The Facade

Once there was a man, who painted a story of light,
He held it before his true self, it was a beautiful sight.
Many loved the art piece, admiring each stroke,
They respected his creation, even though it was a joke.
For beneath the beautiful painting was the truth of all he was,
A canvas of his real self; created by broken laws.
The truth of his love was held by strokes of greed,
Each one added darkness and satisfied a need.
The enemy was now his master teacher and friend,
Inspiring his paint strokes he kept his student penned.
Sadly the man could not see that he was no longer free,
The strokes of his creation were held by the enemy.
Many were sent to warn him to take down the facade,
To repent of his darkness, and grasp the iron rod.
He would not heed their message and so he continued in sin,
The cost of his true creation, was all he could have been.
For when his life ended and his true painting was revealed,
It showed the darkness and sin that he had kept concealed.
The addiction, the cruelty, the strokes of every lie,
Now were like a mirror that stared him in the eye.
Forever he would keep what his true painting had revealed,
His destiny was decided his eternity now sealed.
So be careful as you journey and present a canvas of light,
Make sure that it is your true self not a facade bold and bright.
For at the end of mortality your Masters hand will be shown,
Satan or your Savior? The truth will be known.

Written by Michelene Glasson

The picture at the beginning of the blog post represents the facade the man in the poem presented to others. This picture represents what was beneath that façade. It is a stark contrast to the image he was presenting.

Façade definition: an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.

synonyms: show, front, appearance, pretense, simulation, affectation, semblance, illusion, act, masquerade, charade, mask, cloak, veil, veneer

In Mosiah 15 we read, "But behold, and fear, and tremble before God, for ye ought to tremble; for the Lord redeemeth none such that rebel against him and die in their sins; yea, even all those that have perished in their sins ever since the world began, that have wilfully rebelled against God, that have known the commandments of God, and would not keep them; these are they that have no part in the first resurrection. Therefore ought ye not to tremble? For salvation cometh to none such; for the Lord hath redeemed none such; yea, neither can the Lord redeem such; for he cannot deny himself; for he cannot deny justice when it has its claim." And in Mosiah 16 we read, "Having gone according to their own carnal wills and desires; having never called upon the Lord while the arms of mercy were extended towards them; for the arms of mercy were extended towards them, and they would not; they being warned of their iniquities and yet they would not depart from them; and they were commanded to repent and yet they would not repent." Abinidi's warning is powerful and true. Putting up a façade and refusing to repent is choosing to be separate from God forever. God will not save us in our sins. We need to tear down the façade and repent. The Savior will help us build a true and valiant soul through the atonement. The path of repentance and change isn't the easy one but it is the only path that leads to eternal life. I testify that true joy is found as we repent and apply the atoning sacrifice of Christ in our lives! I am grateful for my beloved Redeemer He is the strength of my journey and the hope of my soul!

On Being Genuine

In this inspired talk Dieter F. Uchtdorf said, "It is part of human nature to want to look our best. It is why many of us work so hard on the exterior of our homes and why our young Aaronic Priesthood brethren make sure every hair is in place, just in case they run into that special someone. There is nothing wrong with shining our shoes, smelling our best, or even hiding the dirty dishes before the home teachers arrive. However, when taken to extremes, this desire to impress can shift from useful to deceitful. The Lord’s prophets have ever raised a warning voice against those who “draw near [to the Lord] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour [Him], but have removed their heart far from [Him].” The Savior was understanding and compassionate with sinners whose hearts were humble and sincere. But He rose up in righteous anger against hypocrites like the scribes, Pharisees, and Sadducees—those who tried to appear righteous in order to win the praise, influence, and wealth of the world, all the while oppressing the people they should have been blessing. The Savior compared them to “whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” In our day, the Lord has similarly strong words for priesthood holders who try to “cover [their] sins, or to gratify [their] pride, [or their] vain ambition.” When they do this, He said, “the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf's counsel applies to both men and women. It is a powerful reminder that the truth of our souls is all that really matters. When we stand before the great judgement bar we will not be able to hide behind a facade of lies and pretense. We will be seen for who we truly are.

Lord, Is It I?

A Parable of Dandelions

"Once there was a man who enjoyed taking evening walks around his neighborhood. He particularly looked forward to walking past his neighbor’s house. This neighbor kept his lawn perfectly manicured, flowers always in bloom, the trees healthy and shady. It was obvious that the neighbor made every effort to have a beautiful lawn. But one day as the man was walking past his neighbor’s house, he noticed in the middle of this beautiful lawn a single, enormous, yellow dandelion weed. It looked so out of place that it surprised him. Why didn’t his neighbor pull it out? Couldn’t he see it? Didn’t he know that the dandelion could cast seeds that could give root to dozens of additional weeds? This solitary dandelion bothered him beyond description, and he wanted to do something about it. Should he just pluck it out? Or spray it with weed killer? Perhaps if he went under cover of night, he could remove it secretly.
These thoughts totally occupied his mind as he walked toward his own home. He entered his house without even glancing at his own front yard—which was blanketed with hundreds of yellow dandelions."

"Does this story remind us of the words of the Savior? “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? …“… First cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” This business of beams and motes seems to be closely related to our inability to see ourselves clearly. I’m not sure why we are able to diagnose and recommend remedies for other people’s ills so well, while we often have difficulty seeing our own." Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Seeing Clearly

I looked into the mirror and was thankful that I'm not like you,
I smiled in relief knowing I'm worthy clean and true.
I met my friends for a visit and we spoke of all you did,
We shared our shock and horror at the sin that you had hid.
I drove to the store later and passed you as I went by,
I turned my head away, as you bent your head to cry.
Later I knelt in prayer thanking God for all I hold dear,
Glad I'm not a sinner who must always live in fear.
I went to bed at last feeling glad to be me,
Happy for my life and how clearly I could see.
Then I fell asleep and I dreamed of you and saw,
Your broken contrite heart, and your love for God's true law.
I saw you with your family and felt the joy they held,
At once I knew you were worthy of the sacred place you held.
I wept as I awoke and ran to wash my face,
I looked into the mirror and at last saw my place.
I had wounded my sister and cast stones cruel and hard,
Rejoicing in your failings I missed the dandelions in my yard.
Falling to my knees I began to plead with Father above,
I asked Him to forgive my hate and fill my soul with love.
In the morning I drove to you and I gave you all I had,
My friendship, my love, my kindness, and together we were glad!
My sister I now hold you as the friend you were born to be,
I'm thankful for the atonement that ransoms you and me.

Written by Michelene Glasson

Sometimes we are presenting a façade not just to others but to our selves as well. In order to change and become better we have to see ourselves clearly. In Dieter's talk he said, "Being able to see ourselves clearly is essential to our spiritual growth and well-being. If our weaknesses and shortcomings remain obscured in the shadows, then the redeeming power of the Savior cannot heal them and make them strengths. Ironically, our blindness toward our human weaknesses will also make us blind to the divine potential that our Father yearns to nurture within each of us." I testify that as we seek to humble ourselves as a little child we will begin to see ourselves and others clearly. I testify that as we love others, repent and seek to become like our Savior we will find true peace and joy!