Dear Family, friends, and all others,
These thoughts have been in my head for awhile, but Brian spurred me on to actually get them written down (Thanks for the jokes as well, Brian; They were much appreciated; "Non-prophet organization...heh).
In warrior cultures around the world (I'll stick with the samurai because I know the most about them) the sword is seen as the container for the warrior's soul. Hence, the sword is extremely important, and taking care of and maintaining it is of highest priority.
Little known fact, but the more you use a sword, the more stained it becomes. even if you polish and clean the blade after every use, it will eventually become tarnished. This is sped up by the fact that there is not time to do this during battles or times of conflict, and thus the sword is continually in use.
For a warrior, the state of your sword reflects the condition of your soul. The more kills you have, the more times you've shed blood, the dirtier your soul (sword) is. A pure, innocent soul will have a clean, untarnished sword (for you Rurouni Kenshin fans out there: This is why everyone believes Kenshin when he shows them his sword, which has never been used to kill. it also shows the depth of his repentance and his covenant to never kill again, lest his sword becomes stained).
Now for the gospel reference. Everyone turn to Alma 24, starting around verse 12 (Mom, if you could do this next part on the blog?)
Every time the King says "SWORD", substitute "SOUL" (remember, the Lamanites were a warrior culture too).
Now, my best beloved brethren, since God hath taken away our stains, and our swords (SOULS)have become bright, then let us stain our swords (SOULS) no more with the blood of our brethren.
Behold, I say unto you, Nay, let us retain our swords (SOULS) that they be not stained with the blood of our brethren; for perhaps, if we should stain our swords (SOULS) again they can no more be washed bright through the blood of the Son of our great God, which shall be shed for the atonement of our sins.
And the great God has had mercy on us, and made these things known unto us that we might not perish; yea, and he has made these things known unto us beforehand, because he loveth our souls as well as he loveth our children; therefore, in his mercy he doth visit us by his angels, that the plan of salvation might be made known unto us as well as unto future generations.
Oh, how merciful is our God! And now behold, since it has been as much as we could do to get our stains taken away from us, and our swords (SOULS) are made bright, let us hide them away that they may be kept bright, as a testimony to our God at the last day, or at the day that we shall be brought to stand before him to be judged, that we have not stained our swords in the blood of our brethren since he imparted his word unto us and has made us clean thereby.
And now, my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold, we will hide away our swords, (SOULS) yea, even we will bury them deep in the earth, that they may be kept bright, as a testimony that we have never used them, at the last day; and if our brethren destroy us, behold, we shall go to our God and shall be saved.
And now it came to pass that when the king had made an end of these sayings, and all the people were assembled together, they took their swords, (SOULS) and all the weapons which were used for the shedding of man’s blood, and they did bury them up deep in the earth.
Cool, huh? The People of Ammon had repented and turned away from their sins. They wanted to keep their souls as clean as possible for as long as possible, and they were afraid that if they killed again, they could never again be completely pure; their swords would again be stained.
Isn't that what we need to do? We have to opportunity to repent every day, to completely purify our souls of all stains. That is what we need to be doing when we think about repenting, baptism, prayer, or the sacrament. We need to clean our swords through Christ's atonement and we need to look upon anything that would stain our swords with abhorrence.
Anyway, that's my thought. Thanks again Brian for reminding me of that scripture; I probably would have missed it... again...