Chicken Soup for the Latter-Day Saint Soul: Stories Celebrating the Faith and Family of Latter-Day Saints by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Peg Fugal, Sherm Fugal |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Chicken Soup for the Latter-Day Saint Soul: Stories Celebrating the Faith and Family of Latter-Day Saints

Chicken Soup for the Latter-Day Saint Soul: Stories Celebrating the Faith and Family of Latter-Day Saints

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by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Peg Fugal, Sherm Fugal

In celebration of the 175th anniversary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sherm and Peg Fugal, publishers of the million-selling Especially for Mormons series, have edited this, the first nationally released collection of LDS stories and cartoons, written by saints from every corner of the world.

You'll find sweet, funny and thought-provoking


In celebration of the 175th anniversary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sherm and Peg Fugal, publishers of the million-selling Especially for Mormons series, have edited this, the first nationally released collection of LDS stories and cartoons, written by saints from every corner of the world.

You'll find sweet, funny and thought-provoking stories on faith, family, gratitude, holidays, miracles, missionaries, overcoming obstacles, prayer and serving others: stories that you’ll want to read and use yourself, then share with family and friends.

"Read these stories and you'll understand how the LDS Church became the fastestgrowing Christian religion in the world, the fourth largest church in America, and the second largest church in the American west."

—Maren Mouritsen, former dean of students, Columbia University; retired assistant to the president, Brigham Young University

"This is what we need: inspiring stories from fellow saints from all over the world with whom we share not only the restored gospel and Church, but also the same worldly challenges."

—Matt Kennedy, publisher, LDS Living magazine; vice president/marketing, Deseret Book

"I have known and worked with both the Fugals, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen for years. What a brilliant combination of talent and ideas."

—Robert G. Allen, bestselling author of Nothing Down and the One-Minute Millionaire

Product Details

Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date:
Chicken Soup for the Soul Series
Product dimensions:
5.78(w) x 8.48(h) x 0.73(d)

Read an Excerpt


. . . According to your faith be it unto you.
Matt. 9:29

To Build the Members' Testimonies Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
D&C 4:2

I grew up in western New York and attended the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra several times during my youth before meeting with LDS missionaries, listening to their message and joining the Church. Less than a year later, I moved to Utah to attend Brigham Young University, where I met and married my husband and where we made our home. Whenever we return to western New York to visit my family, we always visit Palmyra and the Church sites there.

After one particularly trying period, my husband offered to take me on a vacation and asked where I'd like to go. 'Home,' I answered. Home to me was still western New York—where I grew up, where I joined the Church and where the Church was restored.

For many years, the Church historic sites in Palmyra remained very much the same. Then when President Gordon B. Hinckley became prophet, he mounted a campaign to more completely restore the various Palmyra Church sites.

The original Smith log cabin where Moroni appeared to Joseph was reconstructed. The Smith family frame house was restored to its original design. The barn and shop across the road from the house were reconstructed. The road was moved. Instead of one path leading into the Sacred Grove, several paths were created that wound through the grove of trees, ending in the field behind the log cabin. The Grandin Print Shop was expanded. A ­temple was built. Missionary housing was constructed. The old stake center was given to the city, and a new stake center was built near the temple. The old visitor's center at the Hill was replaced with a brand-new one. The Hill Cumorah Pageant was improved. The Martin Harris home was purchased, and a park was built adjacent to it. More work was done at the Peter Whitmer Farm in nearby Fayette. Indeed, what used to take only a few hours to visit now takes a couple of days. (And it's not just Palmyra: the Church is busily improving nearly all its historic sites.)

Because I go home almost every year, and visit Palmyra every time, I have watched with great interest all the new and additional work being done there over the years.

I remember the first time I approached the newly reconstructed Smith family log cabin. Tears streamed down my face as I contemplated what had transpired in that little log house in the western New York wilderness so many years ago. When I entered the upper room where Moroni had appeared to Joseph, I felt the Spirit more strongly than I have ever felt it in my life.

