Thanksgiving for the Phillips this year happened in the city of sin; however, thankfully that which gives Vegas that nickname isn’t what drew us to the city. Instead the plethora of buffets and promise of warm weather made it a destination of choice.
The food was great, the sunshine was nice, but as is the case with all holidays, being with family was the best part of the week. We did our ritual Thanksgiving movie marathon, looked around looking for good Asian food, took lots of pictures, caught up, and had an all around good time. I was able to see my pops show my mom he wasn’t cheap. I saw my mom relish the day off from preparing the lavish dinner we typically have. I got to see my two little cousins who aren’t so little anymore. Sadly, I wasn’t able to see my family walk away from Circus Circus’ dump the chicken in the pot, but I was able to see the fruits of their evening. Apparently they are as good as they said they were; I will doubt no more.
My favorite activity was hiking in Red Rock Canyon. It’s essentially a huge playground for adults; there are multiple peaks, no paths, and you can go wherever your heart desires. Some places it was easy hiking, other places you have to use all fours, and there were a number of people using full rock climbing gear. The path down to where the red rock began was covered in gravel and many people, including myself, were slipping down the somewhat steep slope. Walking down the path, I was worried about how dangerous it must be to hike up the mountain if we were slipping so much just on the path to the start of the mountain.
After getting on the actual red rock, I realized that it would be that dangerous. There was no gravel, it was solid rock, and with decent shoes there was little chance of slipping. The realization that climbing wouldn’t lead to sure death, my dad and I decided to ditch the women and children and be a little more adventurous. We had a blast as we crawled through little crevasses, slide down our butts and made my mom nervous by posing for pictures on high ledges. After exploring a good portion of the mountain, my dad and I returned to the trail head, and waited for the rest of our group. As I waited, I kept seeing all these people slipping as they were walking down the path covered in gravel. Some looked as if they wanted to turn around, as all the slipping made everything seem so dangerous. I wanted to reassure them that once they made it past the gravel, and got on solid ground, things would be much better.
It’s been said that when we choose to ignore what the prophets say, that we change the very ground that we stand on. Sure, we may choose to obey other aspects of prophetic counsel, but the act of picking and choosing what commandments we follow puts us on shaky ground. My experience at red rock reminded me of that quote. When the red rock is in one full piece, it gives you good traction and stable footing. However, when broken up into little pieces, the rocks provide little traction and cause people to slip. Same material, but when taken in pieces instead of as a whole, the outcome is very different. Such is the case we when choose to break the fullness of God’s gospel into little pieces that are most convenient for us. However, when are willing to show faith, and act on prophetic counsel, we will soon find ourselves standing on solid ground, as we gain testimonies of the principles they teach.