"For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them."
2 Peter 2:20-21
I think that this is scary in a way... to think about our mistakes counting against us so much *more* because we know the truth. ... And in some ways, I think we are right to be a little scared; at least scared enough to avoid falling away from the truth. But I think that there is more here than a healthy dose of fear... and I actually don't think that God wants us to be afraid of him. More afraid of who we could become. In the Book of Mormon we learn about several people who were part of the church at one point--they knew the truth--and then they started working against it. And those dissenters caused the church and the people a lot more damage than the unbelievers ever did. I think that God here is warning us against becoming hardened... against forgetting what we have already learned and forgetting who we are, and how much better our lives are *with* God. It's like Alma 5: "Can ye feel so now?" ... we can't learn the truth and then stop, and expect that to be enough. Our relationship with God takes just as much or more work as any other relationship in our lives. Our dedication to God can't be just a sometimes or partial thing. We have to offer our whole souls as an offering unto him... and work at remaining converted. It doesn't seem hard... the talking to God, reading our scriptures, attending church... but it is easy to get distracted and think that it doesn't matter that much, and that it won't affect who we are and how much we love God. ... But it can. People who are 100% dedicated to God can slowly fall away, at first just down to 90%... and perhaps many years later they are so far down that they make a break, and start fighting against certain aspects of doctrine... and it is a heartbreaking thing to watch. ... But who can prevent it? ONLY ourselves. Good friends can counsel when they see little slips (which is great), but in the end, we are the ones who have to keep coming back to God enough to even *hear* that warning voice. We have to remember that we can lose light and truth as well as gaining it... and remember what a tragedy it is when that happens. Today, let's examine our commitment level with God, talk to him about it, and renew our dedication. Let's do everything we can to ensure that we don't become like the people discussed in these verses... people who turned their back on themselves, and the hope that God offered them.