I used to sit next to my friend, Kehau, in sacrament meeting when I was a kid. She and I, apparently, were not very attentive to the speakers, because this is where we perfected our craft of making paper "fortune tellers". Her dad was the usher who handed out the programs to the congregation. When there were extra, we'd make "fortune tellers" out of the programs, similar to the one pictured above. (True confessions.)
It's been decades, but do kids still make these? This is how you play: one person (the operator) holds the "fortune teller" and asks the other person (the client) to make choices. With each choice the client makes, the operator opens and closes the device one time for each letter in the word, or number, the client chooses. The last step is to pick a number that will correspond with "your future". When we were making these, we'd write only "futures that had happy endings" on the inside. (Maybe we'd put one in there that was disasterous just to make us giggle.) But if you played this enough times, you could guarantee your "future" by making the appropriate choices from former trial and error. "Yellow, 4, 7, and I was going to marry the cutest boy in the ward!" Easy.
Real life is definitely more complicated, and we don't get to "redo" some of the choices we make. We can't keep playing the game of life and go back when we don't like where we're going, or can we?
In Mosiah 11-12, we're introduced to King Noah, and the TURN in lifestyle the people have made as they follow this worldly king. Abinadi, a brave prophet of the Lord, calls them to repentance and tries to warn them of what the consequences will be if they don't TURN back to Him. Most of the Nephites living with King Noah couldn't/didn't see the path of bondage and destruction they were on. They were distracted and were enjoying too much of what they viewed as pleasure and happiness. In Mosiah 11:29 it tells us that "...the eyes of the people were blinded; therefore they hardened their hearts against the words of Abinadi..." Hard hearts keep us from hearkening and learning. Perhaps they didn't realize that the Lord keeps His word, and their destiny, as outlined by Abinadi, was SURE if they chose not to listen.
The beautiful part about the Atonement of Jesus Christ is that if our choices send us down the wrong path, we can receive forgiveness from the Lord through our sincere repentance and, thereby, alter our future. There is a way to TURN BACK to Him.
We make choice after choice after choice after choice after choice after choice after choice after choice after choice after choice after choice after choice after choice every day. If we can combine our string of choices to fall in line with God's commandments, then He promises us "futures with happy endings."