Tuesday, October 14, 2014

An Alternative to the Terrible Licked/Handled Cupcake / Chewed Gum / Nail in the Board Analogies for Sexual Purity

The Gold Coin: or, how we should teach our youth about their worth - Kaimi Wegner (Times & Seasons) 

In discussing this post, a friend shared the following: 

I collect coins so I plan to get out 5 coins that have personal meaning to me. I will show the coins and explain where the coin comes from and how it came to be in my possession (some my dad brought back from his voyages as a merchant marine, some I collected on my mission, some were inherited from my uncle's collection etc.)

I will ask the kids (7 and 5) to pick out their favorite coin. Then we will go outside and get the coins dirty. Then I am going to ask if we should throw the coins away now that they are dirty ("of course not!") The coins are just as valuable both in material worth and in sentimental value. Then I'll reveal that each coin represents a member of our family and that Our Heavenly Father knows and loves each of our unique attributes. His love will not wane because of a little dirt. Then, I'll explain that because HF loves us so much and wants us to shine like only we can shine – He sent Jesus to die for us so that we could become clean again and return to our Father in untarnished glory. We will clean the coins and show that the once dirty coins can be just as shiny and valuable as they were before they got dirty - that they can be spotless once again. 

In the thread following the post, the following was quoted from Elder Holland, including the link:

We learn that when repentance is complete we are born again and leave behind forever the self we once were. To me, none of the many approaches to teaching repentance falls more short than the well-intentioned suggestion that “although a nail may be removed from a wooden post, there will forever be a hole in that post.”

We know that repentance (the removal of that nail, if you will) can be a very long and painful and difficult task. Unfortunately, some will never have the incentive to undertake it. We even know that there are a very few sins for which no repentance is possible.

But where repentance is possible and its requirements are faithfully pursued and completed, there is no “hole left in the post” for the bold reason that it is no longer the same post. It is a new post. We can start again, utterly clean, with a new will and a new way of life.

Through repentance we are changed to what Alma calls “new creatures.” (Mosiah 27:26.) We are “born again; yea, born of God, changed from [our] carnal and fallen state, to a state of righteousness, being redeemed of God, becoming his sons and daughters.” (Mosiah 27:25; see also Mosiah 5:1–12.) Repentance and baptism allow Christ to purify our lives in the blood of the Lamb and we are clean again. What we were, we never have to be again, for God in his mercy has promised that “he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” (D&C 58:42.)

May we, collectively, discard the horrible analogies we have used in the past and neither imply nor state that needing repentance is less desirable than not needing repentance in the first place - that it is better not to sin than it is to sin and repent.  After all, all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, so repentance is a necessity for all.  There is no such thing as "not needing repentance in the first place", so we ought not teach it.  Period.  

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