Parables from a Mother

Parables from Moab


Parable #1 – If you splash through the mud in an open vehicle, you are bound to get dirty.

Mud is an irresistible playground for children. In spite of failed commands to “stay out of the mud” from a parent’s voice of warning, children naturally gravitate to the enticing, fun, and inviting mud. Perhaps, the mud squishing between fingers and toes is soothing. Perhaps, the plastered mud feels cool and refreshing. At any rate, children and grown up children are tempted by the mud. With all of the seemingly benefits of mud, the result is that you will get dirty.

While meandering on the open road of the beautiful Chicken Corner’s trail, we encountered a mud hole where previous torrential rains had washed out the road. To reach the other side of the trail, we had to cross the mud hole. To most of the party, crossing through the mud and getting dirty was an exciting adventure and the real reason for adventuring on the trails in razors.

Splashing through the mud hole was entertaining, amusing, and harmless in this case; however, some mud holes in life which initially appear inviting and enjoyable are not harmless. Temptations to engage in muddy waters of drinking or smoking or stealing or skipping church or watching R rated movies may initially appear enticing and pleasant, but in reality filthy our souls and make us spiritually dirty.

Temptations are part of our mortal existence; however, if we want to avoid getting dirty, the best and safest practice is to avoid finding the mud. Satan is cunning and deceitful. If he can lead us to the mud, we may become as children and the mud is too enticing and too irresistible. We may foolishly believe that we can eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us (2 Nephi 28:7).” Remember if you splash through the mud in an open vehicle, you are bound to get dirty.


Parable # 2 -If you are climbing a steep rock, you have to thrust the throttle forward or you will slide backwards.

We may choose to splash through the mud and cover ourselves in dirt as Cody and Mina did at the conclusion of our razor run on the Fin and Things course. Fin & Things was quite the name for an ATV trail along the east side of Moab. “Fins” are the Navajo Sandstone slickrock formations northeast of Moab, and the “things” are what remains as the fins erode. The fins started as wind-blown sand dunes some 200 million years ago, they got cemented into sandstone, and they are now going full circle back to sand blowing in the wind.  Eight couples if four razors decided to tackle a more challenging trail than we had covered earlier in the day. The three mile trail appear innocuous until we encountered steep hill and boulder ascents, narrow passages, steep hill and rock descents and bumpy hardened sand dunes.

Needless to say the trail was sufficiently challenging and scary for me to elicit a cardio workout; especially when observing a four wheeler sliding backwards down the steep rocky trail. Not having enough momentum and too much weight to reach the crest, the driver of the four wheeler had to allow the vehicle to gently and slide down the trail, remove his passenger, and thrust the throttle forward with you enough power to keep the four wheeler steadfastly climbing.

I likened the experience to our journey in life. We are either thrusting the throttle to move forward as we climb the hills of mortality or we are sliding backwards down life’s trail. What are the elements that provide the power necessary to ascend to our eternal home? The ingredients seem simple, redundant, and perhaps mundane and yet they are the fuel to prevent us from sliding backwards. We are counseled to hold daily individual and family prayer, daily individual and family scripture study, to attend the temple regularly, and to keep the Sabbath Day Holy. In 2 Nephi 31: 20 Nephi admonishes, “Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ having a perfect brightness of hope….”

We can climb the hills no matter how challenging or how steep if we thrust our throttle forward centered in the daily practices of the gospel.


Parable #3 – If you think you are in control, think again.

Often times we encounter situations in life that are beyond our control. We did not choose the situation and the situation was not of our own doing and yet there we are in the middle of a violent rain and hail storm and we can use our agency to choose whether we stop or whether we “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ.” We can blame God or become angry with others or we can use our agency to submit to Heavenly Father’s will and accomplish His purposes. We can choose the path that emulates the Savior and leads to our eternal home or we can choose Satan’s plan of misery. We “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 of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself (2 Nephi 2:27).”

None of us is in control of every situation in life; however, we are in control of our response and we are given the gift of agency to choose how we respond. Will we respond in the Lord’s way or will we respond in the way of misery? If you think you are in control, think again because while you are not always in control of what happens to you, you are in control of the choices you make.


Parable #4 – If you think someone is watching you, you are right.