I remember when President Hinckley announced that the 100th temple in the Church would be the Palmyra Temple. I ran to tell my husband but could not, because I was weeping with joy so much that I couldn't speak. Once I calmed down, I called my LDS brother and sister who still lived in western New York at the time, and we cried with joy together. We never thought we would have a temple so close to our childhood home, let alone in our beloved Palmyra.
I remember the first time I approached the temple site while it was still under construction. Tears welled up in my eyes as I contemplated the significance of a House of the Lord in the very place where Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ first appeared in this dispensation, in the very place from which the Saints had once been driven. Surely Joseph was smiling from on high.

I remember the first time my husband and I attended a session at the new Palmyra Temple. I began crying when we pulled into the parking lot, and I didn't stop until we departed.

Western New York is my childhood home. Palmyra is my spiritual touchstone.

Once when visiting the newly restored Smith family frame house, I asked the missionary conducting the tour how many of their visitors were LDS. 'Ninety-five percent,' he answered.

'Only five percent are nonmembers?' I asked incredulously, thinking surely all the new work was meant to attract more nonmember visitors, more missionary leads.
'Why would the Church go to such lengths for members?' I asked, assuming members already know the truth and don't need all this to confirm it. I was surprised by the missionary's answer.

'President Hinckley said,' he answered with a knowing smile, 'it's to build the members' testimonies.'
I was dumbstruck.

I come here to shore up my testimony almost every year, I thought. Of course, other members do the same—and, of course, a Prophet of the Lord would know that.

During his presidency, President Hinckley has not only made every effort to restore to its original state every Church historic site in Palmyra, but also many other Church historic sites throughout the country 'to help build the members' testimonies.'

When we walk the paths in the Sacred Grove, the faith with which Joseph approached Heavenly Father in prayer is almost tangible.

When we visit the log cabin, the faith with which Joseph listened to and followed Moroni's instructions is almost tangible.

When we tour the frame home, the faith with which the Smith family supported Joseph in his great work is almost tangible.

When we explore the Grandin Print Shop, the faith with which Joseph printed the book that would change the world is almost tangible.

When we enter the Palmyra Temple, the faith with which that temple was built is almost tangible.

In feeling the tremendous faith once exercised in Palmyra (and other Church historic sites sacred to us), our hearts swell, our minds expand, our faith grows, our testimonies strengthen—so we, too, can participate in this great work with all of our heart, mind, might and strength—as we commemorate the 175th anniversary of its ­restoration.

Peg Fugal

The Iron Rod
. . . They came forth and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press forward through the mist of darkness, clinging to the rod of iron, even until they did come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree.
1 Ne. 8:24

Like many typical girls raised in Utah, I came from a Mormon family, lived in a mostly Mormon neighborhood and attended girls' camp every summer. After all, it was the most exciting thing the Young Women did all year. It was always memorable and spiritual, but one year was especially so.

That year it was stake camp, and was held in a small area in Providence, Utah. It wasn't necessarily a campground—just a sizable piece of property that belonged to a farmer and that happened to include a lake and a mountain. It was only my second year at camp, and it promised to be a fun one.

Girls' camp wasn't real camping. Many girls brought mattresses and rigged up showers on trees. Most wore makeup, cute clothes and shoes that were never intended for hiking. We usually had a leader that did all the cooking and a priesthood leader who supervised, chopped wood for the fires and set up the tents. We girls spent our time doing crafts, chatting and eating the snacks our mothers packed for us.

This year was different. Before camp we were all forced to certify in first aid, which involved passing a written test administered by a registered nurse. Then when we got to camp we were told we would be sharing tents by age groups, not just in groups of friends, and we would have to pitch the tents ourselves.

There were about six of us Mia Maids, and we were to sleep in a gray, eight-man tent. Our tent was old and had no instructions, but we finally figured out how to pitch it after awhile. We were pretty sure it wasn't supposed to sag like it did, but we were tired and hungry so we quit. No big deal, right? After all, a leader could fix it for us later.

We went to see how the food was coming along and to our horror, there was none. We were told someone needed to chop the firewood while others got the meal started. Thankfully, one girl had spent some time on a farm and knew how to wield an axe. Otherwise, we all might have been forced to subsist on the gummy worms stashed in our backpacks.

