3 And it shall come to pass, they that are left in Zion and remain in Jerusalem shall be called holy, every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem–
4 When the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment and by the spirit of burning.
(2 Nephi 14:3-4, Isaiah 4:3-4)
In this passage, Isaiah prophesies of a time when everyone who remains will be holy. To be holy is to be perfect, free from stains and from impurities. The Lord will both wash the people (removing the filth which has accumulated on them) and purge them (eliminating the impurities which have contaminated them).
Psalm 24:3-4 teaches us that we can only stand in God’s “holy place” if we have “clean hands and a pure heart.” So we must be both washed and purged. Elder David A. Bednar taught that the Savior helps us accomplish both of these objectives:
Hands are made clean through the process of putting off the natural man and by overcoming sin and the evil influences in our lives through the Savior’s Atonement. Hearts are purified as we receive His strengthening power to do good and become better. All of our worthy desires and good works, as necessary as they are, can never produce clean hands and a pure heart. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ that provides both a cleansing and redeeming power that helps us to overcome sin and a sanctifying and strengthening power that helps us to become better than we ever could by relying only upon our own strength. The infinite Atonement is for both the sinner and for the saint in each of us (“Clean Hands and a Pure Heart, “General Conference, October 2007).
Today, I will be grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, which can both cleanse and sanctify me. I will remember that I can’t accomplish either of these objectives on my own. In order to become holy, I need God to both wash me and purge me.