All around us, people are moving, doing things. Some move fast. Some people are more still. There are paths to follow and people who you may lead. Our paths often cross with the paths of others. Whose path do we parallel? Whose footsteps are we following?
The best answer would be Jesus Christ. He is the perfect example. If we match our prints with His, we will find our lives richer in hope and in faith knowing that He walked the same path.
Psalms 23:3 says, “He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.”
We could also be following an empty path, following no one. Perhaps we are meandering down an empty road, with no one behind and no one ahead – just a dreary wasteland.
Those in 1 Nephi 8:23 lost their way when a “mist of darkness” arose. “They wandered off and were lost.”
This kind of path is a lonely one. It may have an essence of independence, but with independence comes loneliness sometimes. When one stumbles, there is no helping hand or shoulder to lean on. At least, not on this path. When you follow Christ’s path, you have His example to follow and the Spirit with you. Here, you may only have fleeting whispers of encouragement. Where would you rather be?
Isaiah 59: 8 says, “The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.”
On Christ’s path, we can feel peace, even amidst our troubles.
Yet another path could be following those who we shouldn’t. Often times there are neighbors, friends, and family members who pick a different path. We may find it easier to join them, rather than to stick to a more Christ-like path. It’s our sister, our brother. They may be struggling or experiencing substantially difficult circumstances. Regardless, we can support them from our own road. You don’t have to make the same decisions as someone else to be a considerate friend.
Proverbs 4:15 says, “Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.”
Today, it seems there is hardly a member of the Church that doesn’t know someone who has left the Church. For many of us, that someone is a brother or a mother, a best friend or trusted leader. For many of us, that someone is someone close to us.
The scriptures provide us with how we can act towards these loved ones. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 says to “support the weak” and to “be patient toward all men.”
It is so painfully hard to watch someone suffer, or to go down a road you would not recommend, but we don’t have to just watch. Being charitable and kind are all part of being on the path of righteousness. Christ was kind to those who sinned and suffered. We can do the same.
“Charity is the pure love of Christ.”
We must remember though that we are not without sin either, therefore we cannot cast a stone. It is not our responsibility to pass judgement. That is in the Lord’s hands.
Romans 14:13 says, “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.”
Stumbling blocks are a natural part of life, but we can work hard to ensure that we are not the ones stumbling those around us.
Scriptures and modern revelation teach us which path to follow. It is not an easy path, but it is one in which your helping hand will never fail to be there.
On a path of righteousness, we can say, as it says in 2 Nephi 4:20, “My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.”
In April’s General Conference, Elder Ronald A. Rasband quoted the poet, Edwin Markham, who said, “There is a destiny that makes us brothers: [No one] goes his way alone: All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.”
Follow the footsteps of Christ as you help others on their way.