94946_000_010We’d come through darkness, holding onto an iron rod. Now a scene of great beauty lay before us. Sound familiar?
Everything that summer seemed to be a dream or some kind of miracle. My awareness of how much families and gospel principles mean to me came so clear one week in July. This week wasn’t a normal one for the Clarks, Carters, and Tanners. It was an unforgettable family reunion in Hawaii.
In Hawaii there are many great places to go and things to see. My fondest memory is of Diamond Head because it not only opened my eyes to the beauty of the island of Oahu, but also opened my eyes to eternal beauty.
The entire hike was a quarter of a mile long, but you’d never know it the way it seemed to stretch. When my cousins and I began the hike, all we could see was a path that seemed to last a lifetime. We reached an area where some people were stopped along the path saying, “I can’t believe we are doing this. I really see no point in going on any farther.” After I heard this, I began to doubt myself, but I still kept walking.
Next, we reached this long, dark tunnel. My cousins and I went inside. We could hardly see. The only way we could get through this dark tunnel was to hold to an iron railing. We became excited when we could see, in the distance, the end of this long tunnel. We were so happy because we thought our hike was over.
When we reached the end of the tunnel, one of my cousins screamed. There before our eyes was a flight of steps carved out of the mountain. All I could think was, I can’t believe I am actually doing this.
Then my uncle turned to me and said quietly, “I’ve been here before. I know that it is worth it.” As I walked up the steps with aching legs, I thought about his gentle words, “I know that it is worth it.”
When we finally reached the top of the crater, I was completely overwhelmed at the sight, a panoramic view of the island.
As I stood there, I thought how the hike was like our earthly lives. We begin by seeing how far we have to go to become like Christ. We are overwhelmed, but we keep going forward. At times we may listen to people say, “I don’t see the point of going farther.” Even then, we continue through the darkness holding the iron rod. We may think our trials are over, and we find we only have more challenges ahead. We press on, yielding to the words, “You can make it. It is worth it.” When we finally reach our goal, we can look back and know it was worth it.
Since hiking Diamond Head, I have realized our challenges can make us stronger. I have since centered my goals around more spiritual things, such as attending early-morning seminary every day. We can all succeed if we have the faith and courage to keep going through the hard times in our lives.