By Adam D Porter
When you are feeling down, and nothing good is going your way, and it seems the whole world is falling apart around you, remember that those feelings begin with thoughts. Negative thoughts attract negative circumstances. By law, the circumstances of our lives are first created spiritually before taking on physical form. The result is the mirrored reflection of the thought. There is a way to stop this destructive creation of negativity: that is to change the negative thought through the law of relativity. No circumstance you are in is fundamentally good or bad, as far as the law states. It is bad relative to something good and, on the other hand, good relative to something bad. This understanding can cause a paradigm shift in your way of thinking and the type of thoughts you allow.
I remember going through a time in my life when I was feeling down. I was selfishly thinking that I would never get married. Surely, nobody could love me. Because of my negative thoughts, I was literally repelling any good away from myself, and attracting bad vibrations. I had attracted, and was experiencing, depression and anxiety. My negative thoughts produced negative results…until one event changed my whole thought process.
In my church, I was called to be a youth leader. I love the youth and I was gung-ho to have this responsibility. It was in the summer of 2007; all the youth in our church were to find a pioneer ancestor, or someone they wanted to represent, while re-enacting a pioneer trek. It was called The Second Rescue of the Martin Handcart Company. If this wasn’t for the youth, it was absolutely for me! A nephew of mine represented our grandfather, John Rawlston Poole, who was actually one of the rescuers of the original party. I had the honor of representing another grandfather, Nathan Tanner Porter, who was a captain in the Hodgett party, which traveled most of their journey near or with the Martin handcart company. Both parties were stranded in the middle of Wyoming, due to an early snow storm, in November of 1856.
Living in Wyoming, I know how severe the winters are. The temperature can plummet from 40 to 60 degrees below zero, and can stay there for long periods of time. Of these pioneers who were stranded, most were insufficiently clothed for the elements, and many had the soles of their shoes worn off from walking. Countless fingers and toes received extreme frostbite. These brave pioneers also suffered severe hunger, to the extremes of chewing on leather to satisfy their cravings, for their food rations were very low and getting slimmer by the day. By the end, it is estimated that, in those two parties alone, approximately 180 of the 865 immigrants, died from starvation, hypothermia, and exhaustion; they were laid in shallow graves, for the ground was too frozen to dig a proper hole. Horrifically, not long after burying a few of their loved ones, survivors would hear wolves devouring the carcasses of those they had laid to rest. Many lost a father or mother or both; many lost children or a sibling. Finally, by the mercies and power of God, the remaining of these courageous pioneers, who fought for their lives, were rescued; and they pressed on to the Salt Lake valley.
I’m grateful for the opportunity this trek gave to me. It helped me to realize, relative to the trial of those early pioneers, that my problems really weren’t so bad. This experience caused a paradigm shift in my life, and changed my perception. I went from thinking how bad I had it, to being grateful that I live in these times and have so much.
Through their tragedy, a great example is given to us. They never quit, despite their suffering. They stayed true to their faith and their principles, even though God had not tempered the elements for them. They pressed forward and, in the end, reached their desired destination. Remember those who went on before and paved the way. They created a legacy that can enlarge our memories. So when you are down, forget yourself, and know it is only bad relative to something better. Take the courage to forge on and set an example for others you may meet on your path. Allow a paradigm shift to take place by practicing the law of relativity.