A phenomenon of nature, change is constantly upon us. It happens for most of us a little at a time; just as the leaves turn from green to yellow-green, to gold and then to red; changing a little bit each day. One tree can have leaves with several different colors all on the same branch!
Early autumn in Brigham City, UT
As the trees make their final change the leaves begin to fall to the ground. This change prepares the trees for winter, a rest of sorts, and then comes an awakening in the spring.
It doesn’t happen all at once. During the seemingly dormant winter, the trees are still getting moisture from the earth. Gradually tiny buds of leaves form on the trees and beautiful blossoms appear as each tree awakens.
There are trees, however, that don’t seem to have such visible and outward changes—the Evergreen tree. No matter the season, its needles are forever green; a constant through all the seasons of change.
Colors of autumn in the canyon North-East of Inspiration Point near Willard, UT
Our lives often reflect the changes we see in nature. There are times when dramatic things and events occur in us, our families, our work, our beliefs and our education that are beautiful and colorful. New babies are born into your family several weeks early—priesthood blessings are given; you graduate with a Bachelor’s degree—you’ve accomplished your goal; your child’s team takes the state trophy home—their perseverance was rewarded; the missionaries come to your door and share the gospel of Jesus Christ—prayers are answered; you are offered a promotion at work—your wife to stay at home to nurture your young children.
Some of us are confident in our knowledge of who we are and we stand out at the edge of life leading those who follow. Others are timid and shy and blend in with the landscape. We don’t discover their full beauty until we travel deeper into the forest.
Sunrise on the eastern slope of Inspiration Point near Willard, UT
No matter the season of life we may be in, there are times when we feel deep despair—like all of our beautiful leaves have fallen and we are left bare to be whipped around by the cold winds of winter. Sometimes we are like the tree with the very last leaf clinging with all its might to the branch; not wanting to let go because we are afraid of what change may bring.
In 2 Nephi we read, “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”1
The last leaf falling—Brigham City, UT
We must remember that our lives can be renewed and blossom again after those disparaging times.
Like the Evergreen is in nature, the Savior is our constant in this world of change. We gain this knowledge as we read the scriptures. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Helaman said,
“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”2
We must focus on the Savior’s enduring guidance; each day finding nourishment and strength in His well of living water. As we focus on His guidance and draw upon the strength that it gives us, we can participate in all the changes of life without fear—with the reassurance that life will be renewed.
The Idaho Falls Temple dressed in autumn beauty—Idaho Falls, ID
1—2 Nephi 31:20
Photos taken by Sharee Wanner