Sunday, August 28, 2016

New Beginnings

Fall semester at BYU will begin tomorrow and I can hardly believe it. Before starting something new, (whether it be a college semester, a mission, or a new job) I always get a little nervous inside. I think about all the different stresses that are before me and I get a little overwhelmed. But then I think of all the new and beautiful opportunities that are before me and I become excited for what lies ahead.

Even with all the new opportunities and starts that I am given, I think sometimes I tend to live life too much in the past. I think too much about what has gone wrong, and all the mistakes that I have made. And although sometimes a self-assessment of one's self and careful observations of the past can be a good thing, especially when one needs to repent, sometimes, at least for me, it can actually be a harmful thing. I take heart in the famous quote that tells us that the past is not meant to be lived in, but rather learned from. I love that because it accurately describes our role in the beautiful Atonement of Jesus Christ.

What is the Atonement? It is the suffering of our Savior for each and every one of us. It is the suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, on the Cross of Calvary, and the triumphant resurrection from the tomb. It is the reason why each of us can make wrong things right. It is the perfection representation of true love. It is the reason for our new beginnings.

To start school again certainly is a new beginning, but to pick ourselves up from perhaps a dirty past or a difficult trial, dust ourselves off and face life head on one again is what truly comes to mind when I think of a new beginning. It literally creates so much joy in my soul when I think of Christ and that infinite love that He showed by choosing to sacrifice himself as an offering so that we can choose to follow Him and come back to our Heavenly Father.

I love this quote by Elder Dale G. Renlund, a modern day Apostle of Jesus Christ. He says, "...because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ, ultimately, in the eternal scheme of things, there will be no unfairness. All that is unfair about life can be made right. Our present circumstances may not change, but through God's compassion, kindness, and love, we will all receive more than we deserve, more that we can ever earn, and more than we can ever hope for. We are promised that 'God shall wipe away all tears from [our] eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away' [Revelation 21:4]."

What a beautiful promise. What a sweet message of hope, and pure love.

I want to be more like Christ. I want to be a better person, and luckily, thanks to Him, I can be. I have the opportunity to start again, to rekindle my faith and hope, and to try harder today to be better than I was yesterday. Oh hallelujah, I love my Savior.