"There is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah"
2 Nephi 2:8 (The Book of Mormon)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Is It I?

In the 26th chapter of Matthew we read the account of the Savior's last supper with His disciples before His Atonement and crucifixion.

20- Now when the even was come, he sat down with the twelve.
21- And as they did eat, he said, Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.
22- And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him, 
Lord, is it I?

It is deeply touching to me that each of the eleven, with great love for the Savior and awareness of their own weakness, would feel concern that the traitor could possibly be them self.  Doesn't it strike you that not even one of them said, "Is it Judas?  He totally seems like the traitor type!"  Their response serves as a great pattern for each of us who love and honor the Lord.  

Have you ever noticed how it is almost instinctive, when hearing a call to repentance, for your mind to immediately jump away from yourself over to another person in their perceived weakness?  Rather than openly and honestly take a look at your own human frailty, so frequently the enemy of your soul diverts your attention from your own shortcoming and turns a critical eye onto another.  In so doing, he not only succeeds at keeping you stuck in your own errant ways... he leads you to commit another sin of unrighteous judgment. 

I will never forget my father telling me of a time he had stewardship over a group of saints who were being torn apart by a particular sin.  One man, specifically, seemed to be the leader of this destructive practice.  My dad, knowing that he must call the group to repentance, prayerfully prepared a direct and pointed message.  He felt deep concern over the possible offense that could be taken by this man in particular.  Relying on the Lord, he stood before the body and delivered the inspired sermon.  After the meeting concluded, he sat at the front of the room and noticed the man walking toward him.  He silently prayed for guidance as he anticipated a difficult discussion.  To his surprise, the man shook his hand and said, "Thank you so much for that wonderful talk.  The whole time I couldn't help but wish that Sister So and So would have been here!  She really struggles with that!"  Dumbfounded, my dad quietly nodded and left shaking his head.  How blind we can be to our own weakness! 

The disciples example of, "Is it I?" is one of powerful trust in the merits of the Savior.  What grace! What power!... can come into our lives as we strive to honestly view our own human fallibility through the lens of Christ!  The desire to overcome our weakness, to do better, and to become a little more are met with a sense of sufficiency and hope which only Christ can give.  This introspective approach enables us to turn our weakness over to the Savior in exchange for His strength.   How blessed we are to be loved so completely by the incomparable Savior!

4 comments:

  1. Thank you Carey! I loved this entry so much I copied and pasted it as a quote into my blog. You are amazing!!

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  2. Wow! Thank you SO much Mindy! Your love and support mean more to me than you could possibly know. My mom shared this insight with me years ago and it has had a powerful effect on me ever since. I find myself watching my thoughts closely as I receive correction. It is almost comical to me how predictable the adversary becomes once you learn to recognize his promptings:)

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  3. Yes! This post is what I needed to hear today. Thank you, Carey. I think we are all guilty of pointing the fingers outward to point out the "mote" in another's eye when there's a "beam" in our own! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and testimony so well. Love you, Sister!

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  4. This is a great post! It reminds me of one of my favorite verses...2 Corinthians 12:10 "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

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