So last week we were walking a lot because we did not have any miles left for the month on our car. As we were walking last Tuesday we decided to take a short cut. There was a sub-division that ended and there was a big open field, of which we could see the sub-division we wanted to go to on the other side. So we walked through it. It was all dandy, and cut off a lot of time. So after some lessons and things on that side of town, it was about 8:30 and we were headed home, we decided to take the short cut again so that we could get home by 9:00. As we walked in the dark in the place we thought we were earlier that day we began to question, and to feel like maybe we weren't in the right place. However, we both were trying to reassure ourselves that we were headed the right direction, saying things like, "Oh, I remember seeing that," or "The path is just up here, I am pretty sure." So with these type of comments we fooled each other into thinking everything was fine.
So now to apply this story to all of our lives! There are times when we try to take short cuts in life, such as not obeying God's commandments exactly. As we start down the path we might think that we are okay, or that we are close enough to the right path. Then as we get subtle promptings and messages from God that we are on the wrong path headed towards a place we don't want to be, we rationalize them. We try to talk ourselves into thinking that we recognize this or that, and that all is good, when it is not! We eventually end up in a menacing place that we don't want to be in. We now realize that our choice to take the path we did was not the right one. We are now far from our home (heaven) and aren't sure how to get back before it is too late. Thankfully there is Christ who loves us and has provided a way for us to get home just in time. it is called the atonement. We can access the atonement by exercising faith, repenting, being baptized (or renewing our covenants if we have been already), receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. As we do that we are able to get away from the scary into a safe path that we know where it leads! I hope that we will all strive to stay on the path, but when we do take the short cuts, to quickly realize we are wrong and get back on the path through accessing the atonement!!
Here's a talk about how Obedience leads to Freedom.