In 1952, Florence Chadwick attempted something no woman had attempted before: swimming the Catalina Channel.
It was cold and extremely foggy the whole time she was in the water. She could barely even see the support boats swimming beside her.
Fifteen hours in, she decided to quit. She went to get into the support boat, but her mom stopped her, saying she had to be close and she needed to keep going.
So she did. But after another hour, completely exhausted, she climbed into the boat.
Because of the fog, she didn’t know where she was. But she learned after getting out of the water that she was just a half mile away from the shoreline.
In a press conference afterwards, she said, “Look, I’m not excusing myself, but if I could have seen the land I know I could have made it.”
I was reminded of this story as I read D&C 127:2, Joseph is writing an epistle to the saints while in hiding and says,
“Deep water is what I am wont to swim in. It all has become a second nature to me; and I feel, like Paul, to glory in tribulation; for to this day has the God of my fathers delivered me out of them all.”
“Let all the saints rejoice, therefore, and be exceedingly glad; for Israel’s God is their God.”
Deep water is what I am wont to swim in.
How did he do it?
How did he keep treading the water?
How was he able to rejoice in the thick of thick things?
He had a steady visual on the land.
He had an eternal perspective—
He knew who he was.
He knew WHOSE he was.
And that broke the fog.
Giving him the strength to keep going.
He heard a “voice of gladness” even in the midsts of tribulation (D&C 128:19)
He experienced God in the deep waters.
He saw land.
And it gave him the strength to keep swimming.
As Robert D Hales said, “Only faith that he suffered for our sakes will help us endure to the end.”
We, too, can swim in that deep water.
We were made for this.
We can dig deep and do things that have never been done before.
There is land ahead. And Christ within.
Break the fog.
And as Dory from Finding Nemo says, “just keep swimming.”