Friday, February 18, 2011

Come unto Me with Full Purpose of Heart, and I Shall Heal You

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

“Come unto Me with Full Purpose of Heart, and I Shall Heal You”, by Patrick Kearon
Of the Seventy

Imagine living in the Arabian Peninsula as a child. Life there may have been quite different from where you were actually raised. For example, I remember running around the neighborhood barefoot; however, Elder Kearon tells of a time when he learned the importance of obeying his parents' consistent warnings to always wear shoes. While camping, he "wanted to go exploring, but [he] did not want to bother with putting on [his] shoes." He tells of rationalizing and wearing only flip-flops.

As he went off alone, he felt a sting in the arch of his foot and saw that he had been stung by a scorpion! Calling for help and rushing to the two-hours-away hospital, he thought he was going to die. He said:

I disregarded what I knew to be right. I ignored what my parents had repeatedly taught me. I had been both lazy and a little rebellious, and I paid a price for it.

As you can tell, this story has the makings of a great analogy to obedience and safety. In fact, my wonderful wife recently put together the felt board pieces shown above (and below) and presented this story in our family home evening!

Telling of another powerful story, Elder Kearon shares an experience of an old WWII veteran. This man survived a mine blast (but the driver of the vehicle they were in was killed). The moral of the story:

He learned that to survive in a minefield, you must follow exactly in the tracks of the vehicle moving ahead of you. Any deviation to the right or left could—and indeed did—prove fatal.

Have we, through rebellion or justification, been stung or wandered off of the path of safety? I take comfort in Elder Kearon's words, "Not one of you has thrown away your last chance. You can change, you can come back, you can claim mercy."(Compare to D&C 112:13)

I'm grateful for the safety and protection provided by the Atonement. I'm also grateful for the healing after stings and blasts which result from our own wrong choices. Even when we think that we're going to die (perhaps spiritually), there is a way back to safety.

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