Brigham Young University (BYU) is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often mistakenly called the “Mormon Church.” BYU students take nearly a semester of spiritually uplifting, stimulating religion classes.
Here, in this column, students enrolled in scripture study classes have shared their thoughts, insights, and reflections on the New Testament and gospel of Jesus Christ in the form of letters to someone they know. In publishing these, we fulfill their desire to witness to all of us of the relevance, power, and beauty of the New Testament, and God’s plan of happiness for each of us. We invite you to take a look at their epiphanies and discoveries as they delve into the scriptures. Let us know how these may help you in your own life. Share them with a friend.
Mormonism: Saul and Repentance
In my religion course this semester we are studying the second half of the New Testament. This last week we had a discussion on Paul and the sins he committed before his conversion to the church. In the book of Acts chapter nine it gives the story of Saul and the sins he was committing throughout most of his life. However, as Saul was on his way to bring more righteous followers of the Christian church into captivity the Lord appeared to him in a vision. In the vision the Savior said to him “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” This part of the scripture really hit me hard. Because of the Savior’s atonement and the infinite love that He feels for every single person on this earth, if we harm anyone of our fellow men we are really harming the Savior.
Along with the important scripture on being kind to one another, my class continued to talk about the repentance that Saul went through before he became the amazing Paul we know him to be throughout the New Testament. For three days Saul was stricken blind and during this he probably had a lot of free time to think about what he had been doing for years to harm the Christian church and the vision he had just had of the Lord. If that won’t make you feel deep godly sorrow for your sins I don’t know what will. Anyway, my professor brought up a part of the novel “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” written by C.S. Lewis. In the story, Eustace, a boy who was rude and arrogant was turned into a dragon because of treasure he stole. After being a dragon for quite some time, Eustace was distraught and desperately wanted to change back into a human. Aslan, the Christ figure in these novels, came to Eustace and told him to start shedding or ripping off layers of his dragon skin. Eustace the dragon tried desperately to change himself back by ripping off the dragon skin, but in the end he couldn’t prevail by himself. Aslan stepped in explaining that if he really wants to change he would have to let Alsan shed his dragon skin away. Finally Eustace was human again and his whole nature was changed. This is a perfect pretrial of how true repentance is for every one of us. We can try over and over again to change, but in the end we must rely on the Savior and His atonement to truly change. Even though it may be painful, we will finally alter our nature and become a better person