“It’s Your Turn,” Friend, Feb. 2015, 12–13
Last year, people all over the world watched athletes from 89 countries compete in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Ten of these athletes were members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Three of them even earned medals!
Let me tell you about Noelle Pikus-Pace, one of those Latter-day Saint athletes. Her event was the skeleton. Imagine traveling headfirst with your face inches above the ground down a winding, icy track at 90 miles (145 km) an hour, all on a small sled! In the Olympics, Noelle had only four minutes—four 60-second runs—to win her medal.
For Noelle, this was not the first time she’d tried for the Olympics. In 2006 she broke her leg and couldn’t compete in the Olympics. In 2010 she missed winning a medal by one-tenth of a second. But she didn’t give up. She trained for hours, days, weeks, and months. In the 2014 Olympics, her runs were flawless! She won the silver medal!
Christopher Fogt was a member of the team that won the bronze medal in the four-man bobsled race. He could have given up after a terrible crash in the 2010 Olympics. But like Noelle, he kept trying. And he too won a medal!
The Latter-day Saint snowboarder from Australia, Torah Bright, surprised the world when she noticed that the American snowboarder Kelly Clark was nervous after a bad first run. Instead of focusing on her own performance, Torah hugged Kelly until Kelly could calm down. Because of this simple act of kindness from Torah, each girl got to stand on the winners’ podium. Torah won a silver medal and Kelly won a bronze. If you have a friend or family member who needs encouragement, help them too.
Your eternal life is much like these athletes’ experience. As a son or daughter of God, you lived with Him. You prepared to come to this earth for just a short time. Your life on earth is like the four minutes were for Noelle. Your actions here will decide if you win the prize of eternal life.
Noelle, Christopher, and Torah had to take certain steps to be Olympic athletes. You have certain checkpoints to help you return to Heavenly Father. These are things like baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, priesthood ordinations, temple ordinances, and taking the sacrament each week.
To help you reach your checkpoints, you need to have daily prayer and scripture study and attend church. Obey the commandments, keep the covenants you’ve made, and follow the Lord’s standards. If you need to repent, remember the miracle of the Atonement. Heavenly Father will not leave you on your own.
Remember, you have prepared for your time on earth. This is your moment to perform. Your time is now!