Throughout time, there have been resplendent incidences for making and keeping commitments which have been prescribed by Deity. In essence, each time a call to repentance has been recorded in holy writ, there has been a call to turn from evil to good. A commitment to do so and to change a pattern of life for the better has always been a part of this call to repentance.
|Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism. (Alma 7:15)|
In this passage found in the Book of Mormon, an ancient prophet several hundred years before Christ called his hearers to change patterns that had crept into their lives under the rule of an evil king.
Interestingly, each time God commands his children to follow a law, He provides them with everything necessary to obey. Another prophet from the Book of Mormon who left Jerusalem and traveled to America around 600 B.C. said this regarding how God helped him keep commitments:
|And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them. (1 Nephi 3:7)|
Later, when Nephi was faced with challenges along his path to obey a command he had received from God, his brothers urged him to give up on his commitment. Nephi’s response was remarkable and inspires and moves me to keep commitments as well. It can be applied in each of our lives:
|But behold I said unto [my brothers] that: As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished the thing which the Lord hath commanded us. (1 Nephi 3:15)|
You see, Nephi had committed himself to a cause. At this point, there simply existed no option in Nephi’s mind to give up. He had made a covenant to achieve an objective, and what’s more, because he was specifically operating on an instruction from God, he knew that he would have God’s help.
What objectives have you undertaken which require strong commitment? Remember, that weight loss is not an easy undertaking. Rarely will you hear anything telling you that it will be an easy journey to lose weight. Aside from advertisements boasting that their product or service will pave the way and make weight loss a breeze, almost anyone in their right mind will tell you that losing weight is not for the faint of mind. But there is help. Paul recorded these famous words for the ages:
|I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philip 4:13)|
As Ralph Waldo Emerson declared, ”Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” At this point, you have committed and it is this deep, abiding conviction that one must have in order to obtain their goal. But with all this talk about strong commitment, it might be easy to feel that you are not so strong as all these people making these commitments. What about you and how weak you may feel at this time?
One instance found in the Bible shows how Jesus encouraged and inspired a father to have faith:
|Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:23-24)|
In this case, you’ll notice that this father immediately responded to Jesus saying “I believe” and then followed up with the famous words: “help thou mine unbelief.” How many times have you felt this way? Like you really want to believe you can achieve your goals to lose weight? Like you really want to achieve any goals to do good things, but have felt weak? Here we learn that when we will ask God for help, he will support us. One of the most moving passages of a father speaking to his son and encouraging him comes from a prophet named Alma from the Book of Mormon speaking to his son, Helaman:
|And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day. (Alma 36:3)|
Imagine in your mind a parent encouraging you to hold on and hold true to a commitment. Imagine a loving God urging you to be your best self. Imagine a loving Heavenly Father encouraging and leading you along to be your best self. Imagine Him walking alongside you and literally “supporting” you in your trials, your troubles, your afflictions. This is how God will help you to keep your commitments. He knows how difficult that each day can be when you’re trying to achieve a worthy goal. And He will help and support you as you go forward.
Centuries earlier it was recorded in the Book of Joshua in the Bible that we have nothing to fear:
|Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. (Joshua 1:9)|