One of the Institute courses I took in grad school was on the Pearl of Great Price and it was taught by S. Michael Wilcox. My friend Gwen and I are currently taking an adult Institute class from him (interesting side note - this class is sponsored by my mom's stake, and we meet in her chapel), and we make it a point to go to his classes at Ed Week and Women's Conference. The point of this background is that I lived a principle this week that I have heard him teach many times, and it is interesting how it has impacted me.
The book of Moses in the PGP is Joseph Smith's inspired translation of parts of the book of Genesis. Among other things, it contains the creation story. After Adam and Eve partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, they make fig leaf aprons and hide when they hear God's voice. I remember Bro Wilcox saying in a sing-song voice, "Adam. Adam. Come out, come out wherever you are!" and then talking about how silly that image is because of course Heavenly Father knew exactly where Adam and Eve were. Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness (e.g. sins and transgressions) by making fig-leaf aprons. God offers Adam and Eve and every single one of us something better to cover our sins. He offers His son, and through the atonement we are covered. The failing of the natural man is that we try to cover our sins (lies, mistakes, rationalizations, excuses) ourselves by constructing our own fig-leaf aprons.
This week I let down some people who were counting on me when I forgot to do something that I had promised to do. In the grand scheme of things it probably does not matter much, and it can be fixed. But when I realized what I had done, my first thought was to hide. I did not want anyone to know that I had made a mistake. I wanted to hide my forgetfulness, and I thought of many rationalizations and excuses. And then into my mind came Bro Wilcox's voice saying, "Heather. Heather. Come out, come out wherever you are." I knew that I was sewing my own fig-leaf apron right there and that was even more wrong than my initial mistake.
It was interesting to apply this image to my life in such a poignant way. I am grateful that I can fix things. It is a tender mercy to know that the Savior covers me, indeed covers every single person, through His atonement.