I did not take this picture.
Yestereaster. With no plans and no peeps, I decided to go exploring. This is Mt. Pleasant; conservatively named. I took the longer way up, which I've never done before, and had a great time doing so. As soon as I got back, I headed back up for an evening hike to watch the moon rise with a few friends. Two guys set up their backpacking hammocks and stayed the night near a fire, but the other two and I headed back down after 10:30 with our headlamps and black lab, Ginger. She did great on the trail, and apparently loves jerky.
When I went up alone, I met God on the mountain. I've often wondered what it is that almost forces us to calm down and just look with reverenced awe upon certain natural wonders; why there is an apparent closeness to God in certain natural realms. For me, I think, it is because in those moments, I have set out to find him.
God does not live on mountaintops alone, nor is he confined to any boundaries natural or otherwise. His mark is upon all of creation, and the Holy Ghost goes out before him, testifying of his divinity. Most importantly, he is within each of us. Not literally, for I believe God has a body of his own. But if there is anything which can draw our attention to him the most, that can send our understanding to a higher plane, and help us to feel close to him, it is interaction with our fellow man. God made man in his image.
It is easy for some to view hiking and similar expeditions as entirely unnecessary and a waste of good energy. Such a perspective views each root and stone as a stumbling block; each tree as an unwelcome shield against the suns warm rays, and each field as unprotected from the same warm rays. But in these same things I have learned to find God. Can I learn to do the same with his children?
Man can indeed be cruel; wicked; ignorant; foolish; annoying or just inconvenient. I would say, however, that I need to learn how to look for God not on mountaintops only, but in the people he has - by his grace - allowed me to cross paths with.
"Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your Eternal King! And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy! And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy! And let the eternal creations declare his name forever and ever! And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and salvation, and honor, and immortality,
and eternal life; kingdoms, principalities, and powers!" ~ Doctrine & Covenants 128:23
I took this picture