As the week wore on, we all eventually got the hang of things. Our food was burned, but thanks to all the work we were doing we were hungry enough to eat it. We were required to actually attend classes and were being tested regularly on the stuff we learned. Miraculously, our tent didn't collapse on us, although we never could get it zipped up. We slept with our blankets over our heads to keep the mosquitoes away.

The last night of girls' camp was traditionally testimony meeting night. For most of us, it was the one time of year that we spilled our spiritual guts and tentatively admitted we believed in the gospel. Usually, it was an all-night affair with lots of tears and hugs. And, not surprisingly, it was the highlight of the week.

This year, though, like everything else, it was going to be different. After a full day of hiking, a burned dinner and some lazy campfire conversation, everyone was summoned to the base of the nearby mountain. We were told not to bring flashlights or water—just ourselves. We all tromped over and began to sing hymns; the last campers arrived just as the sun was setting. Someone offered a prayer, and we were divided into groups of eight and assigned a leader with a flashlight.

From behind a tree someone produced a stack of PVC pipes spray-painted to look like metal. We were told to proceed in absolute silence and to hold on to the 'iron rod.' If we let go, odds were that our leader—the only person who could see in the dark and knew the path—would lose us. We all rolled our eyes, snickered and grabbed on.

The various groups of girls were sent off on the trail at staggered times. Our group was one of the last, and even though we knew we weren't really alone, by the time we set off, all of us had a tight grip on the pipe. Our leader started on the trail as stars began to pop out of the night sky. We could see small pockets of light ahead of us on the trail, but that was it. As the darkness increased, so did our solemnity.

We hiked silently for a while, crossed a stream and stopped for a rest. Suddenly, a group of young men from our stake burst out of the trees. They asked us what we were doing, where we were going—and then invited us to go with them instead—tempting us with a warm fire, food and games. We girls kept silent and held on to our length of pipe, absolutely confused.

The longer we stayed silent, the angrier the young men got. They started to call us names and make fun of us. Just as we were about to burst, our leader tugged on the rod and signaled us to begin hiking again. The boys' voices died out after awhile, and we picked up the pace a little bit.

After hiking a little longer, we stopped for another rest. As we caught our breath, a light turned on. In its wash stood one of our leaders, who smiled and told a story about how she had withstood peer pressure. She testified about God's love for us, of his plan for us, and sent us on our way.

We continued holding on to our rod and followed our guide around twists and turns in the trail. Sometimes we could hear other groups and voices in the darkness calling out, but mostly we hiked in silence. With each rest we took, we were greeted with another set of visitors. Some were good stops where we were encouraged. But there were also more provoking stops—like the older girls smoking and drinking and saying that we should, too. It was our body, they said, and we weren't hurting anybody else.

Finally, at one stop one of our leaders came out and offered us a comfy seat, some hot cocoa and some chocolates. She said it was okay to give up and take a rest. No one really cared what we did. What did something like this matter in the long run anyway? It was okay to give up, she told us. At this point we had been hiking for quite some time, and we were tired and hungry. One girl in the group spoke up, 'Are you sure? Guys, the chocolates just look so good, and I am so tired!' We all kept silent.

She looked around. The leader stepped closer and held out the temptation. The girl reached out her hand to take a piece, only to discover the candy was just out of reach. We all watched intently. If she really wanted the candy, she would have to let go of the rod. There, in the moonlight, was the basic question of agency. Each of us, like that girl, would have to choose between holding on to the rod or letting go and taking our chances with an easy reward. Our friend wavered for a few moments and our guide began to tug on the rod.

'Maybe we don't have too far left to go,' the girl concluded, leaving the chocolates behind.

Throughout the hike, we were faced with choices. It wasn't enough that we were trudging up a mountain in the dark and cold. We had to constantly recommit to trusting our stake leaders and the plan they had laid out for us.

As it happened, the girl was right, and we didn't have too much farther to go. For a while we had been able to see a distant glow that we hoped was getting closer. Then, I thought I heard music and voices. As we rounded the last bend, a stunning sight greeted our tired eyes. There was a huge, glowing tree right in front of us. It was surrounded by lanterns and people dressed in white—to our tired eyes, they looked like angels. As we walked closer to the tree, we began to see each individual light twinkling and bouncing off little crystals hanging like dewdrops from the branches. The 'angels,' who were our bishops and parents, came to greet us and led us over to comfy chairs and blankets (and snacks!), all the while congratulating us on our successful journey.

