LDS Church Archives
President Thomas S. Monson of the LDS Church as a child.

When I was about 10, my boyfriends and I would take pocketknives in hand and from the soft wood of a willow tree fashion small toy boats. With a triangular-shaped cotton sail in place, each would launch his crude craft in a race down the relatively turbulent waters of the Provo River.

"We would run along the river's bank and watch the tiny vessels sometimes bobbing violently in the swift current and at other times sailing serenely as the water deepened.

"During such a race, we noted that one boat led all the rest toward the appointed finish line. Suddenly, the current carried it too close to a large whirlpool, and the boat heaved to its side and capsized. Around and around it was carried, unable to make its way back into the main current.

"At last it came to rest at the end of the pool, amid the flotsam and jetsam which surrounded it, held fast by the fingerlike tentacles of the grasping green moss.

"The toy boats of childhood had no keel for stability, no rudder to provide direction and no source of power... We have been provided divine attributes to guide our destiny. We entered mortality not to float with the moving currents of life but with the power to think, to reason, and to achieve."

Ensign, November 1976