Monday, December 5, 2016

True Repentance

I'm sorry, this email won't be too long, there's a ton that's happened today and basketball is calling my name;)  

Nah just kidding, but on the real though this week has been so sick.

This week has been seriously humbling for me.  The Lord has showed me my weaknesses for sure.  Something that I noticed in myself this week was a certain attitude and mannerisms that were part of who I used to be.  Even down to the way I talked and responded in situations was reflective of a person I thought I'd long since put away.  It was a testimony to me that if we aren't careful, Satan works in every opportunity to change us back into who we used to be.  

The scriptures teach us that the "word is sharper than a two-edged sword", and able to "divide asunder ALL the snares of the devil."  I've seen that scripture fulfilled in my own life.  When I began a daily study of the Book of Mormon, I found within myself a greater ability to change and become more like the Savior.  

I have come to understand that time is one of the most underrated enemies to success and spiritual progress.  Too often we say to ourselves "One day I'll finish the Book of Mormon, one day I'll do my home teaching, one day I'll begin family prayer."  "Someday, but not this day.  It is hard to know when we have done enough in the Lord's service to have our natures changed by the Atonement."
-President Henry B. Eyring

The man who puts off doing the good things, soon begins to rationalize doing the bad things.  It becomes easier and easier to sin, while harder and harder to obey.  As he progressively decays at a faster and faster rate, his morals and belief systems, by consequence of his sins, must change to reflect that of his actions.  He begins to question not only the truth of a restored gospel, but regresses so much in fact that the idea of a God even existing becomes an absurd notion.  He feels silly for ever believing such a false and weak concept, choosing instead to put his stock in things more material.  

It is in this state, that we sometimes witness a miraculous change.  The man, having attained everything he had thought to be the epitome of happiness, looks inward, and realizes he has nothing at all.  His relationships are fake and based on materialistic needs, his time is spent in a pursuit of a mythical destination defined as "worldly happiness", and he ultimately comes to the conclusion that in fact, he is miserable.  In scriptural terms, he "comes to himself".  It is at this point, that he begins to recall memories he had long forgotten...of a peace and comfort that came from heaven.  Of a still small voice that had become foreign to him.  He remembers a scripture perhaps, that spoke to his soul.  

He begins to desire to feel this again.  Weeks go by perhaps, and again he feels this desire.  He might happen upon scriptures, dusty and lodged deep in a box tucked away.  Flipping open, he remembers the words of the prophets, testifying of one Jesus Christ, sent to take the sins of the world away.  The man, now humbled, hungers for that water which quenches all thirst, and that bread which fills.  He begins again, to read.  He remembers what it was like to pray, and perhaps for the first time in years, utters aloud the words "Heavenly Father...".  

How important are the little things!  It is absence of those little things that lead us away from the church, and it is the little things that bring us back.  I testify that the little things matter.  I bear witness that this process of spiritual decay is happening all around us.  And that if we are not progressing in the gospel, in our spiritual enlightenment and understanding, we are on that path away.  I know that Jesus Christ makes return, and repentance possible.  I love Him, and am grateful to know and serve Him this Christmas season.  

Love you all:)

Elder Bybee

"He Lives"

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