The following parable is by David Armstrong. Note: “Covenant path” is a term used in the restored Church of Jesus Christ to describe progress through a life marked by promises made with God via ordinances and adhering to these promises.
Membership in Christ’s true church provides us the opportunity to operate from an eternal perspective. Membership alone, however, does not guarantee a proper perspective on life. We not only must choose membership, but we must also choose discipleship.
Disciples are not immune to mortal problems. Their path is no easier than anyone else’s. Pain is just as real and intense, problems just as perplexing, disappointments just as heartbreaking. Their path is strewn with as many stones and hedged with sharp thorns as any others’ experience.
One of the purposes of the teachings of Jesus Christ is to edify us, or to build us up. In February 1831, He revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith: “I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given” (Doctrine and Covenants 43:8). Later that year, the Lord taught Joseph that if a gospel teacher teaches by the Holy Spirit, and if those who hear do so by the same Spirit, they will “understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together” (Doctrine and Covenants 50:21–22).
The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
The words edify and edifice come from the same root—where to edify means to build up, an edifice is that which has been built.
Henriette, the business analyst in a mid-sized company, was working on some process diagrams when her manager, Jakob, came to her desk. “We”—he was usually speaking on behalf of the executives when he started out with that word—”need you to get started on this year’s industry and market research. Revenue is lower than expected, and the execs are concerned. Project and budget proposals are due at the end of next month, earlier than usual, so we need to get a jump on that.” Henriette assured him she would have the information back to him within two weeks.
Everything the Lord has created is governed by laws. For example, physical things are governed by physical laws (with the law of gravity being one we become well acquainted with from our earliest years). He has also given a set of spiritual laws that govern our spiritual progress. Of all of the things He has created, one of the ways He set humankind apart was by giving us the choice whether to follow that set of laws. The Parable of the Robot alludes to the placement of the Lord’s laws in us individually.
Each year in late spring, a particular town’s leaders held a celebration of the anniversary of the town’s founding. Nearly everyone attended the festivities, which were held at the park near city hall. People even came from the other side of the nearby county line to take part. Town leaders watched the weather forecast with interest and had never yet had to cancel the proceedings on account of rain.
This year, the forecast looked as clear as ever. But as activities resumed after lunch, a breeze picked up. Thunderheads massed quickly and overshadowed the park. Participants cast worried glances skyward and thought about gathering up their belongings while hoping that the bank of clouds would pass on quickly.