Thursday, 20 February 2014

Playing with Fire

    When I was a boy, I would periodically go camping with my father who was always pretty enthusiastic about nature.  When I was 12 years old I had very different feelings than my father and hated the thought of having to go outside without a good reason. Every year there was a camping trip we would go on in the mountains near our home in Colorado.
     One year, as the sun was setting, we started to work on starting a campfire.  My dad realized he had forgotten to bring matches or any sort of lighter.  It wasn't a big ordeal though because we would do what is called car camping, which was my favorite type of camping because your tent is usually only a stones throw away from the car.  So he sent me with a big ball of lint he had taken from the clothes dryer before we left and told me to light it on fire using the cigarette lighter built into the car.  Not hard to convince a 12 year old to take the assignment to light a fire.  
     Unfortunately I had no idea how to use the thing.  I used my common sense as best as I could though and pushed the cigarette lighter down until it lit up.  After sitting there a few minutes I got impatient and pulled on the cigarette lighter, which was on a spring so it popped right out and I lost my grip on it, but I hadn't pulled the tray out for it to fall in.  So the nearly fully heated cigarette lighter landed on my lap, to which I panicked and grabbed it and threw it on the seat next to me.  Next, I reached over and tried to pick it back up to use it on the lint.  But I was clueless when it comes to these things and grabbed it by the metal which was very hot.  I severely burned my fingers and screamed in pain.  My father came over and showed me how to use the cigarette lighter properly and help me nurse my 2 burn injuries.  
     So before this life we lived with God as spirit sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.  He has a body of flesh and bone and we were just spirits.  We could never become more like him or enjoy all the blessings he had in store for us without experiencing mortal life.  He presented a plan to us to come to earth and gain a physical body and to learn and grow and gain experiences.  
     This plan was centered on Christ, who would make it possible for us to return to our father in heaven, as well as on agency, which is a gift form God and is the ability to chose.  How we use this gift will decide our eternal progression.  
     The purpose of this plan that God has for each and every one of us is to learn and grow and become more like our father in heaven.  When my dad showed me how to use the cigarette lighter I instantly wanted to become more like him and learn how to do it, but I was a bit weary admittedly about going anywhere near that thing again.  Learning both to be careful around hot objects, as well as how to use a cigarette lighter, came from personal experience.  This life is a huge opportunity provided for us by our heavenly father, it is up to us how we choose to use it.

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