I’ve been thinking a lot about the Hero’s Journey lately. I remember first learning about in my high school AP English class. Then I forgot about it for a long time. Then it resurrected itself in my life when I immersed myself in the leadership education world as a homeschool mom, ten years ago. Now it’s reappering! My girlfriend Olivia recently taught about it to our homeschool moms group. (That’s Olivia in the photo above.) I also call it the happiness, wellness, or the mindful journey. It’s the path we all get to take if we want to feel joyful and complete, with a legacy to leave after we die. The universe can seem random and cruel. If we take time to unplug, however, and look for patterns in history, nature and our relationships, we can see some order. We can see the universe inviting each of us to live a greater, fuller life, a life that involves more than just entertaining our taste buds, ears and eyes.
The universe beckons each of us to be greater than we already are, to be instruments in God’s hands to be kinder, nobler, and full of meaning, to fulfill His purposes. This video above shows the pattern that the Hero Journey involves. It is great because it is patterned after the greatest hero, Jesus Christ.
As Christians, our Hero’s Journey becomes what my friend Katie calls the Pilgrim’s Journey. I call it the Covenant Path. Have you noticed how many times that phrase was used by President Nelson and others in this past General Conference? God invites each of us to take it by officially becoming Christian, marked by baptism into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is our first official covenant on the Covenant Path. If you want to learn more about that, you can watch Katie’s video presentation below. (Katie is my dear friend from when I lived in Utah. We had a lot of fun together, as did our kids, because they match pretty closely in age and gender. You can check out all of her offerings at her site here.)
I am fascinated by the concept that we receive gifts from God, as we go along the Covenant Path, to aid us. Katie’s video shows that. These gifts help us complete the Journey. They start with faith in Jesus Christ, which then grows into action as we repent. Then we make sacred covenants at baptism, and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, to guide us as we are faithful, the rest of our lives. 2 Peter 1:5-11 details the path of reception of spiritual gifts, which corresponds with the Covenant Path. We can also receive increased knowledge when we make covenants in the temple. We can also ask for spiritual gifts in prayer. They also come from making our own individualized promises to God. I love this BYUI talk by Elder Larry W. Lawrence which tells us we can ask for and even covet spiritual gifts. Here’s my girlfriend Becky’s summary of the talk:
Asking for and receiving spiritual gifts is part of the Covenant Path. Along with that, offering gifts to God, in the form of promises and commitments is also part of the Path. For, example, Elder Enzio Busche searched for the true church of Jesus Christ. He searched for this church in post-WWII Germany for four years. Finally, he promised God that if God would show him the true church of Jesus Christ, he would join, even if it had a history of persecution. Two weeks later, missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints showed up on his doorstep. He investigated the Church for two years and then got baptized. I love his story! It’s the epitome of the Hero’s Journey turned into the Covenant Path. You can read it here. The longer version is here. Below, I have embedded a clip from a talk he gave at BYU. Enjoy!
October is the time of year when I love to talk about heroes and the Hero’s Journey with my kids. You can read more Hero Journey/ Covenant Path Stories in my family devotional ebook here. I tell a few stories from this ebook to my kids every morning. Then we elevate Halloween to a Heroween (a term used by my friend Emily Satterthwaite here) and talk about heroes all night, on All Hallow’s Eve/the eve of All Saints Day. We tell stories round the firelight, with treats. Yum! This year will be extra special because my missionary son arrives home from Argentina that day. We are so excited!