It is late and I am very tired, but I promised myself (and some other people) that I would write today. I apologize for my long absence. The end of my first semester of masters courses was rather difficult, and I sadly had to let blogging go for a while in order to ensure good grades.
Even though I was faithfully going to church and institute during that time, I still felt a little bit of a spiritual lag. I have decided that blogging is good for me. It keeps me thinking about good, positive things and helps stop me from thinking about myself too much and becoming moody.
The thing that helped push me out of my funk and want to write was a lesson we had in institute not long ago. We were reading in Luke and were discussing the story of the ten lepers found in the 17th chapter of Luke. It says:
This is a story that I have been familiar with for my whole life. But at this time in my life some interesting things stood out to me.
In verse 13, it says that these ten men, men who were stricken with a disease that they did not ask for, lifted up their voices and called upon the Lord. It struck me that the Savior did not wander up to these men and offer to heal them. Rather, they called out to Him asking that in mercy they be healed from that which was so tormenting them.
What does the Savior then do? He gave them instructions. He told them to go show themselves to the Priests. As they do so, they find that they are cleansed. It is the same with us. In Ether 12:6 we learn that we receive the witness after the trial of our faith, or in other words, after we do the work. We must put our faith to the test. Then we receive the reward. I CANNOT SAY THIS ENOUGH. The Lord decides when our trial is over, not us. We must continue to strive until the end. The lepers had a seemingly simple task, while ours may seem more daunting. No matter how easy or hard, we cannot put our faith aside and expect to get the blessings without the effort. It simply does not work that way.
As the men run off rejoicing, only one returns to give thanks. What did the Savior say to him? Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
Ok hold up. Stop the bus. The guy was already healed, right? We said that all ten lepers had the faith to act and saw themselves healed because of it…why did the Savior say to this man in particular that his faith made him whole? Well, maybe he was the only one who was truly made whole. You see, there is a difference between being healed and being whole. By virtue of the fact that the Savior rose from the dead and that we chose to follow God’s plan and come to earth guarantees that we will all be resurrected and have perfected bodies. But will we be whole? Will we be at one with the Savior? Not necessarily. That will take a little something more on our part.
Like the 9, we will all be healed, but the 1 was made while through his action. In this case, he came to show gratitude and love. The Savior told this man that this extra bit of faith made him whole, something that he seems not to give to the other 9 men. We must act. The Savior has atoned for all of our sins. It is up to us to have faith enough to turn to him and show our love to him. Then he will bless us with the wholeness and forgiveness for which we all seek.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” If we love Him we will obey Him. That obedience will help us remain close to the Savior and he will extend his forgiveness to us thus giving us eternal joy and happiness. Too many of us run away, forgetting what is asked of us. Let us be the one. Let us constantly turn to the Savior, Jesus Christ, and seek His guidance, love, and forgiveness by constantly striving to keep His commandments. It is well worth the reward.