Strengthened by a Hymn

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“Strengthened by a Hymn,” Liahona, Feb. 2011, 9

Strengthened by a Hymn

Khetiwe Ratsoma, South Africa

I decided to compete in a marathon with work colleagues in Western Cape, South Africa. I trained and worked very hard in preparation for the race.

On the day of the race, I woke up, read my scriptures, and prayed. I was nervous, but I also felt that I needed to trust in the Lord. I knew that if I did, He would provide sustenance and support.

We were required to walk or run 40 kilometers (25 miles). We started at 8:00 a.m. The weather was cool and slightly rainy, so at first I enjoyed the walk and was doing well. But when I was about 10 kilometers from the finish line, the race became very hard for me. I had muscle pulls in one leg, and I had some blisters. I wanted to quit. Then I began singing a hymn:

Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,

For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.

I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, …

Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.

(“How Firm a Foundation,” Hymns, no. 85)

Over and over the words of the hymn flooded my mind and lifted my feet, and I finished the race in the strength of the Lord’s hymn.

This experience taught me that the gospel of Jesus Christ is about endurance. It is like walking or running in a race. We get tired sometimes, rest, and walk again. Heavenly Father does not give up on us no matter how many times we fall; to Him what counts is how many times we stand up and walk again. His gospel is about finishing the race.