Personal Online Journal

Friday, April 04, 2014

Poison of the Mind

My wife recently finished Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell. I am currently reading it. There is a part in the book that has stood out to me. The first third of the book so far has been mostly about weeding out those who really did not want to be a seal.

They want only the men who want it so bad that they would rather die than give up. And then, out of those, there are men that just don't have the talent and ability to get the job done. Just before their hell week started, their commanding officer Captain Joe Maguire said,
Don't let your thoughts run away with you, don't start planning  to bail out because you are worried about the future and how much you can take. Don't look ahead to the pain. Just get through the day, and there's a wonderful career ahead of you. (p 124)
Marcus kept being surprised at his SEAL candidates dropped out. He recognized that they had not taken in the advice of their commanding officer. They had let future pain poison their minds. They did not stay in the here and now. They did not take it one moment at a time.
I later learned that when a man quits and is given another chance and takes it, he never makes it through. All the instructors know that. If the thought of DOR [drop on request] enters a man's head, he is not a navy SEAL. 
I guess that element of doubt forever pollutes his mind. And puffing, sweating, and steaming down there on that beach on the first night of Hell week, I understood it.  
I understood it, because that thought could have never have occurred to me. Not while the sun still rises in the east. All the pain in Coronado could not have inserted that poison in to my mind. I might have passed out, had a heart attack or been shot before a firing squad. But I never would have quit. (p 136)
As I was talking to my wife tonight, she brought up what Brad Wilcox mentioned in one of his books. When we are confirmed a member of the church, we are asked to "receive the Holy Ghost". Sometimes in the same place in the scriptures, we are also told to endure to the end. It may be that in order to receive the Holy Ghost we must endure to what our end is meant to be. To become as God is. To live the kind of live he lives. We must not give up because we have allowed our minds to be poisoned by future pain.

Each day at a time. Do the right thing. Condition myself for when I will be called upon for great sacrifice. Grow my strength over time. Strength gained too fast does not always last. Go in for the long haul.

I think we must "cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." D&C 123:17 The key is to decide what I want and to keep working until I get it. Press on. Find the joy in my service.


Dandi said...

Great Post! Love that book!

Stephanie said...

Beautiful post!