The North Side
Sister Christine Masters Full Time Missionary
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
I remember as a child experiencing the north wind blowing at my grandmother’s ranch. How could I identify it as the north wind? Believe me, there was no mistaking that wind. It was the fiercest, most frightening, most howling wind imaginable. What is it about the “north” of anything?
Have you ever heard that the best timber grows on “the north side of the mountain”?
Why is that? Well, on the north side the snow falls more frequently, the wind blows more savagely, and the temperature is exceedingly colder. These harsh weather conditions combine to create toughness in the timber.
There is not one of us who has not lived on “the north side of the mountain” at various times in our mortal lives. Our “north side” could be a disabled child, a terminal or chronic disease, a rebellious teenager, a bitter divorce. Whatever our sorrow, hurt, resentment, anger, or disappointment, there is a path that can and will lead us to inner harmony, reconciliation, forgiveness, and peace.
Dieter F. Uchtdorf counsels the development of an overall spirit, disposition, or attitude of gratitude both in both good and challenging times. While it is easy to be grateful when things are going well, one might question the possibility of being grateful in times of our deepest sorrow, in times of seemingly insurmountable challenges, in times of brutal tragedies. Being grateful in such times does not mean we are happy with our situation, but it does mean that we look beyond them to focus on Our Savior Jesus Christ and His example.
With God’s help, gratitude can be a constant in our lives. Gratitude can be an integral part of our inner self, our personality, our spiritually. Remember the gratitude Our Savior displayed throughout His mortal ministry to His Father in Heaven. His gratitude was constant during the wonderful times of healings and miracles as well as in the agonizing times of Gethsemane and Golgotha.
When we are grateful, our perception is widened and our spiritual vision is cleared. Our love for God, our fellowman, and everything in God’s creation is deepened in a profound way that may surprise us. A glorious promise is made to us that those “who receive all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto them, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” Doctrine and Covenants 78:19
Yes, it is true that the fiercest wind comes from the north, that the best timber comes from the north side of the mountain, and that our “north side of the mountain” will reveal our true self, the best within us.
Let us plant our feet firmly on gospel sod. Let us be blessedly assured that, as we are faithful, our tears of loss and isolation will be replaced with abundance of joy “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” Luke 6:38