Elder Francisco J. Viñas of the Seventy discussed how the word of God provides comfort, security and helps us utilize the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
“Through our experience in life, we learn that our joy in this world is not full, but that in Jesus Christ our joy can be full. He will give us strength so we will not have to suffer any manner of afflictions, save they are swallowed up in His joy.”
These experiences can include death of loved ones, children straying from the gospel path, physical pain, waiting for a celestial marriage, or dealing with the infidelity of others.
Elder Viñas promised that in these difficult moments, God will heal our souls by helping us to view life through an eternal perspective. When we live with an eternal perspective, we better understand that our afflictions are for but a moment, and that if we endure them well, we can be exalted.
He also described how the prophets have spoken about the pleasing word of God, and how it can grant us security. We will gain all the blessings of exaltation available, according to our faithfulness.
Elder Viñas explained that sometimes suffering and affliction can be a result of failing to repent, especially when a punishment was attached to a just law. When we excuse ourselves from or hide our sins, we offend the Spirit, causing more pain, and we further diminish our ability to receive the Atonement. Relief from this pain can only come from the Atonement and obedience to the commandments.
“It is important to realize that just like the remission of sins, repentance is a process and not something that happens at one particular moment. It requires consistency in each of its steps.”
These steps include partaking of the sacrament worthily and being obedient to God’s laws.
“In addition to comfort, the pleasing word of God warns us that this process of receiving a remission of our sins can be interrupted when we become entangled in the ‘vanities of the world,’ and it can be resumed through faith if we sincerely repent and humble ourselves.”
Elder Viñas said that being distracted by electronic devices during church, leaving after sacrament meeting, participating in activities that are not appropriate for the Sabbath and showing up to sacrament meetings late without a valid reason are examples of the “vanities of the world.”
He continued by describing that the pleasing word of God shows the need for continuous repentance so we can maintain the comfort of the Holy Ghost.
“With the Influence of the Holy Ghost, we will not be offended, nor will we offend others. We will feel happier and our minds will be cleaner. Our love for others will increase. We will be more willing to forgive and spread happiness to those around us.”
Elder Viñas closed by testifying that joy comes from righteousness and that we can keep the Holy Ghost in our lives through sincere and continuous repentance.
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