Rainy window

Rain-Filled Boots: What Is the Meaning of Life?

“It was as if the spirit said to me, ‘Did you expect this earthly journey not to have struggles?’” —Richard J. Anderson

When my trainer completed her mission and went home, suddenly the fire and drive I had as a new missionary vanished, and I was acutely aware of how tired I was. 

Someone standing in a puddle. Quote: "It was as if the Spirit said to me, 'Did you expect this earthly journey not to have struggles?'" --Richard J. Anderson

Photo by Skitterphoto

In an effort to stoke the flames, I took up my trainer’s obsessive habit of reading every single Ensign in the flat during my free time. On a particularly rainy afternoon in Wales, after slogging miles on foot only to be met with an empty house, we walked back to our humble abode completely drenched. My rain boots were full of water, and I couldn’t help but think, “This can’t possibly be it.” This couldn’t be how God wanted me to be spending my time—or his. 

Later that week, I was poring through an edition of the Ensign when I came across an article titled “This Is It!” that changed my view of my mission. The author, Richard J. Anderson, wrote about getting home late after fulfilling his church calling. Feeling overwhelmed by his work, calling, and family demands, he found himself underneath his car, freezing and exhausted, struggling to fix it enough to get to work the next day. He prayed, asking Heavenly Father, after all the good he had done that day, “Is it possible You could help me a little?”

Three words, distinct and clear, came into his mind: “This is it!” He realized mortal life is about these moments of struggle and exhaustion, of simple pains and annoyances. He realized he was in that moment experiencing growth to help him become what God wanted him to become. Brother Anderson says, “It was as if the Spirit said to me, ‘Did you expect this earthly journey not to have struggles?’” 

I struggle even now to feel like I understand the meaning of life. And I keep coming back to this moment—this message. Yes, life is made of grand moments. There are great highs and terrible lows in our journey. But there are also rain-filled boots. And stomach bugs. And stubbed toes. And countless other minor mishaps and maladies that add meaning to our life. Not every moment is meant to be some grand adventure. Through the good and the bad, every moment has value because we are experiencing it, even if it involves wet socks in rain-filled boots. 

Read the full story of Richard J. Anderson’s experience: “This Is It!

Source: Liahona 

—Alyssa J. Stevens, Latter-day Saint Insights 


Find more insights 

Learn more about Trials and Adversity in The Latter-day Women: Basic Manual for Women.

Read more about facing trials in David Dickson’s article “How to Face Three Types of Trials” from the March 2022 For the Strength of Youth magazine.

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