(November 16, 2014)
It is a common conceit that we have as members of the Church that because we have the Gospel and we have partaken of the ordinances of salvation, we are well on our way to the
. Samuel is a Lamanite preaching to the Nephites
– an outsider preaching to the Lord’s chosen people. Because of that, we should be willing to pay
particular attention to his words because we within the Church today are as the
Nephites of old – blessed with the covenant but not always aware of our own
weaknesses and failures. Celestial
Samuel’s words to the Nephites apply to us just as much as it did in the day he spoke them – repent. Repent, repent, repent. Our partaking of the saving ordinances is a necessary but insufficient step along the path. Our knowledge of the Gospel is a necessary but not sufficient step along the path. The only hope we have, regardless of our individual level of righteousness, is to repent – today, tomorrow, and for as long as it takes to be sanctified.
We like to lie to ourselves and say that we are doing pretty good (and maybe we are – I cannot judge myself any more than I can judge someone else). But whether we are doing well with our obedience or doing poorly, the ultimate question is whether we are repenting. If we are, we are progressing. If we are not, we are regressing. It is in this light that we are told to declare nothing but repentance – because there is nothing but repentance that will empower us to partake of the Atonement.