24990_000_013Answers are intended as help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
“I battle with the same temptations over and over, even though I decided against them years ago and have resisted them so far. Why doesn’t the Lord acknowledge my commitment and take away the temptation?”
Avoid situations that you know hold temptations for you.
The longer you entertain a temptation, the harder it will be to resist.
You will not be tempted beyond what you can withstand.
Being tempted isn’t a sin. Giving in is.
If you fail, repent and keep trying.
Being a Nephite wasn’t easy. The Lamanites attacked repeatedly, but for a great part of their nearly 1,000-year history the Nephites resisted. The Nephites were obviously committed. Why didn’t the Lord take the Lamanites away?
There were many reasons. But the bottom line is, life is a test. We are here to prove we will choose the Lord no matter what (see Abr. 3:25).
It may help to understand the following:
First, God doesn’t tempt us; Satan does.
Second, God allows Satan to tempt us as part of the test. But He limits Satan. We will not be tempted beyond what we can withstand (see 1 Cor. 10:13).
Third, being tempted isn’t a sin. We sin if we give in to temptation.
Fourth, if we fail, it was our own decision. If the temptation seemed too great, it’s usually because we didn’t resist when we had the opportunity. We are often our worst enemies by putting ourselves in a position to fail. Even after Captain Moroni had prepared the Nephites with better armor and city walls, anyone who wandered outside was an easy target.
If immoral thoughts are a temptation, are you avoiding the shows, music, Web sites, and other things that trigger them? Or are you outside the walls, just to see if any Lamanites are around? True commitment to keeping the commandments means we try to live as far from temptation as possible (see D&C 20:22).
Fifth, as we resist current temptations, we gain strength to resist future temptations.
Sixth, you may do everything possible to avoid temptations, and yet they will still come. Satan won’t ever give up. But by doing your best to live God’s standards, you’ll be prepared. Your walls will be high, your armor strong. When the Nephites were most righteous, it was easiest to repel the enemy.
Finally, if you give in to temptation, which we all do sometimes, you can turn back to God through repentance. Resisting temptation is more than fleeing sin; it is pursuing righteousness with all your heart.
We need to show God that even after resisting 1,000 times, we will choose Him the 1,001st time too.
Our purpose in coming to this earth is to be tried so that we can become like the Savior. He has given us agency to choose for ourselves what we will do when faced with a temptation. If the Lord takes away the temptation, we can’t prove ourselves or inherit eternal life. Rebecca L. Langham, 16, High Country Ward, San Antonio Texas East Stake
The temptation may never go away, but your decision to fight it is what matters. The Lord has acknowledged your commitment, but the temptation will be there to test you. Your job is to rise above it so it doesn’t bother you anymore. Stephanie Hall, 15, Sageview Ward, Idaho Falls Idaho Eagle Rock Stake
Let us all remember that life on earth is the time to prepare to meet God and perform our labors (see Alma 34:32). God has a reason for our trials, which is to try our patience and endurance (see Mosiah 23:21). Bernadette L. Aabuyan, 19, Palauig Branch, Iba Philippines District
Captain Moroni and his people prepared for their battles (see Alma 50:1–5). We also have battles we need to prepare for each day. We can overcome temptations through prayer, scripture study, attending church, and striving to keep the commandments. Elder Peter J. Guiyab, 22, Australia Sydney North Mission
The Lord said, “This kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (Matt. 17:21). If you fast, pray, and obey, you will find strength you never knew you had. Talk to your bishop. Turn to the Lord. Dayne J. Linford, 15, Poquoson Ward, Newport News Virginia Stake
Resisting temptation gives us the opportunity to show Heavenly Father that we will be obedient to His counsel to endure to the end. Remember that the Lord knows us personally and will give us no temptation that we cannot overcome. Elder Craig A. Kelley, 21, California San Francisco Mission
We can return to the Lord’s presence if we make correct choices. In 2 Nephi 2:11, 16 [2 Ne. 2:11, 16], the Lord says there should be “opposition in all things” and that “man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.” Anderson Swollon, 17, Páu Amarelo Ward, Olinda Brazil Paulista Stake
We cannot forget that “this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32). To resist temptations, we must stand on a sure foundation (see Hel. 5:12). We have to remain strong in our commitment to the Lord’s commandments. Célio Ferreira, 18, Queluz Ward, Lisbon Portugal Oeiras Stake
Keep praying, studying your scriptures daily, and trying your best to resist. You have done well so far. Heavenly Father loves you and will never set you up to fail. Sarah Robertson, 16, Hope Mills First Ward, Fayetteville North Carolina Stake
We will not be tempted beyond the limits of our resistance, as it says in 1 Corinthians 10:13 [1 Cor. 10:13]. We can obtain strength to resist by praying (see Alma 13:28). The Lord recognizes our efforts. Françuelton Santos Callou, 17, Cascavel First Ward, Cascavel Brazil Stake