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Restoration of Soul

Close up of a log with rings and cracks

Amulek, Zeezrom, Lamoni.*

I LOVE these characters because each one was a far cry from holy. Amulek chose comfort over sacrifice (Alma 8), Zeezrom made moral compromises for an income (Alma 15), and Lamoni inherited leadership over a violent people and perpetuated the poor traditions of his predecessors (Alma 18).

That’s how their stories began. But each was befriended by a disciples of Jesus Christ. And when introduced to Jesus and to God’s redeeming plan, their lives transformed. They became powerful advocates, missionaries, and leaders.

That transformation fascinates me. How can I experience this restoration of soul? How can I become an earnest servant of God when I sometimes behave in ways that are complacent or morally compromising? Or when I participate in the false traditions of my fathers?

Lately I’ve been talking to friends lately who feel STUCK—swirling around the vortex of painful decisions, haunted by their pasts.

I feel that way sometimes.

For them and for myself, I long to see clouds of darkness dispelled, for an infusion of light to the soul (Alma 19:6).

This is the truth that I want for us–

“There are times you cannot mend that which you have broken. … [Y]ou are trapped. It is easy to understand how helpless and hopeless you then feel and why you might want to give up,

[But remember this:]

Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ.

Do not give up if at first you fail. Often the most difficult part of repentance is to forgive yourself. Discouragement is part of that test. Do not give up.

… there is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no offense exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness.”

-Elder Boyd K. Packer, The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness, October 1995

*Book of Mormon characters with crazy names and even better stories.

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Jenny Harris
Jenny is a star-gazing, book-clubbing mother of two. She has a Master’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies, which is mildly comical (but also a boon in parenting and relationships). Her kids will attest that she’s crazy about reading aloud, time out of doors, and creative play. Her family’s goal is the “abundant life,” as prescribed by Jesus. You can read more posts by Jenny here.

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