Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Elder Richard G. Scott on recovering from poor choices in life

Elder Richard G. Scott (1928-2015) served as a Seventy from 1977-1988, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He passed away in September 2015 at the age of 86.
"It is a fundamental truth that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be cleansed. We can become virtuous and pure. However, sometimes our poor choices leave us with long-term consequences. One of the vital steps to complete repentance is to bear the short- and long-term consequences of our past sins....
"The joyful news for anyone who desires to be rid of the consequences of past poor choices is that the Lord sees weaknesses differently than He does rebellion. Whereas the Lord warns that unrepented rebellion will bring punishment, when the Lord speaks of weaknesses, it is always with mercy....
"Each of us has had times in our lives when we have made poor choices. We are all in desperate need of the redemptive power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Each of us must repent of any rebellion. 'For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance' (D&C 1:31). He cannot because He knows what it takes to become like Him.
"Many of us have allowed weakness to develop in our character. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we... can build spiritual fortifications between ourselves and any past mistakes that Satan attempts to exploit."
- Richard G. Scott, "Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ," General Conference October 2013
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Poor choices have consequences. Elder Scott, in this message, distinguishes between the rebellion that is initially expressed in making a poor choice, and the weakness that can develop as we persist in inappropriate activity or as we suffer the consequences of our initial bad decision. Elder Scott teaches the crucial need to repent of the transgression and receive forgiveness through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. But it's also a great truth and blessing of eternity that we find healing for our weaknesses and for the long-term consequences of sin through that same Atonement of the Savior.

How critical that we not only resolve the transgression, but "build fortifications" to prevent the Adversary from exploiting our weaknesses. We are blessed by a true understanding of how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can bless us in those endeavors.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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