Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"ANNA!!! Get in here QUICK!!!!"

Hearing that was enough to make my heart drop. I stumbled around the kitchen table and turned the corner into the guest quarters just in time to see my little brother smeared and splattered with oil paint standing convicted next to my Mom. She had her hand over her mouth and was staring at my easel across the room.

I pushed past them to see my oil painting--a large canvas with the brilliant white Nauvoo Temple portrayed amongst spring flowers and greenery--now covered in a milky greenish brown paste of oil, turpentine, and paint. I felt the tears welling up in my eyes.

4 months of tedious work....hours bent over that canvas, stroke after stroke, and now all seemingly ruined in a short moment.

I couldn't speak as I subconsciously grabbed the bottle of turpentine on the counter and a wad of paper towels and started gently wiping the canvas; it was all I could think to do to try and save it. Blinking through my tears, I kept dabbing the painting, hoping and praying that it would remove the ugly smears.

Slowly.......very slowly......the white temple and bright colored flowers started to emerge. Eventually, the entire painting was nearly perfect, though perhaps slightly tinted. The turpentine had worked miraculously.

After almost all of the mirky paint had been removed, my mom and I breathed a sigh of relief. It eventually took more painting (and patience) to restore the temple to its original brilliant and imperfect white......but I was able to finish the painting and it now hangs above our piano in the music room.

I've thought since about that experience and how I'm like that painting. At times I get smeared with sin, fears, shortcomings, or doubts. Only the hand and patience of the Creator can restore me to what I once was, and remove the stain of those weaknesses. His patience and love is what reclaims me. He knows what I can become and sees past the immediate flaws. He knows that deep down, I have worth and can achieve that potential through trust in Him.

Trust that He can reclaim you. No one need be defined by their past, only their potential. There is hope and forgiveness available to each of us as we put our lives into the hands of our perfect Creator and rely on His mercy.

 "The Atonement of Jesus Christ is available to each of us. His Atonement is infiniteIt applies to everyone, even you. It can clean, reclaim, and sanctify even you. That is what infinite means--total, complete, all, forever. President Boyd K. Packer has taught: 'There is no habit, no addiction, no rebellion, no transgression, no apostasy, no crime exempted from the promise of complete forgiveness. That is the promise of the atonement of Christ' (“The Brilliant Morning of Forgiveness,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 20)."

And videos always say it better than I here ya go:) Enjoy!!!

My finished painting of the Nauvoo Temple
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