“And they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish”(Ether 2:17).
This week in Book of Mormon we read the story of the Brother of Jared, who (fun fact) is actually named Mohonri Moriancamur! I probably spelled that really wrong…anyway, I read this scripture and was hit with how applicable this imagery is to so many different gospel principles.
We must keep our relationships and marriages “tight like unto a dish”. We can’t allow “cracks” such as pornography, pride, or judgmental thoughts through. Because in the end, even just one crack in a ship can be enough for water to get in and eventually sink a vessel, no matter how big or well-made it is.
We also must keep our relationship with the Holy Ghost, Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ “tight” so that we can make it through the storms of life and finally to the “Promised Land”, or the Celestial Kingdom. I think that this has become one of the biggest struggles in the world today. If we could have a physical list of every person’s list of priorities in the world, the phrase “Celestial Kingdom and eternal life” would probably not be at the top of most lists. It’s important that we keep our line of communication with our Heavenly Father free from any static that can be distracting us from our real goal.
Third, we’re always encouraged to keep our standards high and be immovable in situations where these are tested. Once again, one little sin, one little crack in the side of a ship, can be enough to sink the best of us! Thus it’s important to identify “the line”, and then stay far from it.
Someone shared a story with me once that outlined this idea really well…let’s see if I can remember it!
Once, there was a rich man looking for a new driver for his carriage. He had several applicants for the job. Eventually only three applicants were left. According to them, they had the most experience of all of those who had wanted the position. The wealthy man couldn’t choose between them, so he decided to ask them each a simple question: How far would you be able get to the side of a cliff-road without falling off?
The first answered, “Well I can drive so that the wheel closest to the drop off is skimming the very edge!” The second answered, “I can drive with one wheel on the road and one wheel off without falling off the cliff!” The third answered, “I suppose I wouldn’t know. I always try to stay as far from the edge as possible. It’s not worth the risk!” Who do you think the wealthy man chose for his driver?
Finally, a common phrase is “Hold tight to the iron rod”. We must always stick to the ‘straight and narrow’. The beauty of this gospel is that it isn’t a 50% or 80% or even a 99.9% gospel. It’s 100%, all or nothing. Ironically, we all know that it’s pretty impossible to be that perfect, but , because of Christ’s Atonement for us, we can make it all the way, as long as we try our best and strive to keep ourselves “tight like unto a dish”.