Who knows that song? Haha, happy 21st of September everyone! Everyone should listen to that song today for me because I can’t! Sorry I missed y’all last week! Happy birthday to my awesome Dad and Jodi last week! You guys are the best!
Suppose I find myself in a home built for me by a very generous landlord. It is a nice home. He encourages me to maintain and improve the home and gives me a number of instructions for making the home a nice place to live.
Over the years I sometimes improve the home, but other times, through my negligence, I make it worse. One time I flood the home when I fail to set the faucets to drip during a freeze. Another time my kitchen catches fire because I fail to turn off a burner on the stove. A couple of times I lose my temper and put my fist through a wall.
In each instance the landlord forgives me and encourages me to pay a little closer attention to my home and to his instructions for making the home a joyful place to live. He does not charge me for the damage caused by my mistakes. Instead, sometimes he is patient while I figure out how to fix things on my own; sometimes he sends someone over to fix the problem; and sometimes I wake up and things are fixed in ways I don’t quite understand.
This same landlord happens to have a son who is quite wayward. The son is always up to no good, and I don’t particularly like or respect him. One night the landlord’s son, as a prank, sets fire to the shed attached to the back of my house. The fire gets out of control, and the entire house burns down. I lose the home. I lose all of my possessions, including some particularly valuable possessions that I can’t replace, such as photos and heirlooms.
I’m angry and distraught. I want the no-good son to pay. I want him to fix things and to make me whole. A part of me knows he can’t really make it better. He may not have the resources to rebuild the house, and, even if he could rebuild the house, he can’t retrieve the photos and heirlooms. And that makes me even angrier.
As I sit in anger, the landlord comes to visit me. He reminds me that he has promised to take care of me. He promises me that he is willing to rebuild my house. In fact, he says that he will do more than that: he will replace my house with a castle and then give me all that he himself has. He says that this might take a while, but he promises it will happen.
“What’s the catch?” I say.
“Here are the conditions,” he says. “First, you need to put your faith in me and trust that I really will build you that castle and restore all that you have lost. Second, you need to continue to work on implementing the instructions I gave you about keeping up your house. Finally, you need to forgive my arsonist son, just as I have forgiven you all these many years.”
-Elder James R. Rasband