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We all shouted for joy for the opportunity to come into this world to grow and progress. It involved descending from a high spiritual plane to a much lower Telestial one. We all knew we would experience desires and reactions not in keeping with holiness (sin), because we understood that this is what the “natural man” does. And yet we still elected to come. Why was that?
Any Sin Will Do
The truth is that ANY sin will keep us out of the presence of God. BUT, the good news is that ANY sin can also be cleansed. There is NO WAY we can permanently mess up this life IF we’re willing to have Christ help us. Talk about good news!
It’s Part of the Plan?
Isn’t it interesting that mistakes are actually a part of our life plan? (And we knew this from the get-go). The fact is, we’re DESIGNED to anger, hurt, and annoy others, as well as ourselves. It’s part of the “natural man” plan. We’re placed here on earth with different temperaments and imperfections that are CALCULATED to bother people. These tendencies are part of this imperfect world we’re placed in.
We’re here to distinguish the good from the evil, and the light from the dark. How else can we discern unless we experience some darkness? We will all however eventually discover that DOING BAD ultimately makes us FEEL BAD, and that DOING AND BEING GOOD, ultimately make us FEEL GOOD.
We didn’t come here to be perfect. We came here to learn, and gain wisdom. What an amazing education we’re getting.
So what IS Sin?
Elder F. Enzio Busche taught:
“Sin is derived from the word, hamartia, which was taken from the world of sports and, in its original meaning, meant ‘missing the target.’” (Yearning for the Living God, p. 222)
In other words, when we sin, we’re missing out on what we could have received. The more targets we miss, the less like God we become, BUT repentance can clear us up so that we can get back in line for the “bullseye” blessings. The question is, are we fast learners? If not, the Lord patiently waits for us to “get it” so that we can move towards Him again. It’s a very patient and loving process, because He’s a very patient and loving God.
The target that we aim for is the GLORY of God! We aim for LIGHT, for His Presence.
Change – All the Way To Sainthood
Repentance just means CHANGE!
When we make a mistake, ALL WE NEED TO DO is to change our spiritual direction. President Nelson taught this exact thing! He said:
“The word for repentance in the Greek New Testament is metanoeo. The prefix meta- means “change.” The suffix -noeo is related to Greek words that mean “mind,” “knowledge,” “spirit,” and “breath.”
“Thus, when Jesus asks you and me to “repent,” He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit—even the way we breathe. He is asking us to change the way we love, think, serve, spend our time, treat our wives, teach our children, and even care for our bodies.” (Russell M. Nelson, “We Can Do Better and Be Better,” April Conference 2019)
What Takes Away Our Peace?
To me, sin is anything that takes away my peace. There are things that may not be labeled as sin, such as, anger, hate, or resentment, but they definitely have a downward thrust! Anything that is not filled with light has fragments of darkness. The newsflash is that we can learn to become aware when we feel those remnants. The more we focus on the injustice, hurt or the annoyance, the darker we feel, and the more likely we are to sin. So, the question we need to ask is, “Do I feel close to the Lord right now? Do I feel light?” If not, lets AIM AGAIN for the target. Humility and a desire for change can bring us back to the light.
We Have Seeds of Godhood Planted in Us.
Who would plant a tomato seed and expect it to become a carrot? God designed it to become a tomato, so that’s the only thing it can become.
In our case, we each have seeds of Godhood planted in us. We’re only designed for one eventual outcome. The seed is true, and as we turn to the Lord for direction and nourishment, that’s what we’ll become.
“That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light growth brighter and brighter until the perfect day. (D & C 50:24)
President Nelson taught:
“…you have been reserved in heaven for your specific time and place to be born, to grow and become His standard bearers and covenant people. As you walk in the Lord’s path of righteousness, you will be blessed to continue in His goodness and be a light and a savior unto His people.”. (Russell M. Nelson, April Conference, 2011).
We aren’t intended to become anything less than like our Father in Heaven. We’re all divine beings gaining experience of how to do just that. We eventually realize that we’re only truly happy when our seed and light within are expanding.
What power we have inside us!
NO! ANYTHING BUT THAT!
A friend of mine was recently out on a walk, pondering on her life and what she lacked yet in her spiritual journey. As she was walking, she began to commune with heaven, asking sincerely what she yet lacked. She inquired, “What do I still need to repent of?” Instantly, she got a response and was instructed by the spirit what she needed to do that would catapult her to a new and higher level, but she instantly recoiled saying, “Oh, but I can’t change that! I’ve done that for years! No, not THAT!
I loved that story, because I think most of us feel that way. We want to change, but not THAT thing. Ask anything else… Tell me something easy…
We Don’t Have to Change All at Once
I remember hearing a non-member woman speak about coming to Christ from a very dark place. She had many addictions and negative behaviors. She wanted to change, but it was incredibly daunting. The Lord gently worked with her. He didn’t tell her to change everything at once. The FIRST thing she was instructed to do was to dress modestly. That was the most important thing at that time, then He helped her work on the next thing in importance.
She said that she was so amazed that it was two years on her “walk with the Lord” before He even told her to stop smoking. She had so much else to correct and overcome first. She eventually did quit smoking, as well as her harder drug and alcohol addictions, but for her, it had to come a step at a time.
She learned what we also need to learn, and that is, THE SPIRIT WILL NEVER OVERWHELM US! He may cut us to the core with a conviction, but He always is there to lead the way out of our difficulty. With the Lord’s help, we can overcome ALL things, line upon line. If He inspires us what we should work on next, He will give us the power to conquer, as we turn to Him.
Who Can You Be?
It’s exciting to think who we can become; completely clear, and clean. He promises us that it is doable. We just need to change our direction (often) asking for help for this metamorphosis to occur. Nothing is more delicious than the feeling we can get by “looking” straight into the eyes of God! That deliciousness is worth anything and everything to achieve.
God has deliberately placed us in this life laboratory where we have the opportunity to change negative behaviors, practice hitting our target and grow our God seed. OUR choice is to love or not to love; to forgive or not to forgive; to progress or not to progress; to grow or not to grow.
So how big is your seed? Is it growing upwards? Are you yearning to become the saint who you are destined to become? With the safety net of Christ, we may fall, but we can always change direction, and through his grace grow up to become like Him.
You Can CONTACT Anne at [email protected].