The Lord’s Path
A WRONG TURN
One day a friend and I were on a long road trip heading from Wisconsin to Utah. My friend was driving and I was reading a book out loud to help pass the time when something outside caught my eye. “Did that sign just say, ‘Welcome to Missouri’?” I asked dubiously. Sure enough, we were in Missouri. In case you were wondering, Missouri is not on the way from Wisconsin to Utah. We were on the wrong road! We had been in the wrong lane at an interchange and hadn’t been paying attention to the signs since then. We were now way off track. It was time to break out the map and find the best way to make up for our wrong turn. After several extra hours of country highways, referring to the map and more country highways, we made it back onto the familiar road towards home. Even though we knew the way, if we had been paying attention to the signs all along we would not have made that error or we could have quickly turned around. On that trip it was only the difference of a few hours, but on life’s road, accidental wrong turns and intentional detours can have serious and lasting consequences. That is why Heavenly Father has marked His path clearly. He knows that there is safety and happiness on His path and only unhappiness and hurt off of it. He loves you and wants you to return to Him. He wants you to find the way. You do not need to make your own path. If you look, you will see God’s path marked for you. You just have to look and then be willing to follow.
ADDITIONAL DIRECTIONS God’s path is found in His revelation to prophets now and in the past. He understands that times are changing. And as a result there is a pattern of additional help being revealed throughout time. Henry B. Eyring said, “The Lord has placed a pattern of rescue and rescuers in His kingdom. In His wisdom the Lord has inspired His servants to place some of the most powerful ways to strengthen us and to put in place the best rescuers as we pass through the teenage years” (“Help Them on Their Way Home,” Ensign, May 2010). That means the youth programs and all of their additional resources are inspired of God for the challenges of today and are the safe path youth and their families are to follow. So, the purpose of Faith in God, Personal Progress and Duty to God is not to add to an already large stack of homework. It is not to give parents and church leaders something to bug youth about. The purpose of Faith in God, Personal Progress and Duty to God is to be the path for youth and their families to learn and implement God’s principles of eternal happiness at this critical time of life; the teen years. Think of these programs as the Driver’s Ed class that teaches safety rules, develops correct habits and allows for practice time before teens hit the road solo.
THE DESTINATION Faith in God, Personal Progress and Duty to God help youth develop skills and habits that provide necessary guidance and protection in their lives. They can learn to set goals, fulfill assignments, study the scriptures with the intent to learn how to be a better person and listen to the Holy Ghost. As they strengthen their personal testimony in this way, they will receive the many blessings Heavenly Father has prepared for them. Those blessings might include the courage to stand up to friends when there is pressure to do something wrong; the capability to do homework, attend seminary and class presidency meeting, go to a sister’s play with family and still have time to go to a friend’s house; or the inspiration to say the right thing when a friend asks a sincere question about the church. Youth will also know how the atonement allows them to be a little more like Christ each day. They can be prepared to enter the temple now and later as an adult, to feel the peace of God and receive specific revelation for their lives. They can have more of a desire to be obedient sons or daughters and loving brothers or sisters. They will have skills and knowledge to prepare them to be loyal husbands or wives and patient mothers or fathers. And then, because they have followed the path, they can joyfully return to Heavenly Father and live with Him forever in happiness. These blessings really can come to youth. However, when families work together to follow the programs outlined in Faith in God, Personal Progress and Duty to God, there are many more blessings available to youth, to parents and to the family. Living the gospel more fully by following the path God has set for your family at this time, will strengthen your family and ensure that you are on the one and only path that leads to happiness; the familiar road back home. Heavenly Father’s blessings are waiting for you and your family if you just walk His path! An excerpt from Walk His Path.
The Lord’s Path