He goes on to compare her 4 minutes of results to our life's journey:
- You are an eternal being. Before you were born, you existed as a spirit. In the presence of a loving Heavenly Father, you trained and prepared to come to earth for a brief moment and, well, perform. This life is your four minutes. While you are here, your actions will determine whether you win the prize of eternal life.
Just as an athlete has to prepare, train, and persevere, we too have things in our lives that help us prepare for our journey throughout life:
- Self-discipline is needed. Daily prayer, scripture study, and church attendance must be the foundation of your training. A consistent pattern of obeying the commandments, keeping the covenants you have made, and following the Lord’s standard found in For the Strength of Youth is required.
Discouragement, the desire to quit, the thoughts of "you will never make it" are all common to an athlete, as well as to each of us along the path of life. Elder Stevenson reminds us:
- It is not yet too late to repent. But it soon may be, because no one really knows when your four minutes will be over.
He tells us to never give up on life. Never think we are too far off the path that we can't make it back. Never think the mistakes along the way should stop us from pressing forward towards our ultimate goal of eternal life:
- The miracle of the Atonement can make up for imperfections in our performance.
And in one final statement he reminds us that the the ultimate cheerleader for us and our efforts is the Savior Himself:
- You have the Savior of the world on your side. If you seek His help and follow His directions, how can you fail?
As the scriptures tell us, this life is the time for us to prepare to meet God. Our efforts will not go unnoticed or unrewarded by our Savior. As I look at life as my preparation for eternity, the urgency to make sure I am doing the things in my life that bring me closer to the goal of eternal life with my Savior is expanded. I need more good things in my life that help me along the path. I need to be more encouraging to those around me and help encourage my fellow participants to keep trying even when it is so hard to keep moving forward. I can be a better supporter to those around me and will try to be more encouraging as I recognize my roll as a teammate to all of Heavenly Father's children.