Does your journey seem long?
Does your path seem rugged and steep?
Does your hope in relief seem hard to find?
Does the journey seem long,
The path rugged and steep?
Are there briars and thorns on the way?
Do sharp stones cut your feet
As you struggle to rise
To the heights thru the heat of the day?
These words were written by a father feeling the stress his travel scheduled create for his wife and children. That father was President Joseph Fielding Smith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On April 18, 1924, then Elder Smith was traveling to preside at a church stake conference. His wife Ethel was seven months pregnant at the time and striving to do her best to care for herself and her young children.
Is your heart faint and sad,
Your soul weary within,
As you toil ‘neath your burden of care?
Does the load heavy seem
You are forced now to lift?
Is there no one your burden to share?
In a letter Elder Smith wrote to Ethel on that trip, he said, “I am thinking of you and wish I could be with you constantly for the next few weeks, to help take care of you.” In that letter, he included a poem he had written, some of the words have become the sacred hymn “Does the Journey Seem Long?”
Let your heart be not faint
Now the journey’s begun;
There is One who still beckons to you.
So look upward in joy
And take hold of his hand;
He will lead you to heights that are new–
There have been many times my journey has seemed more than long. Arduous, difficult, even treacherous at times. Yet through all of life’s ups and downs, I have been grateful for the blessing of always having the desire to “look upward in joy.”
A land holy and pure,
Where all trouble doth end,
And your life shall be free from all sin,
Where no tears shall be shed,
For no sorrows remain.
Take his hand and with him enter in.
On those days when your journey seems long, or even the months and years, how do you find ways to look upward in joy?