Repentance necessary while there is still time

      After describing the slaughter of the Nephite forces, Mormon recorded his eloquent lament: "O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus who stood with open arms to receive you!

      "O that ye had repented before this great destruction had come upon you. But behold, ye are gone, and the Father, yea, the Eternal Father of heaven, knoweth your state; and he doeth with you according to his justice and mercy." (Mormon 6:17, 22.)These verses are consistent with Mormon's warning to the Gentiles in Mormon 5:22, and with Amulek's admonition: "I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed." (Alma 34:33.)

      "No soul is justified in postponing his efforts to repent because of this assurance of longsuffering and mercy," wrote Elder James E. Talmage in Articles of Faith (p. 115). "We know not fully on what terms repentance will be obtainable in the hereafter; but to suppose that the soul who has willfully rejected the opportunity of repentance in this life will find it easy to repent there is contrary to reason. To procrastinate the day of repentance is to deliberately place ourselves in the power of the adversary."

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