As Elder Lynn G. Robbins explained in his October 2022 general conference talk “Until Seventy Times Seven,”, failures and mistakes can actually help us grow. When we try again after failing, it builds our faith, helps us develop Christlike attributes, and allows us to experience God’s grace. Think of learning any new skill – playing the piano, speaking a foreign language, sports, etc. You have to make countless mistakes before you become proficient. Failure is part of the learning process. As Thomas Edison said about inventing the lightbulb, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” God allows us to make mistakes and fail so we can learn and grow from the experience. Failure helps us develop faith, patience, humility and other Christlike qualities. It teaches us to rely on God’s grace. The opposition we face in life refines us and helps perfect us. As the scriptures say, it’s through much tribulation that we enter God’s kingdom (Acts 14:22).
While mistakes of the mind (like learning a new skill) are expected, sins of the heart often require repentance and change. We all fall short at times in controlling appetites, showing love, or avoiding sin. But the good news is that through Jesus Christ, forgiveness is always available! No matter how many times we mess up, we can repent and try again. The Savior paid the price so we could have as many chances as needed to pass our mortal test. As Elder Robbins explained, when Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, Jesus replied “seventy times seven” – meaning there’s no upper limit to forgiveness. God’s love, mercy and grace are infinite. As we sincerely repent, Christ forgives again and again. True repentance requires real effort and change on our part. We must strive to align our lives more closely with God each day. But the Savior’s Atonement enables that change in us. He gives us strength to keep trying amid our imperfections.
The path back to God’s presence is strewn with trials and failures. But with Christ we have hope! He walks by our side, allowing second chances, lifting burdens, healing and strengthening us. Christ’s grace gives us enabling power to lay hold on eternal life, even after our best efforts fall short. Through repeatedly partaking the sacrament with a broken heart and contrite spirit, we can continually access His mercy. Rather than going from failure to failure, our goal is to grow from failure to failure, becoming more like our Savior over time. Our spiritual growth may seem small and imperceptible day to day. But through the lens of time, we recognize progress. God rejoices in every effort we make to follow Christ. So even amid weaknesses, keep pressing forward in faith. The Savior’s loving patience offers endless second chances on our journey toward Him. Link to the original: Until Seventy Times Seven
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