You are wholly responsible for what you do and most importantly, for who you become.
You not only can change, but you do change all the time. To believe that weakness and deficiencies in your character are unchangeable is to reject the central truth of the plan of salvation. You are not cast in stone. You are dynamic, changing, evolving being. You are always changing. You never stay the same. You cannot stand still.
You are right now the sum total of what you have thought, said, seen, heard, and done. What you think, say, do, hear, and see will cause you to change for good or for evil. It will cause you to be stronger or weaker. You’ll either develop qualities of light or qualities of darkness. God allows you to become what you desire to become.
“I know that he granteth unto men according to their desire, whether it be unto death or unto life; yea, I know that he allotteth unto men, yea, decreeth unto them decrees which are unalterable, according to their wills, whether they be unto salvation or unto destruction.” (Alma 29:4)
Your desires are made known by your actions. You’re free to choose what you become. We may choose liberty and eternal life by following Jesus Christ. We are also free to choose captivity and death by following Satan (See 2 Nephi 2:27.)
“Thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee” (Moses 3:17).
This is the time appointed for you to choose what you will become. Today is the day for you to decide what you’ll become more of today. We cannot wait nor postpone our change for when we meet the Lord at judgement.
“And if their works have been filthiness they must needs be filthy; and if they be filthy it must needs be that they cannot dwell in the kingdom of God” (1 Ne. 15:33; emphasis added). Moroni declares, “He that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still” (Morm. 9:14; emphasis added; see also Rev. 22:11–12; 2 Ne. 9:16; D&C 88:35). The same would be true of “selfish” or “disobedient” or any other personal attribute inconsistent with the requirements of God.
From such teachings we conclude that the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.Dallin H. Oaks (The Challenge to Become)
Becoming like Jesus
Every Challenge you face, every hard thing your confront, every bad thing that happens to you, every conflict, unfairness, sadness, disappointment, heartache, temptation, and opposition happens for one purpose only- to give you the opportunity to respond by applying in your life the teachings of Jesus. As you do so, you will changed to become more like Him.
This is why The Lord said to Joseph, that even when “Hell shall rage against thee” even “the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee” we can know “that all these things shall given thee experience, and shall be thy good.” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:7)
There is a way to respond how Christ would respond in every situtation. Jesus came not only to atone for our sins, but he also came to show us the way. He is the way. You not only may become like Him, but everything is tacked in your favor to become like Him! So don’t shrink in the face of a challenge. For “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” (Doctrine and Covenants 122:8)
When you choose to follow Christ, you’re choosing change. You’re choosing to develop the attributes of light. When you do not, you move backwards and acquire attributes of darkness.
If you’re not doing what the Lord would have you do. You cannot fully believe in yourself. God is always willing to hear your prayers and help you- but one can only exercise sufficient faith if he believes the course he’s on is where God wants him.
I Will Become
When my mom was a young child, her parents had her write out the list of qualities she desired in her husband. Her list included things like
- A man that always gives me flowers
- A returned Missionary
- A man that Loves Children
- A man always worthy of the Priesthood
- A man that is Always kind
- A man that loves puppies
And the list continued. Years later, when my dad was courting my mom, her parents proudly showed him the list she wrote. My dad realized he wasn’t the person on the list. But he desired to become that person.
Some time later in their dating, my mother found in father’s room her list! It was taped to the mirror, but it wasn’t written her handwriting. It was written in my dad’s. At the top of the list were the words “I WILL BECOME” My dad read the list every day and strove to become the man she wanted to marry. And He did, in fact, become everything on that list.
You can change
You too can change. You’re not defined by your weaknesses or sins. You are a child of God, with all the potential to become like Him. Through the Grace of Christ, you’ll achieve whatever change you seek for.