How can any of us know for certain that there's no way we'd ever deny Christ or leave the faith? The answer is- there isn't. Anyone who would tell you that they know, for sure, 100%, no doubts whatsoever is probably closer to apostatizing than they think.
As I was sitting thinking about how some people can fall so quickly from full activity in the church to neglecting duties to rejecting the counsel of local leaders and even prophets, I started thinking about whether any of us are safe from this.
It would seem to me that if anyone would be safe from this it would have been Jesus' twelve apostles. They were with Him day in and day out throughout His ministry. They ate with Him, travelled with Him, learned from Him, and knew Him. He was their leader, their friend, and their Savior.
So wouldn't these men have been immune from the dangers of apostasy? Wouldn't they have been so spiritual and so strong that they would never fall away?
I think that one instance shows us that even the strongest who are humble recognize that humans are fallible and unreliable. When Jesus instituted the sacrament with His apostles and He said "Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me" the apostles didn't respond with an automatic (and arrogant) "No way. That could never happen. Not me." Instead, they each turned and looked around and then looked inside themselves and said "Lord, is it I?"
How profound that the very apostles of the Lord while He was on earth in the flesh would be so humble and so aware of their limitations that their first response was to ask "Is it I?"
If these great men, who had such strong testimonies of the Lord, could find need to ask themselves such a question... how much more do we need to ask the same of ourselves?
When we hear counsel we're tempted to reject, when we find that we're too busy or too lazy or too whatever to follow the Savior's commandments, when we want to follow our own path regardless of where it's leading.... do we ever stop and ask "Lord is it I?" Do we question whether the choices we are making and the things we are doing (or not doing) will bring us to deny our faith and turn our backs on the Savior?
It doesn't take huge steps to end up on the wrong path. Most people who find themselves lost have gotten there by getting off course a little at a time. One small choice leads to another. And before you know it, you're sitting at the judgement bar before Christ saying "Lord, how did it end up being me?"
I want to learn from the example of the apostles. I want to take the time to stop and think about how well my life lines up with the Savior's, and ask myself periodically... "Lord, is it I?" Am I the one who is in the wrong? Am I putting my own pride before your humility? Am I choosing to turn my back on you? Or am I truly willing to submit to Thy will and put Thee first in my life? Even if it's uncomfortable or hard?
I can't guarantee that I'll always be active in the church, or that I would never fall away into other paths, but I pray with all my heart that the Lord will help me stay humble enough that I can receive His counsel when He's trying to keep me from leaving Him. I want to be able to say, in the end, "No, Lord, it isn't I that betrayed you."