I have really enjoyed tracking what counsel was given at milestones in my life. I have milestones now, and it's really nice to line them up with relevant talks. It really brings peace. Today I read a talk about repentance. I feel like I have been knocking on heaven's door asking for repentance quite often lately. Here's a poem that really touched me (from 1997 April General Conference, Washed Clean- Boyd K. Packer):
In ancient times the cry “Unclean!”
Would warn of lepers near.
“Unclean! Unclean!” the words rang out;
Then all drew back in fear,
Lest by the touch of lepers’ hands
They, too, would lepers be.
There was no cure in ancient times,
Just hopeless agony.
No soap, no balm, no medicine
Could stay disease or pain.
There was no salve, no cleansing bath,
To make them well again.
But there was One, the record shows,
Whose touch could make them pure;
Could ease their awful suffering,
Their rotting flesh restore.
His coming long had been foretold.
Signs would precede His birth.
A Son of God to woman born,
With power to cleanse the earth.
The day He made ten lepers whole,
The day He made them clean,
Well symbolized His ministry
And what His life would mean.
However great that miracle,
This was not why He came.
He came to rescue every soul
From death, from sin, from shame.
For greater miracles, He said,
His servants yet would do,
To rescue every living soul,
Not just heal up the few.
Though we’re redeemed from mortal death,
We still can’t enter in
Unless we’re clean, cleansed every whit,
From every mortal sin.
What must be done to make us clean
We cannot do alone.
The law, to be a law, requires
A pure one must atone.
He taught that justice will be stayed
Till mercy’s claim be heard
If we repent and are baptized
And live by every word. …
If we could only understand
All we have heard and seen,
We’d know there is no greater gift
Than those two words—“Washed clean!”
Sometimes I feel like everyone can see my flaws or how much I have messed up in this life. I wonder, does everyone feel that way sitting in church sometimes? Or am I the only one just praying that my repentance has been enough to be worthy to partake of the sacrament? Worthy to be made whole again for the short time before I make another mistake.
I do find it comforting that I have to repeatedly return to my Father in Heaven. Because every time I do, I am always met with tender mercy and unconditional love. Would I return this often to meet Him if I didn't have to?