Of course, my parents were there, dressed in white and happy to see me. But the grins on their faces were nothing compared to what I was feeling inside. After that strenuous hike, the joy I felt at seeing my family and the sweet serenity of our surroundings was too much for me. I thought my heart was going to burst. I had no idea the Spirit could fill me so completely. I was full of Lehi's 'exceedingly great joy.'

When the last group of Young Women arrived, everyone was gathered together for a testimony meeting. It was like no other. Instead of the usual tumultuous and emotional teenaged testimonies, we shared quiet convictions of peace and joy. As each bore her testimony, a leader pulled a crystal off the tree. Each was on its own chain and magnified the lights surrounding us. We were told the crystals served as a tangible reminder of the light and Spirit we had experienced that night. We were challenged to keep that light by holding to the course the Lord had laid before us, always remembering the sweetness of the reward that awaited us.
I wore that plastic crystal for months, until it was lost in my incredibly messy room. Through my difficult first year of middle school, I wore it under my shirt and felt it whenever I was upset. At those times, I remembered with fondness my happiness at seeing my family and their delight at seeing that I had clung to the iron rod. For one brief night that summer, I had felt celestial joy—and I knew it was something I wanted to feel again.

Laura Craner

My Heart Is Telling Me For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he . . .
Prov. 23:7

I was visiting my old ward for fast and testimony meeting; my heart was bursting as I told the following story:
Our house was a mess, and it was time to clean! I told my five-year-old son, James, that he needed to help me clean. He told me he didn't like to clean. I told him that I didn't like to clean, either (that's why it was a mess!), but that we all needed to help out. He started giving me some attitude, so I told him to go to his room and that he could come out when he was ready to help. He stomped off, and I started cleaning.

About two minutes later, James returned, looked at me, and said, 'I'm going to help you clean. Do you know why?'
I rolled my eyes and asked, 'No, why?'
He said, 'Well, my brain is telling me that I don't like to clean, but my heart is telling me I should anyway.'

I explained to him that was what choosing the right felt like. Sometimes in life we have to do what our heart tells us to do instead of what our brain is telling us to do.

The next Sunday a dear friend pulled me aside and told me of some unfortunate events that had occurred in their home. Over the previous week, one of their children had become suicidal. At one breaking moment, the mother told her daughter they both needed to pray. Each went to her room and prayed. The daughter returned a few minutes later and the mother asked her how she felt. With tears in her eyes, she told her mother that all she could think about was what I had said in my testimony. She said, 'My brain is telling me that I don't want to live, but my heart is telling me I should anyway.'

I cried at the thought that a simple story could have such impact on a struggling teenager. I am happy that the Spirit prompted me to tell that little story, and I'm even happier that she was listening.

Annaliese Enderle

From Wings to the Temple And it came to pass that I beheld that the rod of iron, which my father had seen, was the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life; which waters are a representation of the love of God; and I also beheld that the tree of life was a representation of the love of God.
1 Ne. 11:25

Growing up in an LDS family doesn't always guarantee you'll listen to everyone's counsel. As a teenager, I definitely was not a listener—and I rode on the wings of other people's testimonies. That continued until I was an adult, when I decided I was tired of riding and wanted to be the pilot. It was only after a series of not-so-pleasant events and my friend's cutting words about my marriage that I decided to take a serious look at what I really wanted from life.

I began a quest for my own knowledge of the truth through much prayer and scripture reading. For the first time in my life the scriptures were no longer 'Greek' to me. Not only did I understand them, but the words came to life as they played out each scene in my head. My heart swelled as I read and finally had a confirmation of their truthfulness. I was now the pilot, and I longed to soar to everyone and share this great treasure I had found!

