person walking on a log in the forest.

Marking the Way Back Home

Our spiritual experiences can become the monuments we raise to mark God’s hand in our lives.

"Each experience that we have with the Spirit can be like placing a stone on our own personal monument, reminding us of God's hand in our lives." -Curt Holman. hiker's boots standing among rocks and dirt and twigs.

Photo by Amanda Sandlin

If you’ve ever been on a hike, you’ve probably seen stones stacked on top of each other. These manmade trail markers, called cairns, have been used to point out a hiker’s course along the trail, ensuring that hikers know which way to go and can journey and return safely.

It isn’t always easy to keep on the right path here in mortality. The twists and turns that we often face along our journey can make our return home difficult. But what if there were a way to create our own spiritual cairns that would help us safely make our way back to our Heavenly Father? In a BYU devotional address titled “Raising Your Ebenezer: A Monument to Remember,” Curt Holman explains that the idea of a spiritual cairn has actually been around since Old Testament times. Then called an Ebenezer (a Hebrew word meaning “stone of help”), this physical monument was raised by the Israelites of old to remind them of what the Lord had done for them.

Consider how important these Ebenezers must have been for the Israelites, who were so often rebuked for “forgetting the many miracles” the Lord had blessed them with. These same Israelites wandered in the wilderness for forty years because they failed to turn their hearts to God, who wanted to lead them to the promised land. Just like the Israelites, when we forget how God works miracles in our lives, we become lost along our mortal journey, wandering because we do not know or cannot find the way.

We can avoid this wandering by building our own Ebenezers from the spiritual experiences and the miracles that we encounter along this journey of mortality. As we place stones upon our own personal monuments, they can strengthen us in times of weakness and strengthen others who are undertaking this same mortal journey.

Read or watch Curt Holman’s original address to discover how you can build your own Ebenezer as a spiritual monument of remembrance.

Source: BYU Speeches

—Heather Randall, Mormon Insights

feature image by jon flobrant

Find more insights

Watch the video message “O Remember, Remember” by President Henry B. Eyring to discover the importance of remembering the hand of the Lord in our daily lives.

Read “Keeping a Journal Your Way” by Tara Walker to learn different ways that you can raise your own Ebenezer of spiritual remembrance and refer back to those memories throughout your life.

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