Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Storms and Power

            Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska experienced a powerful wind storm on Tuesday. The wind started Monday evening and blew for about twenty-four hours. The high-wind warning ended at 7:00 p.m., but there were still gusting winds near my home this evening. 

            The wind, gusting to more than 80 MPH along the hillside near my home, damaged homes, blew over power poles, trees, and fences, and generally blew anything away that was not tied down. I felt my house shutter numerous times as gusts of wind hit it. I chased my garbage dumpster down the street but lost several other items. We lost some small branches from our trees, but we have not found any real damage to our property.

            To make the windstorm even worse, power was cut to thousands of homes, including mine. I was not too concerned about the power being off during daylight hours. My main inconvenience was being unable to warm my cooked apples in the microwave oven. I was not worried when the power was still out after the sun went down, but I did experience more inconveniences.

            I had to open and close the garage door by hand. I tried to flip several light switches while in the midst of finding headlamps, flashlights, and fake candles. I was sort of prepared for a power outage because I had spare batteries for the candles and other lights. However, I was super grateful to have electricity once again.

            The power outage reminded me of a talk titled “Protect the Spiritual Power Line” given by then-Elder Russell M. Nelson in the October 1984 General Conference. Elder Nelson shares a personal experience of cutting the electrical cord to his clippers while trimming a hedge and then makes the following statement. 

“Isn’t that one of life’s great lessons?” I thought. “Power, if misused, can cut into the very source of that power.”

Just as the careless use of electrical power can sever the source of the power, so is it possible to misuse spiritual power to sever our spiritual power line. We would then lose that which enables us to generate success in our lives. Proper use of our spiritual power line allows us to learn, to labor, to be obedient to law, and to love. While these capabilities lead to fulfillment, at the same time they also carry risk.

            Elder Nelson then proceeds to discuss how we can misuse the various powers mentioned above and cut our personal spiritual power line. It is a powerful reminder to keep our spiritual power line connected to Heavenly Father.

            Just as I could not see how well I was peeling my carrots in the half-light of battery-operated candles, we will have difficulty seeing the path we should take in life if we allow our spiritual power line to be cut by the storms of life. I did not really enjoy operating in the dark and/or half-light of no electricity, but this experience reminded me of the importance of keeping the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ operating brightly in my life. This is a good lesson for me.

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