The Lord will protect those who stay within the lines He has marked

To illustrate the importance of staying on the "strait and narrow" path, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin spoke at the October 1990 general conference of having traveled along a mountainous road one evening through a driving rainstorm. He said that the rain was so heavy that he and his wife could barely see the road, either in front of them or to the right and left.

"I watched the white lines on that road more intently than ever before," said Elder Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve. "Staying within the lines kept us from going onto the shoulder and into the deep canyon on one side and helped us avoid a head-on collision on the other. To wander over either line could have been very dangerous. Then I thought, `Would a right-thinking person deviate to the left or the right of a traffic lane if he knew the result would be fatal? If he valued his mortal life, certainly he would stay between these lines.' "Elder Wirthlin told the conference congregation that the experience of traveling on that mountain road is like life. "If we stay within the lines that God has marked, He will protect us, and we can arrive safely at our destination.

"The Savior taught this principle when He said,

" `Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

" `Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.' (Matt. 7:13-14.)

"In modern-day revelation He taught further, `For strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it.' " (D&C 132:22.)

Elder Wirthlin said that the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith, "For God doth not walk in crooked paths, neither doth he turn to the right hand nor to the left, neither doth he vary from that which he hath said, therefore his paths are straight, and his course is one eternal round." (D&C 3:2.)

Further, Elder Wirthlin said: "Even though these teachings of the Savior are plain and direct, we are still at risk of getting sidetracked. Some people choose to follow the teachings of the Lord and of His living prophet only when convenient, but reject them when sacrifice or deeper commitment is required. Some fail to follow only because His divine teachings do not agree with their own preconceived notions.

"We get sidetracked by submitting to temptations that divert us past the bounds of safety. Satan knows our weaknesses. He puts attractive snares on our paths at just those moments when we are most vulnerable. His intent is to lead us from the way that returns us to our Heavenly Father. Sin may result from activities that begin innocently or that are perfectly legitimate in moderation, but in excess they can cause us to veer from the straight and narrow path to our destruction."

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