The trip made by Major John Powell and his nine men down the Green and the Colorado rivers in 1869 was a journey into the unknown. Finally, after nearly 100 days on the river with no contact with any other human, some of the men were ready to try to climb out of the canyon and attempt to make it to civilization alive.
Powell and others urged them not to leave the boats and the expedition. But after 1000 miles in remote canyons of stone and traversing hundreds of raging rapids, enduring being capsized, near drownings, existing on half rations of moldy flower, and dried apples, with their clothes and shoes reduced to rags, they had had enough.
In addition, the three boats had reached a place above a set of rapids with waterfall drops and enormous rocks and no way out to carry the boats around. Powell argued for an attempt to make it through these treacherous rapids and falls, but three men could not bring themselves to do it, preferring to take their chances with the desert crossing and the possibility of hostile Indians.
Powell and his six remaining men committed themselves to the river and amazingly made it through the falls. It turned out to be the last difficult point on their journey, and a few days later they arrived at the junction of the Colorado and the Virgin rivers and the first other men they had seen in 100 days.
They later learned that the three men who hiked out had encountered Mormon settlers who mistook them for government spies and killed them. Since white men had never traveled down that section of the river considered impassible, their story was believed to be a lie. They should have stayed with their boat.
This church is like a boat in some ways too. We have fellowship and camaraderie in the boat. We have a common goal were moving toward. We have a shared purpose and we share concerns for one another. We face troubles along the river together. We ought to stay with the boat. Not always the easiest route, but always the right one.