Alma 22: Lamoni's father, who's apparently never been remotely religious, really listens to Aaron who lays out the whole plan of Salvation. Lamoni yearns for the eternal life that Aaron speaks of - "I will give up all that I possess, yea, I will forsake my kingdom that I may receive this great joy." (verse 15)
Aaron's answer: "If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then thou receive the hope which thou desireth."
I want great that great joy that Lamoni wanted. And I've known pretty much all about my life about the plan of salvation and the path to eternal life and what I'm supposed to do to be on that path. But reading about Lamoni's excitement made me realize more fully the true wonder and simplicity of it all. Joy is there for the taking. Eternal life is ours. All we have to do is turn to God, believe, hope and act on what we know. We don't have to understand or accept it all at once. We just have to try to believe - to really desire, like Lamoni, and to act on that desire by reaching out our hands to God. Plus we have to be willing, like Lamoni, to "give away all our sins to know [God]" (verse 18). We can't keep our sins and still have the joy and salvation that God wants to give us. We aren't expected to be perfect. But we can bow down before God every day and repent every day. These relatively simple actions keep us on the path. And it's a beautiful path full of great joy that is made possible by our Savior.
During church today, Isaac was sitting on the bench right behind me, helping with the little kids of our friends. He had little Charlotte next to him and during the sacrament, I heard him quietly talking to her. He said, "See, during the sacrament we can think about anything we've done wrong and we can say a little prayer and then it's all fixed and Jesus takes it away. Isn't that cool?" It struck me how totally cool that really is. We can give up our sins and know God. And we can do it again and again and again if we need to. He's always there for us. His hands are always outstretched. We can get rid of sadness and pain and the burdens of sin if we call on His name in hope and faith and repentance.