- Through years of serving the Lord and in countless interviews, I have learned that the difference between happiness and misery in individuals, in marriages, and families often comes down to an error of only a few degrees.
- Small Errors Can Have a Large Impact on Our Lives small errors over time can make a dramatic difference in our lives.
- No one wants his life to end in tragedy. But all too often, we set out on what we hope will be an exciting journey only to realize too late that an error of a few degrees has set us on a course for spiritual disaster.
- Small errors and minor drifts away from the doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring sorrowful consequences into our lives. It is therefore of critical importance that we become self-disciplined enough to make early and decisive corrections to get back on the right track and not wait or hope that errors will somehow correct themselves. The longer we delay corrective action, the larger the needed changes become, and the longer it takes to get back on the correct course—even to the point where a disaster might be looming.
He gives great advice to the Priesthood holders specifically.
- Those who bear the priesthood of God have a great responsibility to be examples of goodness to the world. We live up to these expectations when we quickly recognize the dangers and influences that tempt us to drift from the Lord’s way and when we courageously follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost to make decisive corrections that will bring us back on course.
Temptations, failures, and sin are all part of Heavenly Fathers plan. He planned for all of us to experience these issues in our lives. He provided a Savior so that when we make the wrong choices, they are not eternally damaging to us.
- Our Heavenly Father knew before we came to this mortal existence that negative forces would tempt us to drift from our course, “for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” That is why He prepared a way for us to make corrections. Through the merciful process of true repentance and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our sins can be forgiven and we will “not perish, but have everlasting life.”
- Our willingness to repent shows our gratitude for God’s gift and for the Savior’s love and sacrifice on our behalf. Commandments and priesthood covenants provide a test of faith, obedience, and love for God and Jesus Christ, but even more importantly, they offer an opportunity to experience love from God and to receive a full measure of joy both in this life and in the life to come.
- These commandments and covenants of God are like navigational instructions from celestial heights and will lead us safely to our eternal destination. It is one of beauty and glory beyond understanding. It is worth the effort. It is worth making decisive corrections now and then staying on course.
- Remember: the heavens will not be filled with those who never made mistakes but with those who recognized that they were off course and who corrected their ways to get back in the light of gospel truth.
He shares this great comment that I love. It truly points out the need to study the words of the prophets like we do here on this blog.
- The more we treasure the words of the prophets and apply them, the better we will recognize when we are drifting off course—even if only by a matter of a few degrees.
What If We Have Drifted Far off Course?
- There are those who have neglected to make appropriate course corrections and now believe that they are too far from the Lord’s way to ever make it back. To them we proclaim the good news that is the gospel of redemption and salvation. No matter how terribly off course you are, no matter how far you have strayed, the way back is certain and clear. Come, learn of the Father; offer up a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Have faith, and believe in the cleansing power of the infinite Atonement of Jesus the Christ. If we confess and repent of our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be [made] as white as snow.”
- It may not be an easy path, and it requires self-discipline and determination, but its end is glorious beyond description. You are not doomed to a tragic end. Many are eager to assist you—your family, bishops and stake presidents, your quorum leaders, and home teachers. Of course, your greatest friend is the all-powerful Creator of the universe. It is His priesthood you bear. He understands your sorrow. He knows your grief. He and our Father in Heaven will bless, comfort, and strengthen you; They will walk beside you and carry you as you strive to right your course.
I love this analogy that is shared in this talk. Being 1 degree off can have lasting impact in our lives. It reminds me to look at all areas of my life and determine what negative things need to be removed. I am asking myself, what things in my life do I need to change, remove, destroy, and improve upon, that will assure that my course in life continues in the right direction. I loved that he pointed out that part of our life is to learn from the mistakes we make. That God expects us to fail, sin, etc. and that is why he provided us a Savior. It doesn't mean we seek after sin and these negative experiences. But it does mean that none of us are ever too far gone that we can't change our course and get back on track.