Until Seventy Times Seven

It is such a blessing that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of second chances. And of third chances and fourth chances and so on. When Jesus suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, He knew all too well that I would repeatedly make the same mistakes. That despite my desire to “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect” (Matt 5:48), I still fall short of that goal each and every day. Yet He still suffered for me. He still bled at every poor and He still was beaten and bruised and He still hung on the cross for me. And for all of us. Sometimes life seems like such a daunting task. We are commanded to become perfect, to obey the commandments with exactness (Alma 57:1). But as imperfect humans, how is it fair to ask this of us? In one of my previous posts, I focused on the story of the rich man who was unwilling to give up his riches in order to inherit eternal life. Unfortunately the rest of the man’s story is left untold and I am not sure what happened to him during the rest of his life. But what I do know is that his response to that question from Christ wasn’t the last chance he had. His entire life was likely filled with opportunities and chances to change his mind, to give up his riches and return to live with God. What a dreary world it would be if we were all judged off of our first response to everything. But what a glorious world it is because we get a second and third and fourth and however many chances it takes. Certainly we can’t purposefully disobey the commandments of God and then turn around and repent and expect to be made clean. But as we earnestly try to become better, our Savior will be right along side us to buoy us up when we start to sink again. Because He has commanded us to forgive others “not until seven times but until seventy times seven” I can only believe that He would forgive us even more than that (Matt 18). I testify that God, and His son, Jesus Christ, love us. That They know us individually and personally. That They knew we would need a Savior and that Christ came to this earth in order to save us. I know that He gives us the chances that we need, and the help that we need. I have felt the redeeming power of God in my life. I know that we are not alone in this fight. “For I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (Doctrine and Covenants 84:88).

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