In one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon, the prophet Lehi has a dream or a vision. He describes a landscape of mists of darkness, a dreary wilderness, and rushing water. There is a large field, a great and spacious building, and a narrow path with a rod of iron that leads to a beautiful tree -- the tree of life, whose fruit can bring happiness and peace. Many people filled the landscape. Some were wandering, aimless in the wilderness. Some were in the great building laughing and mocking those down below. And some were holding tight to the rod of iron and pressing forward towards the tree of life. There are great parallels that can be drawn from Lehi's vision to help us in our life here on earth, as we strive for truth, happiness, and peace, or as we hold to our own "rod of iron". But I want to talk just briefly about verse 30. It says, ". . . and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree of life."
Am I "continually holding fast"? What does that even look like? In my life, I think it means keeping the commandments, or striving to life the life I know that I should, every single day.
President Thomas S. Monson said in our most recent General Conference, "God's commandments are not given to frustrate us or to become obstacles to our happiness. Just the opposite is true. He who created us and loves us perfectly knows just how we need to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible. He has provided us with guidelines which, if we follow them, will see us safely through this often treacherous mortal journey. . . We know the commandments. He understands that when we keep the commandments, our lives will be happier, more fulfilling, and less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear, and we will receive His promised blessings."
I know that when I keep the commandments, or when I live my life the way God wants me to, I am happier. I feel more peace, more stability, and a greater sense of well-being.
I thought this was a cute illustration that I'll be sharing with my kids for FHE tonight: