If Thou Desirest This Thing – Alma 22:15-16

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.
As I wrote in yesterday’s post, we are motivated to repent by a desire for positive outcomes, including eternal life and joy. As Aaron teaches the king in the passage above, we can test our level of motivation to repent by what we are willing to give up. The king expresses his desire dramatically, indicating that he is willing to give up all of his earthly possessions, as well as his position of power in order to recieve these blessings. Aaron clarifies for him that he must be willing to do something potentially harder: give up his sins. 
Today, as I ponder what I need to do better and how I can improve, I will think about the challenge Aaron gave to the king. I will ask myself before I pray whether I’m really willing to make the changes I’m asking Heavenly Father to help me make. I will ensure that I’m praying with “real intent,” so that I can both receive and retain the blessings I seek.
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