Another Once Upon a Time

Fairy tales capture what we wish we could see happen in life. Rags to riches, right. For instance. . .

They took her pretty clothes away from her, put an old grey bedgown on her, and gave her wooden shoes. Just look at the proud princess, how decked out she is, they cried, and laughed, and led her into the kitchen. There she had to do hard work from morning till night, get up before daybreak, carry water, light fires, cook and wash.. . In the evening when she had worked till she was weary she had no bed to go to, but had to sleep by the hearth in the cinders. And as on that account she always looked dusty and dirty, they called her Cinderella.

Likewise, we have a divine heritage though we may dress in rags or in riches. Cinderella suffered physically, mentally, and emotionally at the hands of uncaring people because of her goodness and beauty much as people today attack good values. Living the gospel is not easy. We face opposition at all sides. Some would have us forget who we are or see only the soot and ashes that cover us. Others would say the work is too hard or we do not need to work, we are entitled to a better life.

The Lord called this life and the gospel the refiner’s fire, a fire hot enough to temper and purify metals. By relying on the Lord we can handle the trials of life. He knows what we are going though and will help us succeed. It is alright for life to be difficult; it will refine us and make us worthy of the blessings God is waiting to to give us like the fairy godmother gave Cinderella the chance to go to a ball that would change her life.

Her step-sisters and the step-mother however did not know her, and thought she must be a foreign princess, for she looked so beautiful in the golden dress. They never once thought of cinderella. . . . And when she rose up the king’s son looked at her face he recognized the beautiful maiden who had danced with him and cried, that is the true bride.

If we hold out faithful to the end, we will also have our Happily Ever Afters.


A Muddy Mix

At the end of every summer, all the youth in my neighborhood gather together and play a rousing game of mud volleyball. Actually, the volleyball disappears after a few minutes and it seems like the biggest mud fight in the Salt Lake valley. The long-anticipated dirty-day.

A few adults had come to supervise—to watch—not to play. They thought if they dressed nicely the neighborhood teenagers wouldn’t get them dirty: white tee-shirts, khakis, sandals. All of them sitting in lawn chairs, cheering us on. They wanted to enjoy the dirt without getting dirty.

Teenager, being teenagers, didn’t agree with that mentality. One by one, they dragged each adult into the mud. Each adult who’d been pulled in also began pulling the others in. The youth mud volleyball became the neighborhood mud fight.

The effects of the mud fight lasted longer than the actual event. When we got home, Mom pointed the cold hose at us and sprayed it at full force, trying to rid our hair and clothes of the dirt. At times, the water stung a little. The cold water and the breeze of the impending night stole all my warmth.

I tip-toed through the backdoor, the shortest path to the closest shower. After several attempts, I finally washed all the dirt from my hair, but I had to clean the shower after I was clean. My clothes fared the worst. They were irreparably stained gray-brown from the mud and have long since been turned to rags.

Sometimes we think that we can be near the dirty and not get dirty. The Lord commanded us to be clean, pure, even to become perfect. We cannot become clean and holy while watching the dirty. We must stay as far away from the dirt as possible. We cannot even watch the game if we want to stay clean.

If we do get into the mud, the effects often take time and much work to become clean again. The Savior has offered himself so we can become clean. Though He provides the way to be washed clean, the easiest and wisest choice is to stay away from all that will make us dirty.

Stay away from the dirtiness of the world. Seek after every virtuous, lovely, and praiseworthy(1).

See also my “But you Promised” and Lehi’s Dream