- Hopefully, each mistake we make becomes a lesson in wisdom, turning stumbling blocks into stepping-stones.
Second chances to succeed after we have failed are part of the plan that God has for us. He knew we would not be perfect on our first attempt so he provided a Savior to encourage us to not give up and to keep pressing forward in our quest to become like our Heavenly Father. The Savior is our biggest cheerleader in our quest to perfection.
- No one is more on our side than the Savior. He allows us to take and keep retaking His exams. To become like Him will require countless second chances in our day-to-day struggles with the natural man, such as controlling appetites, learning patience and forgiveness, overcoming slothfulness, and avoiding sins of omission, just to name a few. If to err is human nature, how many failures will it take us until our nature is no longer human but divine? Thousands? More likely a million.
The atonement provides us hope in our quest. Discouragement and disappointment are natural reactions to failures but the Savior provides hope to us. He provides us support to continue on in our moments of discouragement.
- Knowing that the strait and narrow path would be strewn with trials and that failures would be a daily occurrence for us, the Savior paid an infinite price to give us as many chances as it would take to successfully pass our mortal probation. The opposition which He allows can often seem insurmountable and almost impossible to bear, yet He doesn’t leave us without hope.
Elder Robbins sums up his talk with emphasizing that God's plan was never for us to be perfect. If we were to be perfect, there would be no need for the Savior. But God's plan is for us to use the blessing of repentance to help us improve and change our nature. Repentance isn't God's backup plan, it is His plan.
- Repentance is God’s ever-accessible gift that allows and enables us to go from failure to failure without any loss of enthusiasm. Repentance isn’t His backup plan in the event we might fail. Repentance is His plan, knowing that we will. This is the gospel of repentance, and as President Russell M. Nelson has observed, it will be “a lifetime curriculum.”
Change can be hard to see but we should not be discouraged in our quest to become more like the Savior. Look back at how far you have come and see the growth that has taken place. Then look ahead and ask the Lord to change you even more. He is here to help us change and overcome the discouragements of failure. The Savior provides us hope that change is a daily achievement we can obtain.
- Only with time-lapse photography or growth charts can we discern our physical growth. Likewise, our spiritual growth is usually imperceptible except through the rearview lens of time. It would be wise to regularly take an introspective look through that lens to recognize our progress and inspire us to “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope.”
I love the comment that repentance is His plan. How grateful I am for a Savior who loves us enough to recognize we will need a renewing of our covenants each week. I am grateful for the words of the Sacrament prayers what encourage me each week to keep trying to take the Savior's name upon me. I am not perfect but I am and will continue to change in my quest to become more like my Heavenly Father. How grateful I am that the Atonement provides me hope when I fail to live up to what the Savior expects.