Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Inspirations March 7, 2010

"A number of years ago, a one-inch article in my local newspaper caught my attention, and I have remembered it ever since: 'Four people were killed and seven workers were rescued after clinging for more than an hour to the underside of a 125-foot-high [38-m] bridge in St. Catharines, Ontario, [Canada,] after the scaffolding they were working on collapsed' ("News Capsules," Deseret News, June 9, 1993, A2).

"I was, and I continue to be, fascinated by this brief story. Shortly after reading this account, I called a family friend who lived in St. Catharines. She explained that the workers had been painting the Garden City Skyway bridge for about a year and were two weeks short of completing the project when the accident happened. After the accident, officials were asked why these men did not have any safety equipment. The answer was simple: they had the equipment; they just chose not to wear it" (Ann M. Dibb, "Hold On," Ensign, Nov 2009, 79-81).

The workers who survived clung to a one-inch bit of steel while standing on about eight inches for a little over an hour before rescue workers could get them down. Though we may not find ourselves in a similar life-and-death situation, many of the temptations and situations we face today are every bit as much a threat to our eternal lives. Ofttimes we may ourselves feel as though we've found ourselves in a place where our spiritual half feels as though it is clinging for dear life to an unforgiving bit of steel.

Sister Dibb of the General Young Women's presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tells us, "It is important to note, however, that in the scriptures there are very few stories of individuals who lived in blissful happiness and experience no opposition. We learn and grow by overcoming challenges with faith, persistence, and personal righteousness."

She relates a quote given by President Thomas S. Monson of the LDS Church: "Remember that you are entitled to our [Heavenly] Father's blessings in this work. He did not call you to your privileged post to walk alone, without guidance, trusting to luck. On the contrary, He knows your skill, He realizes your devotion, and He will convert your supposed inadequacies to recognized strengths. He has promised: 'I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about to bear you up'" ("Sugar Beets and the Worth of a Soul," Ensign, July 2009, 5-6).

The workers on the bridge were given their very own sets of safety equipment. Don't you think our Heavenly Father would do the same for us? Sister Dibb states: "He has given us personal prayer, the scriptures, living prophets and the Holy Ghost to guide us. At times, using this equipment may seem cumbersome, awkward, and horribly unfashionable. Its proper use requires our diligence, obedience, and persistence."

Living a more righteous life certainly does feel cumbersome at times. How much easier would it be to get through life without the sword of truth, the shield of faith, the helmet of hope and breastplate of righteousness. These are certainly not "fashionable." Think for a moment what might happen if we choose to take them off. We find ourselves unprotected against the stones of peer pressure, the arrows of sin, and the constant onslaught of temptations, sorrow and hurt.

Perhaps some of us have already taken off our safety equipment. Perhaps they now lie in a corner somewhere, gathering dust rather than being put to good use. This does not have to be the end of our choices. We can choose this day to repent, to gather up our prayers, our words of the prophets, our scriptures, and put back on our armour of God. We can choose to use the safety equipment our loving Heavenly Father gave us to help us make it back to Him.

What will you choose?

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