…I knew that if we were going to live with ourselves on the terms that we wanted, we’d have to pay a price…And we’ve paid a price every day since. It’s expensive…But I don’t want to live cheap, or live for nothing. I never have wanted that and I’ve never liked it.
The stock market is filled with individuals who know the price of everything, but the value of nothing.
Be careful lest you yourself become the goat and carry unseen spiritual burdens into the wilderness. More serious by far than the loss of property or money are the unseen spiritual penalties which accrue like interest on a debt which one day, in the eternal scheme of things, must surely be paid.
I read somewhere of a young couple who settled in the wilderness. While the man cleared the land, his wife tended things about the homestead. Occasionally, the cow would get into the garden, and the husband would complain.
One day, as he left to get supplies, he said in a sarcastic way, “Do you think you’ll be able to keep the cow in while I am gone?” She thought she could; she would try.
That night a terrible storm arose. Frightened by thunder, the cow escaped into the woods. Several days later the husband returned to an empty cabin and an apologetic note: “A storm came up, and the cow got out. I am so sorry, but I think I can find her.”
He searched; neither had survived. The author concluded the incident with these words:
Boys flying kites haul in their white-winged birds;
You can call back your kites, but you can’t call back your words.
“Careful with fire” is good advice, we know;
“Careful with words” is ten times doubly so.
Thoughts unexpressed will often fall back dead.But God Himself can’t kill them, once they are said!
(Will Carleton, The First Settler’s Story).
It was ever thus. The price of leadership is loneliness. The price of adherence to conscience is loneliness. The price of adherence to principle is loneliness. I think it is inescapable. The Savior of the world was a Man who walked in loneliness. I do not know of any statement more underlined with the pathos of loneliness than His statement: “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Matthew 8:20).
There is no lonelier picture in history than of the Savior upon the cross, alone, the Redeemer of mankind, the Savior of the world, bringing to pass the Atonement, the Son of God suffering for the sins of mankind. As I think of that, I reflect on a statement made by Channing Pollock:
Judas with his thirty pieces of silver was a failure. Christ on the cross was the greatest figure of time and eternity.
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
The different roles of men and women
This statement suggests that before we were born we made certain commitments, female and male, and that we agreed to come to this earth with great, rich, but separate gifts. We were called, male and female, to do great works, with separate approaches and separate assignments, and accordingly were given different songs to sing. You say, Where do I begin? Rather than beginning with a wish list of all the things you want in life, the real question may be what you are not willing to do without. You should select two or three of life’s experiences that you are absolutely sure you want to have; these important things you should not leave to chance. Then you should think about what you can contribute to society by way of service to the Church, home, and community. You also need to think of what life will demand from you. Everything has its price. Much is expected of us.
If you want to know that you know that you know, a price must be paid. And you alone must pay that price. There are proxies for ordinances, but none for the acquisition of a testimony.