Do you ever have those moments when a memory kinda sticks in your mind for a couple days? Today I was thinking a lot about the experience of an individual I had met earlier in my mission. I met her after she had been taught by missionaries for a long time. She understood what they taught her long before I ever met her, but her interest hadn't led her to any action until a couple of weeks before I'd met her, which was just a couple days before her baptism.
She'd been through a lot--I was surprised by her story. Much like many of us, she had made decisions that, in retrospect, she was not proud of. Funny how sometimes in the moment we can't see how silly our choice really is. Or what's more, we know how bad our choice is but we still do it anyways!! Our human nature tends to get the better of us and we do stupid things.
Well we've all been there in some way or another. We make mistakes and eventually come to the point where we have to own up. That's how life works. Eventually we have to own up to ourselves, to others, and to God, which can be a terrible place to be. In the Book of Mormon, a prophet named Alma ended up in such a situation and described his feelings in this way:
"Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments." (Alma 36:13)
This friend of mine had since felt the awful pains of guilt. However, she, like Alma, turned to the ultimate source of forgiveness and peace. She turned to our Savior who is always reaching out to save us and protect us from our sinful choices. In the Book of Mormon Jesus explains, "And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost." (3 Nephi 9:20) I don't think I've ever seen such a perfect example of a broken heart and contrite spirit as I saw in my friend in the days preceeding her baptism. She had experienced the healing power of the atonement so completely that she was full to the brim with joy and love.
We all end up broken, but Christ wants to fix us. It is my prayer that we all follow my friend's example and choose to follow our Savior by having faith, repenting, being baptized, and recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost. I promise that those who take those steps and stay faithful to our Father's commandments will find the only true and lasting joy there is.