Because Ye Were More Righteous Than They – 3 Nephi 9:13

13 O all ye that are spared because ye were more righteous than they, will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?

This is the voice of our Savior, Jesus Christ, speaking to the people who survived the destruction which occurred at the time of His death. He has just explained the reason for the destruction of so many of their cities: the wickedness of the inhabitants of those cities resulted in significant suffering. He had sent prophets to warn them, and they had murdered the prophets. Now, those cities had been destroyed “to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints should not come up any more unto me against them” (3 Nephi 9:8).
With our limited mental capacity, we have a tendency to divide people into categories. The Savior did not want these people to oversimplify the situation, labeling the people who had died as “bad” and the people who had survived as “good.” So He gave them a different label: He told them that they had been spared because they were “more righteous” than the people who had been destroyed. Not perfect, not free from sin: only “more righteous.” And then He invited them to repent, so that they could be healed.

We all need the healing power of the Atonement in our lives. Elder Larry A. Lawrence issued the following challenge to members of the Church last Saturday:

I would like to suggest that each of you participate in a spiritual exercise sometime soon, perhaps even tonight while saying your prayers. Humbly ask the Lord the following question: “What is keeping me from progressing?” In other words: “What lack I yet?” Then wait quietly for a response. If you are sincere, the answer will soon become clear. It will be revelation intended just for you (“What Lack I Yet,” General Conference, October 2015).

Today, I will ask Heavenly Father in prayer what I lack, and I will act on the answers I receive. I will remember that the path to conversion and healing leads through repentance, and that repenting and improving our lives is a constant process for a disciple of Jesus Christ.

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