Have you had an experience where a certain object taught you a lesson about something? Or perhaps how one event reminded you of one important principle of the gospel? I had this when I was arranging my grocery purchases. It’s wonderful how simple things remind you of significant lessons. For me, I learned a lesson on repentance, thanks to a can of Pringles.
Can I Indulge Again?
I am a chips lover. Despite my desire to be fit, I still couldn’t resist my wanting for potato crisps. However, after giving birth, my perception on health changed. I suddenly want to become a healthy mom for my son. I started my change of eating habits with my grocery list. While at the store, I picked only the healthy options: whole what-bread, fruits, nuts, no pasta, no sweets. Then I came to the aisle of chips. Without second thought, I grabbed a tall can of Pringles. I even said to myself “This one bad thing won’t hurt.”
When we came home from the store, I laid out all my purchases and undeniably, the can of Pringles stood out. I opened the can, ate several of the chips, and the next thing I know, I already ate half of it. I have not even started my lifestyle change and there I was, already done with the 900 calories worth of chips. I felt ashamed and terribly guilty. Slowly, my desire to start a healthy diet waned. What’s the use when I already indulged in something bad?
One Simple Choice Can Make A Difference
That experience taught me a lot about our efforts to repent of transgressions. Repentance is not an easy process. It requires that you give up habits that cause you to sin. One important process of repentance is forsaking the sin. When we repent of something, we must do all we can not to commit the same sin again.
However, in our journey towards repentance, we can sometimes include cans of Pringles into our bags. These cans of Pringles can come in the form of a hidden magazine, a bookmarked site on the internet, or activities that may look harmless. Like me, you can also say “This one bad thing won’t hurt.” However, most of the time, they do.
When we do the same mistakes again, our resolve to totally repent wanes, too. Once we are consumed with guilt, we often wonder if it is worth another try. Completely forsaking the sin is an integral part of repentance. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said:
“Forsaking sins is more than resolving not to repeat them. Forsaking involves a fundamental change in the individual.”
A Lesson On Repentance, A Lesson Of Hope
However, the Lord knows that sometimes, we can really fall back to the very sin that we repented from. Despite that, He is still going to accept us as long as we do our part to repent once more. Elder Spencer W. Kimball said:
“Sometimes … when a repentant one looks back and sees the ugliness, the loathsomeness of the transgression, he is almost overwhelmed and wonders, ‘Can the Lord ever forgive me? Can I ever forgive myself?’ But when one reaches the depths of despondency and feels the hopelessness of his position, and when he cries out to God for mercy in helplessness but in faith, there comes a still, small, but penetrating voice whispering to his soul, ‘Thy sins are forgiven thee.’” (The Miracle of Forgiveness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1969, p. 344.)
My dear friends, I hope you are not as foolish as I am. In our resolve to change, may we look beyond the potato chip aisle and never look back. With the help of the Savior and the strength given by His atonement, we can slowly but surely ignore the cans of Pringles in our life. May we always find the courage to choose the better part every day.