free to choose

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 or

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.