Does the Lord approve when we participate in activities that put our lives at risk, such as skydiving, bungee jumping or other extreme sports? Your thoughts on the matter would be very helpful.
Risk is sort of a funny thing. At first, we think that our every day activities aren’t very risky, partially because we do them so often. However, driving a car to work can be dangerous. Just watch the news or read a newspaper and you’ll see how often cars crash. In my own town, the local sheriff often reminds bicyclists to obey all the laws of the road and ride their bikes carefully. Even riding a bike can be dangerous if you are not accustomed to it. I don’t want to scare you or our readers, but everyday living does carry some risk of danger and there is nothing you can do about it.
Our leisure activities are no different. In my ward, the youth sometimes go hiking and camping. There are many things that can go wrong while hiking and camping, and both activities can potentially be very dangerous. Should we forbid our youth from going camping, fishing, hiking? Of course not. Granted, high risk activities like the ones you mentioned are much more dangerous than hiking, swimming, or riding a bike, but there is nothing inherently wrong with participating with them.
Having said that there is nothing inherently wrong with participating in them, that doesn’t mean all high risk activities are a good idea. If you are the father of young children and the sole provider for your family, you might want to think of other ways to spend your time rather than jumping out of planes and wrestling sharks in the tropics. The simple truth is that those activities and things like are more risky than joining a gym or playing golf on Saturday, and the risk of injury is much greater. If something happens to you, then your family could be put at great hardship because of your choice in activities.
Robert, the Lord has given us common sense and wisdom. It is, of course, important to think about what activities are pleasing to Him, and there is nothing wrong with good, clean fun. Hobbies and leisure activities provide immense joy and happiness in our lives and can often bring our families closer together. We need to be careful what hobbies and activities we partake in both for our spiritual protection and sometimes, for our physical protection.