Sunday, November 23, 2014

Stains of the Mind

I was struggling on what to write about and it was in my priesthood meeting that I learned the most fascinating thing; one day you will have to stand before God naked. 

Let that soak in a little. Oh sure you will not be nude. I didn’t write nude; I said naked. There will be nothing you have done that you can hide and either you will go into judgment with your head held high or wish that you could hide under a rock and disappear. And what will determine that? You!
We are asked to daily repent of our sins and rise above what we were yesterday. We are asked to correct our course and ride down a strait and narrow path riddled with trials that will truly test the skills of navigation that our Father gave us before we left our heavenly home. At times we will make mistakes that will tarnish our spiritual apparel and we need to keep it clean. 

Here’s the real kicker. Will we forgive ourselves or will we let our stains get us because we will not let it out of our minds after the Savior has removed them? When we look at ourselves are we looking at stains that do not exist? Are we bound to put the stains back because we cannot move on beyond the experience that we have repented of? Do we insist on letting out past experience define how pure we are? Have we not forgiven ourselves when we went through the repentance process?

Do you think that perhaps the noble and great ones have not also been though the experiences that we think that they have not? Think of the great names, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Brigham, Peter, Paul Alma…. The list goes on and on. All of these brethren have been through a mighty change, a crucible if you will that asked them to be better men (and that’s just the men; think of the sisters that have gone through it too). Either sin can define us or refine us. Father has taught us correct principles so that we can govern ourselves and part of that governance is repentance. 

I’m not going to dwell on the rules of the church but stick to the principles of the gospel. When we repent we are made whole. Period. It is not like having a tattoo removed or removing a piercing where there is a scar or blemish left behind. We are made whole. Sin will change us, that’s true but you must use that experience to your advantage. You have a painful teaching tool as Alma (both of them) does. You have been asked to do great things and make sacrifices so that you could be the person that you are today. Now that you know this, can you ask yourself am I ready to meet God? Will I hold my head high? Will I wonder what I could have done more? Will I say that I was prepared with what I had at the time that the conflict occurred? 

It was said of Captain Moroni that if all were like Captain Moroni that the very gates of hell would shudder. I am certain that sometimes you scream at heaven saying that you are not Moroni but really are you? He was just a man and our brother who learned just like you and I line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little and there a little. His experiences didn’t define him but he created a definition through his experience; he was a child of God and God had sent him in his time and place to be a noble and great one in his moment. 

Ours is the moment to be the noble and great ones of our time. Do not let sin define you; do not let your experiences define you. Sure you will not be all prophets, seers or revelators but great home teachers or visiting teachers are needed. Define yourself based on your experience. Were you better yesterday? No? Well get up and get to work; build the kingdom! God has a work for you today! Hold your head high! You are a child of God; the maker of heaven and earth! Show it! Be it!

Image is here.
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