Blog Archive

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Repentance, Sin, and Faith

Last week I talked a bit about how we can strengthen our faith. It comes slowly, step by step over time. We strengthen our faith by doing small everyday acts, like reading our scriptures, praying, and obeying the commandments. This week I've been thinking a lot about what happens when we don't do those things. What happens when stop reading our scriptures, or praying? What if we disregard the commandments that God has set?

It seems obvious to me that as we stop doing the simple everyday things we start to move away from God, and our faith will be diminished. I like to use Lehi's vision when I think about this principle. If you aren't entirely familiar with the story, here are the Book of Mormon references (1 Nephi 8 [the entire chapter]; 1 Nephi 11 [the entire chapter]). Lehi was a prophet in the Book of Mormon. When he had this dream he had two sons that followed the counsels of God, and two sons who didn't.

At the beginning of his dream, he says that he found himself in a dark and dreary waste (Ch 8 v. 7), and he travelled in the darkness for a few hours before praying for mercy (v. 8). After he prayed for mercy he saw a tree, the fruit of the tree was desirable to make one happy (v. 11). The tree is called the Tree of Life, and represents the love of God. During the dream Lehi saw many people coming to taste the fruit (v. 21). As he looked around he also noticed a great and spacious building (v 26-27). The building represents the pride of the world. The people in this building would point at those tasting of the fruit and laugh and mock them until they fell away (v. 28).

Lehi was a prophet and a man of God, and when he prayed to his father and repented he could see the tree of life, or the love of his father. That probably increased his faith. But notice what happened to those that saw the tree, and even tasted the fruit and then were ashamed and left the tree. They ended up lost. These were people that probably stopped reading their scriptures and saying their prayers. I wonder if they could see the tree anymore. I think if Lehi had to repent to see the tree, then the tree was obscured, if not invisible, to those that would not repent. When we sin and move away from God it is easy to become confused, and our faith will eventually wilt like an un-watered plant.

There are many that would openly oppose God, and his established church. There are many who point their fingers and laugh at the things we believe, and the values that we treasure.These people haven't had a chance to taste, and in some cases, see the fullness of the love that God has from them. I can promise that by continually doing the things that God has required, by reading the words of his ancient and modern prophets, and by repenting and turning towards him frequently, we will be protected. Our faith will become stronger and we will be protected. If you have not yet felt of the love that God has for you, continue to hold fast to the iron rod and press forward in faith. God is there. He loves us and cares for us, and I am so grateful to be able to serve him.

No comments:

Post a Comment