Feb 27, 2015

Guided Safely Home

I have a question for you.  
Would you like me to continue posting the General Conference club?

I'm not getting a lot of feedback/comments on them so I'm curious:   Are you enjoying them?  Would you like me to continue to post my thoughts?   I'm happy to keep posting them, but if they're not benefiting anyone, I'm going to stop and use my time on other things.

If you're reading this, please leave a comment below or email me:  clintandrachael@gmail.com
and let me know what you think.  Do you like them?  Do you want me to keep posting them.  Could you care less? OR Would like me to do things differently?  I'd really like to know.
Thank you-  :)
by President Thomas S. Monson

This is the last of the Priesthood session talks.  President Monson is the story-teller of all story-tellers.  I love how he uses true stories to teach gospel principles.  This talk, the story was all about the German Bismarck (the battleship, not to be confused with Bismark, the cream-filled doughnut).
The Bismarck was "majestic in appearance, gigantic in size, awesome in firepower", and "considered unsinkable."

In 1941, the Bismarck went to battle.  It fared well until "a torpedo scored a lucky hit, which jammed the Bismarck's rudder.  The Bismarck could only steer a slow circle.  Just beyond reach was the powerful German air force.  The Bismarck could not reach safety of home port.  . . for the Bismarck has lost the ability to steer a charted course." 

"The end grew near.  British guns blazed as the German crew scuttled (Scuttling is the act of deliberately sinking a ship by allowing water to flow into the hull.) and sank the once seemingly indestructible vessel."

"Like the vital rudder of a ship. . .we have been provided a way to determine the direction we travel.  The lighthouse of the Lord beckons to all as we sail the seas of life.  Our purpose is to steer an undeviating course toward our desired goal - even the celestial kingdom of God.  A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder, never likely to reach home port.  To us comes the signal:  chart your course, set your sail, position your rudder, and proceed."
I love that!  "Chart your course, set your sail, position your rudder, and proceed."
We all know where our final destination should be -the Celestial Kingdom.  And we know the way to get there.  I interpreted it like this:

Chart your course - Our earthly course needs to include baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, Temple Marriage, and enduring to the end - trying our hardest to follow Christ's commandments no matter what storms may come our way.

". . .As we walk the pathway of life, He provides a clear map and points the way toward our desired destination.  He cautions:  beware of the detours, the pitfalls, the traps.  We cannot be deceived by those who would lead us astray, those clever pied pipers of sin beckoning here or there.  Instead, we pause to pray; we listen to that still small voice which speaks to the depths of our souls the Master's gentle invitation, "Come Follow Me."
Set Your Sail- It may not always be smooth sailing, but if we don't keep moving through the seas of life, we'll never reach our final destination.  No matter what happens, keep moving.  Don't let the storms, and near sinkings make you give up, and scuttle your ship.

"Throughout the history of the world, Satan has worked tirelessly for the destruction of the followers of the Savior.  If we succumb to his enticings, we - like the mighty Bismarck - will lose that rudder which can guide us to safety.  Instead, . . .look heavenward for that unfailing sense of direction, that we might chart and follow a wise and proper course.  Our Heavenly Father will not leave our sincere petition unanswered.  As we seek heavenly help, our rudder, unlike that of the Bismarck, will not fail."
Position your Rudder- 
". . .The thrust of the turbines and the power of the propellers are useless without the sense of direction, that harnessing of the energy, that directing of the power provided by the rudder, hidden from view, relatively small in size but absolutely essential in function."

We are the ones who get to determine which direction we travel.  Are we staying on course?  Or have we maybe let the current drag us off-course a little?  We are in charge of the position of our "rudders".  We decide if we are going to make righteous choices which will keep us on course, or if we're going to let the waves of life, carry us into uncharted waters.

Proceed - Keep going.  If you get off-course, get right back on.  If storms come and your rudder is pointing in the wrong direction, change it.  The voyage isn't over 'til it's over.  You can ALWAYS get back on course.

"Ours is the responsibility to be worthy of all the glorious blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for us. . .Are we standing in holy places?  Please, before you put yourself. . . in jeopardy by venturing into places or participating in activities which are not worthy of you . . ., pause to consider the consequences."

"As we venture forth on our individual voyages, may we sail safely the seas of life.  May we have the courage of a Daniel, that we might remain true and faithful despite the sin and temptation which surround us.  May our testimonies be as deep and as strong as that of Jacob, the brother of Nephi, who, when confronted by one who sought in every way possible to destroy faith declared, "I could not be shaken."

"With the rudder of faith guiding our passage, . . .we too will find our way home - home to God."