The Road Less Traveled: Celebrating the Less Traveled Paths of Life
There are some extremely beaten life paths out there. That’s because they work. In the community of the Church, I’ve noticed a few roads that are so beaten we’ve practically paved them. You’re born into the church; you attend faithfully while you go to school and grow. Then, you graduate. You either go on a mission, go to college, or get a job. Later, you get married, have kids, take them to church until they’re grown, become “empty nesters,” and either go on a couple’s mission, or you throw yourself into your church callings and community for the rest of your life.
The truth is that the easy paved road is far less attainable than you might think. We’re not a people of the beaten path. It might seem like it when you look at all the facades people try to throw out there. However, if you get to know people, they’re far more complicated than they seem.
We’re a Trailblazing People
Early Saints carved out our cushy lives after walking across the United States, arriving in a scrubby desert and terraforming it so that it was fertile farmland. They were part of the newly restored gospel. They sealed their testimonies with their blood, sweat, sacrifices, tears, and often, their lives. There wasn’t a path, except for Heavenly Father’s direction and guidance.
If we look at the Book of Mormon, many people didn’t have a path either. Lehi had to leave everything and “wander” in the wilderness. Notice the word “wander” which indicates the lack of a clear directional path. He had direction from Heavenly Father, but no trail. Then, Nephi had to build a boat with only the direction of Heavenly Father while his brothers mocked him.
The only clear cut detailed path ever mentioned in The Book of Mormon is the Iron Rod which leads to The Tree of Life.
In our modern times, all we have to worry about is holding on to The Iron Rod, which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and staying on the Covenant Path which is what will lead us to eternal happiness. Those are the paths that you have to care about the most.
Plans Aren’t Paved Roads
You are an individual. Heavenly Father’s plan for you is unique. You will do, experience, see, create, find, and live through things unlike anyone else in the world. Isn’t that wonderful? We’re all different. Heavenly Father needs that difference. So, embrace it.
When it comes to marriage and family, you might be feeling like you’re missing something. Sadly, not everyone gets married in this life. Of all the couples who do get married, some of them will divorce. Even if you have a wonderful marriage, you might not be able to have kids, and adoption may not be an option for you.
No one has an easy life laid out before them. That’s because Heavenly Father’s plans are not smooth, paved roads. In a way, we’re all Pioneers trailblazing our way to our promised land. It’s never easy. It can be painful. We’ll have to make sacrifices along the way. However, if we trust in the Lord, and hold fast to the gospel, we will be blessed in the end.
The Good News
The Children of Isreal wandered in the desert after fleeing Egypt. Lehi and his family wandered in the Wilderness. The brother of Jared and his people got into strange sea vessels and prayed that they’d end up where Heavenly Father wanted them to go. The Pioneers followed Brigham Young on foot and by wagon across the plains of the United States and ended up in a desert which they turned into a home.
None of them got lost. Why? Because they followed the direction of Heavenly Father with faith, and they kept the commandments as best as they could.
We only have to worry about The Covenant Path and The Iron Rod. If we’re staying on those two paths, Heavenly Father will guide us through everything else. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.