When Things ‘Go South’, We Should ‘Look North!’


There is always some part of life that is going south. What do I mean? The English idiom “go south” has a distinct meaning related to something going wrong or worsening. If we examine our lives, that idiom is true most of the time. That doesn’t mean that our lives are generally terrible, it just means that part of our life with all of its juxtaposes, will always head south because we live in a fragile mortal world. If we are not careful, we can become pessimistic; lose our hope and faith in humanity. This hopelessness sometimes even leads to a loss of faith in Deity. Such hopelessness is not a feeling that comes of God, but rather is promulgated upon us by the adversary.

Richard C. Edgley once proclaimed:
If confusion and hopelessness weigh on your mind, choose to “awake and arouse your faculties” (Alma 32:27). Humbly approaching the Lord with a broken heart and contrite spirit is the pathway to truth and the Lord’s way of light, knowledge, and peace.
If your testimony is immature, untested, and insecure, choose to “exercise [even] a particle of faith”; choose to “experiment upon [His] words” (Alma 32:27). The Savior explained, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17).
When logic, reason, or personal intellect come into conflict with sacred teachings and doctrine, or conflicting messages assault your beliefs as the fiery darts described by the Apostle Paul (see Ephesians 6:16), choose to not cast the seed out of your heart by unbelief. Remember, we receive not a witness until after the trial of our faith (see Ether 12:6).
If your faith is proven and mature, choose to nurture it “with great care” (Alma 32:37). As strong as our faith is, with all the mixed messages attacking it, it can also become very fragile. It needs constant nourishment through continued scripture study, prayer, and the application of His word.”

When we feel our lives are in a southerly free-fall, let us follow the above counsel and look “North” or “Up” to He who is the giver of all knowledge and hope. Such vision leads to a more joyful and prosperous life.

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