A member of the Quorum of the Seventy said choosing good over evil and repenting allows God be the artist who molds individual lives into his masterpieces at Tuesday’s devotional.
Elder Ulisses Soares has been a member of the Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since January 2013. His remarks centered around overcoming detours to becoming who God would have his children be and allowing God to mold individuals through their own personal experiences, much like a sculptor molds his own works of art. He specifically drew a parallel to Michelangelo, famous Italian Renaissance artist.
Michelangelo’s famous “Pieta” depicts Jesus Christ lying across Mary’s lap after being taken down from the cross. The piece portrays the various physical and emotional pains experienced by both Christ and Mary. Soares regards Michelangelo as a talented artist who worked hard to create this piece out of raw marble with a hammer and chisel.
“When I think about the work he produced and the result he achieved, figuratively I think about the wonderful plan of love our Heavenly Father developed in consideration for each of us and for what he hoped we might become when he sent us here to earth,” Soares said.
Soares suggested two truths prior to his discussion about human weakness that can motivate individuals to become who they are meant to be.
“First, you need to know that you are a chosen generation; you were preordained by the Lord to be here on the earth during this period of history,” Soares said. “Second, the enemy knows your potential and the promises made to you.”
With that in place, Soares moved into his discussion about human weakness, beginning with temptation.
“Temptation is the primary weapon the enemy uses to distract us,” Soares said.
Soares discussed how dealing with the natural man, in every individual, involves learning how to decipher the pleasures of the world from the feelings of the Spirit. He also suggested using the Atonement of Jesus Christ aids in an individual ceasing to be a “natural man.” Soares addressed the idea of good and evil and how individuals must choose good to become who God would have them be.
“We should always ask ourselves, ‘Are my actions placing me in the Lord’s territory or the enemy’s territory? I can’t be right by doing wrong; I can’t be wrong by doing right,'” Soares said.
Elder Soares suggested that each individual is born and possesses the light of Christ within them. He said each person must use the process of repentance to turn toward God and shape our spirits.
“Our choices shape our souls,” Soares said. “Recognizing our dedication and perseverance, the Lord will give us what we are unable to obtain by ourselves. He will shape us with his hammer and chisel, because he sees our efforts to overcome our imperfections and human weaknesses.”
Repentance is a daily process, according to Elder Soares. He said individual change and healing require time to become who each individual is meant to be in God’s eyes.
“My invitation today is for all of us to allow the Lord to mold and transform our lives into our potential, to that which our Heavenly Father planned for us,” Soares said. “Let us understand our eternal perspective and turn our lives into a beautiful work of art which was planned by a loving Heavenly Father, who developed a plan of redemption so that we could return to his presence.”