Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Climbing Mountains and Other Such Things

Inner Struggle: Choosing English
"I'm sure you hear this all the time, but what can you do with an English degree?" I asked the guys at the information desk in front of me. I was at an on campus major fair trying to choose my future as I wandered the tables filling the ballroom.
They responded that English taught you a set of skills that could be used in a wide range of careers. It all just depended on how you chose to use the degree. I nodded my head and smiled, pretending to understand what that meant. It seemed so vague.
I would later repeat this same question to my creative writing professor who would give me a similar answer. And it still seemed vague to me.
English didn't come with a clear cut course. There wasn't an engineering job or a teaching position waiting for me at the end. Instead it opened up to a realm of unknown potential. A place where countless opportunities awaited (or so I was told) that I just simply had to find. These endless possibilities sounded exciting, but for a planner like me they also sounded terrifying.
I decided to try it, though. Despite my fears I took my first English class and took my first step down the road to the unknown. And I have yet to look back.

Scripture: All Things Testify
"I say unto you, I know there is a God . . . But, behold, I have all things as a testimony that these things are true; and ye also have all things as a testimony unto that they are true; and will ye deny them?" Alma 30:39,41
The first time I really remember reading this scripture was on a family vacation. It was a Sunday and my dad, wanting to set a spiritual tone before we headed into nearby Teton National Park, read the scripture to us. He talked about what it meant and challenged us to look for God's hand as we drove through the park.

The first thing I noticed that seemed to testify of God was the mountains. They were tall and majestic, tipped with snow as they projected up into the clouds. They were beautiful and mind boggling. What kind of power could possibly create such beauty? How was it possible that such giant peaks could exist? The answer was simple and complex all at the same time: God.
God was the reason why they existed. Through the use of natural laws, such as plate tectonics, they existed, but it was God that set those forces in motion. It was God who was in control and it was God who had made those mountains. They truly did testify of Him

My own picture of the Tetons

Wilderness Quest: Mountain Climber
"How much farther?" My younger sister called from behind me as I continued on the trail as it wound up the mountain.
"About half way," my older sister and I responded with a laugh. We had been telling her that the entire hike. None of us really knew how much farther we had left to hike, but we hoped we'd be to the end soon.
My sister gave a frustrated huff and kept going.
As we continued to hike our family frequently considered turning around. But each time we did someone would appear, coming down the trail, and tell us to keep going, that we were almost there. So we'd keep hiking awhile longer (only to realize that their definition of almost and our definition of almost greatly differed).
When we finally reached our destination my family and I were all exhausted. The promised two or so mile hike had turned out to be more like five, taking most of our day as we hiked over a mountain to reach the hidden lake on the other side.
My feet hurt and my neck was sunburned, but as I took at the Lord's creations, a clear lake surrounded by trees, I realized it was all worth it. Even if it took a little longer to reach than I thought it would.


  1. My favorite of your writings here is definitely the wilderness quest. I love the feeling it has and how relatable it is to anyone who has ever been on a hike that has lasted way longer than anticipated. It made me laugh without taking away from the personable feeling of the story itself. Each of your concluding sentences were a satisfying end to this short of a writing sample, so very well done there.

  2. I can totally relate to your first story aboht choosing the English major. I'm still struggling to figure out what I'll do with my English degree, ha ha. I also enjoyed your descriptions of the Tetons and hike, but my favorite part of those two essays were the mentionings of your family members. If you had more words to work with, I'd've loved to have seen even more about those relationships.