That experience set my compass on a whole new life course. After some coaxing from my mom, I attended the temple again to perform baptisms with the youth. This turned out to be another pivotal event in my life. As I prepared to go to the temple I could feel Satan trying to get his hooks into me through the ways of the world. I did my best to avoid anything 'evil,' even if it was just in appearance. Listening to uplifting music during the seven-hour drive to the temple helped promote the Spirit. As we got closer to the temple I anxiously looked for glimpses of Moroni. As we rounded the corner I saw him, high above the temple, shimmering in the sunlight, nobly grasping his trumpet. Tears filled my eyes as I remembered being at the temple as a youth. I was so grateful to be near the ­temple and feel the Spirit there once again.

It was the greatest feeling to be at the temple, but I ­literally felt like my heart had been ripped out when I saw all of the endowed chaperones (all of the adults other than me) leave to change into their temple clothes. There I sat in the temple waiting room—and even though the room was filled with youth, I felt alone. I felt like I had been left behind or left out. It was something like being picked last for a sports game in elementary school, but a hundred times worse! Avoiding eye contact was the only way I could keep from bursting into tears. At the time I didn't understand why I was feeling this way. I was at the temple! You're not supposed to feel like that at the temple! The rest of my day at the temple was filled with the Spirit and was awesome as I spent it performing baptisms and ­confirmations.

A few weeks after my temple trip, I had a vivid dream that reminded me of those moments in the temple waiting room. In my dream I stood in a dark, smoky room. In the middle was an iron rod that ran from one end of the room through an opening at the other end of the room. On one side of the rod people were gathered around a bar—drinking, smoking and watching those of us by the iron rod. As I held on to the rod and walked toward the door, I saw people from my ward, dressed in white, standing at the door. I was happy to see several recognizable faces. I then noticed that the people around me holding on to the rod were also dressed in white and were allowed to go through the door.

When I reached the door and looked through it, I could see the temple in the distance. The rod led all the way to the temple, and along its path people in white were walking toward the temple doors. There were families. There were couples. There were friends. As I drew closer to the door I could feel the love of all who passed through it, but then I realized I couldn't go through the door. Those who did had a temple recommend. I didn't. I again experienced the feelings of being left out and alone.

When I woke up and began thinking about my dream, I remembered the way I felt in the waiting room at the temple. During the next few months, I had several other dreams with similar themes. Those dreams put into motion the necessary steps I needed to take to receive my own endowment.

When I began working to achieve that goal, I was warned that the journey would not be an easy one. Many obstacles stood in my way—especially as the time drew closer for me to go. This change in me was difficult for my then-inactive husband, and it caused a lot of contention in our marriage. Additionally, I suffered a miscarriage; the engine in our family car cracked, leaving us with a small pickup truck to transport our family of four; our finances were very limited, and the money I had set aside to purchase garments had to be used to buy special shampoos and sprays when our children contracted lice. I lived by the saying, 'I never said it would be easy. I only said it would be worth it.'

Despite the obstacles, I continued to have faith and refused to give up. Four months after the youth temple trip, I once again took the seven-hour trip and returned to the temple—but this time I didn't feel left out. I finally belonged. I had a temple recommend to receive my endowment.

I received many blessings through my experience. The day before I left for the temple, a check arrived in the mail from a great friend who wanted to be there with me but couldn't. She sent the check to help with the cost of purchasing garments. She never knew the money I had set aside was gone! After attending the temple I became pregnant and gave birth to our third son on the Fourth of July. We were able to purchase a minivan to accommodate our growing family. My inactive husband slowly began attending church again (when I requested this in lieu of gifts for every occasion), and one day decided to start wearing his garments, too!
Although I continue to experience obstacles, I find strength through faith and a growing testimony of the gospel. I know if I had continued riding on the wings of others and had not become the pilot, I would have fallen off—and my parachute at the time was full of holes!

Kirsten Fitzgerald

The Faith of a Child Behold, verily, thus saith the Lord unto you: In consequence of evils and designs which do and will exist in the hearts of conspiring men in the last days, I have warned you, and forewarn you, by giving unto you this word of wisdom by ­revelation.
D&C 89:4

Having been raised in a home with an alcoholic, I saw firsthand the problems alcohol can cause in a family. My father was a minister and never apologized for his drinking. In fact, some of his best drinking buddies were members of our own congregation. My parents divorced when I was just seven, and my father met his next wife in a bar. My father died before his fifty-second birthday from complications related to his drinking, and I wondered if there was any group of people that didn't believe in drinking alcohol.

