“Blessings of Pressing Forward,” New Era, January 2016, 10–11
Living as a faithful member of the Church brings amazing blessings. But that doesn’t mean life won’t occasionally be hard. Temptations, friends who are untrue, family challenges, you name it. A lot of things will try and pull you away from the covenant path.
That’s why this year’s Mutual theme, “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ” (2 Nephi 31:20), holds such a powerful message. When you press forward with steadfastness in Christ, staying true to your covenants, God can do marvelous things for you and through you. And He can help you feel hope, comfort, and peace at the same time.
It’s something the Prophet Joseph Smith knew very well. He was just 14 when he experienced the First Vision. As he knelt to pray in the Sacred Grove, he was attacked by an unseen force of such incredible power that it threatened to destroy him. Only by exerting all his power to call on God was he rescued and received the visit from the Father and the Son.
Later, when Joseph shared his experience, he was ridiculed by friends and local leaders (see Joseph Smith—History 1:15–17, 21–26). That persecution never stopped and eventually took his life 24 years later.
But Joseph pressed forward with hope, and he was happy to do so in the service of the Lord. As he remained steadfast in Christ and exercised faith to do what was right, God blessed and supported him. And He will do the same for you.
So press forward. Commit to live the gospel. Keep your eyes firmly fixed on the Savior. Have “a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.” “[Feast] upon the word of Christ.” Serve under the direction of the priesthood. Seek to be what God wants you to be.
As you press forward, making and keeping covenants on the path to eternal life, we testify you will find happiness.