Our Advocate with the Father
An advocate is someone that pleads in another's behalf; an intercessor. In a court of law our advocate is our legal representative that represents our cause before the judge or jury. They make sure that our rights under the constitution are upheld and protected. There is another advocate that we have that is far more important than in a court of law. That advocate is the one who will plead our case before our Heavenly Father, the creator of all to allow us into his kingdom. The scriptures tell us who that advocate is. The Apostle John tells us:
My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. if any man sin, we have an with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: (1 John 2:1)
Since the only person that lived a perfect life without sin was Jesus Christ, the rest of us need him to be our advocate with the Father. In the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord explains in more detail what the Savior will do as our Advocate before the Father:
Saying: Father, behold the and of him who did no , in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be ;
Wherefore, Father, spare these my that on my name, that they may come unto me and have . (Doctrine & Covenants 45:3-5)
To illustrate how the Savior will advocate for us, I would like to share a story that I found that puts this into perspective. I do not know who wrote the story, but I appears to be a 20 year old women.
In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for 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 "Guys 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. 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.
A 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. A file named "Friends" was next to one marked "Friends I Have Betrayed." The 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 signature. 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.
When I 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 insane frenzy I yanked the file out. Its size didn't mattered 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.
Then, I saw it. The title bore "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. 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 with me.
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 wouldn'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 His blood. 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, in 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 the door. There were still cards to be written. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."John 3:16 My "People I Shared the Gospel With" file just got larger. How about yours?
What a blessing it is to have our Savior, Jesus Christ, plead our cause before the Father. I know that because of the sacrifice that our Savior paid for us in Gethsemane and on the cross, we can have our sins washed clean and we can stand before the Father with the understanding that our Advocate knows us personally and is pleading for the Father’s mercy so we can live with them forever as his children.
Your comments and questions are welcome.