I have come to the conclusion that when we commit sin, knowingly, purposely, there is a ‘honeymoon phase’ when everything seems so happy, balanced. We think that we have been so smart to have finally escaped the confines of the commandments and that freedom-that momentary freedom-feels so…freeing. Or maybe we finally feel justified or fulfilled for we have finally reached for that which we were told we should not have. And that is a thrill-to obtain the forbidden. The excitement of a secret carries us and gives us momentary, palpable pleasure.
But like all great honeymoons, it can’t last. Life settles in, normality returns and alas, we are still ourselves. Disappointing? Perhaps. Which entices us to commit some more sin to keep things interesting. Or maybe we don’t really like what we did and so we commit more sin to cover up the past sin. Sin for sin piled up until he are under a great heap of nothingness which actually feels like a great weight. We tell ourselves that we don’t care. We are free. But we don’t feel free-we feel trapped. Trapped by our choices. Trapped by our consequences. Trapped by our guilt. Trapped by our thoughts. Trapped by our emotions. Trapped by disappointment. Trapped by what-could-have-beens. And in that moment of truth with our soul, we discover that our moment of freedom was in reality a moment of bondage. The honeymoon is over.
And now the work of the Atonement begins. Thank the Lord for the Atonement. We don’t have to stay trapped. We don’t have to stay in bondage. We don’t have to live a mediocre life. We can still live what-might-have-been. And it’s all Because of Him.
It takes work on our part, to be sure but we are promised that ‘though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow’ (Isa. 1:18). Enos’ guilt was ‘swept away’ (Enos 1:6) and Alma says that ‘he was harrowed up by the memory of his sins no more’. (Alma 36:19) These are powerful statements of great hope for a sinner like me.