Faith #4 and #5
I take my baptismal covenants seriously. Probably because I have felt keenly the cleansing power of the Atonement in my life. I know what it feels like to suffer the pains of godly sorrow for your sins. It is not pleasant. Sure we may grow comfortable here on this Earth living in and among sin without much thought. But that is like being comfortable being dirty in a dirty place surrounded by dirty people. We grow used to what is around us and no longer see the dirt.
But I know that one day we will all be brought before the bar of God to be judged and in the presence of His holy cleanliness, the "dirt" from our sins will be all to apparent and painful to us. I have had an experience where I felt that pain and been shown the "dirt" from my sins. It was unbearably awful. Like I can't imagine having to live with that awareness and pain. I felt so bad, I felt unworthy to even pray.
Yet in the depths of that despair, I remembered how the Lord had commanded us to pray. He wanted us to turn to Him when we felt like that. I realized that it was Satan that didn't want me to pray. So I gathered all my strength and uttered a very simple, direct prayer. "Lord, please forgive me." The words were few but the feeling was deep and powerful and pleading.
In an instant, all those painful, uncomfortable, sorrowful feelings were wiped away and I was filled with joy and forgiveness and light. It was miraculous beyond anything words could adequately describe. I KNEW the Lord had forgiven me and I didn't need to worry about my past sins any longer.
I felt such gratitude to the Savior for bearing the weight of those sins and for suffering the punishment for them. I felt purchased. From that moment at the age of 14 on, I have not considered my life my own. For, I could not have lived under a consciousness of my guilt. My life was purchased almost 2000 years previously in the Garden of Gethsemene.
This is what I think of when I take the sacrament each Sunday now. I think of the debt He paid for me and thank Him for it by repenting anew and striving to recommit myself to doing my best to do His will and His work on this Earth for the remainder of my days. I take His name on me and promise to keep His commandments and I REMEMBER Him.