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Stuck in Place

It’s easy to feel like you’ve tried and can’t change, but no one is ever beyond the help of Christ’s Atonement.

This life is about improving, and while we all have a long list of Christlike attributes we’re working on, sometimes it can feel as if our efforts are wasted. After trying and trying with no noticeable progress, we might conclude that we will never get better—that that’s just the way we are, and there’s no fixing it.

In his general conference address, “What Manner of Men?,” Elder Donald L. Hallstrom describes an experience he had when he was serving as a bishop.  He had been meeting with a man who had struggled with his temper, who finally told Elder Hallstrom, “That’s just the way I am!”

Foggy Sky

Photo by Jakub Kriz

The comment stunned Elder Hallstrom. He observes, “Once this man decided—once any of us conclude—‘That’s just the way I am,’ we give up our ability to change. We might as well raise the white flag, put down our weapons, concede the battle, and just surrender—any prospect of winning is lost.” But how do we change? The most important way is going to God. He wants to help us. Jesus Christ performed his Atonement to help us overcome our weaknesses, and as we rely on him, we will have the power to change. Next, we can ask others for help. They can help us with goals, provide encouragement, or offer advice. Plus, an outside perspective may help us realize that we are doing better than we think we are. Finally, we can keep trying. It’s not a quick solution, but sometimes the only thing we can do is not give up. We can remember that we are not bad people because we are struggling to change; we are good people because we want to improve.

To learn more about changing, read or watch Donald L. Hallstrom’s talk “What Manner of Men?

Source: Liahona

—Sariah Roulstone, Latter-day Saint Insights

Find more insights 

To learn more about how our choices can help us change, check out Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s BYU commencement address “Preserving and Promoting Agency.”

For more on how we can move on from failure, read the Latter-day Saint Insights article “Failure—It’s All Part of the Plan.”

For help dealing with bad habits, read the Latter-day Saints Insights article “Overcoming Bad Habits.”

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