35 Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.
I’ve written this week about several people who experienced miraculous and sudden transformations through the Atonement of Jesus Christ—Enos, the people of King Benjamin, King Lamoni, and Alma. In every case, their circumstances had induced an intense desire to rise above their current sinful state and become pure and holy. In every case, they exercised their agency by praying for mercy, and in every case their hearts were changed—their guilt was swept away and their desires were purified. Their experiences can help us better appreciate the transformational power of the Atonement.
Today I want to focus on a less dramatic manifestation of that same power. The group of Nephites described in the verse above experienced a change of heart similar to the others we’ve studied this week, but this one came gradually and required dedicated effort over a period of time. The essential elements are still there: they sought God’s help through prayer, and as they turned their hearts to God, they were purified and filled with joy. The pattern is the same, but it happened more gradually. It was less of an event and more of a process.
I’m grateful for the transformational power of the Atonement in my daily life. I recognize that the sanctification process does not typically happen all at once, and that by consistently seeking God’s power through fasting and prayer, I can eventually yield my heart fully to God and be purified and sanctified.