Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Washed Clean

After I finished reading each of the talks from the most recent Conference, I decided to go all the way back in the Church's online archives and read from there until next Conference. That took me back to 1997, and today I read a great talk from President Packer, titled "Washed Clean". He speaks of the cleansing power of the Atonement and the importance of striving to live worthy of it. I especially enjoyed this line:
"Can you imagine how I felt when finally I could see that if I followed whatever conditions the Redeemer had set, I need never endure the agony of being spiritually unclean?"
That was a very interesting take on it! I had never really thought of that as a motivation for living right-- to avoid the agony of sin! I guess I have longed for that at times, but I never really thought of it that way-- it's a very real blessing of the Atonement.
He closed with this beautiful poem that he wrote:
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!"
May we all seek to be washed clean through the tremendous Atoning sacrifice of our Savior.

No comments: