Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Principle of Change

Recently I had the privilege of listening to a couple General Authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The first, Elder Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy, spoke about how the gospel of Christ encompasses the principle of change.  This means that if earlier in our lives we have made decisions that have hurt us or others, or if we have developed destructive habits, we do not have to say, “That’s just the way I am,” but we can change.  How is this change possible?  With the help of Christ!  Elder Hallstrom gave three steps to make this change and become a happier person:
  1. Gain eternal vision.  We must see that we can be better than we are.
  2. Be willing to make commitments.  By making commitments we promise to become the better person that we know we can be.
  3. We must show self-discipline.  We have to put for the effort to change.
If we do these three steps the Lord will take care of the rest.  In the book of Ether from the Book of Mormon, the Lord informs us:  “And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27.)

How can the Lord make a weakness, such as addiction, a strength for us?  This is because of the atonement Christ performed for us in Gethsemane.  The prophet Alma taught:

And he [Christ] shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which he saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.  And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.” (Alma 7:11-12.)

We learn here that Christ not only made forgiveness possible through atoning for our sins, he not only broke the chains of death through the resurrection, but he gave us the promise of change.  By taking all temptation and suffering upon himself he became our advocate in these troubling times.  By coming to him he can help us change and show us a happier life.  We can find examples of this kind of change throughout the scriptures, from Saul the persecutor who became Paul the apostle to the woman forgiven of adultery.  When the Lord enters our life we can leave behind the troubles and grow in joy.

The second General Authority I listened to was Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  He appropriately followed the talk on change with the following message:
“Your Heavenly Father loves you, and his Son Jesus Christ loves you.  You are not just a lost grain of sand on an eternal beach that nobody knows but yourself.  You have a Heavenly Father that loves you.”
Our Father sent His Son Jesus Christ to the earth to perform the Atonement.  Christ performed this Atonement out of the love he has for all of us, and through the Atonement we have the opportunity to become better than we are today.

Want to know more? Ask a missionary here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Elder for a wonderful post. If we can remain committed to everything else in our lives we need to also be committed to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. They are the "Bread of Life" for which we must feast on and help us to exist as His children. The words of the prophets are guidelines for life too. Thank you for posting and sharing such beautiful words of wisdom...