"Ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of Hosts" - 3 Nephi 24:7
Although I had been born of "goodly parents" and had been raised in the Church, several years ago I found myself far away from the principles of the gospel. I was the lost sheep far from the fold. In my heart I knew that the gospel was true and that Jesus was our Savior. I also knew that He had the power to comfort, heal and save me from myself and the situation that I had created. I just did not understand where He had gone or why He had left me to myself.
One day I heard President Joseph Fielding Smith challenge each member in a conference talk to prayerfully read the book of 3 Nephi. I accepted that challenge. It was difficult at first, as it always is when we are not in tune with the Spirit to concentrate on scripture study, but I stubbornly pressed forward.
One night I sat alone in my study reading 3 Nephi and this scripture struck me with great force. As I sat and pondered I realized that I truly was a long way from the Lord. However, it was I that had moved, not Him! He was still there as He has always promised.
No doubt was left in my mind of what I had to do. The years following have been dedicated to "returning to the Lord." I have come to know that the Lord does not fulfill all of our selfish desires, but He does fulfill His promises. He will not leave us alone if we will do our part.