Three Bridges

From an October 2003 general conference address.

Thomas S. Monson
President Monson teaches us about the bridges we need to cross.

Three Bridges

Many years ago I read a book titled The Way to the Western Sea by David S. Lavender. It provides a fascinating account of the journey of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they led their expedition across the North American continent to discover an overland route to the Pacific Ocean.

Their trek was a nightmare of backbreaking toil, deep gorges which had to be crossed, and extensive travel by foot, carrying with them their supply-laden boats to find the next stream on which to make their way.

As I read of their experiences, I mused, “If only there were modern bridges to span the gorges or the raging waters.” There came to my mind thoughts of magnificent bridges of our time which accomplish this task with ease: beautiful Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco fame; sturdy Sydney, Australia, Harbour Bridge; and others in many lands.

In reality, we are all travelers—even explorers of mortality. We do not have the benefit of previous personal experience. We must pass over steep cliffs and turbulent waters in our own journey here on earth.

Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was the supreme builder of bridges for you, for me, for all humankind. He has built the bridges over which we must cross if we are to reach our heavenly home.

Jesus provided the Bridge of Obedience. He was an unfailing example of personal obedience as He kept the commandments of His Father.

The second bridge provided by the Master for us to cross is the Bridge of Service. We look to the Savior as our example of service. Although He came to earth as the Son of God, He humbly served those around Him. He blessed the sick; He caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, the deaf to hear. He even raised the dead to life.

Finally, the Lord provided us the Bridge of Prayer. He directed, “Pray always, and I will pour out my Spirit upon you, and great shall be your blessing” (D&C 19:38).

Jesus, the Bridge Builder, spanned that vast chasm we call death. “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). He did for us what we could not do for ourselves; hence, humankind can cross the bridges He built—into life eternal.

Things to Think About

  1. 1.

    What is a commandment to which you would like to be more obedient? How can Jesus Christ’s example help you?

  2. 2.

    Whom do you know that you can serve? Where can you get good ideas of how to help and serve that person?

  3. 3.

    What do you think the Lord meant when He directed us to “pray always”? What does it mean to pray in your heart?

  4. 4.

    How can knowing that Jesus Christ made eternal life possible for us help you feel closer to Him and Heavenly Father?

Illustration by Dan Burr