As They Went

This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest…

Leviticus 14:2

Under the law of Moses, lepers were required to distance themselves from other people in order to avoid spreading the disease. If they recovered, they were required to visit a priest who could follow a specific procedure to determine whether they were genuinely clean before reintroducing them to society. (See Leviticus 13, 14.)

As Jesus entered a village, ten lepers shouted, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us” (Luke 17:13). Consistent with the instructions in the law, Jesus said, “Go shew yourselves unto the priests.” Luke tells us that “As they went, they were cleansed” (Luke 17:14).

The sequence is important here. Jesus didn’t first heal them, then command them to go to the priest. As Michelle D. Craig pointed out, “They went to show themselves to the priests as if they had already been healed, and in the process of acting, they were” (“Wholehearted,” General Conference, October 2022).

Moroni taught that we receive no witness until after the trial of our faith (Ether 12:6). Maybe that’s why miracles often happen when we have already begun to work. The optimism expressed by our effort unlocks the grace which brings the miracle.

Today I will act in faith. Like the lepers, I will begin taking action as though I had already received the desired blessing. I will trust that the blessing will come, according to God’s timing, as I move forward with faith.

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