Friday, March 1, 2013

Beware Concerning Yourselves

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Beware Concerning Yourselves, by Anthony D. Perkins
Of the Seventy

On a trip through the Rocky Mountains as a boy with my father driving, I saw many signs reading "Falling Rock." As we had passed many sheer cliffs with piles of rocks at the bottom, it was obvious what the signs were saying, but my dad told me something different.

You see that sign over there, I can remember him saying, "do you know its history?" Wanting to impress my father, I'm sure I told him about the piles of rocks I had observed, but he had another explanation: "Sure, that's what they're used for now, but do you know the original story?"

I was hooked. Asking for more information, I was fed the greatest, epic story of a young Native American man named Falling Rock. For the next who-knows-how-many miles, my dad told me the greatest story of adventure and young love a boy could ask for. While I don't remember the specifics, I remember being spellbound as he finished the story of Falling Rock losing the love of his life and resolving to find her again. Because of his determined search, the signs were put up to either find Falling Rock who was searching for his love, or to encourage us to be faithful to what we treasure (true love) on our personal journey.

Either that, or my dad was just telling a story to a captive audience to help him stay alert on a long drive. Regardless, I remember that story and experience with fondness.

In his address, Elder Perkins shared a story of the automobile safety part of the Falling Rock signs and compared the important transportation warnings to other warnings associated with sacred covenants (namely the oath and covenant of the Melchizedek Priesthood). After sharing six fundamental principles to aid in staying on the priesthood path and not fall like a rock, Elder Perkins said the following:

If your soul is drifting to the edge of a spiritual cliff, stop now before you fall and steer back on course. If you feel your soul lies wrecked at the bottom of a canyon rather than high on the priesthood path because you neglected “Beware” signs and sinned, I testify that through sincere repentance and the power of Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice, you can be lifted up and restored to God’s heavenly highway.

I'm grateful for the trust our loving Father in Heaven has for us. We've been given many gifts and responsibilities (including those related to our families) that each have helpful warnings. I'm grateful that the atonement can help us retreat from the edge of perilous cliffs, or salvage us from the sharp rocks below.

I'm also grateful for a dad who shared a fun story to an imaginative boy long ago. I want to be like Falling Rock in my determination to always seek what is truly importantwhile avoiding the falling rocks of life.

And in case you're wondering, I've also told my children the story of Falling Rock.

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