“We Have to Be Clean,” Ensign, April 2019
When I was nine years old, my white-haired, four-foot-eleven-inch (1.5 m) maternal grandmother came to spend a few weeks at our home. One afternoon while she was there, my brothers and I decided to dig a hole in a field across the street.
We got a little dirty but nothing that would get us into too much trouble. Then other boys started to help, and we all got dirtier together. The ground was hard, so we dragged a garden hose over and put a little water into the hole. We got some mud on us as we dug, but the hole did get deeper. Then someone decided we should turn our hole into a swimming pool, so we filled it with water. I was persuaded to jump in and try it out. Now I was really dirty!
When it started to get cold, I crossed the street, intending to walk into my house. My grandmother met me at the door and refused to let me in. I was wet, muddy, and cold. Finally, I asked her what I had to do to come into the house. I stood in the backyard while she sprayed me off with a hose. After what seemed like an eternity, she pronounced me clean and let me come into the house, where I was able to warm up and put on dry, clean clothes.
With that real-life parable of sorts in mind, please consider the following words of Jesus Christ: “No unclean thing can enter into his kingdom” (3 Nephi 27:19).
Standing outside while being sprayed off by my grandmother was unpleasant and uncomfortable. But being denied the opportunity to return and be with our Father in Heaven because we chose to remain dirtied by a mud hole of sin would be eternally tragic. We should not deceive ourselves about what it takes to return and remain in the presence of our Father in Heaven. We have to be clean.
Because our Father in Heaven loves us, His plan included the role of a Savior—someone who could help us become clean no matter how dirty we have become. Jesus Christ suffered both body and spirit, trembled because of pain, and bled at every pore to pay for our sins. What does He ask in return? He simply pleads with us to confess our sins and repent. He invites us to become clean so that we can once again enter the presence of our Father in Heaven.