- Not all of us fall into that trap of inaction. But enough people do that we each have at least one person we love and often more—a child, a parent, a friend—someone for whom we feel responsibility, for whom we ache with concern. They have been taught the gospel. They have made covenants. And yet they go on in disobedience or neglect, despite the emptiness we know that brings them. The choice to repent or to remain a prisoner of sin is their own. Yet knowing something of how the trap of inaction and resistance was built in their minds and hearts may help us hear more easily the answer to our fervent prayer: “Please, Heavenly Father, what can I do to help?”
We need to be mindful that the delay of repentance is put in us through the adversary. Satan wants us to be miserable and delaying our repentance is one method he uses to stop us from finding peace with God.
- Satan wants us to be miserable as he is. And he knows that we can only have that true happiness if we are washed clean through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, by deep and continuing repentance, and the making and keeping of sacred covenants offered only through God’s authorized servants.
- Satan tempts with procrastination throughout our days of probation. Any choice to delay repentance gives him the chance to steal happiness from one of the spirit children of our Heavenly Father.
The truth is, we all need repentance. Everyone of us needs a Savior because we all make mistakes.
- We all need repentance. If we are capable of reason and past the age of eight, we all need the cleansing that comes through applying the full effects of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
One issue that Satan uses to encourage our delay is to have us justify our wrong doings based on our family upbringing. But President Eyring makes it clear that this is not excuse. This may make things understandable but we are accountable for our own actions and not the actions of those before us or after us.
- Imperfections in our parents or our faulty genetic inheritance are presented to us as absolving us of personal responsibility. But difficult as circumstances may be, they do not relieve us of accountability for our actions or our inactions.
- It is not true that the behavior of others removes our responsibility for our own. God’s standards for our behavior are unchanged whether or not others choose to rise to them.
President Eyring shares with us why delaying repentance is so tragic to us.
- Even the acceptance of personal responsibility may not overcome the temptation to believe that now is not the time to repent. “Now” can seem so difficult, and “later” appear so much easier. The truth is that today is always a better day to repent than any tomorrow. First, sin has its debilitating effects on us. The very faith we need to repent is weakened by delay. The choice to continue in sin diminishes our faith and lessens our right to claim the Holy Ghost as our companion and comforter.
- And second, even should we be forgiven at some later time, the Lord cannot restore the good effects our repentance today might have had on those we love and are to serve. That is particularly poignant for the parents of young children. In those tender years there are chances for shaping and lifting spirits which may never come again. But even the grandfather who may have missed chances with his own children might, by choosing to repent today, do for grandchildren what he once could have done for their parents.
We should never fall into the trap to think that our circumstances are different than others. We all need repentance. That repentance, no matter what the circumstances, always begins by humbly turning to God through prayer. Repentance start on our knees acknowledging our reliance on our Savior Jesus Christ.
- Each life is unique. But for all, repentance will surely include passing through the portal of humble prayer.
- For all of us, whatever the gravity of our sins, prayer will open the door to repentance and forgiveness. Without earnest prayer, repentance and cleansing are not possible. When the door is opened by prayer, there is possibility for peace.
Delaying our repentance seems to be the easy thing to do at times in our lives. Delaying the necessary pain, pleas for forgiveness, corrections of our wrongdoings, all seem easier to do tomorrow. But President Eyring shares his thoughts that delaying brings us more unhappiness. Delaying causes a loss of the spirit, puts barriers between us and the Holy Ghost that provides us daily guidance, and stops us from helping those we love continue on the path of righteousness. I will spend this fast Sunday in deeper thought about my life. I will spend time in prayer asking for insights into how I can repent and have the spirit more available to me through repenting. I would encourage you to do the same and make sure you are on the right path that leads to happiness and joy.