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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Follow Up - Hermana Worried

[Readers - Below is a followup to a three-part series of letters called "Fearing Man More Than God that was published last November. You can click here for PART 1, PART 2, and PART 3. - Bro Jo]

Dear Bro Jo:

It's been a little while since my last email to you (looking back on it, exactly a month today! Crazy, haha). I just wanted to give you an update on my little issue. I went to talk to my bishop, and it turned out to be a great experience. Not only was I able to retain my calling as a missionary, he gave me some great advice that I've taken to heart.

He told me that sin does not start with the transgression, but instead the desire to transgress. It was not what I did, but the fact that I was willing (as much as I didn't think I was) beforehand to let it happen and open doors to worse things. He read me a scripture from Genesis 3:3, where Eve is explaining to the serpent that God had commanded concerning the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, "Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die."

He emphasized the "neither shall ye touch it". He said that this could be likened to being willing to speak with the disrespectful boy, or go into his room, or other things that could lead to worse things ("touching" the sin).

He also compared the heart to a horse (bear with me, here). He said that a wild horse does what it wants. It serves no master and follows through with its own desires. "But," he asked me, "what does a horse want when it has been broken?" The will of its master, the one who has broken the horse. A heart is the same way; when it is wild, it does what it wants. When it has been "broken" (which is a term I have often come across in the scriptures when referring to the heart, usually paired with a "contrite spirit"), it desires the will of its master, our Heavenly Father. That is what it means to have a broken heart.

I wanted to thank you for the advice you gave me; as I said before, it gave me the "kick in the pants" I needed to feel more confident about seeing my Bishop. I probably would have been in good standing with Heavenly Father had I not seen him... but if I hadn't, I wouldn't have gotten the extra advice I needed to hear to keep on the right path. Since then, I have made a covenant to not "eat of [the fruit], neither... touch it", and I've chopped off a good portion of my hair to remind myself every morning when I look in the mirror of my commitment. I know, the hair massacre wasn't necessary... but in my opinion was a physical testament and reminder of what I've promised inside.

Thanks again, Bro Jo!

-Hermana (Not) Worried (Anymore)

Dear Hermana,

Thank you for following up, and for your testimony of Repentance and the Savior.

May the Lord continue to bless you as you seek and grow closer unto Him,

- Bro Jo

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