I was raised as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (called by friends of other faiths, a “Mormon”), in beautiful, secluded Cache Valley, Utah. As a young, naïve, and eager 19 year old, I moved from my sheltered bubble of rural Cache Valley, Utah, to the crazy jungle of Los Angeles, California to work as a nanny. Coming from a small town populated by more cows than people, the adjustment was difficult to say the least. Growing accustomed to the culture and lifestyle of the people I worked for and lived with took some time.
After only a month of being there, I lifted my purse from my bed one afternoon to discover a bright red juice stain on the immaculate white comforter. To my dismay, I realized I had left one of the children’s nearly empty juice pouches in my purse, and the contents had found their way onto the bed. A knot quickly formed in my stomach, and I panicked. Still feeling very out of place and intimidated by my employers, I dreaded showing anyone, but did not know how to go about getting it out myself
I nervously showed the spill to the very displeased housekeeper, who told me she did not think the stain would come out.
Weighed down by guilt and feeling awful about myself, I left the house and went about my weekly routine of attending the LDS temple during my time off.
Sitting in the peaceful sanctuary of the Mormon temple baptistery, I prayed to my Father in Heaven-desperately- to please help us get the stain out. Suddenly, a calm, peaceful feeling washed over me, and a scripture distinctly came to my mind.
“…though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow…” (Isaiah 1:18)
If I felt this guilty and awful about a stain on a comforter, how much more guilt and shame would I feel coming before my Heavenly Father stained with sin? The magnitude and importance of the Atonement forcefully dawned on me, and I was flooded with gratitude to my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I entered the world clean and spotless, just like the white comforter. Every day of my life, however, I am stained with sin. The beautiful, glorious news is that through the Atonement so selflessly wrought by my Savior, I can repent and become clean again. My stark, scarlet sins can be washed completely clean, and I can be pure and spotless once more.
As I left the temple that day, I was grateful, and I was happy. The fear and guilt about the stained comforter seemed to wash away as I realized how it paled in comparison to what I had been blessed with. I walked away with a renewed perspective as I remembered what was really important.
Later that day, I returned to my room to see that the housekeeper had been able to remove the stain. I smiled. The comforter was as beautiful and clean as ever.
I know that our Savior Jesus Christ did atone for each of our sins- individually. I know that through Him, we can become clean again, and thus return to live with our Heavenly Father and our families forever. Though our sins be as scarlet, they can be as white as snow, if we will just repent. For this, I am grateful beyond words.