Yesterday in Sunday School we talked about the miracles of Jesus. We talked about how Christ communicated fundamental spiritual truths through his physical miracles. The healing of palsy or leprosy was not merely a statement of God's power over the elements (though it certainly was also that). It was also a symbol of how we find our wholeness in Christ:
Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. (Mark 2: 9-12)But the one that moved me the most, was this one:
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will... (Mark 1: 40-41)It reminded me of my own experience with the healing Christ, kneeling down to him and beseeching him, "If thou wilt, thou canst cure my homosexuality," and receiving, in essence, Christ's response, "I will not; there is no need. But thy sins are forgiven thee. Be thou whole!"
The first counselor in our Stake Presidency was visiting our ward, and he concluded our Sacrament Meeting with some remarks about the importance of expressing affection to our life partner, and the importance of small gestures like holding hands. He spoke of how we can't be saved alone. He described that other person as a part of ourselves. All I can say in response is I know the truth of it from experience. I was so glad to see my sweet heart's smiling countenance when I returned home from Church. He got an extra warm hug from me. That's when we took the picture posted here.
I took account yesterday of how truly, deeply I love the Church. How I long to be a member of it! I realized -- I have long realized -- I would give almost anything for membership in it, up to and including my life, if that could make a difference. But I realized as well that I would give my life for the man in this picture too. There is no me without him.
The profoundest truths of the gospel -- love, hope and faith; patience, sacrifice, and humility -- I could not have learned without him. I would have shipwrecked long ago if I'd had to go this voyage alone.
So we have to be saved either together or not at all.