Guilt and Jesus

Back in my believing days, I said that my favorite scripture was this passage in 3 Nephi 11:

18 And it came to pass that he spake unto Nephi (for Nephi was among the multitude) and he commanded him that he should come forth.

19 And Nephi arose and went forth, and bowed himself before the Lord and did kiss his feet.

20 And the Lord commanded him that he should arise. And he arose and stood before him.

I could picture myself being called out of the crowd to step forward and kiss the feet of the Savior. But I was convinced that I would not be able to “arise” and stand before him and look him in the eye. I knew I wasn’t worthy to be in his presence, and I prayed and longed for the day that I could feel clean and worthy to stand before him. I loved the scripture not because it made me feel good but because it gave me something to strive for, even if I didn’t think I’d ever get there.

Once night during the time when I was working at the Church Office Building, I dreamed that my son, who was then about 5 years old, called to me to come into my office.

“Jesus is here,” he said, smiling happily. “And he wants to see you.”

In my dream I was terrified at the thought of having to account for myself in front of the Savior, and no matter how much my son pulled on my hand and pleaded with me, I wouldn’t go in to see Jesus. I awoke sweating and shaky, convinced that I was never going to be worthy to be in the Savior’s presence.

I’m not sure what reminded me of that today, but I realized that I don’t feel like that anymore. I don’t feel worthless and ashamed. I feel peace and contentment. Strange, huh?

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4 Responses to Guilt and Jesus

  1. yaanufs says:

    I felt guilty just reading this ;o)

  2. Bob says:

    Nope. Not strange at all. Having the shame and guilt evaporate once I realized the hoax was incredibly liberating.
    Strangely enough, I’m now able to extend that point of view. Can finally see other people in Technicolor rather than black-and-white, right or wrong, church member or not church member.

  3. Tim says:

    The irony that any Christian would feel too much shame to approach Jesus, the one who takes away our shame.

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