7 Yea, and there shall be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die; and it shall be well with us.
8 And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.
(2 Nephi 28:7-8)
- Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to bless us.
- Some sins are more serious than others.
- None of us is perfect, and we all need God’s grace to overcome our sins and weaknesses.
But this temptation takes those true principles and tries to convince us to do things that are wrong intentionally, as long as they are not too bad. The trouble is that it’s impossible to draw a bright line between big sins and small ones. Any any time we intentionally do something we know is wrong, we weaken our resolve to do the right thing the next time. And as President Thomas S. Monson has reminded us, seemingly small sins can lead to larger ones:
We cannot allow ourselves the slightest bit of leeway in dealing with sin. We cannot allow ourselves to believe that we can participate “just a little” in disobeying the commandments of God, for the sin can grab us with an iron hand from which it is excruciatingly painful to free ourselves. The addictions which can come from drugs, alcohol, pornography, and immorality are real and are nearly impossible to break without great struggle and much help (“Keep the Commandments,” General Conference, October 2015).
Today, I will watch for these two kinds of temptation in my own thoughts. I will remember that all of my decisions have consequences. I will also remember that even seemingly small sins can lead me away from my Heavenly Father and from the joy and safety of the gospel.