The Lord will not reject us or condemn us because of our mortal weaknesses. But we will not know this about Him until we come to Him just as we are. (See Ether 12:27.) This is the miracle that happens when we take Steps Six and Seven.
The barrier that lies between us and knowing the Lord is our own unwillingness to be imperfect in front of Him. Our prideful efforts to be something without Him, to get something accomplished before we seek Him, prevents us from ever coming close enough to Him to receive the blessings of His atonement. We want to “get our own act together,” as the saying goes, and left in our own strength, we eventually fail.
To insist that we achieve some abstinence before we come to Him is pride. Absolutely humility comes with the realization that there is nothing I can do to clean up my act or my self or my life—my past or my present or my future—until I come to Him just as I am.
By taking Step Six, becoming ready for Christ to change my heart, I become convinced that I have no choice but to also take Step Seven, to humbly ask God to remove whatever imperfections He wants to remove from me—in His own time and according to His own will and pleasure. (See Mosiah 7:33.)
When I finally realize that nothing I have tried to do to get ready to receive Christ was enough (that’s the process of Step Six), I am finally humble enough for change. I must accept my mortal life and my mortal self just they are and come to Christ anyway. My gift is not going to ever get better than it is—my life, my self, my choices, my behaviors—are not going to really be any better until I come to the Lord. That white-knuckled improvement that I’m sometimes able to enforce isn’t real. It will eventually fail me.
Only in coming to Christ—just as I am—can I find true recovery.
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