Saturday, June 2, 2012

Can People Change?

So the other day my companion and I found ourselves in the apartment of a member of the church that had been struggling and had not been to church in a long time. Of course we were there to find out why and to see if there was anything we could do.
   As we spoke with him and asked questions we discovered the things weighing on his soul were grave indeed.
  He was discouraged as he felt in his 5 years of being a member that people cannot really change. That they will always revert back to their original nature. Sure it may be possible for a short while, but as philosophy often advocates we are what we are and we cannot TRULY change,
 (what a condemning thought, or at least severely depressing).
   We didn't know what to say, but we set up a time to meet with him at a later day expressing that we had faith in him and wanted to discuss further even though he expressed that he did not desire to waste our time.
   As my companion and I discussed this morning, we knew that change was possible, lasting change, we had seen it in our own lives. But how to convey that to a friend with little hope and struggling faith we were not sure.
   As we studied and prayed we came the the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

  President David O. McKay summarized power and purpose of the gospel of Jesus Christ in this simple phrase:

"The purpose of the gospel make bad men good and good men better, and to change human nature."

I have learned on my mission more than ever that the Atonement is how we apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ and obtain the change spoken of by President David O. McKay.

   The purpose and point to life is to CHANGE. My companion, Sister V. said it perfectly, "If people cannot change then there would have never been an Atonement."

 Our friend did have one thing right. We have limited capacities in our own abilities to change and "to put off the natural man." It does not make sense that a person could seek to become more divine in their predisposed nature without divine help.

   I want to share with you that I know that is why Jesus Christ sent His Son as Sister V. previously mentioned.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"(John 3:16)

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin explains:

"For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father" (Mosiah 3:19)

I know that the reason we are here is to learn grow, become and to change our vary natures to be more like Jesus Christ that we may one day abide His glory and live with God forever. How thankful am for the hope and peace this knowledge gives to me. I know that is our message of hope to the world. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. I think a person can change but it has to come form a mighty change of heart. MIGHTY.  Its hard because very few of us get that visit from a heavenly messenger, like Alma. Its hard because it takes daily diligence to maintain and if we didn’t receive that mighty change of heart in the first place—falling away is easy. Plus, we are mortals—just because we slip up doesn’t mean we haven’t changed—we just made a mistake and need to partake of the atonement, again...and again. At least that’s what I think. This was brilliantly written Sister Bishop, it has given me much food for thought.