Could I Let Go of My Past?
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“Could I Let Go of My Past?” Ensign, Jan. 2009, 72–73

Could I Let Go of My Past?

A positive and happy attitude is indispensable for people working in sales, as I do. Yet several years ago I was feeling discouraged and had no desire to talk to anyone. This was especially true one afternoon.

My countenance must have betrayed my poor spirits because one of my co-workers, with whom I had talked on many occasions, inquired about my situation. I explained that after being married for six years, my wife and I had divorced. This month marked the six-year anniversary of the divorce, so I had now been divorced for the same amount of time I had been married. My mind and heart were troubled, and my soul was filled with pain and sorrow. I knew I was missing many of my children’s experiences, and that realization was constant torture. Loneliness consumed me, and I saw no solution—or even hope—on the horizon. This, I told my co-worker, was the price I had to pay for my mistakes.

My colleague, who was a member of another Christian church, then responded. “What price are you talking about?” he asked. “Jesus Christ has paid the price, if you have truly repented of your sins. Or do you not remember why He came to earth?”

I was astonished by his reply, and his words left me speechless. They resonated inside me all afternoon. Yes—even though I lived with the consequences of my mistakes, Jesus Christ had paid the price. Why had I not realized this? I knew the doctrine, and I knew that it was true. Recognizing that the Atonement had power in my life filled me with a feeling of peace and comfort that I still remember today.

Years have passed since this experience at work. I have learned that some consequences of our actions remain with us all of our lives. Many of them affect the lives of our loved ones. The loneliness has not been easy, but it has helped me recognize my weaknesses and ask forgiveness of my Heavenly Father and the people who were most affected—my children and their mother.

In contrast with how I felt that afternoon, I can say that I now have peace and hope. I know that Jesus Christ has paid the price, and I have no doubt of this because I have repented. He has sustained me during these years of trials. Although my trials continue, I know that as I repent, turn to the Lord, and keep the commandments, He will continue to sustain me.

My soul was filled with pain and sorrow. This, I told my co-worker, was the price I had to pay for my mistakes.