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Some people look forward to the New Year as a time for starting fresh, making a clean break, and deciding on how they can improve. Others look at the New Year with dread: the holidays are over, the winter months set in and creating resolutions is daunting and almost depressing.
Our Mentoring Mothers group started the New Year by revisiting a couple of amazing talks: His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox and Notwithstanding my Weakness by Elder Neal A. Maxwell. The discussion primarily led me to think about how these markers in time (new year, birthday, anniversary, the season, etc) are really opportunities for us to change.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, "The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but this suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment. It's purpose is change."
This made me think of resolutions a bit differently. Not only can we think about what we need to change in our lives, we can also look at who and what we are changing to become. Not that we need to make all the changes ourselves, but that we need to all HIM to change us. Every experience, positive or negative, leads us to change in some way...if we let it.
Change is not something to fear or something to think about negatively. Change is good. Change means movement. Changing is the reason we are here. Changing is part of Heavenly Father's plan.
According to Brother Wilcox, "If Christ did not require faith and repentance, then there would be no desire to change....If Jesus did not require covenants and bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost, then there would be no way to change....If Jesus did not require endurance to the end, then there would be no internalization of those changes over time."
He also states earlier, "We will all be resurrected. We will all go back to God's presence. What is left to be determined by our obedience is what kind of body we plan on being resurrected with and how comfortable we plan to be in God's presence and how long we plan to stay there."
This requires change. Sometimes this requires growing pains. Sometimes this comes through moments of light where we gain better understanding of the Lord's plan and our place in it. Either way, as we look forward during these marker moments we can do so with hope, joy and anticipation for the changes we can make and the changes He will make in us through His grace.
Here's to Change in 2015!!