- If man can take the ruins, rubble, and remains of a broken city and rebuild an awe-inspiring structure that rises toward the heavens, how much more capable is our Almighty Father to restore His children who have fallen, struggled, or become lost?
- It matters not how completely ruined our lives may seem. It matters not how scarlet our sins, how deep our bitterness, how lonely, abandoned, or broken our hearts may be. Even those who are without hope, who live in despair, who have betrayed trust, surrendered their integrity, or turned away from God can be rebuilt. Save those rare sons of perdition, there is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored.
The plan of salvation is about bring God's children back to live with Him. Despite our terrible choices in life, God has provided a way for us to be forgiven for the things that we do wrong. This plan for God's is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
- The joyous news of the gospel is this: because of the eternal plan of happiness provided by our loving Heavenly Father and through the infinite sacrifice of Jesus the Christ, we can not only be redeemed from our fallen state and restored to purity, but we can also transcend mortal imagination and become heirs of eternal life and partakers of God’s indescribable glory.
Christ's message is simple to each of us.
- Our Savior, the Good Shepherd, knows and loves us. He knows and loves you. He knows when you are lost, and He knows where you are. He knows your grief. Your silent pleadings. Your fears. Your tears. It matters not how you became lost—whether because of your own poor choices or because of circumstances beyond your control. What matters is that you are His child. And He loves you. He loves His children.
What God and Christ want is for us to desire to return to them, put ourselves on the path, and press forward with a desire to be obedient.
- While our loving Father desires that all of His children return to Him, He will force no one to heaven. God will not rescue us against our will. So what must we do? His invitation is simple: “Turn … to me.” “Come unto me.” “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you.” This is how we show Him that we want to be rescued. It requires a little faith. But do not despair. If you cannot muster faith right now, begin with hope. If you cannot say you know God is there, you can hope that He is. You can desire to believe. That is enough to start. Then, acting on that hope, reach out to Heavenly Father. God will extend His love toward you, and His work of rescue and transformation will begin. Over time, you will recognize His hand in your life. You will feel His love. And the desire to walk in His light and follow His way will grow with every step of faith you take. We call these steps of faith “obedience.”
Having faith in Christ should change us. We need to exercise our faith into actions.
- If our faith does not change the way we live—if our beliefs do not influence our daily decisions—our religion is vain, and our faith, if not dead, is certainly not well and is in danger of eventually flatlining.
Obedience, following the Savior with our actions, is necessary to exercise our faith in the Savior.
- Obedience is the lifeblood of faith. It is by obedience that we gather light into our souls.
Taking that first step forward, choosing to follow the Savior, making that first effort will change our lives and put us on the path to discipleship.
- The moment we choose to incline our hearts to our beloved Savior and set foot upon the path of discipleship, something miraculous happens. The love of God fills our hearts, the light of truth fills our minds, we start to lose the desire to sin, and we do not want to walk any longer in darkness.
President Uchtdorf ends with these inspiring words.
- His plan is to build us into something far greater than what we were—far greater than what we can ever imagine. With each step of faith on the path of discipleship, we grow into the beings of eternal glory and infinite joy we were designed to become.
God's plan is perfect. He is always there. There is nothing that we can do that will disqualify us from being worthy to be call His child. He has an eternal plan for us to return to Him. He has given us the ability to return to Him. Christ has made it possible to be forgiven and to be worthy to enter into the Father's presence. It takes faith, hope, and obedience. The path is not easy, it requires effort, but in the end, it will all be worth it. God has promised us everything He has. I hope we can all come to Him in faith and put our lives on the path of discipleship and use the gift of the atonement to change our lives for the better.