“Decisions determine destiny.”

art by Caitlin Connolly

You know that classic story of the switchman in St. Louis who moved a piece of steel three inches and a train that originally was headed for New Jersey ended up thirteen hundred miles away in New Orleans?

I think about that story a lot. I thought of it just last night when I was lying in my comfy bed and realized I hadn’t done scripture study with my husband.

But, man, the bed was comfortable.

Then I had the train analogy and this thought come to my mind, “Where do you want your marriage to be in 10 years? Put in the three inches of work now to make it a reality.”

By small and simple means…

Or, as President Monson stated, “Decisions determine destiny.”

I also thought of James Covel. There are two sections about him and one phrase that is very similar in both revelations, with one critical word that is different.

God said January 5th, “thine heart is now right before me at this time.” (D&C 39:8)

And then says in a revelation a day later on January 6th, “the heart of my servant James Covel was right before me.” (40:1)

One, small and simple word. Was. One decision. One day. And a trajectory was changed.

One that left him in New York City while the Saints moved on to Ohio.

But do you know what the beautiful thing is? The Lord’s response: “It remaineth with me to do with him as seemeth me good.”

We do not know much about what happened to James afterwards. We do not know his life. His past. His pains. His heart.

But we know that God was not done with him.
And would do with James as seemeth Him GOOD.
We all make wrong choices.
But God isn’t done with us either.
The beautiful thing about life and God is that we can change trajectory any time and move towards Him.
Even if it’s just three inches at a time.

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