You’ve heard of habitual criminals, right? When offered their freedom they make an attempt to reintegrate into society.

Their family, filled with compassion and renewed hope give of their means-whatever money and goods are necessary to help their loved one re-establish him or herself into society. New apartment. New furnishings. New job.

Sadly, though, they may also return to their old friends. That’s understandable. But sadly, too often the same way of thinking, the familiar habits and attitudes permeate and life proceeds to resume the way it’s been experienced in the past.

Within weeks a family’s hopes are dashed and compassion has been replaced with cynicism, anguish and heartbreak. Shaking our heads, we wonder how it is that those delinquents will choose to repeatedly return to the confines of their prison. It seems like self sabotage, right?

“Men… have become free forever, knowing good from evil: to act for themselves… they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil” 2 Nephi 2:26-27  

Can our condemned friends not imagine life on the outside of those four walls? Are they too terrified to leave the familiar? Are they too discouraged? Does it take too much effort to make the necessary changes?

Do they feel that they do not fit in with the rest of us? Is their belief system to blame? Do they not desire more out of life and better for themselves? A clean honest living. Freedom. Happiness.

 “Where there is no vision, the people perish” Proverbs 29:18

What happens when someone offers to take the prisoner’s hand and walk with him out that door? That depends, doesn’t it? What is it dependant on? Does it depend on the heart condition of the prisoner? Is there any light remaining there to connect with? What are his desires?

Does it depend on whom is offering to hold their hand? Joe Christian? Jesus Christ? Whom does he admire? We can offer. Will he trust the gesture? Will he accept the hand offered in charity?stuck

Most of us understand what may divide individuals on this earth; those that become imprisoned as a result of their choices or those that fly on the wings of freedom.

Are you stuck?

Consider the following. Are any of these a part of your belief system?

“God doesn’t talk to us today.”

“I’m spiritual enough. I don’t need any church.”

“I’m not good enough.”

“Mormons think they are gods.”

“I can’t change.”

“The Holy Ghost was given only in the New Testament times.”

“There are no prophets.”

“I don’t like reading.”

“Joseph Smith made up the Book of Mormon.”

“All we need is the Bible.”

Be careful! This may be your self made prison!

I feel the above is a close analogy to our spiritual choices. Like our prison friend who cannot begin to imagine himself living a clean life filled with true communication, honest hard work, humility and giving of his means rather than pilfering and greed, we are surrounded with family and friends we deeply love who cannot imagine that the best available in this life has been offered to each of us.

Surrounded by our friends, our philosophies, our comfort levels, traditions and our own way of thinking we might be stuck. If so, consider what it may mean to be liberated!

Like an innocent child, carefree and adventurous choose to investigate. Read, ponder and pray. Pretend there is nothing to lose. There isn’t. Pretend there is nothing to fear. There isn’t!

There is everything you can possibly imagine to gain and more. Much more.

“By their fruits ye shall know them” Matthew 7:20

What do Latter Day Saints truly believe? Ask them questions with an open honest heart. Seek to know the truth. Search Mormon.org or LDS.org.

Listen to our leaders speaking to the world during General Conference and notice how doing so brings the Holy Spirit into your heart and into your home.

Examine the lives of successful Mormons. They are many.

Jesus Christ, our eldest Brother and Friend loves you more than you will ever imagine. He, our Savior, perfect and holy in all His ways, beckons.

Accept His hand and walk with Him. Doing so ensures your progression. Doing so promises your salvation. The greatest of all freedoms is assured-your eternal life and exaltation.

 

One Response to Are You Stuck?

  • Shanta says:

    As I think of this idea of being imprisoned by one’s own beliefs – I can only think that there is only one free place and that’s is God’s love. The energy and power that resides in all his creation and is free of judgement, hierarchy, power, man made rules, human interpretations.

    I think that it’s really about choosing which prison you will reside in and why. I believe that some people chose personal “prisons” so they can feel closer to God. Who am I to judge whether that is right or wrong.

    This idea hit close to home a few weeks ago when my son (11.5yrs) came with us to a funeral. It was in a Hindu temple, somewhere I had never been before so I was totally fascinated and intrigued. As we were leaving it was brought to my attention that C. had been upset and had wanted to leave because he felt uncomfortable.
    As the conversation unfolded he expressed that unlike me who found the statues breathtaking and found it interesting to see how all those there were worshiping in different ways…he believed worshiping idols is wrong and that he didn’t want to be around it.

    I know that many would commend his conviction and applaud his stance on seeing such sin in action. I did not. I was sad to see my son, at 11, at such a deep level of judgement that he could not see any beauty, any mystery, anything that we had in common with these worshipers. That instead of wanting to learn more about why these people believed what they believed, he just wanted to be away from it. He was angry he had to witness this. From his prison bars all he could see were people doing something he decided was not what he thought was right.
    Those bars might very well be the ones he chooses for his life, I have to admit it would be disappointing. I encouraged him to have his own beliefs while understanding that while in our home he would act in loving and respectful ways to every person, even those he didn’t agree with.

    I don’t see myself worshiping in a Hindu temple anytime soon. I don’t feel those are the right “prison” bars for me either. But I hold no judgement that others do. I don’t feel God’s love calls me to ever stand in judgement. I don’t feel that God’s love is a license for me to decide how he presents himself to his other children.

    So, while it’s an interesting question…I think we are all stuck. I think that until we can open our hearts and release judgement – we chose the bars we look out from, to the rest of the world.

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