“For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
It’s 10:58 P.M. I’m in the middle of my gym session reflecting on the months that have passed. I’ve had the blessing of connecting with many and the last few weeks I’ve found myself seriously reflecting on where I’m at in matters of my own salvation.
I started this tradition of listening to a conference talk while I workout and tonight’s is entitled, “Cleansed by Repentance” by Dallin H. Oaks. Though the opening scripture was not used in the talk it kept coming to mind and how frequently Its been illustrated throughout my life. Often it has been used and interpreted as a crouch rather than an honest desire to follow God. Recalling moments I sought to apply the atonement the thought came, was I driven by a guilty conscience or a penitent heart?
We know that sin is an act of selfishness and in contrast repentance is an act of selflessness. Putting all personal wants and desires second to what the Lord asks reflects true repentance. One of my favorite scriptures is found in John 17:19 where Christ offers the great intercessory prayer, “And for THEIR sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”
The process of sanctification begins with a simple act of faith, believing that our imperfections, unique weaknesses and tailored trials are conquerable. As we walk through life with the savior, He gives us power to overcome and the things we can’t overcome He gives us the strength to bear with patience and endure.
In regards to faith the prophet Alma counsels, “ if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you.” (Alma 32:27) And as the desire grows the promised blessing comes that, “ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.” (Alma 32:43)
Consistent application of the atonement brings about the transformation necessary for salvation. Every aspect begins to change. Our words, uplift. Our actions, kind. Our thoughts, pure. Our hearts, full of love.
Whether you’re preparing yourself to make covenants with our Heavenly Father, working on keeping them or renewing them each week take a minute to be still and ponder, who’s sake are you sanctifying yourself for? Who’s depending on your example? Who needs your faith?
Be conscious of your capacity to influence and let it aid in guiding the decisions you make daily.