Like a Kintsugi Bowl 

Kintsugi Bowl

'The magic touch of the Master, demonstrating His infinite love and unfolding His immeasurable redeeming power, figuratively mending each area of breakage of my heart, mind, and soul with His “golden lacquer of love” and resulting in my becoming a far more valuable “piece of pottery” — the very scars of which having come from that “experience, and [being] for [my] good.' 

I recently have learned about a Japanese art form called Kintsugi, meaning literally “golden repair,” which consists of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. Once completed, beautiful seams of gold become conspicuous in the repaired cracks, giving a unique appearance to each repaired piece. This unique method incorporates the vessel’s fractures — instead of hiding or disguising. Indeed, Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece appear even more beautiful than the original, renewing it with a new look and giving it a second life. 

As I pondered this, I realized that it was what the Lord was doing to me. Many years ago, I was in a situation during which I found myself, as written in Psalms 31:12, “a broken vessel.” After having repeatedly tried in vain to save a relationship that I thought was idyllic, but actually mired in misunderstandings and complications, I was emotionally, mentally and spiritually “broken.” It was as if the very thing on which I had focused all of my energy had just suddenly vanished. It was only me remaining — burdened in my medical studies with the approaching exams. I did not have the mind and strength to pursue such a difficult endeavor — a weakened student as I was at that time. The only thing I could do was to hold fast to the little flame of faith that was starting to burn inside of me by finding peace in reading the set of scriptures that had been just given to me. 

And then occurred the magic touch of the Master, demonstrating His infinite love and unfolding His immeasurable redeeming power. Figuratively mending each area of breakage of my heart, mind, and soul with His “golden lacquer of love” and resulting in my becoming a far more valuable “piece of pottery” — the very scars of which having come from that “experience, and [being] for [my] good.”[1] Throughout this repairing process, the Lord operated on me and resulted in my discovering the Book of Mormon, then going through the painful — but at the same time joyful — process of repenting, and later receiving the holy ordinances of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Appreciate the Power of the Atonement 

Every Easter season, my family and I have a tradition, where we watch Church-produced videos featuring the last few days of the Lord’s mortal ministry until the morning of His crowning resurrection. Each time I watch them, I feel amazed at how much the Lord Jesus Christ loves me and the whole of mankind, that He voluntarily submitted His will to that of His Father, being — as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught — “a sacrificial lamb offered in atonement for the sins and sorrows of a fallen world and all the fallen people in it.”[2] Elder Holland further taught, “It is only an appreciation of this divine love that will make our own lesser suffering first bearable, then understandable, and finally redemptive.”[3] It is this love that keeps me boosted in my desire to please Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, staying on my covenant path of continuous repentance and going forward with forgiveness for others. 

The Power of Repentance and Forgiving 

After His resurrection, Jesus visited the Nephites and said, “Ye shall offer up unto me no more the shedding of blood….Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit. And whoso cometh unto me with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, him will I baptize with fire and with the Holy Ghost.… Therefore repent … and be saved.”[4] 

As powerful as that promise may be, “Too many people consider repentance as punishment—something to be avoided .… But this feeling of being penalized is engendered by Satan. He tries to block us from looking to Jesus Christ, who stands with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive, cleanse, strengthen, purify, and sanctify us.”[5] 

A few years ago, a Church friend approached me as his priesthood leader and confessed a serious sin. This had lasted many years and was cloaked with all the lies he had made to me and to many other priesthood leaders. I first experienced an overwhelming feeling of despair, probably focusing too much on his betrayal of trust. But my heart was softened the following Sunday. As I was seated on the stand during the Sacrament ordinance and was prompted to read the three parables in Luke chapter 15, which expand on the joy Heavenly Father feels for a soul who is repenting. How could I be upset or feel despair about my friend while the Lord Himself certainly feels joy just as the father of the prodigal son? I was gently reminded that “of [me] it is required to forgive all men.”[6] This insight humbled me and as I started to forgive, an indescribable feeling of peace and gratitude enveloped my whole body. 

During the process of difficult but joyful repentance and forgiving, Elder Holland counsels us: “Never lose faith in [our] Father in Heaven, who loves [us] more than [we] can comprehend. … Faithfully pursue the time-tested devotional practices that bring the Spirit of the Lord into [our] life.… Take the sacrament every week, and hold fast to the perfecting promises of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.”[7] 


May I invite each one of us to repent, be converted, and become more Christlike. President Russell M. Nelson said, “when Jesus asks you and me to 'repent,' He is inviting us to change our mind, our knowledge, our spirit—even the way we breathe. He is asking us to change the way we love, think, serve, spend our time, treat our wives, teach our children, and even care for our bodies.”[8] 

May we during this Easter Season — as we remember the Lord’s agony in Gethsemane, His death on the cross, and His glorious Resurrection — renew our commitment to daily repent and forgive others. By doing so, no matter how “broken” we may be, we will allow the Lord to repair us with the golden cement of Christ’s blood and make us become like a Kintsugi bowl of far more value. We will then have access to purity, which will “make us powerful tools in the hands of God … [and] empower us to help in the gathering of Israel.”[9] 

[1] Doctrine and Covenants 122:7 

[2] Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, April 2019 

[3] Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, October 2013 

[4] 3 Nephi 9:19-22 

[5] Russell M. Nelson, General Conference, April 2019 

[6] Doctrine and Covenants 64:10 

[7] Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, October 2013 

[8] Russell M. Nelson, General Conference, April 2019 

[9] Russell M. Nelson, General Conference, April 2019