Recently I have thought a lot about change. Its been a topic my fiance Al and I have discussed a lot in our long car drives is change, but change in regards to the Gospel. Change in the Gospel is something we hear a lot of, sometimes we embrace the change, but sometimes this kind of change is often ran from than actually embraced.
I came across this quote that puts change so simply. "We can have no progress without change, whether it be basketball or something else." -Coach John Wooden. In regards to the Gospel we can simply replace the word basketball with 'the Gospel'. We can have no progress without change, whether it be in the Gospel or something else.
About three years ago when I was becoming converted to the Gospel and applying the Atonement in my life, I had to change many things in my life. In all seriousness my lifestyle needed to change. I lost about 90% of my friends; habits and hobbies also had to change. But, it came step by step as I grew closer to the Lord and His Atonement. Change was so hard for me, I felt so alone during this time in my life. My wonderful Bishop at that time, who I was working with so closely told me: "Ben, since you have met with me, there will come a big change in your life in the next few months. You will lose friends, dates, etc. But know this..." and he gave a promise. "the Lord will bless you with better friends and better dates."
How right he was! After that day in March 2010 I started to change. Most of the time I didn't even notice the change that was happening within me. Its like I was given a new mindset, heart and attitude. Now, it reminds me of this scripture in Ezekiel: "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26).
Change can be a lonely thing, change can be hard. But we shouldn't dwell on past mistakes. We shouldn't let mistakes keep us from changing. So what if you have sinned. Who hasn't. God cares more on where you are now than he does on where you have been and what you have done. He cares more about your future and with his help on what you can become. His help may and probably will require change. Don't run from it.What better help for change do we have, than Christ? His hand will always be there.
Don't fear change. Don't let friends, family, habits, lifestyles, etc., keep you from changing who you are meant to become. Becoming who Heavenly Father sees you as becoming. Even on my mission I worried about change, cause their was such a big emphasis on change. I was worried I would change for the wrong reason, I couldn't be the Ben Carraway I have been my whole life. It was hard to by myself, at times I was being someone I wasn't and it really bothered me. It came clear to me one day. The Gospel doesn't change who we are, it changes what we are. God has blessed us all and created us all completely different. With personalities, talents, looks, gifts, etc. That is who we are. He wants us to be 'who' we are. The what we are is what the Gospel changes, habits, lifestyles, etc. That is the only thing the Gospel changes.
Do not fear change. Do not doubt change. Do not worry and say: "man, I can't change and become converted in this Gospel. I will not be me anymore. I will become someone else." Or, "I can't change, if I change, I will lose all my friends." Don't shut out a reoccurring thought to change. Especially when you know you need to. I shut out that thought of changing my life for 3 years, until I was 18 almost 19 years old. But this change that came into my life has blessed me so much. I served a mission (never thought I would), & saw many people change on my mission. Now serving in the young men's presidency in my ward. And the biggest blessing of all, I'm being sealed in two months to my sweetheart Al Fox. All of those blessings and countless of others would not have happened if I didn't embrace change.
Be yourself, who you are does matter. Your talents, ideas and 'who' you
are will make a difference and it will bless the lives of so many in
this church and your life, if you just try. Don't run from change, embrace it. The Gospel doesn't change who we are, it changes the what we are. Change is beautiful. Just know, it is never to late to change. It is never to late to be what and who Heavenly Father sees you as becoming, no matter if you think you have failed and missed too many chances and opportunities to change. The Atonement will always be there for you. Christ will never be to far away for you to reach. I will end with this quote: "Don't wait until you are ready to die, to decide to live." - Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf.
Don't fear change. Embrace change.
Contact: Email / Facebook