And He Shall Purify – 3 Nephi 24:2-3

2 But who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall stand when he appeareth? For he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fuller’s soap.
3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

George Frederick Handel set portions of these verses to music in his Messiah as two separate pieces. But today, I have been considering them together.
The Savior is described in verse 2 as a refiner’s fire or a fuller’s soap.

  • Refining is the process of purifying metal by heating it until it melts, in order to remove the impurities.
  • Fulling is the process of cleansing and whitening cloth, particularly wool. One of the steps is to scour the cloth with an abrasive soap.
The Savior suffered for our sins so that we can be both forgiven and changed. His goal is to refine us and to purify us, just as a metal refiner removes impurities from a precious metal or a fuller removes oils and dirt from cloth. That purification is what we want as disciples of Christ. It’s what we signed up for. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. Change can be uncomfortable, and a transformation of our very nature is bound to be painful at times. 
But that transformation is necessary if we are to become all that our Heavenly Father wants us to become. Unless we are purified, we will not be capable of receiving all of the blessings He wants to give us. We need to submit ourselves to the cleansing power of the Atonement and allow the Savior to purge us of all our impurities, so that we can in the end “offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.”
Today, I will be grateful for the atoning power of Jesus Christ. I will be grateful for the stretching and sanctifying experiences He gives me which enable me to achieve my highest potential.
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