My parents did not have much when it came to earthly treasures but when I was almost 10 years old they decided to invest in a snowmobile to give their children something fun to do during the long winter months. The first week that we had the snowmobile my dad was working on the farm and called home to see if someone could come and pick up my younger brother Rusty. As I was the oldest, my mom sent me to get him and allowed me to drive the snowmobile to pick him up. When I arrived to get my brother, my dad gave me strict instructions to go straight home and I promised him that I would. However, as I drove near the hills that were next to my home, I was tempted to take my brother for a quick ride up and down the hills. I pulled the snowmobile into the gate that led to the hills, as I did I felt the warning of the Spirit and remembered my promise that I made to my dad to go straight home. I sat there and debated as tho what I should do. Ultimately I decided to try and turn the snowmobile around and not go through the gate. As I worked to turn the snowmobile it started to slide into the ditch and eventually rolled over, cracking the windshield. Thankfully my brother and I were safe but as I looked at the machine, I was horror-stricken! I knew that I was in serious trouble for disobeying my dad and for causing such serious damage to the machine. My brother ran home and explained to my mom what had happened. I walked a very slow, tearful walk back to my home. As I entered my house, my mom was visibly upset with me and sent me to my room. I deserved whatever punishment that would be given to me. I can remember laying on my bed, feeling so guilty for what I had done. I had broken something that I could not fix and my parents had sacrificed so much for our family to provide this gift. Oh how I cried and lamented over the situation. There was nothing that brought me peace or comfort, that is, until my dad came home. As I lay crying, I heard a gentle knock on my door. I was so distraught that I did not answer it but eventually my dad came into the room. He looked at me with his gentle eyes and instead of yelling at me or punishing me, he put his arms around me and told me that he loved me. I think he figured that I had suffered enough with the guilt that I had experienced. Even though I had disappointed him, he was able to comfort me.
So why these stories today? I feel so grateful for all that my earthly father has taught me. Because of his teaching and example, it has been easy for me to feel a strong feeling of kinship and love for my Heavenly Father. My father was a giver of good gifts and we all have a Heavenly Father who has given us His son, the greatest gift of all. I have been able to learn that when I make mistakes, my Heavenly Father is there, and that He wants to forgive me. In Helaman chapter 11 verse 14 it says, "If this people repent I will spare them." In my life, during my stumbles, I have come to know that He is always there. I don't know how He does it, but He is approachable and constant. His love is perfect and He stands ready to help with outstretched arms. I am so grateful to know that: