What I was taught in class today, the thing that hit home, the lesson I learned, was that the degrees of death are just as slow as the degrees of life. A baby takes nine months to grow. A man takes a lifetime to die. Granted there are times that death happens suddenly, but I can’t seem to think of anything that jumps into life, except for laughter. Brother Hunter mentioned in class that the people of Alma, in Mosiash 21:16, “began to prosper by degrees in the land . . .” This impressed me. I was under the impression in my life that when I repented all things were brought back to their original order. I believed that when my sins were forgiven my body would be completely healed. Now it seems to me that the spirit begins the healing process once we repent. The healing continues as we stay humble. Before repentance the spiritual wound only worsens, or remains open and painful. Repentence is how the healing process is initiated by the Lord. As I realize this—that the good in our lives comes to us in degrees—it has removed a heap of frustration. It has blessed me with patience. Knowledge is powerfully effective at changing us, and I thank the Lord that he blesses me with well timed and well tailored knowledge. Now, in light of the mistakes I have made in my life, I recognize that I am forgiven and that I am healing, but that all this does not come back immediately. What does come immeditately is the Lord’s presence back in our lives. “Therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you” (Alma 34: 31). This is what I have had immdiately in my life when I’ve sinned. I have immediately felt the love of the Lord; I have immediately felt his spirit; I have immediately felt hope.