Zigzagging Across Lake McConaughy
When canoeing across Lake McConaughy with a group of young men from church last week we’d pick a point on the shore as our target site and canoe toward it. It’s virtually impossible, however, to constantly stay on an exact course. Factors such as wind, wave action, and uneven or unmatched strokes by the two canoe paddlers onboard necessitate continual course corrections.
With my first paddling companion, as well as with my second, we made constant course corrections by paddling a few stokes on one side and then on the other. But my third paddling companion made less frequent changes to his paddling technique. Instead of making frequent micro adjustments we were forced to make macro adjustments. I found that we would 'zig' far to the left and then have to correct our course by 'zagging' far to the right. We rapidly fell far behind other canoers. When I suggested to my young paddling companion that we make more frequent course corrections, our zigs and zags became tighter and our paddling toward the destination became much more efficient. We pulled ahead of all the other canoes.
One of the young men on our trip was 16-year-old, Nick. He was asked to be one of the speakers in our Sunday Sacrament Meeting three days ago, the day after we returned home to Bellevue. His assigned topic was “Safety in Counsel”. The idea is that if we follow the inspired counsel of the Lord’s prophets we’ll find safety. One of Nick’s sources was a pamphlet called For the Strength of Youth. That pamphlet is provided by the LDS Church as an official guide for life to all Latter-day Saint youth.
That pamphlet contains the following counsel.
“If you are tempted to commit any form of sexual transgression, seek help from your parents and bishop. Pray to your Father in Heaven, who will help you resist temptation and overcome inappropriate thoughts and feelings. If you have committed sexual transgression, talk to your bishop now and begin the process of repentance so that you can find peace and have the full companionship of the Spirit.” (For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, page 37)
Nick added counsel from Thomas S. Monson, the president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that any indulgence in pornography should be discussed with a bishop so that the bishop can provide inspired and loving guidance in helping the person, whether youth or adult, get back onto a safer course. It’s certainly better to make a tighter correction when flirtation with pornography is an issue rather than waiting until more serious transgressions such as adultery materialize—thus requiring heartrending macro corrections.
Whether we're canoeing our way across a lake or charting a course through life, frequent course corrections are far easier, much more effective, and infinitely safer than delayed corrections. It's wise to keep the zigs and zags as tight as possible. What a blessing to have inspired, loving bishops who help us keep on the straight and narrow path.
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Bellevue, Nebraska 1 August 2012 ©2012 Daniel Kemper Lubben