Once there was a man who traveled to a far-away city to find rumored treasure there which would help ease his financial burdens. But when he arrived, the treasure could not be found.
He was confused and frustrated and he prayed to the Lord for help.
And the Lord told him that there was, indeed, much treasure in the city for him, but that it was not the kind of treasure that would satisfy his debts. "For there are more treasures than one for you in this city."
We don't have record of what the "more treasures" were; perhaps knowledge and progression, perhaps souls. But we do have record that the man wanted, needed, financial treasure, and that he went through great lengths to find it.
We also know that he didn't find it, and that the Lord didn't even seem to share his concern about it. In fact, knowing full well the depth of this man's financial distress, the Lord even went so far as to say, "Concern not yourselves about your debts." Or, in other words, "Joseph, the biggest concern of your life right now? Stop worrying about it."
I wonder if Joseph was able to do that, and I wonder how much faith it would have taken for him to do so.
It's a story about trust.
I feel like this parallels my journey here in Boulder City. Of course, I'm not seeking financial treasure here, but I think I'm seeking a treasure of ease. Maybe a treasure of rich relationships. And, dang it all, after all these years here I just haven't been able to find those things.
I've been confused and frustrated, and I have spent countless hours on my knees praying to the Lord for help.
I think I'm finally hearing that the Lord's answer to me is similar to the one he gave Joseph Smith all those years ago. "There are more treasures than one for you in this city... Concern not yourself about a desire for ease. Concern not yourself about your loneliness."
I wonder, as Joseph might have, if I have the ability to do that.
"There are more treasures than those for you in this city."
I wonder, what treasures?
I am starting to see a few. In fact, I'm probably only able to analyze this today because I'm finding them. They are buried deeeeeeeeeeeep, but that's okay because I've been digging for a long time now. For seven years I've been sweaty and muddy, throwing nothing but dirt, but my dirt-throwing muscles are getting stronger, and - praise the Lord - my shovel is finally striking a few objects that are... not dirt. These not-dirt objects are still caked in mud and it's difficult to see what they are exactly, but I can see the general shape of them, and I can tell by the weight of them that they're valuable.
The one I've cleaned off the most is the treasure of emotional strength. After years of deep study and practice, I now have a richer understanding of my emotions. I harness them, I control them, and I am building a better life for me and for my children by using, and even choosing them during my strongest times. It's an invaluable treasure to me; it's a gentle power that stirs within me, and it continues to gather strength. It has helped me become a better mother, a better friend, a better human. I've used it to mend strained relationships, to access the best parts of me as a mother, to help lift others, to change the course of at least one child's life. It is powerful. And it could never have been found if I had been living a life of ease.
There are other treasures, too. I see some wisdom. Some knowledge. Some understanding. But those are less developed and might take a while yet for me to see them clearly.
So in the meantime I'll trust in this promise the Lord leaves with Joseph:
"Therefore, be ye as wise as serpents and yet without sin; and I will order all things for your good, as fast as ye are able to receive them."