“Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast.”
The Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that people can change. It's repentance. Isaiah said
2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light; they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and increased the joy – they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
4 For thou hast broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor.
The Yoke of our burden is the price to return to Heavenly Father. We can't be perfect. We can't make ourselves perfect. Christ has broken the yoke. He has taken away the rod of sin. He took our punishment. He overcame sin and death. He introduced us to a many things we never could have thought to attain without His help – Including Hope and Mercy.
Because of Christ death has lost its sting. There is hope where there was none. That hope is that Christ has the power to shoulder our burdens, take away our pain, and purify us. He can make us clean.
“And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, though canst make me clean” – Luke 5:12
Do we believe, as that leper did, that Christ has the power to truly make us clean? Do we come when He calls us? Our faith is required. We have to come to Him and be willing to change – but remember that that yoke of perfection isn't on us anymore, if we give it to Him – He takes it. We have to come to Him, and when we do we don't say "Lord, if thou wilt, I can make me clean." We say "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." I think that too often we expect ourselves to be perfect (or other people) when really all we have to give is a broken heart, a contrite spirit, our best effort, and a real desire to change.
My message today is this – there is hope. No matter how far we feel that we are from Christ, we have hope because we don't have to go where He is. He comes where we are. Our progress and desire are significant to Him. Don't give up.
Also, this week has been awesome. We've been shown a great deal of love from the ward, and we are working with several people who have a great desire to find answers by the spirit. Something that I'm learning is that an answer doesn't sustain you forever. Sometimes, the Lord can only direct our steps if we are moving. If you don't work on your testimony, you lose it – but as long as you seek Christ He has the power to help you.
Sister Caroline Faulkner