Enos had a struggle to know the Lord. Many people today do as well. I believe a key to gaining a testimony of Jesus Christ and the Restoration is to want to know the truth, as well as have an honest heart. An honest heart to me means that you will live the truth once you know the truth. To ask the Lord for a revelation with no intention of obedience is not right. The Lord wants us to be honest with him, to seek, to knock, ponder, and feel.
I have had experiences where I have prayed for something with all my heart and did not receive an answer until later, in some cases, many months later. Many times I have asked the Lord for something and the answer came in a way I did not expect! The key is that we continue to seek the Lord, with real intent to live in accordance to what he reveals unto us.
It is important that we do not give up. The poem entitled, “The Race” demonstrates what it means to not give up. When we want to know the Lord as Enos did, we are ready!
“Quit!” “Give up, you’re beaten!” they shout at me and plead,
“There’s just too much against you now, this time you can’t succeed.”
And as I started to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene.
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; now I remember well.
Excitement, sure, but also fear; it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope. Each thought to win the race
Or tie for first, if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they sped, as if they were on fire
To win, to be the hero there, was each boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular, his dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the lead and thought, “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field, across the shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arm flew out to brace,
And ‘mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.
So, down he fell, and with him, hope. He couldn’t win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished he’d disappear somehow.
But, as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit, that’s all.
And ran with all his mind and might to make up for the fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
His mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But, in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face.
That steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race!”
So, he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last; “If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running more. Three strikes, I’m out…why try?”
The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away.
So far behind, so error-prone, a loser all the way.
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought, “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But, then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “Get up and take your place.
You weren’t meant for failure here; get up and win the race.”
With borrowed will, “Get up,” it said, “You haven’t lost at all,
For winning is no more than this–to rise each time you fall.”
So up he rose to win once more. And with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been.
Still, he gave it all he had, and ran as though to win.
Three times he fallen, stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner, as he crossed the line, first place,
Head high and proud and happy; no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen crossed the finish line, last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad, he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me you won,” his father said, “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy helps me in my race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit!” “Give up, you’re beaten!” They still shout in my face,
But another voice within me says, “Get up and win the race!” 1
The following by C.S. Lewis also teaches the idea that we keep trying:
No amount of falls will undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up
It seems to me that Lewis’s intent in all of his writing, in all of his explication, was to aid the Christian in his or her daily living by pointing them to God’s love and redemptive power and warning them of Satan’s pitfalls. For this, good people everywhere ought to be grateful. Though the battle with Satan and his minions is a deadly serious one, and at times may seem hopeless, Lewis tells us we need not despair. In one of his letters, Lewis proffers one of his greatest statements of hope. No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, & the clean clothes are in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present to us: it is the sign of His presence. 2
1. Dee Groberg, The Race: Life’s Greatest Lesson, Time Warner Book Group, 2004.
2. C. S. Lewis, Collected Letters, Volume II, p. 507. See also Andrew C. Skinner and Robert L. Millet, C. S. Lewis, the Man and His Message: An LDS Perspective [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1999], 57.