I've always loved the game Settlers of Catan; however, the worse side of me tends to come out when I play. I had the opportunity recently to play with a group of missionaries and a member of the church, Brother Carlos. For a while the game was going smoothly. Everyone was playing nicely, but the more we played the more independent I became. I wouldn't make trades unless it would be to my benefit, and I sabotaged the progress of others. Meanwhile, Brother Carlos was generous in his trading and would consider the needs of the other players.
Brother Carlos and I stayed neck and neck the entire game, competing to see who could gain and maintain their points. I was determined to succeed on my own, even if that meant I had to block other people in the process. We got down to the final round, I had the cards I needed to win and my turn was coming up. Brother Carlos, just two turns before me, however, had the support of the other players because of the way he had been playing the game. In a last effort they all pitched in the cards he needed to defeat me.
I didn't understand how that could be fair. I had worked so hard to win, and I did it all alone. Yet, the more I thought about, it the more I realized that's why I didn't win. We need the help of others. It's the same way in life. Sometimes we have the tendency to be independent, and focus on our own needs and goals. But we can't do it alone. We need to be mindful of those around us. We need to depend on their help and help them in return; to be willing to be kind and serve everyone, even if it doesn't seem to be to our advantage.
We can't do it alone. Not only do we need to all work together, but we need to turn to our Savior for help as well. He can see the bigger picture and direct us on what to do and how to do it. We may be able to get a long way without Him, but we can never win without His help. Without the Savior's sacrifice and atonement for us we cannot succeed.