Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's: Look Not behind Thee

   The new year is a time for us to set goals, refocus, and rededicate ourselves to our personal tasks and aspirations. It is a time to reflect on how we can be better people, more humble servants, and more devoted followers of Christ. It is vital that we look to the future with eyes of faith and a hopeful heart.
   I feel impressed to share some insight along with Elder Jeffrey R. Holland regarding the new year and making it a point to "look forward." In Luke 17:32, Christ cautions us to "Remember Lot's wife." What exactly was the Savior trying to teach us?

 In the wicked days of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord told Lot and his family to depart from the unrighteous cities because they were going to be destroyed. "Escape for thy life; Look not behind thee," the Lord said. Lot and his family did as they were commanded and immediately left. Shorty thereafter, the prophecy was fulfilled in which "the Lord rained upon Sodom and Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven." Elder Holland expounds on this scriptural account: "Surely, with the Lord’s counsel—“look not behind thee”—ringing clearly in her ears, Lot’s wife, the record says, “looked back,” and she was turned into a pillar of salt." The question then arises, what was so wrong with Lot's wife merely looking back? Elder Holland states that she "wasn’t just looking back; in her heart she wanted to go back." Elder Neal A. Maxwell once stated, "People know they should have their primary residence in Zion, but they still hope to keep a summer cottage in Babylon." Lot's wife's "attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future."
  Elder Holland finally says, "As a new year begins and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives."
  At this new year let us live the words of Paul in which he stated, “This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before; “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13–14).
  The new year calls for us to improve the quality of our lives. Let us not fall back on poor habits or old routines. Let us learn from the past and look forward "with an eye single to the Glory of God. President Monson tells us that our "future is as bright as [our] faith."
  "Look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future."

1 comment:

  1. The new year allows us to begin with a clean slate. Look ahead and not back. It reminds me a lot of what our Savior did for us. His Atoning sacrifice allows us to have a clean slate. Wipe away our sins and not look back.


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