Today in church, a speaker shared this story with us. (I hope I can remember it, my kids were acting up and I was shushing them). This story took place some time after the creation of the hot air balloon. Two men were flying in a balloon over the countryside. They had learned that to go up in the air, they needed to release one of the bags of sand that was attached to the side of the basket. They sailed for some time, and happened to see a man walking down a country road. They shouted to him from the basket, "Hello! Where are we?". The man cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted back, "You are in a hot air balloon!". The two men realized they might need to rephrase their question, so shouted back down to him, "Where are you?". The man cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted back, "I'm on the ground!". Frustrated, the two men released another sand back and sailed away. As they were flying away, the one man said to the other, "He must have been a bureaucrat. He answered our questions without saying much."
The speaker when on to talk about ways that we keep ourselves from spiritually gaining height, and what we can do to rid ourselves of the "baggage" that holds us down. He didn't bring out this point, but I kept thinking about the questions that the two men asked. "Where are we?" "Where are you?" Before we can decide where we need to be, we need to determine where we are.
I once read a talk on this subject. The speaker shared the story of Adam and Eve, and told how, "And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?" Genesis 3:9 God is omniscient, He knew what Adam and Eve had done, but he still asked the question, "Where art thou?". Where do we stand spiritually? Have we hid ourselves from God because we have done something we know we shouldn't have? God will never leave us, it is us that depart from Him.
The one sure way to lighten our load, and allow ourselves to soar spiritually is to lighten our load of sin. When we repent of things that we have done that are wrong, the grace of Jesus Christ cleanses us from that sin and from guilt.
The Book of Mormon teaches us of another consequence of sin. "And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom's paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved-- I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples. " Mosiah 2:36,37. When we repent, we lighten our load, and give place for the spirit that can elevate us to greater heights.