My daughter and I were introduced to the gospel by a neighbor in 1978. One of the things that attracted me to the Church was the Word of Wisdom. I lived next door to my bishop and knew that he not only professed to live the Word of Wisdom, but he really did live it.

As we listened to the missionary discussions, I had a strong impression that we were where we needed to be—and, more specifically, that I was being given this opportunity so that my daughter would be raised in the gospel. At the time it wasn't so much about me as it was about her. The gospel came so easily to her, and it seemed apparent that she was one of those choice spirits reserved for these latter days.

All these feelings were confirmed as time went on. She couldn't wait to go to Young Women. She faithfully attended seminary every day. She received good grades in school, and we often referred to her as our 'perfect child.' She was a wonderful example in every way, and while I had thought I was there to teach her, she was always teaching me.

Because she was totally immersed in school and Church activities, we bought her a used Ford Mustang. We trusted her to give rides to friends once she had some practical driving experience, but we learned that even if you're responsible, there simply are things you can't foresee ­happening.

One night she pulled onto an ice-covered driveway to pick up a friend. She left the car running and waited, but the girl didn't come out. She finally got out of the car to go up to the door, but as she did, she fell, and one leg went under the car. The car began to slip on the ice and rolled over her leg. She wasn't hurt—and, in fact, was able to get back in the car and drive home.

When she arrived home and told us what happened, I marveled at how she hadn't been hurt—or killed. She said, 'Mom, it's because I obey the Word of Wisdom.' Her words were spoken with such complete faith. Whatever reason she had been preserved, she knew the Lord was watching over her. She understood the principle and the promise.

The Word of Wisdom has been a definite blessing in our lives. There was never a moment's worry about our daughter drinking and driving; never the concern of her drinking and losing the ability to make the right decisions. Our daughter knew from an early age that if she was faithful, the Lord would protect her. And He did.

Joyce Moseley Pierce

Three Wheels of Hope And see that ye have faith, hope, and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.
Alma 7:24

I had an unusual dream where, as an adult woman, I was trying to ride a child-sized tricycle. I was in a race of some kind, and was trying to balance the awkward little tricycle down a narrow, dark street. The street was a familiar one from my childhood hometown of Charlestown, Massachusetts.

People were hanging out of their apartment windows on both sides of the narrow street screaming down at me, 'Just give up, you fool! You'll never make it with that little bike.'

I kept telling them repeatedly, 'All I have is this three-wheeled tricycle.' I struggled to steer and kept tipping to the side, but I kept my balance and ignored the people who were mocking me as I slowly pedaled by.

Then at one point a man left his home and ran out into the middle of the street. He got right into my face, ­forcefully screaming and mocking me. He raised his hands over his head and yelled, 'YOU'LL NEVER MAKE IT, YOU FOOL. JUST GIVE IT UP!' He continued screaming repeated words of discouragement right in my face.

'This bike will take forever at the speed you're going!' he screamed.

I boldly replied, 'I must push forward; I must get to the finish line!' With great strength, I awkwardly pedaled past him and ignored all his mocking words, leaving him and his words behind.

I held on as tightly as possible and steered straight ahead with great determination. I had unshakable faith that I would make it! I also knew it didn't matter how long it would take, because I knew it was worth it.

At that point, the dream came to an abrupt end.

I awoke on the chilly November morning and re­membered the dream very clearly. I also remembered that the night before I was feeling discouraged—but now I felt happy and peaceful, and my spirit felt alive with hope. The dream had given me inspiration to struggle on, no matter how difficult life gets.

I dressed quickly for work and reflected on the dream nonstop until I got to my desk and recorded it. I prayed earnestly to know its meaning—I knew it was an important dream that I was supposed to share with others.

I think we've all been given small tricycles as adults, and we struggle to balance our lives down the dark, narrow streets of mortality. The world wants us to give up and wants us to think we should have it better than a tricycle. Obviously, I would certainly prefer a ten-speed bike so I could glide easily through life—but then how could I learn to be humble and rely on Heavenly Father?

