Prophets and apostles provide hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, all of God’s children are capable of changing for the better.
“The passage of time has not altered the capacity of the Redeemer to change men’s lives—our lives and the lives of those with whom we labor,” teaches President Thomas S. Monson. “We will discover that those whom we serve, who have felt through our labors the touch of the Master’s hand, somehow cannot explain the change which comes into their lives. There is a desire to serve faithfully, to walk humbly, and to live more like the Savior. …
“Two fundamental reasons largely account for these changes of attitudes, of habits, of actions. First, men have been shown their eternal possibilities and have made the decision to achieve them. Men cannot really long rest content with mediocrity once they see excellence is within their reach” (“To the Rescue,” Apr. 2001 general conference).
“The gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to change, says Elder Dallin H. Oaks. “‘Repent’ is its most frequent message, and repenting means giving up all of our practices—personal, family, ethnic, and national—that are contrary to the commandments of God. The purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change” (“Repentance and Change,” Oct. 2003 general conference).
“Decide to stop what you are doing that is wrong,” advises Elder Richard G. Scott. “Then search out everything in your life that feeds the habit, such as negative thoughts, unwholesome environment, and your companions in mischief. Systematically eliminate or overcome everything that contributes to that negative part of your life. Then stop the negative things permanently. …
“I promise you, in the name of the Lord, that He will help you. He will be there in every time of need. He gave His life so that you can change your life. I promise you, that you’ll feel His love, strength, and support. Trust Him completely. He is not going to make any mistakes. He knows what He is doing. Please, decide now to change your life. Be obedient to His teachings, and He will bless you” (“Finding the Way Back,” Apr. 1990 general conference).
“Indeed,” teaches Elder David A. Bednar, “the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ entails a fundamental and permanent change in our very nature made possible through our reliance upon ‘the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah’ (2 Nephi 2:8). As we choose to follow the Master, we choose to be changed—to be spiritually reborn.” This rebirth, Elder Bednar says, entails a process involving “time, persistence, and patience”:
“Line upon line and precept upon precept, gradually and almost imperceptibly, our motives, our thoughts, our words, and our deeds become aligned with the will of God” (“Ye Must Be Born Again,” Apr. 2007 general conference).