I should say at the start that the cannibalism never really bothered me. They didn't kill the people for food, they just used the bodies of those who had died. My belief is that some day we will all be resurrected, and those people whose bodies were sacrificed for food will also be resurrected. I've always felt the same about organ donation. I'm not going to be using my organs after I'm dead, so I would be happy if others could make use of them, or if they would save a life. I don't know how I would feel if I were one of those survivors, and whether or not I would have been able to eat the bodies. One of them couldn't do it after awhile, and he eventually died. This was the same issue of the Donner Party that was crossing the Sierras, and got caught in a bad place during the winter. They had to wait out the winter, and some of those there ended up eating human flesh to survive. But in that case, there were some who took it to the point of murder to get food. There were Mormons in that party, but there were also non-mormons. One of the Mormon men refused to eat human flesh. He and his family even boiled a saddle to try to get nourishment. Their entire family survived the ordeal. I do believe that God blessed their family, but I also believe that in the case of these soccer players, God blessed them to survive, and their nourishment was dependent upon their survival.
The part of the story that I didn't remember was how they were found. Three of the men, who were in the best of health of all of the survivors, decided to climb the mountain and go to Chile for help. If I remember the numbers right, they had to climb an 18,000 foot mountain to get out of the valley where the fuselage laid. It took them 3 days to climb to the top, and the other survivors watched them the entire time. When they got to the top, all they could see for miles around were more mountains. They really felt that they would die without being rescued. But they had a drive within them to keep going for help, even if they died in the process. One of them, a man named Nanndo, made it his goal that he wouldn't stop until he stopped breathing. So they hiked for 10 days through dangerous avalanche territory, covering over 35 miles. And all of this done while having very little nourishment. They did take a little of the flesh with them, but certainly not enough for the kind of hiking they were doing. Other professional hikers have tried to recreate that hike, and they all talked about how difficult it would have been with no equipment, much less with very little food.
When they first came to a place where there was no snow, and where there was grass growing, the one man made a statement that really struck me. He said he felt as if he were in a 5 star hotel, sitting on the grass, eating the grass, with the sun shining on him. He said, "It really hit home to me that we need so very little to survive and be happy, but we demand so much." It does make me think about my life and how much I expect, but how very little I really need in comparison to my wants.
I think we all have times in our lives when we can choose to keep going, even in the face of difficulty, or give up. One of the professional hikers interviewed said that he had heard a saying that difficult situations develop character. He said he felt that actually difficult situations bring out character. Those two men who hiked for help went on even in the face of impossibility. They had made a pact that they both would die together if they did not find help. It kind of puts perspective on the daily trials that we all face, doesn't it?