One day I was so excited because my family was traveling to Disneyland (only the best place in the world). We were leaving our Utah home for a week and just like usual we were running behind. We got the car loaded up with suitcases, we all piled in the car, and we backed down the driveway. We had to pause of course to make sure the garage closed and stayed down. We are all a little frustrated because 1. my mom couldn't turn on the air fast enough for all of us sweaty people 2. my brothers stuff was on my side of the back seat 3. we were running late and were about to catch early morning rush hour. We got on the road and sure enough only two miles down the freeway we came to a complete stop. NOBODY said a word because the first to speak would break that large elephant in the car in two. We were sitting there in awful traffic and I started to notice all the cars around us. A little claustrophobic if you think about suitcases, blankets, food, 4 lanes of traffic dead stop going both north and south, bumper to bumper. I am sure it started to rain or something just to make the matters worse. Then all the sudden it hit me. Nobody else on this packed freeway just left the Kaysville home I just pulled away from and is heading to the exact same hotel in Anaheim, California. Someone could have just left their graveyard shift and is going home to sleep before their next job starting that afternoon. Someone could have kissed their kids goodbye as they headed to work while the kids got ready for school. Someone could be headed to the hospital to visit an ill family member. Moral of the examples is: no two people (or cars) left the same place and are going to the same destination. (Unless you are all following each other, but that defeats the purpose so it doesn't matter.) This is just like life though. Right now we are on a microscopic freeway in the plan that Heavenly Father has for us. There is a great analogy in "Our Search For Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard. He said, "... let's say you had a rope that extended both directions off into the cosmos- forever. And let's say you took a single strand of thread and wrapped it around the rope once at its midpoint. The rope to the left of the thread could represent our life before birth. The rope to the right of the thread could represent our life after death. And that single strand of thread would represent the span of our mortal lives here on earth in comparison to eternity." Most people would say that it doesn't matter what you do in that microscopic thread of time. But I am here to tell you that yes, it does matter the choices you make because it effects your destination. If you have a specific destination to get to, how are you going to get there? If you don't have a route, where are you headed? Life is like this freeway of bumper to bumper cars. We leave the left side of our eternity rope only to find ourselves in the middle of a thread that is filled with confusion, conflict, and choices. A lot of things are out of our control like the terrible trials of traffic jams that consume our life or the rainstorms that only get us wet. It is critical to remember that each of us, children of our loving Heavenly Father, have all experienced different courses of travel. Nobody on this Earth has left that Kaysville home and headed to Disneyland with the exact same traffic. Nobody has had this exact experience that I have been sharing with you. Each and every one of us have our own lives and our own stories. We have all, however, made good choices and bad choices. We have turned right and we have turned left. Heading west is the most logical way to get to Disneyland from Utah but if we don't have a correct understanding of that and if we aren't prepared for that, then most likely we will take an exit heading east (because inevitably that is everybody's luck). Choices affect our destination. We cannot wait until we come to a fork in the road to decide if we go left, right, or straight. It is critical that we prepare for these roadblocks so that when we are in the situation we have already made the decision. Let's look back at what we have traveled so far in the course of our existence. We lived with our loving Heavenly Father and anyone who is reading this chose to follow His plan. We don't know all that happened and we don't know how we all made that decision but we chose to come to earth. We all left a specific place only to come to this freeway of life full of agency and accountability. Now that we are on this freeway it is crucial we have a plan or a route in order to get to the destination in which we desire. Now I am not saying that Disneyland is the Celestial Kingdom or anything... but that was my destination at this moment in time and in order to get to that goal we had to follow a specific road map. Luckily we each have a pre-programmed GPS called the Holy Ghost who can help us make decisions to reach that final destination. We are, oh, so blessed. As we follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost we will come out of the traffic jams stronger, smarter, and greater than we were previously. The GPS will tell you which way you should go but it is up to us to put our heart into it to do it willingly and happily. I personally believe that the best way to be happy in the traffic jams of life are to evaluate our time. Are we using that time stuck in traffic to spend quality time with the people that matter most to us? Or are we preoccupied with the things of the world (music, movies, games, etc.) that shut us out from learning and progressing? When our lives seem to be stuck in traffic, we need to recognize the path that we are on and the things we are doing on that path. Our choices are our destination. The way we turn and our attitude towards it shows Heavenly Father the path we want to take. Following and using the divine tools He has provided us with will only make life easier and our destination tangible. Plug your plan into the GPS and allow the Holy Ghost to guide your ways. Preach My Gospel states, "You are surrounded by people. You pass them on the street, visit them in their homes, and travel among them. All of them are children of God, your brothers and sisters. God loves them just as He loves you. Many of these people are searching for purpose in life. They are concerned for their families. They need the sense of belonging that comes from the knowledge that they are children of God, members of His eternal family. They want to feel secure in a world of changing values." Never forget that those eight lanes of bumper to bumper traffic are filled with your brothers and sisters. They have all driven down different paths of life but you're paths cross because you have both chosen God's freeway. You lived with God and you will live with Him again if your choices reflect your commitment to make it there. Alma 12:24 says, "... there was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state which has been spoken of by us..." Decisions determine your destination.