Monday, January 10, 2011

"Touch of the Master's Hand"

One of my favorite scriptures is Moroni 10:32.  Here Moroni knows that he only has a little room left on the plates and is very selective of what he writes, only putting the most important things.  He says, "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfected in Christ."  The simple invitation of coming unto Christ and allowing the Atonement to perfect us as long as we give our all is so powerful.

"Christ in Gethsemane" by Harry Anderson
 Before my mission I thought that since I knew a bunch of scriptures referencing the Atonement that I knew what the Atonement is.  I was sorely mistaken.  I have come to a new appreciation of our Savior's sacrifice for all of man-kind as I have seen a change in my life and a change in the lives of those we come in contact with everyday.  I have seen trials made lighter and peace given to those that need it.  I have sicknesses been healed and pains lessened.  I have seen hope come to the hopeless and forgiveness to the guilty.  I have seen as others have "come unto Christ" that Christ has taken a new priority in their lives and the Spirit has had a greater influence on their behalf. 

One of my favorite poems of all time is entitled "The Touch of the Master's Hand" written by Myra Brooks Welch in the 1920's.  Her poetic description of the Atonement goes as follows:

’Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;
Going for three—” But no,
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow;
Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,
And going, and gone!” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand
What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:
“The touch of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune,
And battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,
A game—and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
The Savior does not care how wealthy we are or how much education we have.  He does not care whether we are from the wealthiest nation or the poorest country.  He does not care whether we are black or white, bond or free, male or female, all He asks is that we love Him with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. (See 2nd Nephi 26:33)  Because of His infinite love, we may all continue to better ourselves and change our lives to be more like Christ's.  Because of His love, our Savior laid down His life so that we may have a chance to live with God again.  Because of His love, He "suffered these things for all, that [we] might not suffer if [we] would repent (D&C 19:16)."  I know that the Atonement is real.  I know that if we hearken to the words of Christ we may be free from guilt and pain.  I know that Christ lives.
For more reading, please see Boyd K. Packer's talk "The Touch of the Master's Hand" and Bruce R. McKonkie's talk "The Purifying Power of Gethsemane"

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful testimony. I love that poem as well. No matter how "scarred" we are, through the love of Heavenly Father and Jesus, we are beautiful if we have faith.


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