As I read in Ether this week I felt deeply impressed about how forgiving the Lord is unto us His children. As we read Ether 2:14 it says, " And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the Brother of Jared and stood in a cloud and talked with him for the space of three hours the Lord did talk with the brother of Jared and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord. "
As the Lord did surely chasten The Brother of Jared for three hours straight; we witness how hurtful it can be to the Lord when we do not pray unto Him; and how strongly He desires to be close to us.
In my own life, I make many errors that do require some chastening from the Lord; but the most beautiful principle that we witness here in these verses is that the Lord did forgives us all right away.
As the Brother of Jared did " repent of the evil which he had done " ( vs. 15 ) , we have the example that the Lord does forgives us the moment we repent with sincerity of heart.
Some of my favorite quotes about repentance come from the well-known talk " His grace is Sufficient " by Brad Wilcox :
" The repenting sinner must suffer for his sins, but this suffering has a different purpose than punishment or payment. It's purpose is change." ( Elder Dallin H. Oaks, The Lord's Way 1991, 223)
" Our works, such as repentance and keeping the commandments do not save us, but they are requirements set by the Savior to help transform us."
" The miracle of the atonement is not just that we can go home, but that miraculously we can feel at home there."
" Grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted, rather it is our constant energy source. It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that movies through the tunnel. Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. it is achieved right here and right now. "
I would like to remember that even after a three hour chastening session with the Lord; it was only shortly after that the Brother of Jared saw His finger due to his great faith.
I would like to remember that when I do sin, as we all do; if I have appropriately repented of my sins and if my heart has changed; then I am forgiven right away; thus the only thing standing between me and the Lord at that point is my ability to have faith in the atonement that He so lovingly has given me.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ.Amen.