While listening to President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk from the priesthood session from April’s general conference, I was totally taken in by the story of the man on the cruise. He stayed in his cabin, saving every penny he had so he could enjoy the various ports. He even packed beans, crackers and powdered lemonade to save on purchasing food, so he would not run out of money.
As I was listening to the story, I kept thinking, “What type of cruise was he on? Wasn’t the food, entertainment, fitness room and recreation all a part of the price. What was he thinking?”
Finally, on the last night, he learned that the food and all the amenities were included in the cost of the cruise. I felt sick for him. I would have been upset, embarrassed and humiliated to think that I had actually paid for all those amenities and yet was sitting in my cabin, while I could have been out with everyone else having the time of my life.
President Uchtdorf’s point was that we are often living beneath our privileges.
First, my mind raced to those of us who have been inactive in the church physically, mentally or spiritually. Probably any one of us fit in to those categories. We all have times when we are starving or nibbling on morsels of the gospel, not taking advantage of the fullness.
Then I thought of those of us who are cruising "Holland" (the unexpected life) but because we are disappointed that we are not cruising "Italy" (the life we planned or expected to have) we are sitting home, turning our backs on the meals, recreation, entertainment, customs, friendships and beauty of "Holland."
I am here to announce that "Cruise Holland" is amazing!
If we are not finding the JOY of "Holland," then we are no different from that boy on the cruise. We are living beneath our privileges. There is no need to settle on beans and crackers when we can have prime rib and creme brulee.
"Holland" is packed with amazing opportunities. The Lord loves "Holland"! His spirit is strong here, and his tender mercies are everywhere. His hand is constant and reassuring. He has filled this place with so many wonderful people to help and strengthen us along the way. He has provided opportunities to grow and become more like him.
Regardless if we are on "Cruise Italy" or "Cruise Holland," we have the same possibilities for joy and happiness. Both ships have the gospel, relationships, opportunity and the Holy Ghost. Everything after that is a luxury or preference, but we share the necessities.
Both ships have people who are sitting in their cabins missing out on the fine dining, the great entertainment and the wonderful amenities because they are living beneath their privileges, opportunities and blessings.
Whether in the gospel or our station in life, there are wonderful amenities that are offered to those who choose to partake. Or we can choose to sit in our cabins and forgo the blessings that the gospel and life has to offer.
As for me, I will embrace all that "Cruise Holland" has to offer. When I "Cruise Italy" you can bet I will enjoy it as well.
As for the gospel and all of its amenities, I will continue to enjoy having a living prophet, apostles, the scriptures, the gift of the Holy Ghost, the church, callings, church magazines, books, socials, firesides, lessons, music, temples and service projects. It has so much to offer, and I would be foolish to sit in my cabin and not indulge.
I know the day will come when "life" will dock for me, and I really don’t want to be upset, embarrassed and humiliated that I was sitting in my cabin nibbling on beans when I could have been living a life full of joy and happiness.
So please, come join me on the Promenade Deck. The food is divine, the people are amazing and the view is out of this world!