“Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. If you fall, summon His strength. Call out like Alma, “O Jesus, … have mercy on me.” He will help you get back up. He will help you repent, repair, fix whatever you have to fix, and keep going. Soon enough you will have the success you seek.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders among You”, General Conference, April 2016
This quote brings immense comfort to me. Words that solidify in my head are “want”, “try”, “strive”, and “stumble”.
“Want” is probably what stands out the most to me. Heavenly Father looks on the heart. So as long as we genuinely want to improve and be better, we will. Granted, wanting to improve leads us to do the things necessary to improve. And the Lord knows the difference between genuinely wanting to be better and simply saying that we want to.
“Try” is another word that we mortals are familiar with. It is tied closely to “want”. When we want to improve, we will try to improve. Improving is not easy. Two steps forward and one step back is still one step forward.
“Strive” is very similar to try. However, the dictionary defines it as “to struggle or fight forcefully”. We are in a war for our souls. Each day, when we throw on our armor, and fight with everything we have, that is a good day. Doesn’t mean we’ll win the battle, but we are putting up a fight. Not laying down and giving in. We may be tired, we may be frustrated, we may even be weaker, but we get up and we fight because our own salvation is on the line.
Lastly, “stumble”. We will stumble, we will trip, and we will fall. That’s a guarantee. The Lord knows this is the case. That is why Christ sacrificed for us….for you and for me. He is there beside us, helping to lift us up. Each and every time we fall.
Bottom line is that the Lord absolutely knows us better than we know ourselves. We may be able to fool ourselves and say we really want to improve, to change, but are unwilling to try. But the Lord knows. We can’t fool Him, or fake trying, or deceive Him in any way. It starts with wanting, a desire to change. Then we try. We fight with everything we can. We will stumble. But the Lord is right there.