31 O Lord, wilt thou redeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?
(2 Nephi 4:31)
Temptation is part of our mortal experience: we all sometimes want to do things that we know we shouldn’t do. You could say that we superficially want them, but at a much deeper level, we don’t want them at all.
Nephi genuinely wanted to be good. “My soul delighteth in the things of the Lord,” he said, “and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard” (2 Nephi 4:16). But he was appalled that his actions so often fell short of his expectations. Unhappy that he was so easily overcome by temptation, Nephi pleaded with the Lord to redeem his soul. Part of that redemption was to remove the temptations, to make sin abhorrent to him: “Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of sin?”
Our desires can change. Sins that tempt us today may seem childish and foolish when we mature and gain a greater perspective. How wonderful it is to think that God can help us gain that maturity, that He can teach us how to overcome the destructive behaviors which may be enticing to us today. He can help us “school [our] feelings” (Hymns, 336) so that our desires are aligned with our eternal goals.
Today, I will ask God to help me overcome temptation. I will remember that He has the power to not only save me from my sins but also to help me mature into a person who has no desire to commit those sins any more.