This weekend was our Stake Conference. [Translation: An LDS Stake is a group of local area Congregations who meet all together twice per year - this is similar to a 'diocese' in other religions). The leadership of our Stake was being reorganized, which only occurs each nine years, so there was much excitement and anticipation. During a Stake Conference Weekend, there is typically an Adult Meeting on Saturday evening, and then a combined meeting, where entire families attend together, on Sunday morning. This brings me to the subject of my post.
During the Saturday adult session an invited speaker named Brother Johnson shared the story of his recent surgery. He explained that the bones of his knee had become diseased, and essentially worn away. The result was scraping and grinding each time he tried to move, which caused extreme pain. He also suffered a lack of motion and freedom. This precipitated the need for a full knee replacement surgery. Using special precision instruments, the surgeon removed the diseased and dead bone. The tissue that could not be salvaged was also removed. All of these things were replaced with a rounded metal component that matched the curve of the natural bone. This new knee was implanted deep into the existing bone. The recovery was lengthy. However, with exercise, time, patience and increased use, his healing became complete. After one year, the new implant has assimilated into his existing bone and tissue. This has improved his life a thousand fold. He now has freedom of motion, lack of pain and hope for his future life.
This story can be related to the process each of us undergo as we recognize damaged and diseased parts of our soul. We are in need a specialist who can repair us. The great master surgeon is our Savior, Jesus Christ. When we recognize we need to change, and ask Him to heal us, the process is often like undergoing a physical surgery. Our old and damaging habits have to be removed and forsaken forever.
Changes must be made to our lifestyle. There is pain as we lose an old part of ourselves, in order to be re-formed.
When we undergo the repentance process, we have the opportunity to develop a stronger witness and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We become like new. We are healed, and our souls are "reborn". Through the power and miracle of the Atonement, all of the damage of sin can be carefully cut away and removed forever. Our soul and our life is improved beyond our wildest imagination.
This is not easy. The process takes great sacrifice, patience and effort on our part in order to undergo a full recovery and transformation. However, once the process of spiritual healing is complete, we become free from pain and or progress is unimpeded. We have then gained the highest quality of life possible. We may then freely walk on the path towards eternal life and exaltation.
Brother Johnson's final words:
“Our testimony is something we rely upon for spiritual freedom, growth, and progression. When it is healthy, we have inner peace and joy. We need to treasure our testimony, and take care of it. We should be building and strengthening it every day. Just like my new knee, we should place our testimony deep in our bones. Then, we will carry it with us wherever we go, and we will never falter.”