A Bit Shredded

Suzanne Burnett
2 min readAug 9, 2023

“I’m ready to be checked.”

My 9-year-old gave a small smile of pride that his weeding job was completed.

Walking out to the spot, I was amazed at the explosion of dirt and weed appendages that were strewn across the area. Deep hoe craters made the ground look like a plant bomb site.

Gasp! I forgot to tell him about the one and only good plant in the area! Months ago, I had plopped a small ground cover vine by a water source and walked away.

Gingerly tip toeing through the chaos, I knelt down and dug through dirt and chopped greenery to find……the plant was still there! Several dried vines crunched under my fingers, but more digging produced two battered but living branches the size of my palm.

I was amazed by the resilience of that plant. It had been neglected, overtaken by weeds, half dead, and recently buried with danger all around it, but it lived on.

Those are some ROOTS, I thought to myself.

Elder Neal A. Anderson once taught that “stronger roots and branches protect [a] tree from winds that are sure to return.”

“You are infinitely more precious to God than a tree. You are His son or His daughter. He made your spirit strong and capable of being resilient to the whirlwinds of life.

“How do you prepare for your whirlwinds? “Remember … 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, … his shafts in the whirlwind, … when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power … to drag you down … because of the rock upon which ye are built. 1” (Neal A. Anderson, Spiritual Whirlwinds, April 2014)

So if we, like my little plant, ever feel neglected, overtaken, half dead, and recently buried with spiritual danger all around, let us remember those roots of faith that are sunk deep — -deep enough to be wrapped around the bedrock belief in Jesus Christ. With faith roots anchored around that Rock, you may continue to spiritually live, even if on the surface you look a bit shredded.

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Suzanne Burnett

Mother of twelve children and member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares spiritual insights learned through parenting and marriage.