Living by the scriptures

"Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven;

And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." - Gen.19:24-26.

One particular day I was in the Logan Temple, contemplating the challenges of those LDS youth who struggle to repent from the sins and sometimes the abuse of a difficult past. "How can they survive? What is the key to help them resist and recover? How can I personally remain true to my own covenants and avoid the threatening failure of sin?"

I was surprised by the scripture that came to mind: it was the story from Genesis of Lot and his wife fleeing the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. "Don't look back" kept coming to mind.

I saw an application in that scripture for myself and the youth I teach. Perhaps looking back symbolized the entertainment of past temptations, or the repetition of former sins. Perhaps in doing so Lot's wife partook of the same evils that brought destruction to Sodom and Gomorrah, thus bringing destruction upon herself.

As I thought of those struggling to change from the past to a better future in the gospel, I was impressed to try to help them learn to avoid reconsidering and entertaining the temptations that formerly led them astray; to refuse to turn back to former sins; and to stop harboring the bitter memories of a scarred past. In other words, "don't look back" toward the source of destruction, but "look forward" to the source of forgiveness and a closer bond with the Savior.

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