"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
Thinking today about a lot of things, and this struck me. I mean, we hear all the time about being "born again" ... but what does it really mean? So, here are my thoughts on the subject. :) This scripture pretty clearly is referring to baptism, which is an amazing thing, actually... a physical manifestation of our commitment to God... a commitment that is physical as well as spiritual, encompassing all of our desires, emotions, and actions. Baptism is amazing as well, in that is washes away our sins... how that happens, I have no idea... but I do know that it works. it reaches into our lives and deletes all the bad things, and lets us build upon the good things. And what is more amazing is that we have an opportunity to renew our commitment... and that cleansing... every week in sacrament meeting. I’ve said before that I think that church is more of a Sinners Anonymous group... and all the more so, because we go there to clean ourselves from the stains of the week that we have blotted our souls with. The thing is... being born again isn't just about baptism, even though that is a large and amazing part of it... it is also about "that mighty change of heart" that it talks about at length in the scriptures, especially Alma 5. I think that is what all of my thinking today has led me to... sometimes our hearts need baptism too... complete reformatting, so that we can start fresh, and keep those commitments that we made at baptism... our hard drives get filled up with a lot of old programs that we forgot the passwords to, or completely obsolete versions of good programs... so, it's time to wipe it all, and start fresh. Buy a new computer, replace the hard drive... whatever it takes... and install an operating system that won't crash your heart every 5 minutes. :) God can do that... change our hearts. We can't. We'll get stuck in an eternal loop, or let some hacker infect us with a virus (yikes!) ... but God knows our hearts better than we do, and he knows how to restore them to a healthy and pristine state, erasing all of the brokenness, and bitterness, and sorrow. So, today... let's start the process of cleaning out all the old programs, and ask God to change our hearts. Make us new... an inward baptism. :) I know I need it... how about you? :)