Well, I’m taking things one day at a time, and I’ve seen success so far today in my new “perfect day plan”. I woke up this morning at 6:00 a.m., came downstairs, turned on the fire, said a morning prayer, and began studying.
My study so far today has been a review of my last post. It’s interesting how simple and direct that talk is by President Uchtdorf.
Today I’m going to study the talk by President Monson titled “The Three Rs of Choice“. (I’m really impressed with the new layout and functionality of LDS.org. It looks like that have gone even more down the path of wordpress and SEO friendly pages, URLS, etc.)
I have been thinking recently about choices and their consequences. Scarcely an hour of the day goes by but what we are called upon to make choices of one sort or another. Some are trivial, some more far-reaching. Some will make no difference in the eternal scheme of things, and others will make all the difference.
As I’ve contemplated the various aspects of choice, I’ve put them into three categories: first, the right of choice; second, the responsibility of choice; and third, the results of choice.
I mention first the right of choice. I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father for His gift of agency, or the right to choose. President David O. McKay, ninth President of the Church, said, “Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.”1
The prophet Lehi tells us: “Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”2
Next, with the right of choice comes the responsibility to choose. We cannot be neutral; there is no middle ground. The Lord knows this; Lucifer knows this. As long as we live upon this earth, Lucifer and his hosts will never abandon the hope of claiming our souls.
Our Heavenly Father did not launch us on our eternal journey without providing the means whereby we could receive from Him God-given guidance to assist in our safe return at the end of mortal life. I speak of prayer. I speak too of the whisperings from that still, small voice within each of us, and I do not overlook the holy scriptures, written by mariners who successfully sailed the seas we too must cross.
Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks, “Which path shall I follow?” UAdd a Note
The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter which path you take.”7
…by choosing our path, we choose our destination.
I plead with you to make a determination right here, right now, not to deviate from the path which will lead to our goal: eternal life with our Father in Heaven. Along that straight and true path there are other goals: missionary service, temple marriage, Church activity, scripture study, prayer, temple work. There are countless worthy goals to reach as we travel through life. Needed is our commitment to reach them.
Finally, brethren, I speak of the results of choice. All of our choices have consequences, some of which have little or nothing to do with our eternal salvation and others of which have everything to do with it.
Whether you wear a green T-shirt or a blue one makes no difference in the long run. However, whether you decide to push a key on your computer which will take you to pornography can make all the difference in your life. You will have just taken a step off the straight, safe path. If a friend pressures you to drink alcohol or to try drugs and you succumb to the pressure, you are taking a detour from which you may not return. Brethren, whether we are 12-year-old deacons or mature high priests, we are susceptible. May we keep our eyes, our hearts, and our determination focused on that goal which is eternal and worth any price we will have to pay, regardless of the sacrifice we must make to reach it.
No temptation, no pressure, no enticing can overcome us unless we allow such. If we make the wrong choice, we have no one to blame but ourselves. President Brigham Young once expressed this truth by relating it to himself. Said he: “If Brother Brigham shall take a wrong track, and be shut out of the Kingdom of heaven, no person will be to blame but Brother Brigham. I am the only being in heaven, earth, or hell, that can be blamed.” He continued: “This will equally apply to every Latter-day Saint. Salvation is an individual operation.”8
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”9
The lesson…learned is that it is easier to keep the commandments 100 percent of the time than it is 98 percent of the time.13
My beloved brethren, may we be filled with gratitude for the right of choice, accept the responsibility of choice, and ever be conscious of the results of choice.
Well, my first day of study in the morning was a success! I didn’t fall asleep. I felt it was a fitting study; I did go over quite a bit in the time of study, but I feel that’s ok and that I’ll get better.