June 3, 2020 - Mountains we climb

Since the beginning, one of the reasons we don’t just admire mountains but feel so compelled to climb and conquer them is because of the fundamental and foundational truth that, as eternally progressing beings, we are predisposed to take on challenges. That is an essential underpinning of God’s plan of happiness. So you and I are divinely engineered to be dynamic and not static. Being in motion is requisite to progression. Thus we instinctively crave sacred summits—like the temple, general conference, or that summit of summits, heaven. And so even hard and uphill journeys—like life, for instance—can’t help but foster and develop both our progress and a priceless byproduct of that effort: faith.

Michael C. Dunn, "Why Mountains?", BYU Speeches, October 1, 2019

I am so amazed at the beauty of this world in which we live. Can you imagine if it was all just flat earth, no hills, no mountains? Heavenly Father knew, and knows, what He was, and is, doing.

As I sit and ponder on the beauties of His creations, I know that His physical creations, including us, existed spiritually before He created them physically.

So, I have a few thoughts....one, if all things existed spiritually before their physical embodiment, does that mean that the spiritual mountains that we climb daily existed before? These mountains could be challenges that we fight through, but that make us better people as we climb. We knew and accepted our mountains (small and large) before we came here so they must've existed in some way.

And, two, mountains beautify the earth, so can we not see our spiritual mountains as beautiful too? Even though they can be so difficult to climb at times? I guess we wouldn't look at the Superstition Mountains and say "what an annoying land mass, I wish it wasn't there". Even though they knock the breath out of you upon climbing. No, we remain optimistic by default and see them as awesome, as magnificent, as beautiful. So, we should, then, by default, see our own spiritual mountains as awesome, as magnificent, as beautiful...even though they can knock the breath out of you.

Also, three, as the quote says, we were engineered to always be in motion, always climbing. Not just admiring their beauty from afar. Likewise, as we encounter spiritual mountains, we should always be in motion, always climbing, always rising to new heights. Not admiring their magnificence, and sometimes daunting fear, from afar.

Lastly, four, have you noticed that the richest rewards, the grandest blessings, are usually reserved for once we make it to the top? Granted, there are blessings as we climb, but those mainly support and guide us, and give us strength to keep climbing. But the greatest rewards are at the top. And our largest and steepest mountain we are now climbing has eternal life waiting for us at the top.

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