“I Thank Thee That Thou Hast Purified Those Whom I Have Chosen”

Bryan Richards

In Christ's second intercessory prayer among the Nephites, he acknowledges that his disciples have been purified. Their purification is evidenced in the transfiguring light which had enveloped them. Later in the prayer, the Savior twice states that they were, 'purified in me.' This verse teaches us about purification. The Twelve had partaken of the sacrament, been baptized, prayed until they were given the Holy Ghost, and they had exhibited faith. The result was a purification that made their countenances shine with brilliance. Moses wrote, 'by the water ye keep the commandment; by the spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified' (Moses 6:60). Purification and sanctification are scriptural synonyms. It is through Christ's blood that we are sanctified, therefore, it is through him that we are purified. One sister described this process as follows:

"'Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God.' - Hel. 3:35.
"As I travel along the road of this earthly life, I am constantly faced with many obstacles as well as many joys. Over and over again, I find myself pleading with Heavenly Father to help soften my heart. Whether it is to be more patience toward my children, or more tolerant towards others, my pleas for help have always seemed to be the same.
"One morning as I knelt in my personal prayers, I found myself again petitioning Heavenly Father for this familiar request when I felt prompted to pick up the scriptures. What I came across was, to me, astounding.
"I realized that what I had been longing for was this very purification and sanctification of heart of which this beautiful scripture speaks so plainly. I also realized that the way to obtain this wonderful purification (or softening) was to fast and pray often and to yield my heart unto God. I understood that there was more expected of me than just asking for Heavenly Father's help. I needed to do my part and submit my every action and thought to His will. Now I ask myself, is my behavior consistent with yielding my heart to God's will?" (Carla Edington, Church News, 09/13/97)