One of the iconic images of scouting in the United States is the Springbar tent. These tents are uniquely designed to withstand whatever nature can throw at them and remain standing. I have personally used them in the middle of Wyoming in winds that leveled lesser tents. I had used these tents for years before I learned a very a very important fact. I had always assumed that the most important tent pegs to have in place were the ones on the corner. It seemed to make sense for some reason. It also made the tent look really good when the four corners were square and tight. One day an old scouter set me straight. He said it wasn't the corner pegs that made the difference, it was ones inside it on the front and the back. Those are the pegs that support the unique Springbar top that makes these tents so sturdy. I've never looked at a Springbar tent quite the same way after that conversation.
It is the same in life. The external things aren't what will get us through times of trial and difficulty. What we have, how we dress, who we know, or what others think of us are all like the corner tent pegs - they may make us look good on the outside and even feel good about ourselves but aren't much help when the wind blows. The things we have done to strengthen ourselves inside is what is going to count when the wind blows. I hate to admit that there have been many times on summer nights I didn't bother to put pegs in those inside spots, only in the corners. My reasoning was that the weather was nice so the extra work wouldn't be necessary. Most times I was ok. But more than once I wasn't. Similarly there have been times that I've though I'm doing so well that I neglect the things that are most important for those that are not. Especially if I neglect my relationship with God and my faith I have left my spiritual tent insuficiently anchored.
One of my favorite scriptures on this subject is Ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
I know that when my personal tent is being blown around by the winds of adversity I am able to endure the storm better when I am anchored with a firm belief in my Lord and Savior and the hope that some day things will be better. Even in the middle of the storm I can remain sure and steadfast, glorifying my God. And once the storm has past and the sun comes out again I can continue strengthening my anchor in anticipation of the next storm. There will always be another storm.- that is how life is.