Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Edge

A man needed a driver to give him a ride through a dangerous mountain path.  To ensure his safety, he wanted to find the best of the best of the drivers.  The man asked the same question to four different drivers: How close can you get to the edge and still feel comfortable?  The first driver said, "I can drive one foot away from the edge and be comfortable."  The second driver said, "I can be 6 inches away from the edge and be fine."  The third driver said, "Give me 1 inch, and there's no problem."  The last driver that he asked said, "I don't know, I stay as far away from the edge as I can." 

This man knew exactly who to choose.  No matter how skilled the driver was, getting close to the edge just isn't smart.  He chose the fourth driver.  The further away from the edge, the better.  What does getting close to the edge prove anyways?  The Lord doesn't care how close we can get to the edge, in fact, he wants us to stay as far away from the edge as we can.  Christ, in his Sermon on the Mount, taught, "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.  Ye cannot serve God and mammon."  (Matthew 6:24).

Getting close to the edge is, in a way, serving two masters.  It's saying, with our actions, that we only want to do the bare minimum to stay on the path.  But think about it, the closer we are to the edge, the less room there is for error.  One faulty step could be our downfall, literally.  When we stay away from the edge, we leave room for our mistakes, which are unavoidable.  Then we will be able to correct ourselves and continue going.  May we all strive to stay as far away from the edge and choose this day to serve the Lord.  It's only then can we reach the end of the mountainous path safely.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

An Egg-cellent Story

The other day, an unfortunate thing happened.  I ran out of milk...and eating Marshmallow Maties dry is just not the same.  So, I made some scrambled eggs.  To my surprise, they turned out pretty good.  I was satisfied with the breakfast I had created, and was ready for the day.  So ready, that I didn't wash the dishes I had just used.  I just threw them in the sink.  Once we got back from our hard days work, it came time to do the dishes. 

Because I had waited all that time, what was left of the eggs had hardened to the pan, and was quite difficult to get off.  I wasn't expecting it to be such a chore, but I really had to put some elbow grease in it.  If only I didn't wait until later, then it wouldn't have been such a burden. 

I learned a valuable lesson that day.  There's no need to wait when something needs to get done.  Alma, a Book of Mormon Prophet says, "Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end..."  (Alma 34:33).  We are like the frying pan, and the eggs are things that we need to repent of.  When we make mistakes, we don't want them to be sitting on our souls until we find time to clean them off.  We must make time.  We need to clean them as soon as we can.  The longer we wait, the easier it will be to push it off until later.  We must be repenting every day, and cleaning the eggs off our frying pan.  Only when the pan is nice and shiny can the Savior look at us, and see himself. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Get in Shape

I can remember sitting in the Orthodontists office, knowing what was about to happen to me.  Pieces of metal were about to be glued onto my teeth.  Oh how I dreaded that day.  All I had heard about braces were how much they hurt and how you couldn't eat certain foods.  Neither of those two things were making me very excited about getting my braces on.

It's true, the braces did hurt.  Especially the first couple of days that they were on.  Once I surpassed the first week, I could hardly feel that they were there.  My teeth had been pushed and pulled into where they need to be.  Then comes the next appointment and I went through it again.  Little by little, my teeth became super straight and I was left with a dynamite smile.

This is how the Lord works with us.  He puts strain on us, just like the braces do on teeth, and shapes us into what he wants us to become.  Elder Richard G. Scott said, "When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more.  He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion, which polish you for your everlasting benefit."  The Lord can see our full potential and knows what we can become.

Being shaped into what the Lord wants isn't a walk in the park.  We must be put into the refiners fire, so to speak, and be tested.  Elder Scott continues, "To get from where you are to where [The Lord] wants you to be requires a lot of stretching, and that generally entails discomfort and pain."  We must be pushed and pulled, just like our teeth, to be able get where the Lord wants us.  Yes, it will be hard at times, but once we see how dynamite our smile is, it'll be worth it.  All we have to do is put our trust in the Lord, and he'll mold us into the best person we can be.

Monday, July 11, 2011

She's Gonna Eat Me!

I've never been much of a runner.  My dad always said, "I only run when someone's chasing me."  I've lived by that quite a bit.  There are some exceptions though.  I run when I'm playing sports and when there's only one piece of pie left, to name two instances.  But usually it's just when I'm being chased.  Pumba, in Disney's The Lion King, is a great example of running when getting chased. 

One of the best scenes in Disney's Lion King is the scene where Pumba runs from Nala and screams, "She's gonna eat me!"  Not only does Pumba make a hilarious face (see picture to the left), but I've never seen a warthog run that fast.  He didn't skip a beat.  Once he saw Nala in the grass, he was out of there.  Once there was danger, he scrammed. 

There are times in our life that we need to run like Pumba.  When we see or sense danger, whether spiritual or physical, we should get out of there as quickly as we can.  In Genesis 39: 12, Joseph shows us how to run from spiritual danger, "And [Potiphar's wife] caught [Joseph] by his garment, saying, Lie with me: and he left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out."  Once Joseph saw that he was in spiritual danger, he fled the scene. 

When we recognize that we're in spiritual danger, we need to flee the scene.  We can't afford to stick around.  I know I said that I only run when someone is chasing me, but Satan is always chasing me.  He's chasing everyone, and tempting them to stray off the beaten path.  We need to always be running from him towards our Savior, Jesus Christ.  As long as we're headed toward the Savior, we will feel his protecting light and be able to endure to the end.