Oct 23, 2008

Life's Errata

In printing, the old kind before there were computers and word processing and all the letters were hand set, printers (the people, not the objects) used the term "erratum" (Plural: errata). This term means that there was a mistake in the book, magazine, or newspaper and instead of going through the entire process of having to print a whole new sheet out (with novels and journals there were several pages to one sheet), they would just insert a page at the front or back listing the "errata," the pages they were on and what they were supposed to be. Benjamin Franklin, being a printer himself, uses this term in regards to mistakes he made in his life. At the time he didn't realize that the "typo" had been made, but looking over it again, he sees it and therefore acknowledges it.

I would like to make a remark about the errata in life. I know that in my life there have been many that at the time seemed to be the right decision, word, or action. But looking back I've realized something; that is, that those things weren't as right as I may have thought. Some of these errata may have been caught early on, making it easier to fix, but others sat on the page for some time before I realized, and therefore I had to insert a confession. And I know that I'm not the only one with an erratum or two in my life; these are an unfortunate part of life that we all have to go through and we all know how painful it is to insert a confession if we didn't catch it soon enough.

It is because of these errata in our lives that we have the Master Printer. In this life right now, we are just the apprentices, trying to work our way up to journeyman and then to create our masterpieces; but as it is, we are being taught by the Master Printer. What the Master Printer does is simple. When we come to him with the offending pages and show him the erratum, he graciously puts his name on the correction; he takes the blame for it, though he had told us many times before to look over the plates before we printed them. It is when we try to hide our errata from our Master that we run into more trouble. While it is still possible to fix the mistakes, it becomes harder and more complicated as in the next edition, or issue, the corrections are put in. It extends the pain and shame that we feel.

Since I am guilty of a few errata in my life, I need to be forgiving of the errata of others. It is easily done; a "p" instead of a "b," or a backwards word, maybe even a couple of letters messed up. Rarely does the erratum completely ruin the whole page. And that apprentice has the same forgiving Master as I do.

I love the Atonement. I know that I have had to call on it several times as I have grown and changed. There were times in my life when I felt that I couldn't go a day with out offending someone. But through the regular process of growing up, and through my religion, and conversations I had with my family, I learned something. I might have made the errata, but it was others who decided to be offended by it. True, maybe some of the errata I shouldn't have made in the first place, and with some of them the only person I hurt was myself, but the Master was there when I admitted it, and he took the blame for me--though he had told me before to be careful. What a wonderful blessing for an imperfect life. I'm glad that I have this knowledge in my life; that I can make mistakes, and still be loved and be made whole again through repentance and a loving Father in Heaven.

My errata are not permanent. And neither are anyone else's!

I love you all.

Author's Note: So I realized while I was writing this that it kind of seems like a General Conference talk. Sorry about that. Maybe it's because I was in my religion class when I thought of it. But if I ever do have to talk in General Conference, at least I'll have a great analogy. (Well, I think it's great... let me know how you feel with your comments!)

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