The moment I sat down on my couch to start typing this post, a great burst of thunder and lightning rang out outside my window. I used to hate the rain, but there is something so refreshing now about storms and how they wash away the dirt, create a new slate, and bring things to life.
The oldest story of rain is the story of Noah and the flooding of the earth. The people had become wicked and God warned that there would be a flood to destroy mankind. It was a chance to become clean, to baptize the earth, and to wash away the wickedness of man.
“And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them… And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.” — Genesis 6:7,17
But it was also a way to establish a new covenant be brought back to life — an opportunity to beautify the earth through a rainbow that would represent God’s promise to man.
“I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” — Genesis 9:13–16
While the rain outside is just a harmless summer storm, it still can be symbolic of washing away what is wicked and making room for what is beautiful and new.
The greatest example of this is demonstrated through the death of Jesus Christ who atoned for the sins of the world by the ultimate sacrifice of death. And as in this case too, beauty and new covenants were found through the resurrection of the Savior and the promise given to be able to return home to a Heavenly Father. Every Sunday I partake of the sacrament and covenant to remember Him and in return, I am given His spirit to remain with me.
I have a laundry list of items that need to be washed away. I have punished myself for my own mistakes and for not being the perfect person I desired to be. But I believe that God intended us to have joy.
“Adam fell that men might be; and men care, that they might have joy. And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.” — 2 Nephi 2:25–26
Joy is the end goal. Joy comes from spending eternity with Heavenly Parents. Joy comes from recognizing the patterns of life — wickedness, cleanliness, happiness. There hasn’t been