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Upon the Rock


Watch the video HERE

This song was written specifically to be the Salem Stake’s 2022 youth trek theme song. When I was writing this song, an experience I had as a child at Lake Powell kept replaying in my mind. My family has a favorite family tradition: Lake Powell. Since before my parents were dating, my family has gone every year. When I was a child, we went with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We were lucky to have a share in a houseboat and would take it out of the slip to camp on the beaches so the kids could play in the sand from sunup to sundown. To keep the houseboat in place, anchors were tied to the four corners of the boat and buried deep in the sand. This always kept our boat in place—until one year when it didn’t.

What started out as a typical week in water, sand, and sun turned into a nightmare in less than a few hours. We knew the weather was getting bad when my uncle Rob—the “fun-cle” who was always willing to pull us behind his boat—told us he couldn’t take us tubing because of the white caps on the waves. We knew it was getting worse when the back of the boat started moving from side to side. And we knew we were really in trouble when with each wave that hit the shore, we were losing shoreline. We were going to lose our anchors.

Our fathers dawned life jackets (a sight we seldom saw), and each climbed into either the houseboat or one of the two small speed boats to attempt to move them to a cove around the corner. The grandparents, mothers, and 19 children were left huddled on the shore with a few bottles of water, wallets, keys, prescriptions, and anything else that couldn’t be replaced if the houseboat sank. We were afraid and very uncomfortable (imagine being marooned on a sandy beach in the middle of a windstorm.) I remember kneeling down in a circle and praying, asking for Heavenly Father to keep us, our daddies, and our boats safe and to bring us peace.

After what felt like an eternity, a boat we didn't recognize with a large bow came from around the corner and—one by one—lifted us into the front and drove us in groups of about 8 around the corner where our fathers had safely secured our houseboat and the small speed boats; they were unharmed. None of us will ever forget this experience.

Shortly after this trip, our family started camping not on sand, but on rocks. We would tie the four corners of the boat directly to anchors we drilled into the sandstone cliffs. We were never afraid of losing our anchors in a storm again.

Are we burying the anchors of our faith in the sand? Or are we grounded upon The Rock? “Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall” (Helaman 5:12).


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