Tuesday, January 8, 2013

MULTIMEDIA MONDAY: The Best is Yet to Come

There was a saying made popular in the church around this time last year, paraphrasing a devotional address delivered by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. It was simple, so much that it contained only three magnificent words:

Remember Lot's Wife.

You may remember the Biblical story of Lot and his family, or at least the Mormon Message aired during the New Year celebrations of 2012. Lot was Abraham's uncle, and he and his family received strict orders to flee their home in Sodom & Gomorrah ahead of the sinful city's destruction. Leave immediately, they were told. Gather only what they could carry. And perhaps most important of all, don't look back.

Lot obeyed, and he apparently taught his children well enough to listen when a Prophet of God spoke. But his wife didn't. Sure, she packed up her belongings with the rest. She trudged along, not wanting to leave her husband and children. Perhaps she even genuinely looked forward to a vacation I the wilderness with some extended relatives.

But then it happened: she looked back. Or, as Elder Holland said, "she looked back longingly." Her heart wasn't on obeying the counsel of God. It was in her home, left behind with many of their worlds possessions. An so, due to her act of disobedience and begrudging attitude, the Lord turned her into a pillar of salt.

How often do we look back, even while we begin our journey toward seeming obedience? How often do we say to God, "Sure, I'll give this a try, but I'm pretty sure I know better"? The danger, as Elder Holland repeatedly warns, is not in looking back in our lives, but in doing so with longing.

This applies to the good and the bad. If we've committed transgression in previous days, let them be. There is no need to drudge up mud or skeletons in your own or someone else's closet. The Lord has a short memory, if we repent. Why should we focus on the past, when he doesn't? Let it be.

Likewise, the good that you've done in the past? Remember it. Love it. Cherish it. But press forward, looking for more opportunities to "go about doing good." The journey is long, and we cannot afford to rest on our laurels. We must be constantly moving forward -- otherwise, we risk falling backward.

As 2013 embarks on another year, let us move forward, resolving to be a little more cheerful, a little more kind, a little better than we were before. And if we are having trouble leaving the past where it should be, focus on three little words:

Remember Lot's Wife.

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