Return with Honor

Presiding Bishop

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    (Adapted from an April 1990 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1990, pages 39–41.)Keep my commandments, and live (Prov. 4:4).

    As a young man, I served in the U.S. Air Force as a jet-fighter pilot. We spent hours in a training device that simulated real flight. There, an instructor taught us about emergencies that could occur when flying at the speed of sound and about what we must do to avoid disaster.

    One young man in my flight-training unit refused to listen to those with more knowledge and experience. When it was time for him to go to the trainer and learn emergency procedures, he went to the swimming pool, pistol range, or golf course, instead.

    A few months later, fire erupted in the quiet sky over Texas, and my friend’s plane went down in flames. The young pilot who was with him bailed out and survived. My friend did not. He had not learned the lessons that could have saved his life.

    Our unit motto, displayed on the side of our aircraft, was “Return with Honor.” This motto can be applied to each of us. I can picture our Father in Heaven putting His arms around each of us as we left His presence and whispering, “Return with honor.”

    How do we return to our Heavenly Father with honor?

    Just as aircraft pilots must obey certain rules in order to avoid disaster, there are laws, ordinances, and covenants we must understand and obey as we go through this earth life. We must listen carefully to parents and teachers as they tell us what to do in case of spiritual emergencies.

    The Lord has told us plainly: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). If we do, we will return with honor to the presence of our Heavenly Father.

    Illustrated by Rick Graham