Our Heavenly Father gives us commandments to keep us safe, but the choice is ours to obey or not. I know that our Heavenly Father doesn't give us commandments to limit our choices but to expand them. When we don't pay attention to the commandments we sometimes get very close to the edge. We leave the "safe" area that our Heavenly Father has told us to stay in and we go into the "dangerous" territory that Satan is in charge of. At first it may seem a little uncomfortable to be at a party with alcohol, or to watch an R rated movie, but over time we become used to the danger of being on the edge. The danger in breaking commandments never leaves. Just because we feel comfortable there doesn't mean that the danger has left. I don't typically go sit on the edge of cliffs, and in this picture I certainly wasn't comfortable. I would have felt much better if I would have been at least 10 feet farther away from the edge. I decided, however, that the fear was worth it and I wanted this picture, so I went and put myself in danger to get a cool picture. How many times in life do we get close to the edge for the sake of looking cool, or to impress a girl/guy, or to rebel against our parents council, or any other reason? I can think of so many times that people get close to the edge for no reason really at all. Sometimes we get so comfortable on the edge that the fall doesn't even seem scary. I know that living life on the edge and in the "danger zone" isn't all it's cracked up to be. Satan wants us to believe this, but I know differently. Our Heavenly Father desires true happiness for us and lovingly gives us commandments to keep us safe and happy. When we follow his council and obey his commandments we are safe from sin and happy as ever. Don't live your life on the edge. Take a step back and realize the peace that comes from keeping the commandments.
Yet again, I'm super late posting this! I guess you can say that I am truly a daddy's girl, so I figured I had better put something up for Father's Day. I thought I would just quickly share a lesson that my dad taught me that reminds me a lot of our Heavenly Father. When I had just barely got my driver's license I decided that I was going to surprise my dad and clean out his pick-up. So, I pulled his truck into the driveway and cleaned it. I worked hard to make it nice and clean. I vacuumed the carpet and scrubbed the dashboard. I worked to get the seat belt holders out from under the seat. I scraped up my arm trying to do this last task. I got out quite satisfied with the work that I had done. I did a double check to make sure that it looked as nice as it could. When I was done I backed his pick-up back out to it's usual parking spot and something went terribly wrong. I didn't check very closely what was behind me. My brother had a rail for his skate board behind the truck at this point. I ran over it and popped my dad's rear left tire. You can imagine how stupid I felt. My mom wasn't too happy and she made me call my dad and tell him what I had done. When my dad answered the phone I began crying. He asked what was wrong and I told him what had happened. When I was done explaining my dad began laughing. He said that it was fine and he was grateful for a clean truck. I am grateful that my dad understood the intentions of my heart and not just my actions. I had truly been trying to do something good, but I had ended up doing something wrong. I know that our Heavenly Father is like this. He understands the true desires that we have. He knows what we are trying to accomplish and the outcomes. He knows and understands us perfectly. So often as I talk with people they feel he is a cruel God, but I know this to be false. Our Heavenly Father loves us. He wants us to be happy, just like our parents on Earth desire our happiness. Your Heavenly Father loves YOU!
So I've been thinking back a lot to about a year ago when I went to Moab. My family took an awesome vacation before I headed out to Montana and Wyoming. While we were in Moab we did quite a lot, but the scariest thing for me was rappelling. It was also my favorite thing that we did. It was scary for me, because I knew there was a big drop off and I had to make myself go over the edge. Once I got going though I lovedrappelling. I have thought about this experience and what really happened. We certainly didn't just go rappelling by ourselves with no equipment. We hired someone who knew what he was doing to help us. He brought along all the equipment that we needed to help us be successful and make it through our trip safely. My parents wouldn't have allowed all of us to go on a trip without having the right supplies and someone to help us make it through the journey. Our Heavenly Father loves us just as our parents here on earth love us. He has provided that equipment to help us make it back safely and he has provided many tour guides. He gives us a manual to teach us how make it back safely. This manual is the Book of Mormon. He gives us gear to help us make it back safely. For rappelling you need: ropes, anchor materials, rappel device, harness, sling and locking carabiner, gloves (optional), and a daisy chain. I didn't know all this (and to be honest I just googled it to see exactly what you needed). My guide took care of this. He carried it and set it all up. He made sure that when I got all ready that I was going to be safe when I stepped off the edge and put all my weight on the rope. That's why we need our guide. To help us know what we need to do and how to do it. Isn't is great that we have a modern day prophet to be our guide? He gets the "gear" that we need and then helps us operate in the correct way. We have so many more tour guides that are more experienced and know the gear and how to set it up and work it properly. We have parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandmas, grandpas, and so many more people to help us with the things we need to do. Our Heavenly Father who loves us has given us everything we need to make it back safely. Not to say we won't be sore at times and wonder, but he has. I was very sore after rappelling, but I used the gear and I made it down safely. I know that we have everything we need to return back to our Heavenly Father safely. If you have questions about the "gear" we've been given there are answers. You can ask me or you can go to mormon.org and look at the answers there.
It wasn't too long ago that I was graduating from college and taking a trip to California! My roommates and I decided that we wanted to go to the happiest place on earth to celebrate. Where did we decide to go to celebrate my graduation from college? We decided to go to DISNEYLAND!!! What makes Disneyland such a happy place? I think it's the fact that it's a wholesome place to be. There are fun rides, the yummiest churros you'll ever eat, and you take people you care about. I would say that Disneyland is one of the happiest places I have ever been on earth. While we were there we saw Mickey Mouse and rode Splash Mountain. We ate good food and had a lot of fun. But, let me ask a question: Does the happiness last after you get back from the happiest place on earth? Sure it does, you have lots of good memories of the people you were with and the laughs you had. I know I think of our trip to Disneyland often, but is it Disneyland I think of or is it the people I took with me? I would have to say that the happiness from Disneyland fades and goes away with time. I know a joy that can last forever. Are you curious?
It's not a certain place, but something more than that. It's something that won't change with time. It's something that is eternal in nature. It's something that will bring us happiness forever. Have you figured it out yet? It has to do with Jesus Christ. If you're thinking, "It's his gospel!" You're right! The gospel of Jesus Christ will bring us lasting joy in this life and beyond. Christ tells the woman at the well, "But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14) We are promised that we will never thirst again, but that he will continually provide for us. I know this to be true. Life isn't easy when we have the gospel, but we have the tools we need to be able to accomplish the task at hand. The gospel truly brings us happiness that is everlasting. Unlike Disneyland that is fun, but doesn't last forever, the gospel truly will bring you happiness forever. Jesus Christ promises us that it will last us forever. I have seen the gospel in action in my life and I know these things to be true. Put this promise to the test. See if you partake of the living water and if you thirst again! I dare you!