I now consider the tricycle to be my three wheels of hope, and this narrow path I struggle on will lead me to Heaven someday if I'm faithful and true. The dream has given me courage and hope that I will finish the race inch by inch. I know I must never give up, but press forward always.

Susan Durgin

The Greatest Glory But blessed are they who are faithful and endure, whether in life or in death, for they shall inherit eternal life.
D&C 50:5

In July 2003, my baby Melynda was suffering from serious heart failure and waiting for an experimental device to be approved for her use. It had been a very hard year as a result of Melynda's numerous hospitalizations, and we decided to take a short vacation that summer to the Smoky Mountains National Park after receiving the cardiologist's approval.

Paul, Melynda and I went on a hike one day up the Grotto Falls trail. The hike was about one and a half miles up a mountain, with three waterfalls along the trail. At the very top was a beautiful grotto cave and waterfall.

It was July. It was super hot and humid—and climbing one and a half miles up the mountain became exhausting. The first waterfall was so beautiful, I considered stopping there and going back down. But Paul encouraged me to keep going. Ironically, he was the one hauling Melynda in a backpack—I'm such a wimp!
By the time we reached the second waterfall, I was exhausted and drenched in sweat. People coming down the trail told me I was only halfway to the grotto. I wanted to quit!

Suddenly I saw an inspiring sight. Thirteen-year-old twin girls and their family had been climbing behind us; when we stopped to rest, they passed us. One of the twins was blind and was climbing that rocky mountain trail on her own, with the use of a cane. I immediately felt humbled. What am I complaining about? I thought. If that young blind girl can climb Grotto Falls trail, then I can, too! Endure, endure! The vision of the great waterfall will be worth it!

At that moment, the Holy Ghost witnessed to me further: 'This trail is like the path to the telestial kingdom. Even though the terrestrial and telestial kingdoms have beauty, the greatest glory is in the Celestial Kingdom. Endure, endure, Marie. Your test of faith will be worth it.'

I thought how grateful I was for the fullness of the gospel and the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, which can teach us spiritual truth at any time. It took the example of that sweet, blind girl climbing the mountain to encourage me.

Grotto Cave and Falls were wonderful, and as I walked down the mountain that day I had a renewed sense of courage to face the trials of Melynda's health with a steadfast hope in Christ. I wasn't alone—and Heavenly Father was communicating a more eternal vision for me that day. Months later I would see my own version of the beautiful Grotto Falls as Melynda's heart defects were miraculously repaired with the experimental device approved for her.

Marie Kirkeiner

©2008. Peg Fugal, Laura Craner, Annaliese Enderle, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joyce Moseley Pierce, Susan Durgin, and Marie Kirkeiner. All rights reserved. Reprinted from Chicken Soup for the Latter-Day Saint Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Peg Fugal, Sherm Fugal. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the written permission of the publisher. Publisher: Health Communications, Inc., 3201 SW 15th Street , Deerfield Beach , FL 33442.

Meet the Author

Sherm and Peg Fugal are the editors/publishers of the million-copy-selling six-book series, Especially for Mormons. They own the oldest, continuous advertising agency in Utah and have written or edited nine bestselling books. They are the parents of four grown sons and three precious grandchildren; Peg was a young adult convert to the Church from New York; Sherm's family settled in Grove, UT as Mormon pioneers from Denmark. Sherm, his four sons, and one daughter-in-law served LDS missions all over the world.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling authors of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Sherm and Peg Fugal are the editors/publishers of the million-copy-selling six-book series, Especially for Mormons. They own the oldest, continuous advertising agency in Utah and have written or edited nine bestselling books. They are the parents of four grown sons and three precious grandchildren; Peg was a young adult convert to the Church from New York; Sherm's family settled in Grove, UT as Mormon pioneers from Denmark. Sherm, his four sons, and one daughter-in-law served LDS missions all over the world.

Brief Biography

Santa Barbara, California
Date of Birth:
August 19, 1944
Place of Birth:
Fort Worth, Texas
B.A. in History, Harvard University, 1966; M.A.T. Program, University of Chicago, 1968; M.Ed., U. of Massachusetts, 1973

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