While navigating the road of life, the best map to follow is Heavenly Father's plan for His children, Presiding Bishop H. David Burton told young adults during a Church Educational System fireside Sunday evening, May 2.
His address from the Cannon Activities Center on the BYU-Hawaii campus was broadcast via satellite to many parts of the world and was available on the Internet.
Bishop Burton told the young adults those who know God's plan "know our ultimate destination and which route to take in order to safely arrive."
He said, "If we are obedient and faithful in holding to the iron rod and traveling the prescribed road, we can expect the grand and glorious opportunity to once again return and live eternally with our Father in Heaven, enjoying all the blessings He has identified for those who graduate this mortal existence with excellence. By holding fast to Church standards, you will have greater happiness in your life and be a positive example to those around you."
He compared the road of life to a road trip along interstate freeways from the east coast of the United States to the west coast with the many opportunities to change routes and the helpful road signs, warnings, speed limits, markers, and perhaps global positioning system in the automobile. "Periodically it is necessary to rest, refill the gas tank and seek nourishment to body and mind," he said.
"In life's journey from birth to death, we also have many choices to make," he continued. "Our progress is measured in part by age and accomplishment."
He said, "The scriptures provide direction, warnings, encouragement and a map to pattern our lives after."
In 2 Nephi 33:4-5, Nephi outlines "reasons for us to study the scriptures just as we would study a road map in preparation for a long cross-country journey."
The reasons include, Bishop Burton said: "It persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal. And it speaketh harshly against sin, according to the plainness of the truth."
There are detours in the road of life just like on the freeways of the automobile journey, Bishop Burton said. Because of them, he added, "we can become lost souls, succumb to temptation and, over time, lose sight of our original destination."
The Atonement of Jesus Christ helps those who have strayed find their way back on course again, he said.
"Remember, the Lord has promised that 'though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.' (Isaiah 1:18.)"
Rescuers have also been provided, and Bishop Burton advised, "If you have taken a short cut or deviated from the prescribed course of life, your wonderful bishop can help. Seek him out — he loves you."
On an automobile journey, there are incentives such as special lanes and toll-booth bypasses that can make the trip easier for vehicles that meet certain standards, he said.
He compared those standards to covenants, saying, "As we honor sacred covenants, our Father in Heaven extends blessings as He has promised. We should not take our ordinances and covenants lightly."
Bishop Burton spoke of a kite and how, not the wind, but the string that anchors it to the ground is what keeps it flying. If the string is cut, the kite falls to the ground.
He said, "The kite represents each of us. God created us in His image, and we are beautiful in His sight. He did a great job, but He does not force us to do anything. What He did give us was a strong tie to Him, as the string is to the kite. The string represents the guidelines for happiness and eternal life as contained in His marvelous plan."
Finally, he spoke of breakdowns and mechanical failures on the automobile trip.
"Wherever you presently find yourself on life's highway, it may be helpful and even wise to objectively assess the health and vitality of your spiritual life just as you would check the air pressure in your tires and the level of fuel in your tank before you commenced a journey," he said.
"If your spiritual well-being is hampered by sin, procrastination, indifference, lust, drugs, immodesty or any other malady, now is the time for resolution. …
"Let's not defer the opportunity to participate fully in the happiness that comes from living a righteous and contributing life."