His ‘Marks’ Are Not In Pencil!


In a hundred years from now if one could examine the homes in which we live, the investigator would find that at least one doorway in each home would have a common characteristic. Something that possibly only paint could have erased. They are curious marks, mostly made by pencil. But they might be made by ink or even crayon, depending on the availability of a writing utensil. Most of the time the marks are made in unfinished basement doorways, but it might be found in the entry of an upstairs bedroom. They are the marks of growth; the physical growth of the human body! We all do it! It might be at the urging of our parents or an older brother or sister. We line up ever so straight against the door entry as we are measured. A mark is made over our heard, signifying our height. Usually our name is lightly written by it so as not to confuse us with another sibling. Then a year, maybe two will pass and we will find ourselves looking at “the mark”, and wondering “How much taller am I than last time?” We line ourselves up, once again, to the human tape measure that is the doorway. We record another “mark”, date it and put our name beside it. Wow, we think as we gaze at the two marks, look how much I’ve grown! It is an amazing feeling to see the growth of our bodies. We are taller, stronger, more mature. We puff up inside and congratulate ourselves on our progress. We are becoming a man or a woman.

The physical change that comes to our bodies is very noticeable. As we gaze in the mirror each day our face is like that of a chameleon, ever-changing, ever adapting to how we want it to appear to others. How we choose to wear our hair, or whether to be clean shaven or bearded for the men, or with or without makeup for the women. Yes, it is easy to see the physical change that comes to us all. But what of the spiritual? To me, it is also very easy to see such change. The nature of a person who matures “spiritually” is surprisingly noticeable and easily detectable. Truly, observing someone putting down the “natural” person for the more mature “spiritual” person is as easy to spot as the physical change. There are not “marks” on a church doorway to honor the growth, but the actions that one takes therein can speak volumes in evidence of reaching spiritual heights.

I have observed over the years a number of men and women who, after having accepted Christ as their Savior, begin a climb that leads to greatness. They are not the same person they once were and you need only look at them to see so. Their spiritual growth is found in their face, the way they carry themselves, the confidence in their voice and the nature of their demeanor. They have slowly grown to become the children of Christ. Their “marks” of growth are manifest in the covenants that they have been willing to make with the Lord, and the works by which they are known. These spiritual “marks” of growth are signs that the Lord gives to all the faithful through the power of the Holy Ghost. Those that once were faint now have courage; those that were weak are made strong. Those that were slow of tongue can now speak with the power of angels. These are the signs or the “marks” that accompany all those that truly believe in the grace and power of the Redeemer.

Alma gave a wonderful sermon on this subject. He went forth and preached to the cities and villages throughout the land on this subject. Part of his wonderful sermon is upon “change”, or growth. He testifies of his own father’s “change of heart” upon hearing the words of Abinidi, the prophet.

“Behold, I can tell you- did not my father Alma believe in the words which were delivered by the mouth of Abinadi?…And according to this faith there was a might change wrought in his heart. Behold I say unto that this is all true. And behold, he preached the word unto your fathers, and a might change was also wrought in their hearts, and they humbled themselves and put their trust in the true and living God. And behold, they were faithful until the end; therefore they were saved. And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts? (Alma 5:11-14).

All of us have experienced the thrill of watching our bodies grow and mature. A much greater joy comes in seeing our spiritual growth and witnessing it in the lives of our loves one.  Alma finished his sermon by saying, “For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand…”(Alma 5: 58) Unlike the doorways of our homes, you can be sure that when the Lord marks our spiritual growth down, it won’t be in pencil.  His love will be etched in stone on our hearts as well in the Heavens above.

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