Every time I study Isaiah 1:16, a line about repentance always follows.
2 Nephi 28:32 “I will be merciful unto them . . . if they will repent and come unto me; for mine arm is lengthened out all the day long”
Isaiah 1:16 “Wash you, make you clean” and in verse 18: “Come now, and let us reason together; saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Yesterday I took my cousins from out of town to temple square, we watched the new Joseph Smith panoramic video in the Church History Museum. A particular sentence that Joseph said stood out above the others. When Satan came into the grove and begin to attack him, he recounted, “all manner of inappropriate thoughts and images came into my mind.”
Isaiah 55:7 “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord”
I understand that Satan was attempting to interfere with the restoration of the gospel, but could it be that Heavenly Father allows Satan to tempt us, in order to bring us unto the Father? Temptations are a vivid part of everyday life, we experience them more than trials, which also are designed to bring us unto our Father in Heaven. This fact makes it difficult at times to distinguish between our own thoughts and unclean thoughts placed in our minds. These could be new temptations, or old memories of those old sins that we have already repented of. Although we are forgiven, the memories remain to strengthen us against the carnal desire to repeat the sin.
During Joseph’s intense moment of darkness, he immediately found strength to plead to the Father for help. He did not fall in the dirt and wallow in self-destruction, beating himself up for having unclean thoughts. In fact, he did the opposite, he trusted in the words of the Lord.
Isaiah 55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”
Joseph moved on, trusting in the hand of the Lord, that he would be strengthened and protected.