Friday, August 5, 2011

Leap Out of Your Shell

I remember making my way to the top of cliff surrounding the waters of Lake Powell in southern Utah. I watched as my friends, one by one, jumped off the edge into the blue water below. My heart raced and I wasn't sure if I would have the courage, when it came to be my turn, to leave the solid ground beneath my feet and plummet to the water 30+ feet below. I stepped to the edge and saw my peers wading in the water, calling for me to follow them. I hesitated for a moment, took a deep breath, and thrust my body into the air away from the wall of the cliff. I fell for what seemed like several minutes but was only a few seconds, and splashed into the water. I made my way to the surface of the lake, relieved and happy to see my friends around me. A feeling of excitement and joy came over me that I never would have felt had I never taken the leap.

In our lives change can be difficult, new situations can be terrifying, and finding our way can be hard. However, if we never take the leap we may never feel the joy and fulfillment that comes from achieving.

When a tortoise sticks out its neck, it risks falling prey to predators. However, tortoise must stick out their necks in order to walk. Despite the fear, tortoise must extend their necks in order to make progress. If they don't stick out their necks, they don't progress.

Likewise, when we find ourselves hiding within our shells, refusing to stick out our necks, we also find that we stay in the same spot. Once, we gather the courage to poke our heads out of our shells and walk, we will also find that become more than we previously were.

Living in accordance with the gospel of Jesus Christ is often difficult, but if we come out of our shells and take the leap then we will find that the Lord will lead us to make correct choices, and will lead us to truth. Alma, a prophet in the Book of Mormon said, "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon [Christ's] words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of [Christ's] words." (Alma 33:27)

Allow the gospel to bless your life, by giving place for the words of Christ. As you strive to follow him and open yourself to him no matter how difficult it may be, the Holy Ghost will fill you and reveal to you the love that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for you. 

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