21 And the days of the children of men were prolonged, according to the will of God, that they might repent while in the flesh; wherefore, their state became a state of probation, and their time was lengthened, according to the commandments which the Lord God gave unto the children of men. For he gave commandment that all men must repent; for he showed unto all men that they were lost, because of the transgression of their parents.
An essential element of God’s plan for us is that we be separated from Him for a period of time. This separation serves at least two purposes:
- It gives us an opportunity to be tested, to see how we will behave when we are on our own (Abraham 3:25).
- It gives us a chance to grow in ways that we could not if we were still in His presence.
No wonder our Heavenly Father wants us to repent “while in the flesh.” No wonder “this life is the time…to perform [our] labors” (Alma 34:32
). As much as we may dread the trials, the discomfort, and the temptations of mortal life, they actually provide an ideal environment both to prove ourselves and to improve ourselves.
Today, I will use my precious time wisely. I will remember that this “state of probation” gives me the opportunity to demonstrate my faith and to become more than I am through repentance.