While on a school trip to Las Vegas, my brother and I were wandering along “the Strip” looking for souvenirs and seeing the sights. We proceeded innocently into a large and impressive hotel, which, we discovered only after we went inside, had a casino attached. We had no intention of gambling, but everywhere we turned were opportunities to do just that.
We wandered deeper and deeper into the building, looking for a store with souvenirs we might be interested in. Built like a maze, the corridors of the casino all seemed to lead from one area of slot machines to another. At last we realized we were lost. The lights were dim, and we were surrounded by all sorts of flashy and offensive advertising. We knew that the buses to go back home would be leaving without us if we didn’t find an exit soon.
Finally we found a security guard and asked him about the quickest way out. He had an annoyed expression, but after giving a disgruntled cough he told us the way. The instructions were complicated, and we had to ask him to repeat them several times. Luckily, with his directions, we found a well-hidden set of doors which led out to the sunlight. We found ourselves on the main street and soon met our supervisors.
I recently found myself in a similar situation when a group of us were at a friend’s house. Stealthily, the conversation had turned to less innocent topics. The longer I stayed, the more I found myself listening to things I shouldn’t and feeling like I couldn’t do anything to change the situation. Just as I had been lost in that casino, I was now lost again and had to find a way out. I remembered the story of Joseph in the Old Testament. When he was cornered and found himself stuck in the wrong place, rather than going with the flow, he dropped everything and ran from Potiphar’s wife (see Genesis 39:9–12). I knew I had to do the same thing.
While trying not to sound rude, I asked for a ride home, giving little explanation for why I wanted to leave. I felt stupid for putting an end to what had started out as a fun time, but once I got home, I had a calm feeling in my heart and knew the Holy Spirit was with me again, telling me that I had done the right thing.
There have been times in my life when I needed to find a way out from darkness and temptation. Some are easier than others, but I’ve learned one thing: there is always a way out. I know that Heavenly Father knows when we are lost and will always help us find an escape from temptations if we ask Him.
Sometimes we need help. Just like my brother and I had to ask the security guard for help, there is always someone like a parent, a teacher, or bishop there to help you.
The way out may sometimes be hard to find, but I’ve learned that the door is always there. “God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Illustration by Cary Henrie