To prevent a boat or ship from drifting aimlessly or perilously with the current, sailors drop anchor. This heavy object holds the watercraft in place until the crew is ready to get under way again or until a danger has passed.
In the gospel, Jesus Christ is our anchor to which we hold. Members of the Church who feel they may be drifting along aimlessly with the current need to know they can secure themselves to the gospel anchor in safety.Danger signs may be all around us, but if we do nothing about them, we may be putting ourselves in unnecessary peril. We need to steer a course toward eternal life. The journey may take us in many directions, but, ultimately, if we continue to progress in the gospel, the way opens to that straight and narrow path of discipleship.
Once we're on that path it becomes easier to help others.
The Savior counseled Simon Peter: "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." (Luke 22:32.) The Savior expects us, once we are converted, to endure to the end and to help others along the way. If we begin to feel apathetic about our involvement in the Church or our role in it, we could be in danger of scuttling ourselves into inactivity. Before that occurs we need to realize what holds us to our Anchor, the Lord. Here, like the links in an anchor chain, are some questions to ask ourselves.
- Do I consistently study the gospel on my own, including daily contact with the scriptures and not just rely on my attendance at Church meetings?
- Do I seek opportunities to help others, or do I wait to be assigned to render service?
- Do I, on my own, visit the sick, the elderly and the lonely, or do I wait to be asked?
- Do I try to befriend others even when I am not assigned as their home teacher or visiting teacher?
- Do I seek every opportunity to share my testimony with others or are my missionary efforts limited to just organized activities?
- Do I teach my family the gospel, or do I rely on auxiliary teachers and leaders to do this for me?
- Do I spend time with my family outside of prescribed Church activities such as family home evening?
- Do I pray in private as well as in family and Church settings?
- Do I avoid rushing my prayers and allow time to sincerely talk with the Lord?
- When I need to make a decision, do I draw upon personal resources first and then seek a confirmation from the Spirit of my decision, or do I let others make decisions for me?
- Do I act upon the counsel of living prophets to attend the temple regularly, attend Church meetings, and keep the commandments?
As we feel confident that our own testimony is secure, we then are able to reach out to others who may be struggling to keep contact with the Lord. We find that working together helps us in our own journey in the gospel.
"Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up." (Eccl. 4:9-10.)
One way to assist others is to accept callings in the Church. As we fulfill and magnify our callings, render selfless service to others and follow the promptings of the Spirit, we not only strengthen our own spiritual roots, but also are more able to strengthen others who may be in distress.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the gospel of sharing. It is one way we emulate the Savior, by serving and striving to lift one another.
The Apostle Paul said, "I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting." (1 Tim. 2:8.)
We can strengthen and lift one another with holy hands.
Moroni exhorts: "Arise, O Jerusalem; yea, and put on thy beautiful garments, O daughter of Zion; and strengthen thy stakes and enlarge thy borders forever, that thou mayest no more be confounded, that the covenants of the Eternal Father . . . may be fulfilled." (Moro. 10:31.)
When we become firmly anchored in faith, we are able to reach out to others who, during times of trial or hardship, need a steadying hand to help bring peace to troubled hearts, hope to burdened minds and strength to faltering feet.