BETA

Conference Moment: 'Stay in the boat'

In his April 1997 general conference address, “Endure and Be Lifted Up,” President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles shared this story about enduring to the end:

“Early in our married life when Sister Nelson and I lived in Minneapolis, we decided to enjoy a free afternoon with our two-year-old daughter. We went to one of Minnesota’s many beautiful lakes and rented a small boat. After rowing far from shore, we stopped to relax and enjoy the tranquil scene. Suddenly, our little toddler lifted one leg out of the boat and started to go overboard, exclaiming, ‘Time to get out, Daddy!’

“Quickly we caught her and explained, ‘No, dear, it’s not time to get out; we must stay in the boat until it brings us safely back to land.’ Only with considerable persuasion did we succeed in convincing her that leaving the boat early would have led to disaster.

“Children are prone to do such dangerous things simply because they have not acquired the wisdom their parents have. Similarly, we as children of our Heavenly Father may foolishly want to get ‘out of the boat’ before we arrive at destinations He would like us to reach. The Lord teaches over and over that we are to endure to the end. This is a dominant theme of the scriptures. One example may serve to represent many passages that convey a similar message:

“ ‘Blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion … , for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb’ (1 Nephi 13:37).

“Blessings bestowed by God are always predicated upon obedience to law. Applied to my analogy, we are first to get ‘on the boat’ with Him. Then we are to stay with Him. And if we don’t get ‘out of the boat’ before we should, we shall reach His kingdom, where we will be lifted up to eternal life. ...

“Your responsibility to endure is uniquely yours. But you are never alone. I testify that the lifting power of the Lord can be yours if you will ‘come unto Christ’ and ‘be perfected in him.’ You will ‘deny yourselves of all ungodliness.’ And you will ‘love God with all your might, mind and strength’ (Moroni 10:32).

“[The] prophet of the Lord has issued a clarion call: ‘I invite every one of you,’ said President [Gordon B.] Hinckley, ‘to stand on your feet and with a song in your heart move forward, living the gospel, loving the Lord, and building the kingdom. Together we shall stay the course and keep the faith.’ ” — Ensign magazine, May 1997