I want you to think about something for a moment. I want you to envision something that sounds a little strange, but I promise it relates.
Imagine, if you will, a weary lumberjack with an incredibly dull axe who’s been chopping at a giant oak over and over and over again. With whatever might he has, he keeps nipping away at the bark. Sweat pours down his face. Exhaustion consumes him. But he keeps chopping. Barely making any progress. He wants to chop this tree, he wants to overcome it, so he keeps plugging along.
Unfortunately, this lumberjack is doing it all wrong.
I’ve learned something recently when it comes to dealing with obstacles and problems. It seems in life we can always be chopping away at the giant oak of our issues, struggles and commitments and rarely make any progress. We become so determined to overcome them that we throw ourselves at them in a ravenous fervor, only to end in exhaustion.
In most cases the best option is just to stop chopping.
In most cases, we need help sharpening our axe first.
Yesterday I had a mountain of things to do and goals I wanted to accomplish, I had my whole day planned out, but like the weary lumberjack, I knew I’d be trying to complete them with a dull axe. I was tired, weary and anxious.
“BUT I HAVE TO KEEP GOING! JUST KEEP MOVING! GET THESE THINGS DONE REGARDLESS OF HOW I FEEL! THEY’RE IMPORTANT! TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE”
These were the thoughts that kept shouting at me, but the Spirit knew better. In His own “still small voice” the Holy Ghost was telling me,
“Stop. And go to the temple.”
So I did. I (somewhat grudgingly) set aside all my to do’s and plans and went. Once again, the promptings of the Holy Ghost did not disappoint. I walked out feeling rejuvenated, comforted, and strengthened. To continue with the metaphor, my axe was sharpened.
This is the promise of the Lord. When we serve Him first (in many cases by serving others, which is the same as serving God) we will be strengthened to handle whatever burdens we may have.
This strength doesn’t come from focusing on the burden itself, instead it comes from focusing on the Lord.
So instead of attacking your ten page research paper, stop chopping, and read your scriptures first.
Instead of heading straight to work first thing in the morning, stop chopping, and converse with the Lord through prayer.
Instead of rushing to your laundry list of to do’s around the house, stop chopping, and spend some time serving your neighbor.
Instead of filling up your schedule with busy things, stop chopping and attend the temple, or other church service.
Then, just like this group of believers from the Book of Mormon, your burdens will be made light. You’ll have the strength to rise above anything in your life.
“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.” (Mosiah 24:15)
If you’d like to know a little more about Mormon temples then I suggest you watch this video. Should you have any questions, you can submit them to me on my contact page or visit mormon.org