Farnsworth Sisters
Category: By Small and Simple Things

The Beach- An Analogy

Last year we went to La Jolla beach for a week with some friends.  The first day or two, we would get our gear and put it down right where we thought prime location was. Smooth sand, great waves, warm sun, and we were even close to a playground.  The people all around us were busy doing the same thing as we were, riding the waves and playing in the sand.  We would occasionally walk up and down the beach and find a seashell or huge cool seaweed pods. 

One morning, I went jogging on the beach. As I went farther away from the smooth popular beach, I noticed more and more beautifulshells and sand dollars. So I kept going. There started to be huge rocks that I would have to run around but I noticed some interesting sea life by them which got me excited to keep going. There were fewer and fewer people the farther I got away from the smooth beach.

Soon the rocks were everywhere. I couldn’t run around them, I would have to hike over them and wade through the tide that was coming up. And right beside me a huge cliff was raising, forming a gigantic wall that the tide would come into and hit. As I looked ahead I couldn’t see anyone. In fact I watched a couple try to decide if they should brave the rocks. One person tried to coax the other, but in the end they both turned back without climbing the rocks.

All of the amazing sea life I was finding was so exciting me, I couldn’t stop. It felt like I was discovering the huge starfish, anemone, urchins, gigantic sea kelp pods, and brightly colored crabs for the first time. Every little tide pool led to another and another creature. It was rough terrain and I was really far from where I began, but I hardly noticed because I was caught up in my trek.

After a long time and a lot of climbing and distance, I looked up and saw an empty beach in front of me. Behind it the huge cliff continued, so people couldn’t access this little beach easily. I climbed through the rocks and onto the beach and couldn’t see another footprint on the sand- no garbage, no towels- so different than the beach I started on. The only prints on the sand were birds and crabs. I really felt like I had discovered a new beach. At this point, I couldn’t wait to get back so I could bring my children on this adventure and to this beach.

We brought them all back, along with our friends. It was tougher this time. All my little kids and their little kids, climbing rocks, slipping, getting scorched, and loving every minute. There was so much sea life that they could touch and hold and find- like the best treasure hunt ever. We even saw a little baby seal laying right by us on a rock.

When we got back, one of our friends commented that they had been coming to this beach for years and had never been where we were that day. They couldn’t believe they had missed it all those years.


I thought about what my friends said and it made me think of my own relationship with God and my conversion  to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We all get up every Sunday and head to church- just like that beach that everyone goes to. We are busy doing our callings. We make sure we have all the right clothes and toys. We sing, we pray, we read, and we smile. It feels like a nice place to be and there are lots of people around us doing the same things.

But is that the only reason we are here on earth and where our Father in Heaven wants us to stop? Could we be missing out on some of the real beauties of the Gospel?

I think the real joy in this life is when we don’t stop at the popular beach and we walk further- we start working on our own relationship with God. When realize that for us to become all that our Father wants us to and have all our Father wants us to have, we must go out and discover who He is and why we love Him.

But you have to make a choice not to stop at the popular beach and not worry about what people will think when you keep walking.

And then it is a process that takes work and discipline and honesty.  No one can do it for us. We have to search our hearts and assess our lives to see what we really desire in this life and the next.  And when our desires aren’t right, we have to change them.  It seems to take a lot of pondering prayer, studying and true repenting and forgiving. I think it involves not just making covenants, but taking them eternally seriously and using them as a source of power in daily life.   And there is pain, but that means there is great joy.  Joy in the end when we realize where we are.  And also joy along the way, when we feel His love and blessings that come from making the choice to consecrate ourselves to Him.

And then the really fun part comes when you get to show your kids the way.

Just something I’ve been thinking about…you are all much older and wiser, so feel free to share any insights or ideas that might help me.

“What I Have Written I Have Written”

Because it is Easter, I thought I would share something I just learned as I read the book of John in the New Testament.

When the Jews brought Jesus Christ before Pilate, they wanted Pilate to sentence Him to death.  We all know the story of Pilate’s reluctance to sentence Christ because He could find no fault in Him.  Pilate very famously washed his hands of the matter and allowed the people to carry out the death.

But as the Lord was being crucified, Pilate did something I find interesting.  He wrote the words that hung above Jesus on the cross for all to see.

Here’s how the story goes in  John 19:19-22:

“And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

20This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

21Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

22Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.”

In an unusual way, Pilate had written his testimony and hung it up for all to read.  But his testimony was cowardly because he didn’t live what he knew was true.

I want to write what I believe about Jesus Christ.  But I hope these words will always motivate every action of my life, like Elder Holland says in his beautiful Easter message, not just hang lifeless on a blog…

The things I write here I know through experience, mistakes, prayer, study, and the Holy Ghost.

  • I know that Jesus Christ came into this world as a baby and that His Father was so happy about His birth that he announced it with a new star in the sky.
  • I know that as Jesus grew, He became the man His Father wanted Him to be.  I know that He didn’t give into sin.
  • I know that Jesus loves the little children.  I have felt that love in my own home with my own children.
  • I know that although I can’t understand it, my brother, Jesus atoned for my sins, died, and was resurrected so I could be as well.  I know He did it because He loved me.  I have felt that love, even today as I was looking at a picture of the resurrected Christ.  I can get a tiny glimpse of This love when I think what I would do to help my own sisters and brothers who I know and love.
  • I know that the atonement relieves my pain and sadness as well paying for my pride and sin.
  • I know that being with my family and trying to help others is important.  But the only thing that will give me lasting peace and happiness and now and forever is if I repent and turn my heart to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on a daily basis.  My personal relationship with Them gives the rest of my life meaning and happiness.
  • I know that I have to seek, search the scriptures, desire, ponder and work to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.  But the reward is eternal.
  • I know that because Jesus atoned for my sins, I can make covenants with God.  I know when I actively live these covenants they give me power and bless my life and my children’s life everyday.
  • I am eternally thankful that Jesus Christ is risen!