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
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,"
"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