Saturday, 22 March 2014

Pull Over

     I had a fairly typical experience with learning to drive.  I was very easily excited and I was also very impatient in wanting to give it a try.  For my first driving experience, my wise and battle hardened mother who has already taught my older brother how to drive, drove me over to a local parking lot to practice in a low stress area.  After gaining enough confidence in the parking lot and driving around for about an hour, she also let me drive around my neighborhood for about half an hour.
     The next weekend I was given an unusual opportunity.  We needed to go to downtown Denver and I asked if I could drive.  My mother said that would be ok.  I was so elated!  The problem came when we actually got downtown though, the suburban our family owned, seated 8 people and seemed to me to be wider than the lanes I was supposed to be driving in.  After a couple of close calls, I heard the sirens of an ambulance coming up behind me.  I panicked and attempted to pull the car over to the side of the road, out of the way.  I over-steered and curb checked at a little higher speed than I meant to come in at and the car jostled violently as 2 of the wheels went up onto the sidewalk.  I looked up and saw 2 pedestrians right in the path of my travel who looked like deer caught in my headlights.  After a second they seemed to laugh it off after having seen my pathetic driving prowess.
     The point of this story is to illustrate that there is life after death.  When an ambulance is pulling up behind you, all cars eventually get out of the ambulance's way.  Likewise we all will one day die.  When we die, our spirits go to a place called the spirit world where, if we are righteous, we will be in a state of rest and of happiness.  While if we are not righteous then we will be in a state of unhappiness.  When it was my time to pull over, I found myself unprepared and feeling unready.  The result was quite the stressful situation, I was not happy that I had to pull over. In fact, the ambulance's sudden appearance scared me to half to death! It can be the same with death in this life, if we find ourselves unprepared for that day then we will find ourselves in a state of unhappiness.   While if we prepare ourselves, "pulling over" will not be nearly so traumatic an experience.  

Friday, 14 March 2014

How Firm a Foundation

     The London Temple is an incredible building, but it is one with a history as well.  In 1952, president David O. Mckay travelled to several European countries selecting and acquiring sites for future temples.   In this process he felt very inspired in his work.  One of the sites he chose was in England, but after reviewing the land, engineers were hesitant to go forward with it because it was very swampy.  They wanted to be sure that such an important building was built with a strong foundation.  They felt this location would not be capable offering the temple such a foundation.  
     However, after taking a closer look, they found bedrock at the correct depth to support the foundation of the temple.  Temple construction went forward and today we have this; 

     One of my favourite scriptures is in the Book of Mormon in Heleman 5:12.  It says;  "And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." 
     This is meaningful to me because Christ is the foundation of my life.  Just like the engineers, there will always be sceptics about that, but if you honestly seek for it, you can find that foundation in your life.  Christ died for each of us so that we can return to live with our Heavenly Father one day and so that we can be with our families and those we love forever.  Temples play an important role in this, to find out more about why temples are important take a look here.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Learning to Swim

     If you knew me as a kid, I hope that one thing you would know is that I hated swimming lessons.  I slowly got into the pool but held on to the edge with a viselike grip, even though they had put a large table in the bottom of the pool for us all to stand on.  I wasn't falling for the false sense of security.  The teacher continued in her deceitful ways and told all 6 of the kids there that we needed to bob our heads completely under water and try to blow bubbles.  I saw straight through her scam and I wasn't about to fall for it.  I knew she would just keep asking more and more of us until eventually she would ask us to leave the safety of the table and attempt to swim.
     The good news was I had a plan, as she turned her head and faced away from me for a second or two, I initiated it.  I quickly splashed a bit of water on my hair and wiped my wet hands on my face to make it look like I had gone under water.  As she turned and looked at the rest of the class she congratulated us all for doing such a good job.  In my mind I was gloating, Success!  I had pulled off the biggest coup ever!!! She would never find out that I hadn't actually gone under water!  Unfortunately I was very wrong, my mother had been watching from the side of the pool and was not very impressed.  She updated my swimming teacher after the lesson and plans were set in place to make sure I didn't get away with anything in the future. As a result of this, it took me far longer to learn how to swim than it should have.
     This story is connected to the story of the garden of eden.  Adam and Eve were the first man and woman and were placed in the garden of eden which was a state of paradise where they lived with God.  Here they couldn't fully appreciate joy because they could not feel pain, they were in a state of immortality.  They were given the commandment not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  The did this and because of this they became mortal and they as well as us are now able to have this mortal experience and gain a body and grow and learn from making mistakes.  
     Agency is a powerful thing, just like adam and eve had the choice weather to eat of the fruit or not, I had the choice to be obedient to the teacher or not.  By not doing what I was supposed to, I experienced shame and sadness.  This is likewise with Adam and Eve, they also experienced shame and sadness.  But from that mistake we are able to learn and all of us were enabled with the chance to come here and have this mortal experience.  Also interestingly in this mortal life, we can try and short change the experience and get away with things in life.  But if we do that we are getting rid of our purpose in being here.  What is the point of taking swimming lessons if you aren't going to try and learn how to swim?  Life is very much like this, we all make mistakes, but what is the point of coming to earth and gaining a body, if we aren't going to try and do everything we can to learn and grow from it and fulfill the purpose of coming here by trying to become more like our father in heaven throughout our lives?