Elder True DeMille

Elder True DeMille

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Painted Repentance.

..It was a simple project.

..One new announcement board for English Class.
Two buckets of paint. Two colors. Two Elders. ..Two hours. (ish) ..Too easy.

..Or, at least.. that's what we thought.

In the book of Alma, we read:
"Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be like unto (Captain) Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, and the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."

..We read about Captain Moroni, and we think: Man! That guy. I'd bet he was flawless. I wish I could be as good as he was! To make the very powers of hell shake forever?? Are you serious?! How cool is that?! What a brave, valiant, Christlike man -- who surely never faltered, not even once! Else how could he be so magnificent, so magnanimous?
Before I had begun my mission, I would read that verse and often think of missionaries. How they serve with everything they have, and have just got to be the most flawless people on the planet. Bringing people to Christ, growing, being alone for two years, and consistently punching Satan directly in the face? ..There's a Captain Moroni if I've ever seen one. 

Surely either of these two glorious examples could accomplish any feat.

But, back to this conundrum. 

Our beautiful Captain-Moroni like souls had a simple task --

..And yet amidst the battle, 
..The paint can won.

One Elder, trying to make the work more effective, was scraping the upper side of a paint-bucket when all heaven broke loose and the can ended up on the floor -- exploding in his face, meaning not only black paint all over his glorious white shirt, but also all over the carpeted floor of our Missionary room in our church. 
And so, while this Elder stared at the mess he had made, his companion, another Captain Moroni-like soul dropped to his knees, despite his also equally-glorious attire, and did the only thing he could to help as fast as possible.

As he scooped the paint from off the floor and into a trashcan with his bare hands, he sent his companion to the bathroom to clean himself off. ..When the other companion had cleaned himself, he came back to make 'restitution' with the room, and with his companion by mopping and vacuuming as a team for several hours.

..That was when I walked in, hahaha.
But, what I saw wasn't what I just explained. The only thing that told me there was paint spilled in the first place was a little bit of paint on the table, and the poor Elders' clothes. All I could see was the hard work, the determination, the diligence, and the resounding LOOK HOW WE DID ALL WE COULD from the smiling look of satisfaction on their faces. It was awesome, and totally changed the way I looked at things. 

The reason I talk about Captain Moroni in comparison to these Elders and this crazy paint-incident is that Elder Miller and I took a trip to Sonpa this week on Tuesday, and while there, I had an amazing opportunity to clean up some paint that I spilled a few years ago. ..It would have been so much easier, had I worked like those amazing Elders did and dropped to my knees as soon as I saw the mess, and did all that I knew I needed to do RIGHT THEN, but I've learned an innumerable amount of lessons experiencing -- well, cleaning up a couple-year-old rock hard paint from off of my carpeted soul, haha.

So, as I was there, President talked to me about Captain Moroni. And he read with me the next verse in Alma chapter 48:

"Behold, he (Captain Moroni) was a man like unto Ammon, the son of Mosiah, yea and even the other sons of Mosiah, yeah and also Alma and his sons, for they were all men of God."

...So, what the scriptures tell us is that this man, who would make the very gates of hell shake and tremble before his presence is like unto those who - in the beginning- were 'stealing away the hearts of the people', were 'numbered among the unbelievers' 'led many of the people to do.. iniquitites' and were 'going about to destroy the church of God'. …Woah.

But, we all know the story. We can see clearly how Alma the younger and his fellow brethren came to a point where they saw all the paint they had spilled -- and though it may have taken an outside force to clean it up -- they did the best they could. Not only to clean up the paint, but to refurnish it all, to make that kind of in-depth restitution and provide the next best thing: a life  of dedicated service to the Lord.
I testify that no matter the mistakes you make -- as I'm sure Captain Moroni himself has done -- you can clean up that mess. People may not recognize it's there, but you do. You can feel it. You can ignore it. You can pretend it. But you can't make it go away unless you get some help and really do something about it. Take that step. Drop to your knees. Scoop it up in your hands and toss it far from you -- recognizing that this repentance, and that feeling of 'Yeah, I did all that I could, and worked SO hard for this' is more important than anything else. 

Be like unto the Sons of Mosiah. Be like unto Captain Moroni. Be like unto a son or daughter of God.

It makes all the difference!

I love you all, and hope you have a fantastic week. The sooner you start doing things you'd wish you'd have done the happier and more whole you'll be. I can promise that!

All the love,

Elder DeMille!!

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