BYU devotional features Elder Holland

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 14 2009 12:06 a.m. MST

Citing the Savior's admonition in a three-word New

Testament verse to "remember Lot's wife," Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' Quorum of the Twelve

described faith as building on the past but never longing to stay there

and as trusting that God has great blessings in store for each.

"Keep your eyes on your dreams, however distant, and live to see

the miracles of repentance and forgiveness, trust and divine love

transform your life today, tomorrow and forever," he said.

Elder Holland spoke at Tuesday's devotional at Brigham Young University, where he served as president from 1980 to 1989.

He referenced the biblical story from Genesis, where Lot and his

family fled at daybreak from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Lot's wife ignored God's command to "look not behind thee" and — upon

looking back — turned into a pillar of salt.

"It isn't just that she looked back — she looked back longingly,"

he said. "In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her

confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her

sin."

Counseling his audience to not dwell on days now gone or yearn

vainly for yesterday, Elder Holland reminded "the past is to be learned

from but not lived in," drawing upon experiences as one looks ahead.

"We remember that faith is always pointed toward the future — faith

always has to do with blessing and truths and events that will yet be

efficacious in our lives," he said. "So a more theological way to talk

about Lot's wife is to say she did not have faith. She doubted the

Lord's ability to give her something better than she had. Apparently

she thought — fatally as it turned out — that nothing that lay ahead

could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind."

Mindful individuals are sometimes hardest on themselves than with

others, Elder Holland asked that in all situations — including

relationships, marriages and personal lives — ancient wounds not be

reopened, the same wounds the Savior died trying to heal.

"Let people repent. Let people grow. Believe that people can change — and improve," he said. "It that faith? Yes! It is hope? Yes! Is it

charity? Yes! Above all it is charity, the pure love of Christ."

Elder Holland encouraged listeners to forgive and then do that

which is harder to do — forget. And to forget again when it comes to

mind again, remembered just enough to avoid repeating the mistake.

"Dismiss the destructive and keep dismissing it, until the beauty

of the Atonement of Christ has revealed to you your bright future, and

the bright future of your family and your friends and your neighbors,"

he said.

"God doesn't care nearly as much about where you have been as he

does about where you are, and with his help, where you are willing to

go."


E-mail: taylor@desnews.com

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