In the olden times, the Lord commanded the prophet Noah to build an ark to protect his family and the animals from a terrible flood, the brother of Jared to build a barge on which to cross the sea, and Nephi to build a ship to cross the ocean to the Promised Land. During their journey, they all encountered a rough sea. They were tossed to and fro, and swallowed up by the waves.
Their journey to the promised land could be likened to our journey back to our heavenly home, and the ship to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our journey does not include actual waves of the sea, but waves of challenges and trials that test us to our core. Some are the result of unwise choices, some are consequences of disobedience, some are the result of others’ actions, and sometimes they are simply a part of the experience of life.
When those trials and challenges strike, are we going to stay on the ship of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Are we going to stay committed to the covenants we made at baptism? Are we going to continue holding to our faith as we face the trials of this life? If we choose to exercise faith in the Lord and trust that the ship of the gospel will eventually help us reach the promised land we have so longed for, we will be protected from the harsh waves of temptation and spiritual chaos just as Noah, Nephi, and the brother of Jared, were protected on their ships from the unforgiving waters of the sea.
The gospel of Jesus Christ provides protection from false traditions, beliefs, and concepts. It teaches us truths about our divine identity, the individual identities of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the Plan of Salvation, the necessity of the Fall of Adam, the need for physical death, and many other precious things. It provides comfort and understanding in times of confusion. It helps us to know God better and draws us closer to Him.
If we ever find ourselves thinking of jumping off the ship to escape the terrible storms of life, we need to recognize that the storms are harder to deal with outside the ship. Without the gospel of Jesus Christ, the light that guides us on our journey, the Holy Ghost, will slowly fade and mists of confusion will gradually cloud our understanding and decisions. Outside the ship, we can more easily be swallowed up by the waves of trials.
Staying on the ship doesn’t mean our lives will be easy. Nephi faced many trials while on their ship. He was bound by his elder brothers and almost thrown into the sea. We will still be tested in this life, but staying on the ship will help us see through a spiritual lens the lessons that God is trying to teach us. May we always have the firm resolve to hold to our faith and stay on the ship of the gospel no matter the storms that come into our lives.