|The "object" of the lesson|
Anyway, she called me up during her talk and had a big, plastic diamond sort of like the picture I found just above. She had two jars full of water. One had clear water and the other looked rather brownish. She dipped the diamond representing youthful "purity" into the filthy water and took it out and showed how dirty it had become. (It was hollow and a little dirty water got inside). She asked me as the bishop to dip it into the clean jar of water and then hold it up. She explained how the bishop had helped to make it "clean" but there were still little smudges in the inside corners so all could see how we would have been better off if we had never gotten "dirty" in the first place.
I was horrified! False doctrine on Repentance! I immediately flashed back to my Jr. Sunday School days when they showed me the object lesson about the nail pounded in the block of wood. You could take the sinful nail out with repentance, but it still left a hole. That object lesson had been specifically condemned as false doctrine by one of those letters to local leaders from Salt Lake. (I was pretty sure!) The point being, the miracle of the Atonement is that there is no hole. It is a complete healing and cleansing and the Lord remembers the sin "no more."
I sat back down still holding the slightly dirty plastic diamond. The Stake President was there on the other side of the podium controls so I wasn't the presiding authority with the responsibility to correct false doctrine. But I couldn't quite catch his eye. I took out my two handkerchiefs (when I was ordained a bishop my dad counseled me to always have two handkerchiefs, one for me and one to give to a woman in case she started crying. I think he learned that from his mother and some etiquette rule from past generations.) I found that I could get the plastic diamond apart in two pieces so I could use my hankies to rub and scrub. I used a little spit and twisted a hankie into that plastic furiously into all the inside crevices. I was glad to have two hankies even if no one was crying. I lost track of the talk but I think it went on about the dangers of "impurity." I worked and worked hoping she could keep talking long enough to allow me to get that plastic diamond clean whatever it took. And finally, it was. I stood up as she ended her talk and surprised her with the plastic diamond reassembled shiny and bright.
The Stake President looked over and smiled. I think at least some of the youth might have been watching my hard work.
After all, it is by Grace that we are saved, after all we can do.