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It’s amazing how one moment life can feel so right, everything can be going so smoothly, and in a blink it can all fall to pieces. After the unexpected death of her father, Amy knew she wanted to do everything in her power to be with her family eternally. Within a year of his passing, she was overjoyed to enter the temple and receive her endowment. Things felt so peaceful, so balanced in her life, but all too soon temptations rocked her to the core.
Amy explained, “You know, we all have moments of listening to the adversary, every one of us. I went to the temple and was on such a good path. Only two years after that, I was excommunicated, because I listened to the wrong voice. I did some pretty horrible things. I took for granted that I was able to make good choices and started making questionable choices instead. I still struggle with one of the choices that I made. A lot of people let the decisions they make define them and never allow themselves to move past them. I’ve tried my best to move forward, but I still feel like I haven’t fully made amends.”
It’s not in Amy’s nature to give up. Through the power of repentance, she was re-baptized, which has brought her much peace. She is still often unhappy with the consequences that have followed from choices made by listening to the wrong voice. Yet, despite her remorse, she still shows up, still joins a ward family that recognizes church is a hospital for the sick, not a museum for saints. Amy is still found reaching for the Master, the only One with the power to right all wrongs. As she moves forward with faith, she has determined to listen to His voice alone.
In the Book of Mormon, Sariah, the mother of Nephi and wife to the prophet Lehi, was worried sick about her sons. It had been weeks since her four boys had left their camp in the wilderness and traveled over a hundred miles back to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates for their father. As the days stretched on, Sariah began to complain against her husband, “telling him that he was a visionary man; saying:
Behold thou hast led us forth from the land of our inheritance, and my sons are no more, and we perish in the wilderness” (1 Nephi 5:2).
In an effort to comfort his wife, Lehi responded, “I know that I am a visionary man; for if I had not seen the things of God in a vision I should not have known the goodness of God” (1 Nephi 5:4). Sariah continued to mourn for her sons, until the joyful day when they returned safely to camp, their mission fulfilled, with the brass plates in hand.
“And she spake, saying: Now I know of a surety that the Lord hath commanded my husband to flee into the wilderness; yea, and I also know of a surety that the Lord hath protected my sons, and delivered them out of the hands of Laban, and given them power whereby they could accomplish the thing which the Lord hath commanded them. . . . And it came to pass that they did rejoice exceedingly, and did offer sacrifice and burnt offerings unto the Lord; and they gave thanks unto the God of Israel” (1 Nephi 5:8).
This stretching experience allowed Sariah to be humbled and to repent of her murmurings, allowing her to draw closer to her husband, to her children, and especially to the Lord. Similar to Self-Inflicted Suffering, these occasions of needful repentance are set apart by a willingness to turn our hearts in meekness back to God when we have gone astray. As we strive to make restitution for our wrongs and remain obedient to God’s laws, these lessons can be formative to our spiritual growth.
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know in the comments!
The following was taken from the book Is There No Other Way currently on sale at cedarfort.com.