Change ...And Change For Good...
Would you like to know how to change and change for good?
Many times over the years I've wondered how did Jesus Christ come to earth and not commit sin? If He passed through the same veil of forgetfulness as we did, having to learn of His Father in Heaven as we did, how did He manage to live a life without sin? Over time, I've thought of all the possible answers to this question but they all led me right back to the same point. If they were so, then the testing given us, even the example He set for us, was unfair. Like first graders, trying to compare to a person who had a doctorate degree and all taking the same high-school exam. Yes, we were first graders and yes, He had a doctorate, but why would the Son of God need such an advantage over us to pass a test given to us to pass?
The need to understand the answer to this question has been focal to me to understanding my own shortcomings. To keep it simple, the answer lay in His nature. In His heart. The one factor that put everyone on equal ground, making the test, the example, equal and fair for everyone taking it. Our nature, our true nature, is the kind of person we really are deep down inside us. Who we are when no one is watching. The one thing no one can take from us or give us.
"Character, is what you are in the dark."
When we passed through the veil of forgetfulness, we were left with nothing but our true nature to begin our life here on this earth. Christ, the Son of God, the Only Begotten of the Father, didn't need a special advantage over us to pass the test of life we were given to pass. Why? Because sinning was just not part of His nature and seeking the will of His Father in Heaven, our Father in Heaven, was part of His nature. Therefore, the temptations of life were no test for Him and counting on Him to do all He said He could do was no risk for us. He came to earth with the same thing we came to earth with His true nature.
So does that mean that if we knowingly sin, it is part of our nature? Sadly, it does. The next question is, "What does a man do when something seems to be part of his nature? Is a characteristic always a characteristic? Is a leopard's spots unable to be changed? If we have a propensity for a certain behavior, does it mean we will always have that propensity? Many psychologists believe that we cannot change our desires but we can control them. Is that true?
Only if Christ is wrong.
For Christ said, "Therefore, I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." (3 Nephi 12:48 and Matt 5:48). I also remembered something Socrates said once, "Assume a virtue and it's yours." In other words, a bad behavior identified, can be literally reversed and can even become a strength if we learn to change our nature. And that can be done as simply as a decision of the will if we believe it and do it. It's optional but we have the power to do it, if we not only believe in Christ, but believe Christ. We can change our very nature. Our hard-drive. It can be changed and changed again until we are as Christ told us to be, "Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am." (3 Nephi 27:27)
Who we were ...does not have to be who we are.
I learned something early in my police career that I never forgot. It was taught by our department psychologist. He taught us how to change and make the change permanent. He said that we cannot make a great stride forward by mustering up our courage and strength and trying to perform at a level greater than we see ourselves. He said that it would only be a short while and we would come crashing back down to where we were. He said the only way to make a great stride forward and make it permanent was to first see ourselves as being that kind of person. In other words, "I don't drink or smoke or do this or that because that's just not the kind of person I am. I just don't do those kind of things!" More plainly, "It's just not my nature." Get it? If you want to change and make the change permanent, you first have to see yourself as being the kind of person you want to be and then dwell on that person until you are that person. Then, your nature and actions will gravitate toward that kind of person until it is your nature to be that kind of person. It's that simple.
The Scriptures are full of this yet it is so easily missed. Once something is outside our nature, it is no longer a temptation to us and then it is no longer a part of our life. We can change and the change can be permanent.
"Become someone you haven't met yet."
I challenge you to face heaven once a day for a month and with your right arm to the square, make this covenant,
"Oh God the Eternal Father, I covenant with Thee in the
name of the Son,
Then, listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost ...and follow them. Do this for twelve months and you will be a totally brand new person. The Lord will lovingly turn you inside out and you will become who you never were.
Now you have the secrets to an eternal change.