“My Cross-Stitch Ponies,” Ensign, Apr. 2011, 67
I have a cross-stitched picture of two pinto ponies that I worked on for about a year. It was almost completed when I discovered I’d made a mistake in the color of one of the ponies. Since it was a possible color for a horse’s hide, I didn’t realize my mistake until I saw that the color of the pony clashed with the adjacent colors on the canvas.
I was devastated. I had spent all that time working on the picture, and the thought of taking out all the stitches of the wrong color was almost overwhelming. With tears in my eyes, I opened the trash can and threw the picture in.
I sat down at the table where I kept my sewing supplies to mourn the loss of my pretty pony picture and move on to other projects. But I couldn’t do it—I couldn’t just let go of the project I had worked so hard on. I opened the trash and retrieved the cloth. I found a knot on the back of the offending color and snipped it carefully. Turning the picture over, I began removing the thread.
Sometimes the removal went quickly. Other times I found it wasn’t so easy. I wasn’t sure how to undo what I had done. Sometimes I had to cut the thread one stitch at a time. My son remarked that he was impressed that I would go to all that work to make it right. It was only a cross-stitched picture, after all.
As I removed the stitches, I began to think of repentance and how hard it has been to correct some of the errors I have made. True repentance requires intense desire, labor, and suffering, but it is worth the effort.
As I restitched the horse, I was reminded that repentance allows Jesus’s Atonement to remove the stain of sin from my life and help me begin anew. My “repentance ponies” hang in my home, a gentle but vivid reminder to do what is right, never give up when I fall short, and remember that through repentance, the Atonement will make up the difference.