Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known.
Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence.
Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown.
Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light,
and then a few steps into the darkness.
-Elder Boyd K. Packer
I've always loved the significance of mountains in the scriptures.
It really resonates with me. Probably because I grew up under the
shadows of the mountains in Provo. When I was 16 years old and could drive,
I drove myself there and hiked daily.
I found comfort and peace in being alone and surrounded by their strong walls.
But I think my favorite part about mountains is how close I feel to God.
One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 52,
"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet
of him that bringeth good tidings,
that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good,
that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
There was a time when my feet could not stand.
I was helpless, so I decided to write.
And I wrote here on the blog. Stories about my family,
my kids, overcoming hardships, surgeries, life after a serious burn injury,
finding and accepting a "new normal" and my hopes and desires.
I couldn't hike, but I could "publish peace," and in my own way, I felt like
I was fulfilling that scripture in Isaiah in a roundabout way.
One of my favorite stories about climbing mountains I wrote about in 2015
after a woman commented about my strong legs while hiking the Y:
"These amazing legs of mine have been through some tough stuff,
but without fail, they carry me up all kinds of mountains every single day.
I realize they are not attractive or even normal in appearance,
but they are MY LEGS!
And they work just fine.
I'm so thankful for them.
They are proof that I am a survivor and I can do hard things.
And I have the scars to prove it."
In President Nelson's recent conference talk, he referenced the mountains
and the faith needed to see the hand of the Lord in our lives.
He received inspiration to give that message to me, Stephanie Nielson.
"Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to
move the mountains in your life, even though your
personal challenges may loom as large as Mount Everest.
Your mountains may be loneliness, doubt, illness, or other personal problems.
Your mountains will vary, and yet the answer to each of your
challenges is to increase your faith. That takes work.
Lazy learners and lax disciples will always struggle
to muster even a particle of faith."
Our family is experiencing more changes and challenges.
We're climbing mountains, but we're doing it together with the Lord, and that's all that matters.
Each night when the kids are in bed and The White House is dark,
Christian and I kneel down together and pray.
Tonight after my heartfelt prayer to the Lord,
I took a photo of Christian praying
because I swear, I could physically see his faith emanating out.
"To do anything well requires effort," continues President Nelson,
"Your growing faith in Him will move mountains—not
the mountains of rock that beautify the earth
but the mountains of misery in your lives.
Your flourishing faith will help you turn challenges
into unparalleled growth and opportunity."