Gospel principles are for me and you what a helm is to a ship. Correct principles enable us to find our way and to stand firm, steadfast, and immovable so we do not lose our balance and fall in the raging latter-day storms of darkness and confusion.
Elder David A. Bednar, "The Principles of My Gospel", General Conference, April 2021
Those of us who entered by the gate of baptism, are now on the covenant path, or at least that's where we started. Another metaphor to this is that we are now on the Good Ship Zion.
Just because we are safely on the ship does not mean we will stay there.
Storms rage in this life. There is rarely a calm, peaceful, sun shiny day, or even hour. These storms are so violent that the ship rocks and shifts on the water. It will not sink, it cannot, but if we are not careful, we will fall into the raging water, or "drink" to use the popular vernacular.
That is why the Lord gave us principles, specifically, principles of the gospel. Principles will keep us safe and balanced, if we follow them, and follow them correctly and intentionally.
Principles keep us grounded. Principles keep us focused where we need to be. Principles keep us from recklessly and aimlessly walking along the edge of the ship or even walking on the side rails. More importantly, principles keep us moving in the right direction.