Sermoncitos, a family tradition
My father wrote “...you came into this world from Heavenly Father, you can live always with our Heavenly Father”. Prophets, preachers, and parents may tell us; the Light of Christ within us may help us recognize the truth (John 1:4-9); but only by being in tune with the Holy Ghost can we know for ourselves if it is true that we are children of God (Moroni 10:5). Christ declares that we are children of the Father. “And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn. Ye were also in the beginning with the Father...” (D&C 93: 21, 23).
We can return to the presence of our Father by living a life that conforms with who and how He is. To help us know to return, Heavenly Father has given us commandments, including the highest law, the law of eternal marriage. “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; and in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood (the new and everlasting covenant of marriage); and if he does not, he cannot obtain it” (D&C 131:1-3).
In our life before birth, we were raised by loving parents while surrounded by siblings, and developed knowledge, skills, talents, and personality. The veil over our memory permits the principle of “agency”. We are free to choose to follow light or darkness, good or evil, for we are free to act for ourselves (Helaman 14: 30, 31). The interviews we have as we prepare for the temple help us do a self assessment of worthiness, faith, and commitment. The commitment we make in the temple prepares us for the commitments of a lifetime. The law of chastity applies to married people as they maintain devotion to each other. The need to obey this law applies throughout our life, as we overcome the temptations that befall everyone.
In the Grand Council in Heaven, we learned about how earth life is one step in an eternal plan (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 348, 349, 365). We learned that everyone would have sufferings and temptations to teach us endurance, patience, and charity, so that we could learn to become more like our heavenly parents. Satan knows our potential and appeals to our carnal nature in his attempt to stop our progress. Satan attacks the standards of modesty that lead to a chaste life. He wants us to believe that since our bodies are beautiful, that they should be seen and appreciated. Satan encourages us to think immoral thoughts with pictures, movies, stories, jokes, and music. Our actions and even our thoughts can condemn us. Only Christ can heal us when we have entered onto forbidden paths. He will indeed heal us, as that is the purpose of His sacrifice for us.
Carnal sins are very attractive and difficult to stop once started. The friends you choose can make your path easier or harder. The path to forgiveness is clear: “To every forgiveness there is a condition... The fasting, the prayers, the humility must be equal to or greater than the sin. There must be a broken heart and a contrite spirit... There must be tears and genuine change of heart. There must be a conviction of the sin, abandonment of the evil, confession of the error to properly constituted authorites of the Lord” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 353).
You can qualify for eternal marriage. You can qualify for eternal life with God. You can qualify for the company of the Comforter. You can make good choices about your dress, speech, and behavior. You can choose friends who will uplift you. You can dress modestly. You can defeat the temptations of the destroyer. You can be forgiven. You can return to the path that leads to peace, joy, and happiness.