Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Helaman 13:37-38 -- On Our Days of Probation

"Behold, we are surrounded by demons, yea, we are encircled about by the angels of him who hath sought to destroy our souls. Behold, our iniquities are great. O Lord, canst thou not turn away thine anger from us? And this shall be your language in those days.
But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head."
Helaman 13:37-38

Not really a feel-good scripture, but some really good reminders here.  This is Samuel the Lamanite preaching to the Nephites.  Kind of a role reversal in the Book of Mormon, which is another aspect that we should keep in mind. Sometimes we get into the mindset that we are the good ones and other people are the bad ones... and that isn't true.  We can't afford to be complacent and assume that membership or position is going to save us.  We need to actually do the right things. :)

We get used to having time in this life (the days of our probation)... prioritizing and deciding what we should do now, and what we will do later.  And often we choose what seem to us to be minor evils, thinking that we can enjoy them for a while and then later we can repent.  But the words "everlastingly too late" are pretty scary, are they not?  Let's not get ourselves into a position where these verses come true.  Let's stop looking for happiness in sin.  The probation imagery is appropriate, because we have a time limit in which we need to clean up our acts.  Let's not delay.  Let's make things right.

Overcoming ourselves, and experiencing shame and guilt and regret is hard. Learning to be new people, and change our hearts and minds seems impossible sometimes.  But it isn't, with God.  ... What *is* impossible is living a whole life of mostly bad, and then thinking that we can suddenly transform into perfectly good at the last minute, on our deathbeds, or that God will give us good in place of evil after we die.  Now is the time, and we risk everything by waiting.  Let's start learning our lessons now, while we have time to change.

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