Inspired by a conversation with a friend a few days ago, I would like to share an analogy and liken our spiritual progress and journey to that of a kite.
Some fear the winds of adversity which blow about and are spiritually content to stay on the ground, complacent with the limited view from the perspective of the world.
Some attempt to take spiritual flight and achieve a measure of limited lift from the ground level, but after rising a certain distance, they either become content with where they are at or become fearful and want to stay close to what they consider to be the safety of the ground/world level. These halt their progress and are content to rise no further or sometimes retreat back to lower levels where they feel comfortable, with improved but still with partial views.
Some of the limiting fears of these kites may come from fearing that the higher spiritual heights will not only distance them from what they currently know, but that attempting to soar higher will result in a potentially more damaging fall. They may have seen other kites crash before them and instead of having faith to fly, they fear the potential fall.
Others find the spiritual courage and determination to leap heaven ward in faith! They reach for and long for higher Vistas and more glorious views and dream of leaving the world behind them to see things from loftier, heavenly perspectives and planes of reference. They focus not on those who have crashed, but rather those who have been successful in spiritual flight as their examples.
But what is it that allows this successful flight to happen?
It is the tethering string of authorized priesthood covenants, and obedience to His commandments which bind and connect them inseparably to their Master and the guiding strength and grace of His Atonement.
This tethering covenant string is what allows the gusting and changing winds of life not to blow us about, but instead lift us to higher planes. This tethering connection allows them to sense that when winds attempt or blow them temporarily sideways or downward, to correct course under the guiding hands of the Master who controls the string, use repentance to make necessary correction in their orientation and maintain or further increase their lift heavenward.
The Master kite maker holds the strings, but also employs authorized servants (prophets) to offer warnings of coming gusts of wind, or guidance to better orient ourselves so that these winds do not send us crashing downward. He has selected these servants because, although they are normal people like you and me, they have successfully learned how to fly. The kite-Master has at least temporarily allowed these servants to hold the authorized use of these covenant priesthood strings so that we can relate to and more easily hear the general warning voice and learn the basics of flight. They also teach us how to better avoid unwanted entanglements, and when we become entangled, how to more easily free and repair ourselves, so we can begin flying again.
The Master places these servants, who have learned to successfully fly already, down on ground level so they can guide and teach the beginners the basics of flying. He has caused them to write down kite flying instruction manuals (the scriptures) to allow us to study the logistics of flight.
But those who truly learn to fly not only appreciate the instructions of the authorized servants, but also realize that by following their counsel they will better feel and recognize the more personal and individual tugs of the Master on their own kite strings. They realize that there is light and truth above the fog and cares of the world, which cannot be seen from lower heights and frames of reference.
There are dangers to spiritual flight, however. Sadly, when some who take flight begin to reach these higher planes and perspectives, they falsely assume that they can fly on their own.
They erroneously think they can control or are above the winds and lose trust in those authorized servants they feel are operating down at ground level, and they sever the covenant strings which tether them securely to the power of the Master Kite Maker.
Once they become separated from the authorized priesthood and covenant tether, they are at the mercy of the changing winds and they began to be blown about, drift away and eventually fall in uncontrolled descent to a crashing end, often without even realizing it is happening.
But the Master mercifully and constantly calls to us all, individually and personally, to leap forward with faith to come join Him in His heavenly views where He can teach us personally of His ways, which are far loftier, transcendent and more glorious than the limited perspective of the ground level. For there is joy, peace and clarity to be found in these loftier heights and perspectives.
When we falter and experience falls, which every single one of us does, and even to those who have severed their strings and broken their kites, He is always there to offer loving repair of our broken and bruised parts. His call is and always will be, "Come out, Come Up, Come unto Me."
Brothers and Sisters, may we have the faith and courage to heed the Master's call and leap heavenward, but remain tenaciously tethered through repentance, faith and obedience to the priesthood and covenant strings which binds us to the lifting love, grace and power of the Master!
May God bless us in our flying lessons!