People see what is visible, measurable; God sees into the heart. He not only forgives our failures, He sees where no one else does…not even ourselves. Only God gives us credit for the angry words we do not speak, the temptations we resisted, the patience and gentleness little notice and long forgotten by those around us. Just being human gives us value in His eyes and trying to live with integrity makes us successful before Him. God redeems us from the sense and fear of failure because He sees us as no human sees us. Some religions teach that God knows us so well that he knows all our shameful secrets. I prefer to believe that God sees us so clearly that He knows better than anyone else our wounds and our sorrows, the scars on our hearts from having wanted to do more and do better and being told by the world that we never would.
– Rabbi Harold Kushner
Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith. ~President Thomas S. Monson
The Touch of the Master’s Hand
‘Twas battered and scarred and the auctioneer
Thought it scarcely worth his while
To waste much time on the old violin,
But he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bidden, good folk?” he cried.
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?
A dollar, a dollar, now two, only two,
Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice,
Going for three…” but no!
From the room, far back, a gray-haired man
Came forward and picked up the bow.
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening the loose strings,
He played a melody pure and sweet,
As a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”
As he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand, and who’ll make it three?
Three thousand, once; three thousand, twice;
And going and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried
“We do not quite understand
What changed it’s worth?” and the answer came:
” ‘Twas the touch of the master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune
And battered and scarred with sin
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd
Much like the old violin.
A “mess of potage,” a glass of wine;
A game, and he travels on.
He is “going” once, and “going” twice,
He’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the Master comes and the foolish crowd
Never can quite understand
The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought
By the touch of the Master’s hand.
~ Myra Brooks Welch