Tuesday, April 24, 2018

3 Nephi 18:15 -- On Prayer, Captivity, and the Easier Hard Way

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye must watch and pray always, lest ye be tempted by the devil, and ye be led away captive by him."
3 Nephi 18:15

The idea here, that sin is captivity, is fairly common in the scriptures, but we so often think the opposite... that sin is freedom, and God's commandments are horrible impediments in our lives.  We often think of sin as an escape from religious or societal restrictions that are conspiring to prevent us from having what we truly want.

Later though, when that initial rebellious rush is over, and we have time to think, we realize (sometimes slowly) that something is missing, and that nothing we've gained could ever make up for that loss.  We realize that we've lost something we desperately need, and that this isn't freedom at all... in fact, we're trapped, and it seems like there is no way out.  ... Or no easy way, at least.

The way out is changing who we are, because that is part of what repentance is.  It isn't just saying we're sorry.  It's truly *being* sorry that we made that choice, and being a new person that wouldn't make it again.  And that is hard, hard work.

Being alive is hard work though... learning is hard work.  Repentance is completely worth it.  However, today, let's do our best to watch, and pray, and be careful of falling into those pits that we have fallen into before.  Let's give ourselves the room and the freedom to learn things the easier hard way rather than always the harder hard way. :)  Let's obey God and thereby gain freedom rather than break our covenants and gain captivity.  It doesn't always seem like that, I know, but it is exactly that way.  God is working to protect us from horrible things, every day.  Let's pray, and pray some more, and not volunteer to jump into them anyway.

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