Getting in the line

I did something this morning I haven’t done before. I went and stood in a long line for the grand opening of a new store that promised a complementary $50 item to the first 200 people in the door. I had to get up a little early, drive there, stand in the single-file line that wrapped around the building for nearly an hour, but I did make the cut.

line

The catch was that only people who had “Liked” the store’s page on Facebook were eligible for the redemption vouchers they handed out as store employees came down the line. If you couldn’t show them your Facebook profile on a smart phone, or a print-out you brought from home, you were out of luck. If you were #201, you were out of luck. If you were under 13, you were out of luck (you have to be 13 to have a Facebook profile). Moral of the story: I followed instructions, but there was still no guarantee I’d make the “Elite 200.”

Needless to say, I’m very happy to know that God’s plan¬†(called the Plan of Salvation)¬†doesn’t follow the same method. Where as the store only provided give-aways for 200 people who had jumped through all the hoops, our Heavenly Father has provided a way for everyone to have genuine happiness in this life, immortality, and eternal life. And He couldn’t care less if you “Liked” His plan on social media or what time you got in line. All He cares about is that we get in the line.

Sure, God’s line does have some requirements. Be obedient. Live righteously. Serve our neighbors. Make and keep commitments/promises/covenants. Have and exercise faith in Jesus Christ. “Endure well” until the end. Yes, some of those things are hard to do at times in our lives, and some times those things aren’t what we naturally want to do all the time. But if we will just join the line, we won’t regret it. He has promised great blessings to His children who do so, and His Son, Jesus Christ, has done all He was required to do so that no one would have to miss out if they would but follow Him.

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Back to school

ImageThe kids go back to school next week. As a parent, I worry about them making good friends, making good choices, being safe, and having confidence in themselves.

I’m certain our Heavenly Father has those same concerns for us, His children here on Earth. I’m thankful that the Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that He knows us and is always near.

I take comfort in this scripture: “Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world.” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:40-41)

God and Jesus Christ know there are things we cannot handle at some points in our lives without divine help. In fact, our Heavenly Father’s eternal plan called for us to come to this earth, gain a body, and go through life’s challenges and trials. If we have that perspective, we should learn things that strengthen us. As we grow in our faith, and learn from experiences both good and bad, our ability to handle things increases.

As a father, there are times where it would be easier for me to step in, take control of situations, and do things for my boys. But learning from the Savior, I know that they will be stronger men someday if I let them figure some things out themselves. I’m willing and ready to help if needed. But I think if my kids know it’s ok to do hard things, they’ll benefit from facing what life puts in front of them.

And I’m glad our Heavenly Father does the same for us.