The power of forgiveness

The following YouTube video, one of the final talks delivered by the apostle, President James E. Faust, is a powerful portrayal of the purifying principle of forgiveness, and a compelling example, of true Christian behavior.

 

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The touch of the master’s hand

‘Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer thought
it was hardlyworth his while
to waste much time with the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

“Give me a dollar, and who’ll make it two?
Only two dollars. Who’ll make it three?
Three dollars twice and that’s a good price,
but who’s got a bid for me?

The air was hot and the people just stood
as the sun was setting low.
Then from the back of the crowd a gray-haired man
came forward and picked up the bow.

He wiped the dust from the old violin,
and he tightened up the strings.
Then he played out a melody,
pure and sweet as the angels sing.

The music ended and the auctioneer,
with a voice that was quiet and low,
said “what is my bid for the old violin?”,
and he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Only two thousand, who’ll make it three?”
Three thousand twice, that’s a good price,
but who’s got a bid for me?”

And the people called out, “what made the change?
We don’t understand.”
So the auctioneer stopped and said with a smile,
“’twas the touch of the master’s hand.”

Now many a man and his life out of tune
is battered and scarred with sin.
And he’s auctioned cheap to a thankless world,
much like the old violin.
 
But then the master comes and the foolish crowd,
they never understand
the worth of a soul or the change that is wrought
by the touch of the master’s hand.

author unknown

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The clensing gift of repentance (ctrl-z, UNDO!)

As an addendum toWhat do Mormons really believe, Part 4

Spending as much time on the computer as we do, there’s a command that we often take for granted.  The wonderful, marvelous, brilliant “ctrl-z” key combo!

I don’t know who originally thought this up, but bless them.

There you are, working away, and suddenly you realize that you’ve made a mistake.  All you have to do is hold down the control key, and hit “z” at the same time, and beautifully, your error disappears as though it never existed, and you can pick up where you last left off, or start from scratch.

A wise and loving Father in Heaven realized that as we progress through life, occasionally we’d make such mistakes.  Some might be inadvertent while others more intentional.  Therefore he gave us the marvelous mechanism of repentance – a process whereby our mistakes in life might be wiped clean from the book of life, allowing us to start over, on a clean slate.

What refreshing doctrine.

This forgiveness is made possible through the everlasting atonement of Christ, who in the Garden of Gethsemane took upon himself the sins of the world, thereby making it possible for us to repent, and invoke the efficacy of his sacrifice.  He paid the price of justice, that we might know mercy.

But how careful we must be to not take repentance flippantly, for an attitude of “sin now, repent later”, is offensive to God.  This is not a “get out of jail free” card that we can just play at will.  Repentance isn’t instantaneous, nor free.

To fully repent, we must confess and forsake of our sins.  Seek restitution from those we have wronged, and promise not to do it again.  That process can be difficult, but it is sure.  And when complete, our sins are forgiven, we are washed clean through blood of our Savior, and made whole – again worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  It’s an incomparable feeling of relief, as though a huge burden has been lifted from your shoulders.  It freshens your vision, fills you with enthusiasm, energizes your soul, and spurs you to do better, and be more.

Every one of us can be free from the shackles of the sins by which we are beset, freed from the burdens that weigh us down and hamper our enjoyment of life.

May each one of us find the strength to repent of our sins, and make that enriching process a never-ending aspect of our daily lives.

Rusty

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Phantom Leg Syndrom – repentance and hope

I read an article the other day on CNN about Phantom Leg Syndrome.  It’s something I’d heard of before but never really given much thought to.Phantom Leg Syndrome describes a medical condition where someone who has lost a limb (not necessarily a leg) feels itching, pain, or other sensations in the limb that is no longer there.  It occurs because of neuron stimulation at the point where the limb was severed, and as those signals travel to the brain, they’re interpreted as coming from the missing limb.  The result is an excruciating and unnerving experience because there’s clearly no way to alleviate that itch/pain/sensation.

As I thought about it, I couldn’t help but appreciate the striking similarity there is between this syndrome and one’s moral and spiritual conscience.

Often in life, we succumb to spiritual entropy, we get out of tune, take a wrong turn, or sometimes simply fall flat on our face.  Whatever the cause, a core part of our spiritual and emotional well-being goes missing. 

Sometimes it takes an unbearably long time to realize it, but inevitably, God has built into our souls a mechanism to eventually surface that to our awareness.  Much like the phantom limb syndrome, where neurons deep within the body are pricked and call for attention, our conscience eventually gets pricked and we come to realize something is missing.

Unlike in the instance of a missing limb, the Atonement of Christ has made it possible to replace that crucial component that is missing from our lives.  Repentance, while not always easy, IS always available.

Repentance gives us a spiritual regenerative ability that is unmistakable and undeniable.  The atonement was given to all – if we will but receive it.

But sometimes thinking beyond the pain of the “now” (for those who have found something missing) is impossibly difficult.   You get stuck dwelling upon your past, which tends to result in an ever inhibiting cycle of self-imposed limitations.  We convince ourselves that help is somehow beyond reach.

It’s not.

The Atonement represents an irreplaceable, unmovable, and unchanging ability to become whole again.  Christ performed miracles as he walked the earth, making people whole, all along the way.  His atonement extends that cycle of regeneration today and forever.  His ability to heal today, is no less real or compelling than it was 2,000 years ago.

Rusty

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