Tonight I learned another great lesson. I needed to leave the office. Miracle had a volleyball game in Holbrook and I was planning on attending. She has been so good about trying all the sports at school this year, and I really wanted to support her. One thing led to another at work, and I left later than I meant to. It was going to be close, and I knew that I would be late.
This got me to thinking a little bit about our earth life and the distractions that take us away from doing what we know we need to do. Sometimes, we have the desire to do right. It burns in our hearts. Our intentions are good, we start out great, we go along just fine, and than something gets in the way. We get distracted by the world and wonder off the path. I love 2nd Nephi 28: 20-22
"For behold, at that day shall he rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.
And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well - and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.
And behold, other he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none - and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverence".
I think that in today's hard times, the thing we need to be most aware of is the deception that "all is well". Satan seems to work very well with distractions. We can do a little of this, or a little of that. Gossip a little with our neighbors, not read the scriptures, forget our prayers, stay home from church, lie a little, cheat a little, swear. The distractions go on, but they all have one goal in mind and that is to distract us from the road that leads to eternal life.
Satan doesn't have to lead us completely astray. All he has to do is just distract us from our goal. He just has to keep us off the road that leads home. There is only one way home, but many ways to keep us off the path. I used to wonder how anyone could be distracted away to the great building that Nephi saw in his dream. He truely was talking about our time there. There are so many things that lead to the world and away from the iron rod.
It is so easy to want to be like everyone else, but I wonder if we would make those choices if we could truely see into eternity. Sure it's hard here sometimes. It is supposed to be hard! It is supposed to test us! Remember that Satan's way was the one that would bring us all back, no matter what. His was the way that offered no choices.
If you read the parable of the 10 virgins, you will see that they were all probably good women. They were righteous, they were still virgins, they were waiting for the bridegroom. They were all living the good life, at least by first appearance, But five of them got distracted with the things of the world. They put more worth in the things that matter here and now, but have no value eternally. Because of that, they had to go to buy oil for their lamps and missed their opportunity when the bridegroom came.
Remember, when we die, there are only three things we take with us. Our character, our intellect, and our relationships. Everything else stays. What do you want to have in the next life. Are you so involved in this one that you can't see what he is doing to you? Don't make the same choice that I did today. I sacrificed the things that matter most, for the things that matter least.
Somehow, I don't think that when I die, a single one of my children will say: "I really wish mom would have worked a few more hours!" I think instead, that they will remember the things I did with them and for them and wished that there could have been more time. Today, I let one of my favorite people down for a little bit of work. I am so sorry. I can't undo it though, so I will try and go again and hope that somehow that will make a difference. Don't get so distracted with the things in this life that you make the same mistakes. The things that matter most are always those things that make us better people. They may not always seem to be the most fun, but they are the things that will bring you no regrets. May we each strive to stay on the road that leads to eternal life. Hold to the iron rod. It is worth it.