Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunny Skies

My message tonight is short and sweet.

It's based on a message from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, found in the June 2009 Ensign magazine. He talks about "Prayer and the Blue Horizon," a discussion of prayer in the familiar terms of flying an airplane (Pres. Uchtdorf often uses aviation analogies, as he used to be an airline pilot for a living).

I've flown quite a lot myself, from the time I was very young. I've been on eight flights in the last eight months. One thing I always appreciated was the fact that even when it's gloomy and rainy on the ground, you soon realize that it's only that way beneath the clouds. When the aircraft takes you up above the bank of rain clouds, it's ALWAYS a beautiful sunny day, no matter what (as long as it's daytime, of course).

President Uchtdorf uses this as an analogy to the way prayer can lift you up above the storms of life.

He says:

"In the same way that aerodynamic lift can transport us above the outer storms of the world, I know that the principles of spiritual lift can take us above the inner storms of life.

And I know something else. Although it was a breathtaking experience to break through the clouds and fly to the bright blue horizon, that is nothing compared to the wonders of what we all can experience as we lift up our hearts in humble and earnest prayer.

Prayer helps us transcend the stormy times."

I testify that this is true.

I would also like to link this message into Father's Day (which is today). In my patriarchal blessing it states that I am to lead my family in family prayer. It is often said in the Church that it is the father's place to "Preside, Provide, and Protect" (the three P's).

It is indeed the father's place to be the one who makes sure that family prayer happens daily. It's his responsibility to ensure this vital part of family life is a regular part of family life. He is to do so with patience and love, and - if needed - creativity. In my family, it's pretty easy: we only have one child, he is a very good boy, and it is part of our normal bedtime routine to have family prayer. We don't do so well in the mornings, because I leave for work before anyone is awake most of the time. We usually only get a morning family prayer on Sundays.

I know that it can be a lot harder in other families, with multiple children to wrangle and organize, but I know it can be done - else the Lord wouldn't have commanded it.

Linking this to President Uchtdorf's message: we, as fathers, are like pilots. We each are at the helm of our airliner (family) and lead the way to our common destination (the Celestial Kingdom). We are each responsible for the safety and well-being of all of our passengers (wife and children), and it's up to us to make sure we can fly above the clouds (engage in meaningful, regular family prayer).

I know that if we strive our best to do this, we will all enjoy the flight more and also enjoy a safe landing at our final destination.

Happy Father's Day, all!

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