Saturday, April 30, 2011

Painted Into a Corner

Our choices determine a lot about our lives.  One wrong choice can have serious consequences.  The good news is that God has given us guidance and direction to help us make the right choices.  Through His prophets, God gives us commandments.  The Book of Mormon prophet Alma teaches us that "wickedness never was happiness (Alma 41:10), or in other words, when we break God's commandments, we're not happy.  When we follow the counsel of God's ancient and modern prophets, we're going to be happy.  Disobedience, however fun and exciting it seems at the time, always leads to separation from God. 

Elder Robert D. Hales of the quorum of the 12 apostles shared the following experience:

In my youth I learned an important lesson about how our actions may limit our freedom. One day my father assigned me to varnish a wooden floor. I made the choice to begin at the door and work my way into the room. When I was almost finished, I realized I had left myself no way to get out. There was no window or door on the other side. I had literally painted myself into a corner. I had no place to go. I was stuck.  (Agency: Essential to the Plan of Life, Ensign Nov. 2010)

When we make wrong choices, we paint ourselves into the corner.  But we are promised a way out.  Elder Hales relates the process of fixing this problem to repentance:

"Like repentance, turning around and walking across a newly varnished floor means more work—a lot of resanding and refinishing! Returning to the Lord isn’t easy, but it is worth it." (For the entire address see here)

Repentance is difficult.  But it is the only way to gain forgiveness of our sins.  Jesus Christ died for us and suffered for our sins.  When we earnestly seek God's forgiveness, we will want to follow His commandments.  We will make the choices to bring us closer to Him and His son Jesus Christ. 

I know that Christ came to the earth so that we can all live with God again someday.  I know that we are here to make choices.  The choices we make in this life will determine our happiness on the earth and in our life to come.  My prayer is that we can all read the scriptures and make those correct choices.

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