The Mara River in Kenya is a place where many wildlife cross at certain times of the year to get to the grasses on the other side. The river is also the home to 15 foot or 5 meter Nile crocodiles, who are always on the lookout for dinner, which often includes antelope.

Like these inexperienced antelope, we may see the dangers in the river but not necessarily recognize them as dangers. Instead, we wade right into the water and the herd follows us. The Lord doesn’t always relieve us of the crocodiles in our lives, but he gives us some helps to get to the other side of the river.

One of these helps is experience. Zebras and wildebeests know what it takes to fight off crocodiles and which parts of the river the crocs don’t like to swim. Who are the zebra and wildebeests in your life? Your list might include parents, friends, ministers, and teachers. I’ve found some of the best “wildebeests” experiences written in the scriptures, and I’m thankful for people who want to help me cross the river successfully.

A second help is a boat. A boat keeps us out of the water, protected, and able to steer and navigate. Our covenants are like protective boats that keep us dry. The gift of the Holy Ghost is a rudder that steers and helps guides the boat. Keeping our covenants so the Holy Ghost can be with us is one of the most important things we can do with our lives.
The third help is a view from above—prophets. From our vantage point, it’s almost impossible to see the wily crocodiles. Prophets can act like a small drone that sees the view from above. The Lord shows them things from a different angle and they tell us about the location and movement of crocodiles.

We have to be spiritually courageous to cross the river. But if you get caught, know this: you are never too far gone. When you repent, the Atonement of Jesus Christ reaches into that croc’s mouth, pulls you out, and puts you back together so that you are once again free.


  • I used to live in Kenya and can attest to the size and number of these Crocs. I too thought of the Seminary video “Spiritual crocodiles” when I began reading your comments. Thank you for them, and the reminders of the help we have. 
    ❤
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  • She forgot to list personal revelation and inspiration. That has been the Most helpful river crossing help I have ever received!!!!! Why is that always put in the background? It makes it seem irrelevant!!!! Personal revelation and inspiration is just …

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  • Love this! It reminds me of the spiritual crocodile story Boyd K Packer shared. I find when you tell stories such as this one they really stick! Will be sharing with my children. 
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  • Thaaaanks in bunch……when i started readin i remember elder s packer s words too..thanks now for being our leaders.friends and counselors…xoxo
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  • That is the most terrifying picture of a crocodile I’ve ever seen! Yikes! I love your analogies and I’m so grateful we don’t have to make this journey without help.
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