Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Packing for the Trip

Have you heard the story about a woman who packed for an upcoming trip?  She went to the store (her favorite thing to do) and bought new slacks, heels, money, makeup, curling iron and a nice black dress.  She was determined to be prepared, so she also packed another pair of dress pants, a few blouses, her blow dryer, her cell phone, her ipod and a nice sweater, in case it got chilly.

The woman was quite pleased with her provisions tucked neatly into her new suitcase.

Her happiness lasted only a short time until she was told her trip was to a remote rugged campground- no electricity and very cold-  that could only be reached by a 5-mile hike.

To her disappointment and despair she found that she had not packed the right things. She was not prepared.

In 3 Nephi 27 11 the Savior is teaching his disciples and tells them, "but if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the words of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return."

He went onto say that "their works to follow them..."   Whatever we pack here is what we will have there.

I used to wonder why some people seemed happy when they weren't living the gospel principles.  This, to me, explains why.

They might find the things that they like and spend time and money on them.  Those things might even bring them joy for a while- like the woman shopping and packing. She found great joy in purchasing and packing for the trip.  But, her joy was for just a short season.

But, the woman realized that she had not packed the necessary things to survive her true destination.

Some people love packing (whatever they feel like) and find joy in it. They find joy in the packing- even though they take little to no thought of what they are packing for.

Our destination is to live with God again- the ultimate goal being the highest degree of the Celestial Kingdom.  There are many who are "packing accordingly."  They make and keep sacred covenants, are humble and serving, are tithe payers and follow the prophet.  They feast upon the scriptures and attend their meetings.  Their oil lamps are full.  They are packing the essentials, and then some.

But, there are others who are are "packing" for the wrong destination.  They give importance to material wealth, worldly honors, pride and status.  They focus on fulfilling selfish desires at the expense of others, degraded morality and virtue and raising themselves up.

They seem happy, and some actually find a certain level of joy in their pursuits.  But, as the Savior said, it will only be for a season.  Just as the woman was ill-prepared for camping, they will be ill-prepared to meet the Savior and be judged as kind and righteous people.

Perhaps that is why missionary work is so important: we tell people where are going after this life, and what they need to "pack" for here. Later in the chapter Jesus gives the commandment- that we repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost.  These things are necessary for eternal life.  They are the necessities we should be "packing," and so should those around us.

I went camping last week. It was lovely. I packed all the necessities: chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers; old jeans; a baseball cap; a sweatshirt; comfortable shoes and a good book.  I was prepared and I had a great time.

As I read this scripture this morning, it prompted me to do an inventory of my spiritual suitcase, what I am purchasing and packing.  It was a great reminder to me to always remember where I am going, and prepare accordingly.

That way I will not only have joy on the journey, but also at my destination.


  1. I dropped by your blog today and enjoyed reading your thoughts on the scriptures. I really liked the analogy using the idea of packing for a trip. Good thoughts!
    Check my blog out @ Living Waters by LeAnn


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