Washed Clean

“Washed Clean,” New Era, Mar. 2013, 33

Washed Clean

President Boyd K. Packer
Prayer at Gethsemane and poem

Prayer at Gethsemane, by Del Parson

In ancient times the cry “Unclean!”

Would warn of lepers near.

“Unclean! Unclean!” the words rang out;

Then all drew back in fear,

Lest by the touch of lepers’ hands

They, too, would lepers be.

There was no cure in ancient times,

Just hopeless agony.

No soap, no balm, no medicine

Could stay disease or pain.

There was no salve, no cleansing bath,

To make them well again.

But there was One, the record shows,

Whose touch could make them pure;

Could ease their awful suffering,

Their rotting flesh restore.

His coming long had been foretold.

Signs would precede His birth.

A Son of God to woman born,

With power to cleanse the earth.

The day He made ten lepers whole,

The day He made them clean,

Well symbolized His ministry

And what His life would mean.

However great that miracle,

This was not why He came.

He came to rescue every soul

From death, from sin, from shame.

For greater miracles, He said,

His servants yet would do,

To rescue every living soul,

Not just heal up the few.

Though we’re redeemed from mortal death,

We still can’t enter in

Unless we’re clean, cleansed every whit,

From every mortal sin.

What must be done to make us clean

We cannot do alone.

The law, to be a law, requires

A pure one must atone.

He taught that justice will be stayed

Till mercy’s claim be heard

If we repent and are baptized

And live by every word. …

If we could only understand

All we have heard and seen,

We’d know there is no greater gift

Than those two words—“Washed clean!”

From an April 1997 general conference address.