Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Parable of the Town Drunk

There's a story of a town drunk that had two sons. One of the sons was very successful in business and in life; the other was a no-good drunk like his father. When people inquired why the second son had become a drunk, he'd say, 'What else would I be? Look who my father is!' Tellingly, when those same people would ask the first son why he was so successful, he'd answer, 'What else would I be? Look who my father is!'

Each of us have different circumstances in life. Some have had a difficult past, others face hard situations today, and most of us will find ourselves in difficult circumstances at some point in the future. The Lord has taught us through the prophet Lehi that it isn't our circumstances, but our choices that matter: 'There is a God, and he hath created all things, both the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are, both things to act and things to be acted upon... Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself' (2 Nephi 2:14, 16).

Lehi continued:

And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given. Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And 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; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself (2 Nephi 2:26-27).

In a way, we face the same choice as the sons of the town drunk. We can make an excuse of our circumstance and allow ourselves to be acted upon, or we can  "gird up our loins" and use the redeeming power of the Atonement to act for ourselves. We can allow the passions of our flesh to determine our destiny, or we can have the strength through Christ to be anxiously engaged in good causes and a disciplined life.

This is the choice we face every morning when we get out of bed. What will you choose today?

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