A few weeks ago we had a family vacation up to our family cabin. I have more memories and lessons learned at the cabin than almost any other place I can think of. The cabin sits at about 9500 ft in the Rockie mountains in northern Utah. During the winter months it is accessible only by snowmobile. My brother and I (in a moment of insanity) decided it would be fun to take ALL of our family up there… only 18 were able to make it… but it was still quite the task. Through some tender mercies of the Lord we were able to get everyone in and had a great time.
While we were there my (crazy) brother decided he wanted to shovel the deck off… as you can see in the picture to the right, that is no easy task. That balcony he is standing on is normally about 9 feet off the ground. All the snow from the roof falls on the balcony and then off the cabin. It was not a particularly heavy snow year, but there was at lest 5 1/2 feet of snow tall, 8 feet wide, and about 40 feet long (the deck goes for a while down the whole side of the cabin). I’m not mathematician, but I’m guessing that is around 1000 cubic feet of snow…
And it was wet and heavy in some spots…
And frozen solid in others…
I loved the idea of having the balcony for folks to go outside on and enjoy the beautiful view… but wow… I was already exhausted from getting everyone into the cabin (a post for another day).
But that didn’t discourage Brad. He went to work… shoveling… and digging… and shoveling… and digging. It didn’t take too long before he broke the shovel… but he found a new one… and kept digging. My 11 year old son joined him. I helped a little bit here and there… but mostly he did it himself. A few hours later he had cleared the deck except for a few spots for our cabin ‘fridge” and a bench for sitting. It was amazing, and a WONDERFUL place to go and sit while we were there.
There are so many lessons I could take from this experience, but the one that I find most powerful is how sometimes… every once in a while… there are people around us that are examples of the Savior in our lives. My brother was that example to me that day. There was a task that he saw that needed to get done. I looked at it and agreed it would be nice… but I could not do it. I could not. I was utterly exhausted. So Brad stepped in (which he did many times during this trip) and took the burden on himself. He shoveled the deck. He created a wonderful space for us to go and be together as a family. I’m sure he was tired, but he did not shrink from the task and he finished it for us.
Here is a great quote from M. Russell Ballard from the last general conference along the same lines
How grateful I am for a brother that sees a need and fills it, and for a Savior who did not shrink, but finished the job for us so we can have a heavenly home.
- Mosiah 2:17
- Matthew 25:40
- “Be Anxiously Engaged” – M. Russell Ballard