O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! (Alma 29:1)
Over the past year, I’ve felt the power of the words, “Oh that I were an angel…but when Alma says he wants to cry repentance unto every people, well I didn’t understand the last part-about crying repentance. If it was scripture from me, I would have said, “Oh that I were an angel, I would tell the world how much God loves them.” But lately I’m beginning to see the connection. I was wanting to type a post on how repentance is about love. I’m beginning to see on a deeper level, how the gospel is all about love-especially repentance.
Recognizing and then following the Lord’s Spirit in our lives is key to coming unto Christ, and being perfected in Him. Over many years, I began to think God was harsh and punishing. But I was wrong, His Spirit is loving, peaceful and inviting. Anything that makes us fear God and not feel worthy to approach Him, does not come from Him. God is love. “I cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance.” (D&C 1:31) And “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10) is because he loves us. Sin is bondage. And our Father in Heaven, out of love, wants to keep us free. The devil wants all men miserable like himself, and God sent His Son-to save us. “Men are that they might have joy” (2 Nephi 2:25). I want to shout, “MEN ARE THAT THEY MIGHT HAVE JOY!!!” The gospel is a message of love and the pathway to joy. It’s forsaking the ungodly things in our life for something much better…
I can see for myself in life, some things have been hard to let go of. Some things I didn’t want to let go of, and other weights and burdens I gladly give up. “I don’t want this-I’m so glad I don’t have to carry this anymore!” And I gladly stop carrying the burden. Some weaknesses and temptations take superhuman strength to overcome and may be a process of giving up-again and again. The enabling power of the atonement is how we can overcome. Line upon line. The Lord loves us so very much.
The other day I was beating myself up for having made the same mistake-AGAIN. I was feeling all those thoughts of, “It’s just too hard…why can’t I be done with this…” and I felt ridiculous to have to come to the Lord and repent-AGAIN. The words came to my heart, “I will forgive you. However many times it takes, I will forgive you. Just keep coming back to me.” I felt peace and love. And I knew I wasn’t in this alone. I don’t have to be better to come to Christ-HE makes me better, He makes me stronger, He makes me a new person…again and again.
There are no little things… Recently I was checking something on the internet that leaves me with that mind-numbing feeling. Deep down I felt like it’s not only a waste of time, but that I needed to stop doing it. Over the past year, I’ve been able to see how reading certain blogs and checking certain sites actually kept me from feeling a strong spirit. I’ve noticed how one by one, the Spirit has helped me stop reading things that were not enlightening. As I checked these sites and blogs less and less, the Spirit was stronger in my life and I was less distracted. There is a lot of great stuff out there, and then there is just waste of time, distracting stuff. I noticed how much more I was enjoying my life when I would try to focus on reading the things that brought me closer to Christ and improved my life. But there was this one thing that I didn’t want to stop spending my time on. And I would get the deep down feeling that I should quit wasting my time…”But I need a balanced life…but this is so harmless and silly to think it matters…” And on and on the justification went. Then the Spirit got my attention. The words came clearly to my mind, “This is keeping you from fulfilling your mission and purpose here on earth.” And I put it down. I got it. I was reminded that there are no small things and the promptings and invitations we receive from the Spirit are because He loves us.
I can look back and see the difference in trying to overcome without and then with the Savior. For a long time, I struggled with something that was a big stumbling block and thought I needed to overcome it by myself. With the help of the adversary, I was convinced that the Lord didn’t need to be bothered with this and that I needed to overcome it to be worthy to come before Him. Oh how wrong I was! When I tried to overcome it by myself-this would just transfer the stumbling block to other things. I wasn’t getting to the root of the problem-nor could I even see the root of the problem. Then with the Savior’s loving care, He showed me how. He shed light on the whole issue. And through His power and love, he freed me. He guided me through and I was amazed.
Repentance is about love. It’s about freedom from bondage. It’s about forsaking our sins and not letting anything come between us and Christ. Seeking the Lord’s forgiveness and help with sins and temptations is how we are purified. “No man can serve two masters” and God wants us focused on the most wonderful, loving and perfect master of all-His Son.