Return Trip Ticket Home
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“Return Trip Ticket Home,” New Era, Apr. 1974, 5

The Message:

Return Trip Ticket Home

My parents and grandparents were born and raised in Utah. However, my mother and father began their married life in Phoenix, Arizona. That is where my three brothers and I were raised. Almost every summer my father and mother would take all of us to Utah to get out of the Arizona heat and also to enjoy the association with our cousins and other relatives.

Our parents taught us early the importance of working, first with the various responsibilities around the home and later adding other work opportunities such as selling newspapers, magazines, doing gardening for the neighbors, and babysitting. When I was old enough to work for someone else on a full-time basis, I had desires to go from Phoenix to Utah alone and spend the summer there working and earning money. This was to be during the summer vacation. One spring before school was out I asked my father if I could go to Salt Lake City to work and then return to Phoenix at the end of the summer to be with my family and begin school again. After thinking it over, my parents decided it would be fine. When school was out in May, Dad took me with him to the Continental Bus depot and, since I had no money of my own as yet, bought me a ticket to Salt Lake City. I was somewhat taken back when I found out that he had purchased for me a one-way ticket instead of a round trip. He said he would take the responsibility to see that I arrived in Salt Lake City but it would be up to me to do what was necessary while I was there to purchase the ticket for a return home to Phoenix at the end of the summer. As you can imagine, I was most anxious to come back home after my work experience as I had burning in my memory the happy experiences we had always enjoyed in our home. I enjoyed the association with and loved my three brothers and was most happy and comfortable being with my parents.

When I arrived in Salt Lake City I immediately set about to find work. This I was able to accomplish, and as soon as my first paycheck was given to me, guess what I did. First I paid my tithing, and then I took the rest of the money to the bus depot downtown in Salt Lake City and purchased a return trip ticket to Phoenix. I wanted to be sure that when summer was over there would be nothing to stand in the way of my returning home. I loved my home very much. For the rest of the summer I was particularly mindful of taking good care of myself and doing everything necessary to insure my return home to Phoenix. More than anything else I wanted to enjoy again the experience of being with my family.

We all had an experience similar to this long ago before we came to this earth. We were in a gathering where we were being instructed by our Father in heaven concerning the earth that he had prepared for us. He taught us many things about what would be expected of us if we chose to come here. He let us know that the decision to come here would be ours, and if this was our wish, he would see to it that we arrived into this mortal experience safely. Like the experience I had in Phoenix as a boy, our Father in heaven would provide a one-way ticket for us. Whether or not we returned again to him at the end of our mortal experience on earth would depend upon the things we did while we were here. He told us his hope was that we would do everything necessary to insure our return trip. When we were born on this earth, a veil was drawn that blotted out our memory of our previous existence, and thus we cannot remember what a completely happy experience that family relationship was. We are, therefore, being taught to live by faith. We are being taught to be obedient and develop the faith necessary to keep the commandments and live in a manner that will entitle us to that wonderful experience of an association with our heavenly brothers and sisters and parents again.

In order to help us do the things that are right while we are having this earth-life experience (mortal), our Heavenly Father has organized his church on the earth. His church makes available to us all the teachings and ordinances that are necessary for those who wish to return again to him. If we will listen to our leaders and do the things they ask us to do, we can be assured of having enough purchasing power for a return ticket to our heavenly home when our work experience here is over.

Illustrated by Richard Hull