Stay in the Boat
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“Stay in the Boat,” Friend, Mar. 1999, inside front cover

Stay in the Boat

(Adapted from an April 1997 conference address. See Ensign, May 1997, page 70.)

He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved (Mark 13:13).

Early in our married life, when Sister Nelson and I lived in Minneapolis, we decided to enjoy a free afternoon with our two-year-old daughter. We went to one of Minnesota’s many beautiful lakes and rented a small boat. After rowing far from shore, we stopped to relax and enjoy the tranquil scene. Suddenly our little toddler lifted one leg out of the boat and started to go overboard, exclaiming, “Time to get out, Daddy!”

Quickly we caught her and explained: “No, dear, it isn’t time to get out; we must stay in the boat until it brings us safely back to land.” We had a hard time convincing her that leaving the boat early would lead to disaster.

As children of our Heavenly Father, we, too, may foolishly want to “get out of the boat” before we arrive at destinations He would like us to reach. The Lord teaches over and over that we are to endure (remain faithful) to the end.

What if Jesus had wavered in His commitment to do His Father’s will? His Atonement would not have been accomplished. The dead would not be resurrected. The blessings of eternal life would not be. But Jesus did endure. During His final hour, Jesus prayed to His Father, saying, “I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:4).

Early in His mortal ministry, Jesus became concerned about the commitment of His followers. He had just fed five thousand, then had taught them the doctrines of the kingdom. But some had murmured, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” (John 6:60). Even after He had fed them, many lacked the faith to endure with Him.

He turned to the twelve and said, “Will ye also go away?

“Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, … thou hast the words of eternal life.

“And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.” (John 6:67–69.)

When we, like Peter, know without a doubt that Jesus is the Christ, we will want to stay with Him. We will have the power to endure.

Illustrated by Robert A. McKay