With no keys, I could not drive home. With no cell phone, I could not call for help. With no driver’s license, I could not prove my identity. Without access to money I could not hire anyone to drive me home. And with no temple recommend I could not enter the temple to retrieve the abandoned items.
I was not completely stuck. I could have walked home. I probably could have borrowed a cell phone or hitched a ride. Perhaps I could have even stolen some money (not the best option!). I could have carried the burdens caused by my mistake by myself but it would have been hard. Very hard. Much harder than it needed to be.
Hoping for mercy, I re-entered the temple foyer, admitted my mistake to the people at the desk and humbly asked for assistance. Graciously, with kindness and an obvious willingness to help, the temple worker disappeared into the sanctuary. Soon she reappeared and returned to me the items I’d lost. My keys, currency, and identity were restored. I returned to my truck, a grateful and wiser person. (Now, when I go to the temple, I leave my cell phone on the bottom of the locker, instead of the top shelf, where I will be sure to see it before I leave.)
I am so grateful for the mercy and kindness of the temple worker who, without judgement or condemnation, rescued me from my mistake, eased my burden, and enabled me to return home.
Sometimes I find brilliancy in my stupidity. On this day, I was struck (not literally) by the eternal lesson found in my mortal mistake.
Do we not occasionally find ourselves stuck on the outside? Off peace’s path for one reason or another? Burdened by our mistakes and/or weaknesses? Facing the prospect of carrying burdens far heavier than they need be?
There is Someone willing to help. Someone who, without judgement or condemnation, with mercy and kindness, will ease our burdens and restore peace. Someone who, if we let Him, will empower us to return home, home to our Heavenly Father from whom we came.
I testify that Jesus Christ is that Someone. If we will bring to Him our weaknesses and humbly petition His help, He will graciously, mercifully, and willingly bear our burdens, restore our peace, and guide us home.