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Question

 

Gramps,

With much respect, I am coming to you for advise. I haven’t gone to the Mormon Church regularly for years. I was once married in the temple. Unfortunately, that marriage failed. Since then, I have made an awful disaster of my life, I did almost everything wrong that I could. I am married to a wonderful man and he has read the Book of Mormon and will help me study. My question is, what do I do next? I feel lost and cannot take any more stress. I feel hopeless. Thank You so much,

Joy

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Answer

 

Dear Joy,

How wonderful that you express a desire to come back into activity in the Mormon Church. You are a person whom the Lord must love very much. I say that because I have the strong impression that you are responding to the still small voice of the Savior calling you back to him. You know the parable of the ninety and nine sheep that the shepherd left without care to go in search of the one lost sheep, and how much rejoicing there was when that one lost sheep was found.

One of the most difficult problems many people have in returning to the Lord after a period of disobedience in the Mormon Church is putting the past behind them. One of Satan’s most effective tools when he can no longer entice people to violate the commandments is to make them continue to feel unworthy because of the things of the past, and thus not feel worthy to return to the fold. It’s extremely important to put the past behind us and not let it influence our present desire for good behavior. Let me tell you a little story to illustrate this point.

A young man was given a new pair of shoes; and out walking one day he walked through a mud puddle and got the shoes all dirty. So he came home, removed the shoes, spread a newspaper on the kitchen table, and with a kitchen knife scraped all the mud, which by now had dried, off the shoes. Then he went to the kitchen sink and with a rag and brush removed all the remaining dirt from the shoes. He then got out the shoe polish and polished and  shined the shoes to the point that they looked like new. No one examining the shoes could ever tell that they had been through the mud. The young man then returned to the kitchen table, tore a corner piece from the newspaper, gathered up all the mud that he had scraped off the shoes into the small piece of paper, carefully folded it up and carried it around in his pocket. Periodically he would pull the paper from his pocket, unwrap it and, looking at the dried mud, would comment, “What a bad thing I did! How horrible it was to walk through all the mud! I should have been more careful! What a disaster!”

My question to you is, what should that young man have done with that dirt? The Savior said it this way;

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).

Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. (D&C 58:42)

If you can forgive yourself and put the past behind you, you will be uninhibited in becoming familiar again with the scriptures, (especially as you and your husband study them together), finding friends and associates who are participating in church activities, and in complying with all the principles of the gospel. As you and your husband pray together the Spirit will no doubt instill in him the same testimony that you will be renewing.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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