I was discussing with a friend the draining nature of the temporal and temporary telestial treadmill. It has a way of showing your weakness (not weaknesses) and the weakness or inability of the world to solve its own problems. He suggested this one gospel principle:Look for something to repent of.
As I sat pondering about it two contradictory, but mutually beneficial, ideas from a single Biblical experience flooded my mind. Instead of making a statement to God, I should have been asking a question.
The first though was a statement of pride. It was the same response from the rich young man who said to all of the commandments Jesus listed, “All these have I kept from my youth up.” (Luke 18:21). The second was a question, “What lack I yet?” (Matthew 19:20).
The fact that we are asking what more do we need to do to inherent eternal life, receive a blessing, overcome adversity, change, challenge or pain is an indication we are lacking the moral mental attitude or righteous action to one or more of God’s commandments. It should cause us to repent of our pride and replace it with penitent and penetrating personal introspection into God’s laws, not reward us for our supposed righteousness. The Lord has yet a lecture for us to learn and apply. It’s a humble reminder that “the things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
“If we are humble and teachable, the Holy Ghost will prompt us to improve and lead us home, but we need to ask the Lord for directions along the way.” The October 2015 conference talk by Elder Larry R. Lawrence highlights examples and principles we can learn from in What Lack I Yet?
Jesus said, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matt. 4:17.) The light is turned on in the human soul through the great principle of repentance. Jesus has asked us to repent of past sins, regrets, weaknesses, and failures, and to prepare and look ahead into the future of eternal life and salvation in the kingdom of heaven.
Repentance by all who are accountable is required for preparation and progression, for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Repentance is God’s purifying program and law for cleansing the human mind and body from weakness, imperfection, and sin. Repentance through Jesus Christ makes it possible for us to progress toward God’s greatest gift, the gift of salvation and eternal life.
Repent: for the rewards of heaven are at hand.” (Matt. 4:17)
Repentance is a refining influence, a principle provided through the atonement and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to help us purify our mortal minds and bodies and to bring out our divine nature and godlike qualities and character so that we can live in the presence of God in his celestial kingdom. Source: Knowing God, General Conference April 1972
President Harold B. Lee taught, “Every one of us, if we would reach perfection, must [at] one time ask ourselves this question, ‘What lack I yet?’”
We cannot save ourselves, but we can find what we lack and what God desires us to receive along the path to salvation through Jesus Christ.