Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Healing From the Inside Out

This is a story a friend of mine shared about an experience on her mission.

"I want to tell you a little about what I have been learning about the atonement. One of my former companions had a little bump on her forehead right above her eye when she was in elementary school. It hurt really bad and she complained and complained about it, so finally they took her to the doctor, twice. Both times they said she was fine and sent her home. A bit later, she got hit with a ball on her head. What looked like a zit (the sore she complained about) burst open and all of this puss and blood exploded out. She went to the doctor, and he cleaned the area and sent her home. Shortly afterward, that same spot hurt again, so badly that even her bangs touching the area caused her pain. Finally, they took her to a doctor who would open up the healed (former) wound. Again, infection spurted out. The doctor cleaned out the abscess and it went so deep that the infection went back to her skull. She would had to be packed and cleaned every day, so the wound could heal inside out. That was the problem. She had a deep infection right above her eye, but cleaning out the infection, partially, and then placing a band aid over the wound didn't heal her. It looked healed from the outside, but the infection came back even worse.

This is like the atonement. We try to heal from the outside in, while the Savior heals from the inside out. The abscess didn't heal until it was able to heal from the inside out. Putting a band aid over our hurts or covering up our sins or avoiding our shortcomings doesn't heal us. We can only cover up our hurts for so long until we burst. We have to use the Atonement to heal from the inside out."

I thought this was a great comparison because some wounds can be covered with a band aid and they will full heal, but others can't. I guess the tricky part is figuring out how we can use the atonement to help us heal from those wounds that need to be healed from the inside out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Remission of Sins

One of the things I've had trouble wrapping my head around is how we can continue to repent for sins we commit after we've committed and repented for them before. Did we really repent if we were weak enough to do it again? If that's the case, should we hold off repenting until we are 100% positive we won't commit that sin again. And how could we be 100% sure we won't do something again that we obviously have a weakness for? If the Lord knows all, He knows we'll commit the sin again even as we are in the process of repenting for it. How then can we really receive a remission of our sins?

Today in Relief Society we were talking about just that. Our teacher compared mortality to a chronic disease or condition. If we have some kind of health condition, by doing what our doctors tell us, we can have a remission of that condition. That IS NOT a cure of the condition, and there is no guarantee that it won't come back. But when/if it does, we can return to our doctor, get the medical help we need, and send the condition back into remission.

It's the same with us and sin. We are mortal (our condition/disease), and even when we are at our best, we are still susceptible to a 'relapse' of our mortality (sin). We can go to the Lord, our doctor, and get the tools we need to obtain a remission of our sins. But that remission IS NOT a guarantee that we will never struggle with that sin again or never commit it again. But, when/if we do, we can return to our Heavenly Father and receive a remission of that sin again. However, just like a health condition, when we are doing well, the last thing we want is to do is something that will put us back in pain. We will/should do everything in our power to not do that thing. Unfortunately, our mortality sometimes gets the best of us and we do end up in pain again.

Heavenly Father knew that we'd struggle with the same sins throughout our lifetime which is why He gives us a remission of our sins. Doing this gives us enough leniency to fall during this learning process and not be condemned for it as long as we take the steps to correct it. This is just another testament to me of the love our Heavenly Father has for us.