food because of established infrastructure. Can we get along without it? Sure. When I was a boy on the farm, we raised and harvested almost everything we ate. It was great, but infrastructure made it a lot easier even then. We had time to work in our gardens and orchards because basic needs were taken care of. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the infrastructure for our happiness.
“How could that be?” you may ask. That’s an easy one! Though we may not always see it, God does a lot for us and provides the gospel for our benefit and growth. Still don’t believe it? That’s okay. It may not be obvious to the casual observer, but it is obvious to the sincere investigator. How so?
Well, let’s talk more about infrastructure. Our children go to good schools so that they can become well-educated and pursue learning and possibly a higher education. You and/or your children may decide to go to college or not, but it is possible because of infrastructure. Even when school is out, our plans are vastly different because of infrastructure. Instead of taking months to visit states on the other side of the continent or other locations in the world, we hop on a plane and are literally there in just hours—again because of infrastructure.
So how is it that we would benefit greatly from infrastructure, but the God of heaven and earth would totally ignore it? He doesn’t. He not only uses it, He creates it — e.g., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Its very purpose is to help us be happy, provide hope, and achieve everlasting joy for ourselves and our family.
By the way, if you are not totally convinced, I don’t fault you or your hesitation to jump on board. Consider for a moment the problems you are up against. Media and society tells you that you are not good enough, rich enough, or attractive enough. Buy this and do that to make things better. And somehow, in all this confusion, we are supposed to find happiness?
The adversary and his minions are doing everything they can to make you feel inferior, miserable, and addicted. Are his vices working? I am afraid they are devastating our homes, families, communities, and the entire world, or so it seems. Belongings, possessions, even accomplishments won’t bring you the joy that you are seeking and working for every day. But you know what will? Following God’s way and implementing the infrastructure that has been provided for you. It brings everlasting joy. The adversary wants you to laugh at these claims and ignore them so that he can perpetually seize you into his clutches.
On the other hand, Jesus Christ has done everything to make you feel real joy and eternal happiness, even when times are tough.
You can ignore it and fail to take advantage of its blessings that were established for your good and benefit, or you can implement and use the infrastructure of the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ. “The gospel of Jesus Christ is our Heavenly Father’s plan for the happiness and salvation of His children” according to The Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet. The infrastructure of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and gospel of Jesus Christ have the purpose of furthering the works of God. His purpose and glory are bringing to pass our eternal life and happiness. He is doing a great job at fulfilling His purpose. How about you?
The next time you use your phone and benefit from the technical infrastructure of our day and talk to a person locally (or somewhere else anywhere in the world), remember that God’s infrastructure is all about bringing you joy and eternal happiness. That’s a call you won’t want to miss.
A farmboy knows that good soil is necessary to grow the best harvest—and what is true for the gander is also true for the geese.
That sage wisdom applies to life, happiness, and personal fulfillment as well.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.