Monday, November 11, 2013

I'm going to take a break from Church...

This seemingly innocent statement belongs in the same category as:

"How will I know alcohol is bad if I don't try one beer?" 
"I'll just keep my eyes closed when bad parts of a movie come up. I'm mature enough for this."
"It's a family tradition to get a tattoo. Family is important."
"God doesn't need to hear me pray today. I'll pray tomorrow."
"Just this once, and then I'll repent."
This has been brought to you by The Gospel According to Satan.

Yes, it's true that God will forgive us if we truly repent, no matter how many times it takes for us to overcome our sin. Satan, however, takes this and manipulates it into, "So just give in one time and then repent. It only took Alma three days." There is danger in this mentality because when you surrender to temptation once, it's easier to surrender again, and again. Soon your'e back into old, sinful habits that you thought you had overcome, or into something completely new and wicked that you never thought you would be in.

Repeatedly in the scriptures, we are exhorted to be obedient, watchful, and diligent. Nephi taught, "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father; Ye shall have eternal life." 2 Nephi 31:20 

King Benjamin said, "But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not." Mosiah 4:30

These prophets, and others, know that it is easier on us to keep the commandments 100% of the time rather than 98% of the time. They want us to avoid the painful effects of sin at all costs. Obedience makes us happier in the long run. There is no temptation that is truly impossible to resist. So when you're faced with that temptation to miss church just once, remember that God's commandments are designed to make us happy for eternity.

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