Brad suggested that I shave off my mustache( linked via title bar); but alas, I lack the courage. He had watched the Simpsons television cartoon show and came up with some interesting ideas. I wish I could find the photograph I took the day before I entered the Police Academy. I'd gotten a call from a member of the Academy staff reminding me that mustaches were not permitted, and, remembering from our interview that I had one, wanted to impress upon me the importance of starting out on the right foot. I will look some more, the photograph is proof that time travel is possible.
I personally don’t enjoy watching the Simpsons as I feel the level of entertainment tends to demean the human spirit with below grade one liners that obtain laughs; but at the expense of dignity and real values, I’d rather read a good book. Brad went on to explain how I might learn from the show that, “it’s okay to follow my religion as long as I don’t violate the rights of others”; something which we both agree on, just down different paths.
Speaking of different paths; I read an article written by, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin,Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which he called, “The Straight and Narrow Way”. I will go ahead and butcher the talk in the interest of space; however, as with any good talk it would be better to read it in its entirety. It can be found in the archived conference talk section by going to www.lds.org and use of the search engine found there.
“While traveling along a mountainous road one evening through a driving rainstorm punctuated with frequent claps of thunder and flashes of lightning, Sister Wirthlin and I could barely see the road, either in front of us or to the right and the left. I watched the white lines on that road more intently than ever before. Staying within the lines kept us from going onto the shoulder and into the deep canyon on one side and helped us avoid a head-on collision on the other. To wander over either line could have been very dangerous. Then I thought, “Would a right-thinking person deviate to the left or the right of a traffic lane if he knew the result would be fatal? If he valued his mortal life, certainly he would stay between these lines.”
That experience traveling on this mountain road is so like life. If we stay within the lines that God has marked, he will protect us, and we can arrive safely at our destination.”
"Even though these teachings of the Savior are plain and direct, we are still at risk of getting sidetracked. Some people choose to follow the teachings of the Lord and of his living prophet only when convenient, but reject them when sacrifice or deeper commitment is required. Some fail to follow only because his divine teachings do not agree with their own preconceived notions.
We get sidetracked by submitting to temptations that divert us past the bounds of safety. Satan knows our weaknesses. He puts attractive snares on our paths at just those moments when we are most vulnerable. His intent is to lead us from the way that returns us to our Heavenly Father. Sin may result from activities that begin innocently or that are perfectly legitimate in moderation, but in excess they can cause us to veer from the straight and narrow path to our destruction.”
When I get my feathers wrinkled, I was going to use “wrankled” but spell check classified that as unacceptable, my first reaction is to hammer back; sometimes without regard for showing my ignorance or my pride. I’m still a work in progress and so maybe someday I will take the higher path. My desire to explain my beliefs often fall short, mostly when I speak before thinking and I end up proving the old adage, “Remain silent and not everyone will know you as a fool, speak and remove all doubt”.
Let me clarify my intentions; I share my beliefs so that those who read them will have more choices to determine the path upon which to embark while here in mortality. I am in favor of individual responsibility to control individual actions as opposed to external forces such as government imposed sanctions. In so stating this, I also believe that individuals are accountable for their actions. I also submit that there are consequences for all actions, whether they are called rewards for right actions or penalties for improper actions, and that these consequences are not limited to this time here in mortality. I would hope that we all might have the wisdom and the courage to chose in favor of the more excellent when given such choices.