There is a scripture in 3 Nephi when Jesus is speaking to the people, He basically says there will be many at the judgment seat saying, "Lord, Lord have we not prophesied and done many wonderful things in your name?" He replies,
"...I never knew you;"
In the margin, next to that verse, in my high school handwriting, I have written, " I never want Him to say that to me!"
So now what? How do we do that? How do we KNOW Him so, in return, we will never hear those words? Mosiah 5:13 says,
For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?
I read these verses earlier this week, which I now know was no coincidence, and was blessed with an opportunity to come to 'Know Him.' I want to share it with you.
Long story short, I realized someone I knew and loved had stolen from me. It was eating at me. Not because I was worried about getting my property back, but because I did not know how to move forward with the situation. I did not want to offend and it was just awkward all around. I had been praying to know what to do.
Things came to light and It was time to talk face to face with this loved one, who had made a stupid mistake.
Now, the Lord had been blessing me with His spirit, and I had no ill feelings toward this person. But I did feel sick to my stomach, just knowing how terrible, mortified, and sad this person must be feeling. This would not be easy, but, like we always say, it would be worth it.
It was almost time. I went to my room and knelt to pray. I asked Heavenly Father to bless me with His spirit. I needed to know what He wanted me to say. He knew this child of his, who was hurting, and only He knew what would mend and soften their heart.
Shame, embarrassment, and heartache were all I could see on their face. The face that could not even look at me. The words were there, but unable to leave their mouth. I reached over, and with all the love I had said, "I love you, and I forgive you." Finally, there they were. Eyes so sad and full of hurt. This was killing them. Tears streamed down their face and into their mouth, "I'm so sorry."
All I felt to do was bear my testimony of the atonement of Jesus Christ.
I knew that if they would ask for forgiveness, it would be given and the 'Lord would remember them (their mistakes) no more.' D&C 58:42
My heart has been tender and full of emotions since this experience because I got to "Know Him" through it.
It was interesting sitting there and looking at this person who, in a way, I "should have been mad at." You know what, I never felt one ounce of anger toward them. Not once. It was one of those rare experiences when I was blessed to borrow Heavenly glasses. Like the glasses you're wearing when you hold a newborn baby, or when you hold the hand of someone slipping into eternity, or when the answer you've been pleading for finally comes, or when that tender mercy shows up at just the right time. Those are the moments when the world goes away, and you see things through Heavenly eyes, when you're aware of our Father's love for you. Those are the glasses I was blessed to borrow, and I was able to more fully understand how our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ see each one of us.
As I looked at this friend, I felt nothing but compassion and desire for them to realize and reach their potential. I didn't see the mistake, I saw someone who was beautiful, talented, and so deserving of the feeling of hope and joy that comes when we repent of our mistakes and follow the Savior.
I did feel sad for them, because I knew they were hurting, and needing to, in order to learn and grow, but I distinctly remember thinking, "The Lord is our biggest cheerleader. We are the ones who hold ourselves back by holding onto guilt, not the Lord. He wants to take those feelings away, and he can. He's waiting for us to ask, and then, when we do, is the one with the most confidence in us and our potential."
I know that as we try to do as the Savior would, love like Him, and serve like Him, we will "Know Him" and He will know us.
I know we have a loving Heavenly Father who gave His Son as a gift to all of us. To repent and be forgiven. I know they don't want us to hold on to our guilt, shame, and heartaches, but give it to them so we can feel hope and joy.
I saw my friend through their eyes, and then saw myself too; as I am, as we all are, a loved child of God.