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August 10, 2015

Reaching the Summit through Repentance

Filed under: hiking,Mount Timpanogos,repentance — admin @ 3:21 am

Anyone who has ever hiked up Mt. Timpanogos knows that it is a very long and miserable hike that is really hard and seems to never end.  This  around, we decided to hike up the Aspen Grove side,
which is even more steep and miserable.  This gave me a lot of time to think about the gospel and
different principles to try and keep my mind off the pain.  I imagined the path to the summit to be the
path of repentance—it is really long and really difficult.  Whether your repentance process be for
something as small as making scripture study a matter of daily habit, or repenting of a sexual sin or
alcohol/drug addiction, it will still take a long time to really make a solid change and to feel the full force of repentance.  It is also extremely painful to repent of any sin, just as hiking to the top of Mt. Timp is painful.
Many times on the path, the faster bunch and the slower bunch would separate.  I happened to be with the slower bunch, and often felt abandoned and alone when the group ahead moved on without us in the back.  However, we believe in the buddy system while hiking, which ensured that there was always someone with me.  The same happens when we repent—often times we feel alone and alienated, like no one knows our pain and no one is really there to help us through it.  This is not true—there is always someone with us, whether that be good supportive friends, the bishop, family, and ultimately, our loving heavenly father.

Through the entirety of the trail, our single and ultimate goal was to reach the summit by sunrise.  Even though the trail was miserable and we wanted to quit and give up and go back many times along the way, once we reached the summit just in time for the sunrise, it was all totally worth it.  The view was glorious, and the sunrise was breathtakingly remarkable.  When we repent, we always have a single goal in mind—to have scripture study be a normal daily habit, or have our sexual sin or drug addiction swept clean from our life.  The road is difficult, and it is easy to want to give up and go back to where you were in the beginning.  But once you have pulled through and made it to the end where that goal has been accomplished, life is beautiful and everything is worth it.

The most beautiful part of this analogy however, is of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The whole way up the trail, we often would stop and catch our breath, or just stop for a bit because we were tired and needed a break from the trail.  It was in these moments that we really noticed the beauty all around us.  The view behind us, seeing how far up we had made it, the beauty of the flowers and trees and waterfalls and meadows.  The rocky ridges and shallow ponds, snowy mountain valleys and the glow of the moon.  Wherever we were, there was always something beautiful to look at.  That, to me, is the perfect representation of the atonement.  The atonement is something readily available, something pre-organized and performed for our benefit.  Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that he provided us a Savior who performed this glorious sacrifice for us so we could feel the beauty of life amidst darkness. The atonement isn’t the goal, nor is it the journey, but it is the gift we are given to see beauty on the trail and make our goals become reality.  The beauty along the trail was always just enough to help us push forward and remember our ultimate goal.   As does the atonement always provide just enough hope and love to move forward with faith toward a better ending—the cleanliness of full repentance.

Written by: Derrick S. -Provo, Utah

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