Published July 26, 2016
By Brandon Isle
“Our eternal progression, our capacity to grow and to learn to ‘become sons and daughters of God,’ is deeply coupled with our capacity to do hard things,” said Linda Orchard, who spoke during the BYU-Idaho Devotional on July 26, 2016.
Orchard shared a pioneer trek experience she had when she and her husband were in charge of their ward’s trek at Martin’s Cove in Wyoming a few years ago. Their ward had 120 youth and they wanted them to do a few “hard things” while there. Those things included starting their first hike at 7 p.m. They walked for a couple of hours and had a devotional. Then as the sun was disappearing, they were given glow sticks to go even farther. “We expected there would be some grumbling and complaining, but it never surfaced,” she said. ”The youth seemed to understand the difficulty and sacredness of sacrifice. It was an amazing site to see a line of yellow lights silently making their way along in the still, cool Wyoming night.”
Her daughter Rachel was among the youth at the Trek. At one point during the trek there is an experience called the Women’s Pull where no men are allowed to help the women and young women pull hand carts up a steep hill. Orchard’s daughter was physically ready to help in this pull. However, she was assigned to act as though she were sick and be carried in one of the handcarts. “When she read her assignment, with tears welling up in her eyes, she looked towards her dad (who also had tears welling up in his eyes). He had chosen her specifically for this assignment,” she said. “Rachel mouthed, shaking her head, ‘No Dad, don’t make me do this, don’t make me do this.”
Rachel did take the assignment, which was “harder for her than if she would have had to pull the carts by herself,” said Orchard.
During her talk, she also shared some of the “hard things” her students are going through. Things like coming to BYU-Idaho from another country and holding three jobs while going to school or giving up a soccer career to honor the wishes of a parent who passed away. “What I realized is that we all have hard things in our lives,” she said.
She said the hard things we go through now will prepare us for hard things in the future. During an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Orchard said these trials are important, “Well, I think the trials are what make us who we are,” she said. “I think that as we go through the trials, we learn how to rely on our Heavenly Father and also when the next hard trial comes, I think that it’s our experience that makes us so that we can survive the next thing.”
You can listen to her full devotional below and click here for her interview with BYU-Idaho Radio.