Each year Ed and I create a list of goals, and we check them off one by one as we accomplish them.  One of the things on our vision list is to visit each of the 50 states in the USA.  When we had an opportunity to visit South Dakota, we were able to make our way across the state to the Black Hills towards Rapid City where we were able to see Mount Rushmore.  We enjoyed strolling through the museum and learning all about how this enormous project was completed, why Gutzon Borglum chose to carve the four presidents on the side of a mountain, and the things you learn along the way as you tackle big projects as you make your journey through life.  Hope you enjoy reading about the lessons learned from Mount Rushmore.


Before Borglum started the Mount Rushmore project, he insisted on four requirements:

  1. You have to build on something that is solid in order to survive. Borglum insisted that the stone must be solid enough to carve and to endure. “Everyone who hears my words and obeys them is like a wise man who built his house on rock. It rained hard, the floods came, and the winds blew and hit that house. But it did not fall, because it was built on rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25 NCV)
  1. You need sunlight to illuminate. Borglum insisted that it must face in a direction that would allow as much sunlight as possible to illuminate the figures. The Son of God/the Word of God will light your path so you don’t stumble or fall.  “My child, if you listen
and obey my teachings, you will live a long time. I have shown you the way
that makes sense;
I have guided you
along the right path. Your road won’t be blocked,
and you won’t stumble
when you run. Hold firmly to my teaching
and never let go.
 It will mean life for you. The lifestyle of good people is like sunlight at dawn
that keeps getting brighter
until broad daylight.” (Proverbs 4:10-13, 18)
  1. Your plans need to have an important purpose. Borglum insisted that the theme had to be important enough to justify turning a mountain into a memorial. God looks at your motives.  If we seek first the Kingdom of God, everything we need will be added to us.  ”The Lord blocks the sinful plans of the nations. He keeps them from doing what they want to do. But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever.
 What he wants to do will last for all time.” (Psalm 33:10-11 NIRV)
  1. You must be determined and confident. Borglum insisted that there must be the will to have it succeed. Joshua was told to be strong and courageous and to meditate on the Word day and night and do what it says so that he would have good success.  When you acknowledge God, He will make your plans succeed.  “People may make plans in their minds,
but only the Lord can make them come true. You may believe you are doing right,
but the Lord will judge your reasons. Depend on the Lord in whatever you do,
and your plans will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:1-3 NCV)

THINGS GREAT PEOPLE MUST DO – Lessons From The 4 Presidents Carved On Mt. Rushmore

  • We must give birth to things like George Washington as our first president.
  • We must continue to grow like Thomas Jefferson who negotiated the Louisiana Purchase.
  • We must preserve things and insist on unity like Abraham Lincoln who preserved the union.
  • We must be bold to expand like Theodore Roosevelt who began the Panama Canal that would open the way to the East.


Life is not just about arriving at your destination but enjoying the journey.

Don’t Make Excuses — At the age of 57, Gutzon Borglum began working on his dream.  We must follow the examples of Joshua and Caleb who kept conquering new territory even in their old age.

Speak God’s Word Over Your Future — Gutzon Borglum said, “Don’t say “I can’t” on this work.  The “I can’ts” are unknown in the world’s work and unremembered in history.”  Always say, “I CAN do ALL things who Christ which strengthens me.”

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Unknown — There was no textbook on mountain carving.  Gutzon Borglum developed the ways and means as the problems arose. God WILL help you solve every problem that you face.

Know That God Will Supply All Your Needs — There were no trained stone carvers or sculptor’s assistants available.  Gutzon hired and trained out-of-work local miners, which helped the community.

Step Out In Faith — No matter what enormous project God has called you to complete, remember that God doesn’t call the equipped; He equips the called.  Remember that where God guides, He will provide.  God gives wisdom to all who ask.  Noah had never built an ark before, but God gave him specific instructions on how to do it.  God says you are AMAZING!  Remember that God has created you for greatness.

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