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The Symbols on the Walls of the Salt Lake Temple
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The Articles of Faith
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"The Party" - Searching for Heaven Story
"Worth It's Salt" - Priesthood Authority Story
"Pinocchio and the Holy Ghost"
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Museum Displays Ancient Book of Gold Plates
The Smithsonian's Lehi Stone
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"Why I Love Being LDS"
LD$ Church vs. The LDS Church: Is it really just about the money?
Why Protestants Agree With Mormons (They Just Don't Realize It)
Why I Choose To Be Mormon Instead of Protestant or Catholic
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|Main Page > The Room Story
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"Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again..."
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in a room. There
were no distinguishing features in this room save the one wall covered with
small index card files. They were like the ones in libraries that list titles
by author or subject in alphabetical order. But these files, which stretched
from floor to ceiling and seemingly endlessly in either direction, had very
different headings. As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch
my attention was one that read "Girls I Have Liked". I opened it and began
flipping through the cards. I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I
recognized the names written on each one.
And then without being told,
I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was
a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my
every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.
sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as
I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought
joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that
I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed".
titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird. "Books I Have Read",
"Lies I Have Told", "Comfort I Have Given", "Jokes I Have Laughed At". Some
were almost hilarious in their exactness: "Things I've Yelled at My Brothers."
Others I couldn't laugh at: "Things I Have Done in My Anger", "Things I
Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents". I never ceased to be surprised
by the contents. Often there were many more cards than I expected. Sometimes
fewer than I hoped.
I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life
I had lived. Could it be possible that I had the time in my 20 years to
write each of these thousands or even millions of cards? But each card confirmed
this truth. Each was written in my own handwriting. Each signed with my
When I pulled out the file marked "Songs I Have Listened
To", I realized the files grew to contain their contents. The cards were
packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end
of the file. I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of music, but
more by the vast amount of time I knew that file represented.
came to a file marked "Lustful Thoughts", I felt a chill run through my
body. I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size,
and drew out a card. I shuddered at its detailed content. I felt sick to
think that such a moment had been recorded.
An almost animal rage broke
on me. One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards!
No one must ever see this room! I have to destroy them!" In an insane frenzy
I yanked the file out. Its size didn't matter now. I had to empty it and
burn the cards. But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the
floor, I could not dislodge a single card. I became desperate and pulled
out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.
Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot. Leaning
my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh. And then
I saw it. The title --- "People I Have Shared the Gospel With". The handle
was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused. I pulled on its
handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands.
I could count the cards it contained on one hand.
And then the tears
came. I began to weep. Sobs so deep that the hurt started in my stomach
and shook through me. I fell on my knees and cried. I cried out of shame,
from the overwhelming shame of it all. The rows of file shelves swirled
in my tear-filled eyes. No one must ever, ever know of this room. I must
lock it up and hide the key.
But then as I pushed away the tears, I
saw Him. No, please not Him. Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus. I watched helplessly
as He began to open the files and read the cards. I couldn't bear to watch
His response. And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face,
I saw a sorrow deeper than my own. He seemed to intuitively go to the worst
boxes. Why did He have to read every one?
Finally He turned and looked
at me from across the room. He looked at me with pity in His eyes. But this
was a pity that didn't anger me. I dropped my head, covered my face with
my hands and began to cry again. He walked over and put His arm around me.
He could have said so many things. But He didn't say a word. He just cried
Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files. Starting
at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign
His name over mine on each card.
"No!" I shouted rushing to Him. All
I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him. His name
shouldn't be on these cards. But there it was, written in red so rich, so
dark, so alive. The name of Jesus covered mine.
It was written with
He gently took the card back. He smiled a sad smile and began
to sign the cards. I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly,
but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk
back to my side. He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."
I stood up, and He led me out of the room. There was no lock on its door.
There were still cards to be written.
"And they had viewed themselves in their own carnal state, even less than the dust of the earth. And they all cried aloud with one voice, saying: O have mercy, and apply the atoning blood of Christ that we may receive forgiveness of our sins, and our hearts may be purified; for we believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who created heaven and earth, and all things; who shall come down among the children of men."