Monday, March 8, 2010

A Basket of Water

I attended a conference in my parents' stake yesterday, and one of the speakers shared a story I really related to:

One day a young boy asked his grandfather what good it did to read the scriptures, since he didn't understand them very well and usually forgot what he'd read shortly after he closed the book. The grandfather responded by asking the boy to take his dirty coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water.

The boy tried to do as his grandfather asked, but all the water leaked out of the basket long before he reached the doorstep. The grandfather suggested he go faster the next time, but although the grandson ran as fast as he could, the basket was still empty before he made it back to the cabin. He exclaimed that the task was futile, and declared he would use the bucket instead, but the grandfather insisted that he wanted a basket of water, so the grandson went one more time, just to demonstrate the impossibility of his task.

When he returned with an empty basket yet again, the boy said, "You see--the water leaks out of this basket every time!" The grandfather replied, "Yes, but do you notice anything different about the basket now?" The boy glanced down, and saw that the filthy coal basket had been washed clean. "Scripture study works the same way," said his grandfather. "We may not retain everything we read, but the act of studying cleans us from the inside out."

I try to remember and apply what I study each day, but most of the time I feel like my mind is a leaky basket rather than a watertight bucket. The same is true of temple worship--I've learned many beautiful truths there, but there is still so much more that I don't fully understand. Still, I find that the act of studying scriptures and worshiping in the temple brings me peace and recalibrates my moral compass. Bit by bit it makes me a better person. Thank Heaven for that.

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