Friday, June 17, 2016

Clean, but not all

Verily I say unto you, my servant William, that you are clean, but not all; repent, therefore, of those things which are not pleasing in my sight, saith the Lord, for the Lord will show them unto you. (D&C 66:3)

This verse was directed to William W. McClellan. That part about William being “clean, but not all” puzzled me a bit. How can that be? It is like saying, “You are clean, but not clean.”

Eventually I realized it might have something to do with still having the same tendencies to make the same mistakes, or having the same weaknesses, even though one has been forgiven of the sins one has already committed. At some point, the deeper fault of character has to be discovered, repented of, or healed by Christ’s grace. The Lord can show us where those faults are.

The prospect of being shown where our faults are is a little scary, I admit.  But I have observed that there is a difference between when the Lord shows me my faults versus when Satan shows me my faults. (And believe me, Satan would love to rub the noses of conscientious Saints in their faults and imperfections!)

When Satan does so, it is intended to depress and discourage me and make me feel I am so far away from what I should be that I might as well give up all hope because no effort will succeed.

When the Lord shows me my faults, I understand and feel how they grieve Him, and I see that I must take action, but I retain the sense that repentance is possible and worth it. I feel that Christ will help me, and while I know that I am “less than the dust of the earth,” as Mormon observed, I still feel the Lord’s love for me and feel encouraged.