Last month, my husband and I visited Iguassu Falls in Argentina with his parents and our two children. The waterfalls are beautiful, majestic and inspiring. But there is one set of falls called “The Devil’s Throat” that is absolutely terrifying.
The observation deck sits exactly over the top of the falls. From this vantage point, you look straight down into the hurtling river right where it plummets over a cliff with frightening speed and volume. The mist is so thick you cannot see the bottom of the falls, and the crashing water is so loud that you have to yell to the person next to you.
I could not even appreciate the majesty of the falls from this perspective; I just kept picturing myself falling into the river with nothing to grasp and an inevitable and terrifying death ahead, through the Devil’s Throat.
Nothing scares me more than that horrible, helpless feeling of falling—even if it’s imagined.
Falling Into the Devil’s Throat
The Book of Mormon prophet Jacob gives us an equally frightening image of life without a Savior, one for which Iguassu’s Devil’s Throat is a fitting analogy.
Corruption could not put on incorruption. . . this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more. . . our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell. . . and became the devil. . .
And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself.
As Satan fell, we too would fall—helplessly, hopelessly with nothing to grasp and nothing to save us.
We would not just stand above the falls, as scared but safe observers, we would be thrown in the raging river and launched eternally into the Devil’s Throat.
In Elder Holland’s words, “What a plight! The entire human race in free fall—every man, woman, and child in it physically tumbling toward permanent death, spiritually plunging toward eternal anguish. Is that what life was meant to be?…
“The answer… is an unequivocal and eternal no!”
And yet, without a Savior, that’s all life would have been.
Escaping From the Devil’s Throat
“O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape from the grasp of this awful monster.”
We can escape, because Jesus offers Himself and His saving grace—His “brotherly hands and determined arms that reached into the abyss of death to save us from our fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and our sins.”
Jesus Christ’s Atonement offers us the ability to repent, the promise of resurrection, and the enabling grace to change and progress. These promises are our escape from this awful monster, the terrifying unyielding falls.
Do we take the time to metaphorically stand above the falls, to truly recognize our fallen, falling nature and our absolute need for a Savior to rescue us? Do we really comprehend everything He can save us from?
His hand is stretched out still. Are we grasping it, or are we continuing our free fall?
He asks only that we repent, be baptized in his name, and have complete trust in Him (in other words grab His outstretched hand).
As we do so, we will be saved from the terrifying free fall, safe forever in the kingdom of God.
Grab His hand and hold on for dear (eternal) life!