I'm taking a Doctrine and Covenants class this semester, and recently in my readings I came across this scripture:
Doctrine and Covenants 95:1Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you whom I love, and whom Ialove I also chasten that their sins may be bforgiven, for with thecchastisement I prepare a way for their ddeliverance in all things out of etemptation, and I have loved you—It intrigued me. I had always viewed chastisement as a very negative thing, but here was God saying that he chastens those whom he loves! It made no sense to me! Wouldn't God chastise those whom he was displeased with? I then had an epiphany.
Growing up, I had felt that I could never confess anything to anyone, because I didn't want anyone to think less of me, or to think that I wasn't a good person. I wanted to avoid chastisement because I felt that it was a purely negative thing, that only those who were bad were chastised. I didn't want to be a bad person, and so I probably hid too many of my sins from people in hopes that they would think that since I had never been in trouble I must be a good person.
God loves me. So why would He say that He chastens those whom He loves? Well, we are all sinners. No one is perfect, no one is better than anyone else because we are all equal--we are all sinners. There is only one way to put off the natural man, and stop being an enemy to God, and that is by repentance that comes only through the atonement of Christ (Mosiah 3:19). God chastens those whom He loves so that we will repent and come unto Christ. God wants us back to live with him and to become like him, and the only way that can happen is if we are perfect, but none of us can attain that on our own. Chastisement is a negative thing, in that we should be doing what we are being chastised for; BUT it is also a wonderful thing because through it God points out the mistakes that we are making and provides a way for us to overcome those mistakes and to repent and be forgiven.
I know that God loves us and that He has provided the atonement so that we may become like Him. I know it was through Jesus Christ that this atonement was possible. I know this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.