14 And since man had fallen he could not merit anything of himself; but the sufferings and death of Christ atone for their sins, through faith and repentance, and so forth; and that he breaketh the bands of death, that the grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory; and Aaron did expound all these things unto the king.
15 And it came to pass that after Aaron had expounded these things unto him, the king said: What shall I do that I may have this eternal life of which thou hast spoken? Yea, what shall I do that I may be born of God, having this wicked spirit rooted out of my breast, and receive his Spirit, that I may be filled with joy, that I may not be cast off at the last day? Behold, said he, I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom, that I may receive this great joy.
16 But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest.
I’m thinking today about how the doctrine of the Fall leads to action. In the passage above, Aaron teaches the king about the effects of the Fall and even goes so far as to say that, in our fallen state, we can’t “merit anything of [ourselves].” The king profoundly feels the need to be rescued from this fallen state and asks what he can do. Aaron instructs him to pray in faith and repent.
We see a similar pattern after King Benjamin teaches his people about the “natural man.” They “viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth,” and as a result, they cried unto the Lord, saying “O have mercy” (Mosiah 4:2).
The doctrine of the Fall helps us to see “things as they really are” (D&C 93:24). It is so easy to be in denial about our own sins and weaknesses. It is easy to think, “I can handle this. I’ll take care of it. I don’t need help.” The doctrine of the Fall teaches us that we do need help, and that it will come as soon as we are ready to ask for it and receive it.
Today, I will humble myself and acknowledge my sins and weaknesses. I will remember that I can’t save myself, and I will plead with Heavenly Father for the help I need to “receive the hope” that I desire.