Guilt is a warning to heed; repent and prepare for long life

I, the Lord God, have spoken it; but the hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes.

Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent, . . .Believe on the name of the Lord Jesus, who was on the earth, and is to come, the beginning and the end;

Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, according to the holy commandment, for the remission of sins;

And whoso doeth this shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, by the laying on of hands of the elders of the church. (D&C 49:7, 8, 12-14.)

Directing his remarks to young people at the April 1989 general conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve spoke of an alarm system built into both body and spirit.

"In your body it is pain; in your spirit it is guilt - or spiritual pain," he explained. While neither pain nor guilt is pleasant, and an excess of either can be destructive, both are a protection, for they sound the alarm `Don't do that again!'

"Be grateful for both. If the nerve endings in your hands were altered so that you couldn't feel pain, you might put them in fire or machinery and destroy them. In your teenage heart of hearts, you know right from wrong. (See 2 Ne. 2:5.) Learn to pay attention to that spiritual voice of warning within you. Even then, you will not get by without some mistakes."

He said that those who make one serious mistake tend to add another by assuming that it is then too late for them. "It is never too late! Never!" he declared.

"While your temptations are greater than were ours, that will be considered in the judgments of the Lord. He said that `his mercies

are suitedT according to the conditions of . . . men.' (D&C 46:15.) That is only just.

"A great contribution to Christian doctrine is the explanation in the Book of Mormon of how justice and mercy and repentance and forgiveness work together to erase transgressions. (See Alma 42.)

"The discouraging idea that a mistake (or even a series of them) makes it everlastingly too late, does not come from the Lord. He has said that if we will repent, not only will He forgive us our transgressions, but He will forget them and remember our sins no more. (See Isa. 43:25; Heb. 8:12; 10:17; Alma 36:19; D&C 58:42.) Repentance is like soap; it can wash sin away. Ground-in dirt may take the strong detergent of discipline to get the stains out, but out they will come.

"Teenagers also sometimes think, `What's the use? The world will soon be blown all apart and come to an end.' That feeling comes from fear, not from faith. No one knows the hour or the day (see D&C 49:7), but the end cannot come until all of the purposes of the Lord are fulfilled. Everything that I have learned from the revelations and from life convinces me that there is time and to spare for you to carefully prepare for a long life."

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