Life can be like trying to carry an armful of glass vases across a hardwood floor where bacon grease was recently spilled and has since dried. Good luck getting across it without falling and breaking something.
Those somethings we or others break can be more significant than just our physical possessions.
- “And Limhi said unto him: What cause have ye to come up to war against my people? Behold, my people have not broken the oath that I made unto you; therefore, why should ye break the oath which ye made unto my people?” (Mosiah 20:14).
- “Ye have broken the hearts of your tender wives, and lost the confidence of your children, because of your bad examples before them” (Jacob 2:35).
- “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 24:5).
These scriptural examples describe deliberate breakages. But some happen completely by accident because we’re imperfect people in an imperfect world.
The Parable of the Broken Wedding Gift was a personal experience about ruining something meaningful through my carelessness. I felt awful when I realized I had damaged the gift I had just obtained for this special person I was going to marry. It was like I had broken my own heart by breaking the horse sculpture.
But my mother played a Christlike role in this experience. As I sat not knowing what to do, she took the thing I had broken and carefully fixed it such that it’s difficult to tell it was ever broken. In fact, my wife said that if I hadn’t told her, she wouldn’t have realized that the ear had shattered. My mom did that good of a job with the repair.
Church leaders have taught about the Savior’s ability to fix what’s broken. Elder Dale Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Our Heavenly Father, referring to His Beloved Son, said, ‘Hear Him!’ As you act on those words and listen to Him, remember, joyfully and reverently, that the Savior loves to restore what you cannot restore; He loves to heal wounds you cannot heal; He loves to fix what has been irreparably broken; He compensates for any unfairness inflicted on you; and He loves to permanently mend even shattered hearts” (“Consider the Goodness and Greatness of God”).
Amy Wright, Second Counselor in the Primary General Presidency, taught, “He can heal broken relationships with God, broken relationships with others, and broken parts of ourselves” (“Christ Heals That Which Is Broken”).
Elder Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve testified, “I wish to speak particularly to you who feel your lives are broken, seemingly beyond repair. … [R]eliance upon the merciful nature of God is at the very center of the gospel Christ taught. I testify that the Savior’s Atonement lifts from us not only the burden of our sins but also the burden of our disappointments and sorrows, our heartaches and our despair. … If you are lonely, please know you can find comfort. If you are discouraged, please know you can find hope. If you are poor in spirit, please know you can be strengthened. If you feel you are broken, please know you can be mended” (“Broken Things to Mend”).
Just as my mother exercised utmost care and precision in repairing the horse sculpture, I can see Jesus painstakingly restoring to a better state those things that have broken in our lives. The glue may be our repentance or our forgiveness of others. But its mixture must include our faith in and reliance on Him and a willingness to follow Him. It may happen gradually, but it can happen, piece by piece until what was broken is made whole.
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