A couple of weeks ago, Sister Mace and I were driving from Joliet to Roberts. It's a 13 mile stretch that we drive almost every day. While cruising along the 212, my thoughts were everywhere from the service we had just done at the public library to our next appointment to discuss our musical fireside. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye I saw a big black animal along the side of the road. "Oh my goodness," I thought to myself. "It's a bear! I've always wanted to see a bear!!" Excitement and surprise filled my mind. How lucky we were to be in Montana, and actually see a bear! "Sister! Sister! That's a bear!" I yelled to Sister Mace pointing to the big black creature. She didn't share my enthusiasm, and looked at me very confused. Our car coasted closer and closer to the animal, and I came to realize that the big black bear was in fact a big black steer. I felt my face turn red, and I started to laugh in embarrassment. Sister Mace and I still laugh and comment on all the bears along the highway whenever we see them.
Life is similar to this experience. There are many things that will come to us that will look exciting, or enticing. Yet when we take a closer look at them, they are not what we were expecting nor anticipating. Satan is the master of this game. He can take something and distort it to look appealing, or even fun. A Book of Mormon prophet teaches his son a valuable lesson. "Wickedness never was happiness." Sin, and disobedience to God's commandments will never bring us joy or peace. Though we may obtain temporary pleasure, we will never find lasting satisfaction, serenity, or self worth. The aim of the adversary is to make all men miserable like unto himself.
Thankfully, we can find peace and direction through our Savior, Jesus Christ. If we do yield to temptation, His sacrifice on our behalf can cleanse us of the sins which "so easily beset us." There is nothing that His mercy cannot encompass. There is no deed that is to dark that cannot be replaced with the light of the Atonement. All we need to do is turn to him with all our hearts, and repent. Offering up a broken heart and a contrite spirit, we can be encircled in the arms of our Saviors everlasting love, mercy, and forgiveness.
The Lord promises us that we will never be able to be tempted above that which we can bear. The apostle Paul counsels, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able: but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
The Lord is with us. Let us look closely at the bears along the highway, and trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ to lead us continually on the road back to our Father in Heaven.