That Ye Would…Not Procrastinate the Day of Your Repentance – Alma 13:27-29

27 And now, my brethren, I wish from the inmost part of my heart, yea, with great anxiety even unto pain, that ye would hearken unto my words, and cast off your sins, and not procrastinate the day of your repentance;
28 But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering;
29 Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest.
(Alma 13:27-29)

In this passage, Alma pleads with the people of Ammonihah to repent now, to humble themselves now, and to follow the guidance of the Holy Ghost now. He must have perceived that there were some in that audience who were receptive to his message but who would be tempted to delay taking positive action. The reasons for the delay might be diverse, but the outcome would be the same: lost time, and the possibility that the action would be deferred indefinitely.

In the words of President Henry B. Eyring:

Today is always a better day to repent than any tomorrow. First, sin has its debilitating effects on us. The very faith we need to repent is weakened by delay. The choice to continue in sin diminishes our faith and lessens our right to claim the Holy Ghost as our companion and comforter.
And second, even should we be forgiven at some later time, the Lord cannot restore the good effects our repentance today might have had on those we love and are to serve. That is particularly poignant for the parents of young children. In those tender years there are chances for shaping and lifting spirits which may never come again (“Do Not Delay,” General Conference, October 1999).

Today, I will avoid procrastination. I will choose to humble myself, to repent, and to follow the guidance of the Spirit of the Lord today. I will remember that unnecessary delays can weaken me and might also harm the people I love. 

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