“Never Let Go,” Friend, July 2012, 46
I grew up as a cowboy working on my family’s cattle ranch. One of my jobs was to gather hay from the fields with a dump rake, which is a giant rake pulled by a team of two horses. Driving the team, I raked up hay and dumped it into large piles. One day when I was 11, I thought I heard something broken in the rake. I pulled on the reins to stop the horses. When they stopped, I let go of the reins and jumped off to see what the problem was.
As soon as I got off, the horses turned around and looked at me. When they saw that I had let go of the reins, they bolted away, racing for the barn with the big rake bouncing along behind them. I was left far behind, alone and afraid.
When the horses got to the barn they ran through the door, but the dump rake was too big and it crashed into the barn. The doors were badly damaged and so was the rake. I knew I was in trouble.
This experience taught me to never let go of the reins, not even for a moment. Lehi’s dream in the Book of Mormon also teaches about never letting go of something—the iron rod, which is the word of God. We should never let go of the iron rod, not even for a moment. If we hold onto the gospel principles tightly, we will get where we want to go, which is back to live with Heavenly Father. If we let go of the gospel principles, bad things can happen very quickly. We must always try to choose the right and never let go of the iron rod.