Freedom or Freefall? A Parable


Consider: we love the feeling of weightlessness, don’t we? We’ve felt a little of that on roller coasters and other thrill rides. We see it in space movies like Interstellar (and, above, in Inception) and can imagine the freedom of living without any kind of pressure, with the ability to bounce in any direction at will. What liberation that is! 

Take this kiwi for instance. He just wants to be able to fly.

But there is a danger to weightlessness experienced near something as huge as a planet: if we’re not careful, if we are not aware, that same sense of freedom can turn into a very real freefall. We wouldn’t notice we were falling for quite some time, and along the way it would be thrilling and even very pretty (it really would be!), but that excitement, and that beauty—of the planet, of space, of the atmosphere—would be pulling us in an increasingly inescapable grip. The closer our freely made choices take us away from the celestial and towards the terrestrial, the more we are going to be pulled down, down, down until that sudden, irreversible stop.

Consider this heartbreaking story as a parable of this concept:

We might want desperately to fly, to have the wind in our face, to grow wings and soar. But too often the result is defined by our lack of wings—our spiritual earthiness. We want the freedom, but without the training, without accountability, and without the work it really requires.

That is addiction. That is sin. That is the seduction of the philosophies and practices of men. In the end, the strength of our own arms won’t be enough. For we cannot be pulled up to the heavens and away from Earth’s gravity on our own power alone. Only Christ can truly give us the launching power we need. Only through the Atonement may we attain that state of existence. And seemingly ironically, only the straight and narrow path can give us true freedom, as we reject and attempt to reverse the gravity of the great and spacious building, and live according to our own choices, built on a foundation of righteousness.

And so true spiritual weightlessness is our goal—the grand end goal of the whole gospel, the gods we will be at the conclusion of all our soulcraft. A state where we feel no more pressure from Satan, none of the gravity of temptation, no burden of conscience, no weight of guilt: where any choice, any direction we take is truly our own.


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