Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prince and the Pauper

I was so touched by this article in the Ensign and the story of the Prince and the Pauper and how it related to Christ and his life here on earth. Would I leave all my glory in heaven to be mocked, hurt, poor, rejected, betrayed on earth? I will definatly be thinking of that this Christmas season!

"An important lesson about condescension is found in Mark Twain’s classic novel The Prince and the Pauper. Twain tells of two boys: Tom Canty, a poor boy who lives in a hovel in London; and Prince Edward of Wales, heir to the throne of England.
Tom has always dreamed what it would be like to be a prince. One day he decides to go to Westminster Palace in hopes of getting a glimpse of Prince Edward. Edward comes out of the gates of the palace and greets the waiting throngs. Tom is so excited that he presses up against the gates and tries to call the prince. The soldiers at the palace roughly push Tom away.
Seeing this, Prince Edward becomes angry with his guard. He tells the soldiers to leave the boy alone and then invites Tom into the palace as his guest. Prince Edward gives Tom a tour of the palace, and then, on a whim, the boys decide to exchange clothing. As they look at each other in the mirror, they realize that they are practically twins. While dressed in each other’s clothing, they step outside. The soldiers grab the pauper (who is really the prince) and throw him outside the gates. Prince Edward yells that he is the prince, but all the gathered people only laugh at him. The soldiers then close the gates. Suddenly the poor boy is the prince in the palace, while the prince is the poor boy in the street. Neither one can convince anyone to believe in the mix-up.
During the months that Prince Edward is outside the palace, he endures many trials. Tom Canty’s father finds him, thinks the prince is his son, takes him home, and beats him. Edward experiences hunger that he’s never known in his palace comfort. He travels throughout England, trying to determine how he can be restored to the throne. As he does so, he witnesses the poverty and oppression of his people, and he sees firsthand the grave injustices of the law. He suffers for months as a homeless pauper, and on one occasion he’s nearly killed.
Through a remarkable series of events, the mix-up is finally resolved, and Prince Edward is restored to the palace. In the meantime he has inherited the throne and become the king of England. King Edward honors Tom Canty for his service as an accidental “prince,” and ever after Edward serves as a merciful, good, and compassionate king, having learned to love his people by his suffering.

We too have a prince who became a pauper. The Prince of Peace, the Prince of Glory, the Lord Jesus Christ came down to live among His people and share in their poverty and suffering so that He might be a more compassionate king. As the Apostle Paul said, “Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).

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