A Sure Foundation
UnBlog # 505
Years ago I began to be called to various priesthood leadership positions.The most astonishing thing I saw, and continue to see, was how many people were struggling
desperately in some aspect of their lives. What amazed me wasn’t that some were struggling Ihadn’t been aware of because they were active and putting on a brave public face. What amazed
me was that every single ward member was struggling in some way. In a heartbeat my
perception of my ward went from we’re mostly OK –
to we are barely surviving.
Over many years that perception has not changed. It may sound pessimistic, but I don’t feel so. I
find great hope in this process. Still, it is observable that we are all struggling in some way.Those who are not currently struggling, whether they realize it or not, are just between bouts.The bell will ring, and the battle will resume. Most people, including myself, struggle in silent,putting on a brave public face, while most of their war is fought on private battle fields.We have a tendency to equate most struggle to having, or not having wealth, beauty and fame.
We look at someone who appears to have “sufficient for their needs” and assume they’
lucky ones. We look at those we think have very little, and assume they’re living a hard life. The
truth, I believe, is that struggle is universal, and that wealth, beauty and fame are actuallycatalysts to struggle. (They cause struggle, rather than solve it.) These powerful worldlyattributes more often erect walls to oppose growth than penetrate them. The world offers upirresistible temptations, creates arrogance and pride that separates us from the Spirit, drawspeople into our lives who love us
for the wrong reasons, darkens our children’s minds, and sucks
the Spirit from our lives far more efficiently than poverty, ugliness or obscurity. The mostefficient lie we believe is this one, that the world alone offers joy and safety. A surprisingcommentary on wealth is that almost 100% of those who win large sums in a lottery find itdestroyed their lives and ultimately wish they had not won it.
I used to wonder why older people cry at weddings. Now that I’m older, I can say with some
insight that it
isn’t because we know that marriage is going to end their struggles, and the bride is
it is because those two little innocent young people have no idea what they’re in