“Therefore, thus saith the Lord: Because of the hardness of the hearts of the people of the Nephites, except they repent I will take away my word from them, and I will withdraw my Spirit from them, and I will suffer them no longer, and I will turn the hearts of their brethren against them.” (Helaman 13:8)
We should monitor the health of our hearts on the hardness scale, because as we cease to repent, the Lord will take away everything that we have from him, we will lose his spirit, and we will lose his compassion and mercy. At that point there is nothing left for us but to be at the mercy of Satan and his minions.
I have always wondered at the definition of hard heart, and what its implications were. How was I to know if I suffered from it, because the Book of Mormon never stops warning me that it is a very bad thing. It was easy to look at Laman and Lemuel and see that in retrospect, their desires to be in charge and subvert supposed challenges to their authority was a prime example of their hardheartedness. This verse applies it to me, if I have stopped repenting, and I feel the spirit of the Lord withdraw, which there is a very large chance that I won’t feel it withdraw at all because of the spiritual anesthesia of wickedness, then I am in the throes of being hard-hearted. I will even lose the testimony that I have, and his very word will be meaningless to me, because the channel that God has formed to confirm his words to his children will be closed to me. I am very keen to stop this process in its tracks, and I seek to be a better repenter and accept my own shortcomings and weaknesses to subvert harmful pride.