By Sunday evening the children were ready to be uncaged from the house and the adults were ready to be uncaged from the children and so we decided to take a walk. The intended long walk was abbreviated due to that enticing mud, the retention pond full of water from the previous night’s downpour, and the rocks waiting to be thrown into the water. The instructions to “stay out of the mud” were futile and soon children and adults were walking on the muddy sand and throwing rocks into the pond.

After five minutes or so of observing everyone throwing rocks, Soren, decided he would not miss out. I took him from his stroller and this thirteen month old knew exactly what to do. He walked across the sidewalk, across the rocks, and was headed directly for the mud. I restrained him from crossing into the mud, but left him standing on the rocks. Soon he picked up a rock in each hand and threw the rocks in the direction of the pond. Of course, he did not have enough strength to land the rocks in the pond, but this did not deter him. He continued to pick up rock after rock and fling the rock as far as his little hand had capability.

Intrigued by this whole process of watching a thirteen month observing those around him and determining to join in, his little brain knew exactly what to do. He modeled the behavior of those around him. He walked immediately to the rocks, bent down and picked one up, and threw it. “Remarkable!” I thought as I watched this scene unfold and then I contemplated the profundity that someone is watching you, even if you are not aware. What kind of model do you want to be?

The Lord instructed the Sons of Mosiah to be examples to the Lamanites. “Go forth among the Lamanites thy brethren, and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient in long-suffering and afflictions, that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls (Alma 17:11).” If you think someone is watching you, you are right.


Parable #5 – The end is closer than you think.

Riding razors across rough terrain was not the only wheeling adventure we had in Moab. We also rented bikes and rode from the bike shop on Main Street to the head of the Colorado River Pathway. Little did I realize that the route from the bike shop to the bike path was two miles and the bike path was an additional 2.5 miles one way.

Though we biked in the morning, the sun was shining in a cloudless sky and the temperatures were warm. Riding to Lion’s Park located at the head of the bike trailhead was a sufficiently demanding ride; however, our bike ride along the Colorado River would be denied if we did not continue to ride another 2.5 miles.

The pathway was not difficult, but we were tired and hot. We stopped to gather our physical strength as well as to admire the amazing sheer cliffs and other beautiful rock formations surrounding the river. At this point, I think most in our biking party were ready to turn around and return home.

I wondered how far we had come and how far we had to go. I knew the paved path ended after 2.5 miles, but had no idea how far we had travelled; however, Mina had a pedometer and could tell us approximately how far we had travelled. She calculated that we had covered about two miles and only had a half-mile remaining. With this knowledge, everyone agreed to press forward to the end of the path.

We hopped on our bikes and began pedaling along the path only to discover that just around the bend was the end of the path and we were only a couple of blocks from the path’s termination. I thought about how disappointed I would have been if we had not finished the path; especially knowing how close to the end we were.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is comprised of five steps: faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, and enduring to the end. The Lord Jesus Christ promised in 3 Nephi 15:9, “Behold I am the law, and the light. Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life.”

We endured to the end and finished the trail. How great was our reward for finishing the trail and how dissatisfied we would have been if we had learned we were only blocks away and we did not finish the trail.

When we are discouraged, frustrated, beaten down, and think we cannot ride another block, we may be closer to the end than we think and how great will be the reward for enduring to the end and finishing the ride to end of the trail. The end may be closer than we think.

Parable #6 – There’s no place like home.

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy follows the direction of the Good Witch Glinda and clicks her ruby red slippers together three times and repeats, “There’s no place like home.”  She repeats the line in the final scene after returning home from Oz and cries, “Oh Auntie Em, there’s no place like home.” For me, there is no place like home, but home is not my house where I live, or the cabin I stay in, or the condo I rent. Home is my family.

Home was five days in Moab with all twenty members of our family. Webster’s Dictionary defines home as, “the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. I disagree. Sometimes people want to sell their house and post a “home for sale” sign. My home is not for sale and will never be for sale because my home is my family.

If we were asked to sell our house and live in a tent, I would still own my home because my family is an eternal unit sealed together through the power of the priesthood. There’s no place I would rather be than with my family and that truth was reinforced on our family vacation in Moab. There’s no place that brings me greater joy than having each possible family member gathered in the temple or on the temple grounds.

Our ability to gather as a family and experience the joy of “no place like home” extends beyond this life. In D&C 130:2, the Lord teaches, “And that same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.” Indeed, there’s no place like home.



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