Note: This is not scripture, nor is it meant to be viewed as me writing scripture, just a cool way to make a point. I love the principles made in parables, and love to see the connections with everyday problems and how they relate to gospel principles.
1 For the spiritual well being of mankind is like unto a Master of a large estate who possessed many flocks of sheep1. And He had commissioned2 three shepherds to attend His flocks, and the shepherds were taught by the Master himself to care for, and raise the flocks as He would3. This was all done to please and glorify4 the Master.
2 But the estate also was plagued with a vile viper whose venom was very noxious, and whose toxin was a painful poison to both the sheep and the shepherds.
3 And the Master forewarned the shepherds that the viper was ever present, and would strike in the black of night, or from the shadows by day. For the design and purpose of the viper was to cause the suffering and destruction of the sheep of the flocks and their shepherds, and to lessen of the Glory of the Master.
4 And the Master gave instruction to the shepherds that if the viper should strike, that they should come unto Him to be healed5, for He knew the viper and his ways, and was immune to his cunning.
5 Now as the shepherds went about, and hurrying with the preparations for the work of the day, each one in turn was struck by the viper who had hid himself in their midst.
6 Now the strike from the viper was subtle and quick, almost imperceptible to be felt. But the toxin from the bite was noxious and increasingly painful and worked speedily6 to poison the body.
7 The first shepherd upon being struck, strait away left all, and ran to the Master and pleaded with Him to be healed. The Master received him openly, and identified the wound, blessed it, and taking a drop of His own blood7, cleansed and healed the bite from the viper.
8 Upon the cleansing of the bite from the viper, the first shepherd went away joyously, feeling health return to him, and looking forward to laboring for the Master caring for the sheep under his commission.
9 ¶The second shepherd, upon feeling the bite, thought naught of it, and continued the hurried preparation of the day.
10 He continued to labor caring for the sheep of the Master, but was increasingly vexed by the poison that was in him. His wound became greater, more vile, more painful as to effect his ability to walk, and care for his flock.
11 The second shepherd continued to ignore the painful bite, until at last it had rendered him unrecognizable to the eye. His flock of sheep sensed his pain, and distanced themselves from him as he and they were effected by the ever increasing purulence of the wound.
12 At last, the second shepherd could take no more and crawled low on his belly to the Master seeking aid. The Master received him openly, and identified the wound, and seeing its severity, was much grieved and said, “Why didst thou not come to me to be healed as I had instructed?”
13 The shepherd then replied, “I wished to be strong, and prove you therewith that I was so, and in so doing make you well pleased8.” The Master then replied, “I allow the viper to exist in my estate so as to provide opposition9, so that you may learn to overcome. Overcoming opposition will always require submission to My will and instructions”. The Master then taking a lance, opened the painful wound, drained the purulence, carefully, and completely removed all the corrupted tissue and disease. He then taking a drop of his own blood, cleansed the wound, blessed it and it was healed.
14 The second shepherd, upon being healed, rejoiced exceedingly for the relief of the pain, and went away joyously, feeling health return to him, also retaining a scar so as to remember the wound that the Master had healed. Upon his return, the flock also rejoiced exceedingly, as they again recognized the shepherd that had cared for them.
15 ¶The third shepherd, upon being struck by the viper, refused to believe that it had occurred. He thought, “Surely a strike from a deadly viper would be more painful to feel”, and he went away paying no heed to the bite.
16 Gradually the wound grew more painful and vile, and it had an effect on his ability to walk, yet the shepherd regarded it not10. The wound drained a vile purulence, yet the shepherd regarded it not. The shepherd made coverings of thick skins and linens and layers of protection so as to hide and conceal the wound, yet all around him sensed his pain and were aware of the effect of the wound on the shepherd. Even the flock of the shepherd grew wary of the wound and sought distance between them.
17 Yet the shepherd refused to see the wound as it was. And gradually, the painful toxin from the bite of the viper spread to all the body of the shepherd. His mind was numbed, his senses dulled, his ears to hear and eyes to see were slowly taken from him11.
18 As time passed, his little flock was lost, and wandered leaderless seeking other flocks, and shepherds whose eyes were clearer, and whose care was unhampered by the toxin of the viper.
19 The third shepherd finally fell to the bite of the viper and was forever lost.
20 ¶The loss of His shepherd grieved the Master greatly, and He wept for the loss of His flock and His shepherd. “Why didst thou not come unto Me?” he cried, “For my arms were open, and my love complete as to heal all wounds12“.
20 And the Master again cried, “For my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 13
All of us are wounded to some extent. Even the divinely protected Sons of Helaman were ALL wounded, some grievously, from their battle. So, what are our wounds? How are we wounded? Each of us has a different answer for that question. My wounds are different than yours. They could be sin, physical wounds, emotional, or spiritual. But, every wound is healed the same way. The Atonement.
Not utilizing the atonement, or refusing to acknowledge a need for it, or being overtly disappointed when we are required to rely on it, is not understanding its purpose. We are meant to be wounded. We are supposed to be bitten by the viper. We are here to see how we act AFTER we are bitten. It is the blood that was spilt for all of us. It heals all wounds. There are no extra points for those who use the Atonement less, its actually quite the opposite, The Savior taught this principle through the parable of the two debtors14 The Savior knows us, he knows our wounds, he knows how to heal us. We will love him more, the more we depend on Him and His atonement. But, WE have to either run strait away to Him, or crawl on our belly to Him, to receive His healing power. But, if we simply cover our wounds, and ignore them, they are allowed to fester and worsen, and will eventually destroy us. Lets all be willing to “Come unto Him”, and be healed.
1 Isaiah 53:6, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every on to his own way; and the Lord hath lad on him the iniquity of us all. 2 D&C 20:80, “…Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”
3 John 21:16 , “He saith to hime again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
4 Moses 1:39, “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man”. 5 Mathew 11;28, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.
6 Alma 30:60, “And thus we see the end of him who perverteth the ways of the Lord; and thus we see that the devil will not support his children at the last day, but doth speedily drag them down to hell.
7 Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
8 2 Nephi 4:34, “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.”
9 2 Nephi 2:11, “For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.”
10 D&C 38:13, “And now I show unto you a mystery, a thing which is had in secret chambers, to bring to pass even your destruction in process of time, and ye knew it not;
11 D&C 123:8 “It is an iron yoke, it is a strong band; they are the very handcuffs, and chains, and shackles, and fetters of hell.”
12 Mormon 6:16-20, “And my soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people, and I cried: O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you! Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss. O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen! But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.”
13 2 Corinthians 12:9, “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
14 Luke 7:41-43