This is Part 6 in a series of articles on repentance. They are based on my experiences. I am writing with the hope that others who are seeking the Lord will find something meaningful to aid them in their journey towards obtaining a remission of their sins.
After becoming active in the church I had supposed my life would be relatively free of difficulty thereafter. This incorrect understanding of the Lord’s plan came about because of misinterpreting the scriptures.
I was familiar with the scriptures that spoke of the blessings the Lord bestows on His followers (Mosiah 2:41) but I didn’t understand that trials and difficulties could also be considered “blessings”.
Nowadays, I notice whenever the topic of receiving blessings from the Lord is brought up in a gospel discussion; it is often followed by a discussion on temptations and trials. The idea is you can’t receive blessings without experiencing opposition and temptations as well.
I don’t know if the Lord’s plan requires that very blessing received is automatically followed by opposition, but the scriptures make it clear that the Lord will try us (Abraham 3:25).
Trials and temptations come in at least three ways.
1. One type comes because of bad decisions on our part, like running a red light because we’re in a hurry, resulting in an accident.
2. Then there are the kinds of trials that come when we’re doing our best to keep the Lord’s commandments. Consider the disappointment some young men (and their loved ones) suffer when they don’t qualify for a church mission.
3. All of us have had to deal with the pain we experience when we succumb to sin. The scriptures provide many examples; one notable one is King David and Bathsheba.
Of the three kinds of trials and temptations mentioned above—which is the most difficult to deal with? I think it is the trials and temptations encountered while striving to do the Lord’s will.
A good friend of mine taught seminary. He was an excellent teacher but lost his job because he didn’t marry before reaching a certain age. We had many discussions about marriage. We doubled dated often, so I was aware of several opportunities he had for marriage, but he would always tell me he just didn’t feel good about any of them. He was very popular, he had many prospects.
As he grew older, he developed a serious problem with depression. Nothing he did seemed to provide relief. He tried many kinds of drugs but the depression only grew worse. One day in a depressed state he took his life.
I think my friend would be here today if he’d married. I think a supportive wife and family would have made all the difference for him when he became ill with depression.
My friend and I had something in common. Both of us expected to meet and marry the perfect girl. The problem with this mind-set is that there are no perfect girls—or guys—for that matter. I realized this when I was in my early thirties, my friend didn’t realize it until he was in his fifties.
There are times and seasons to our life. If we don’t take advantage of those things the Lord would have us do in their proper time and season, our future opportunities and options can suffer.
Remember, repentance include sins of omission and commission.