I used to have this tiny birthmark on my hand--more of a dark freckle really.  It was located on the palm side just below my middle finger, like a little beauty mark for the bird.  It was one of the clues that helped me identify my right hand when I was little.  And as it turns out, was one of the identifiers I associated with who I was.

You'll notice I am talking about this birthmark in the past tense.  That's right: it's gone.  I have no idea when or how this happened.  I didn't even know it could happen.  I thought these things were permanent. 

I noticed the absent birthmark a few nights ago at work, and you should have seen me staring at my hands like I had never seen them before.  I hope nobody caught me doing that because I'm pretty sure I looked like an imbecile--holding both my hands up to the light, twisting them back and forth, a look of abject confusion on my face.

As with most things, I cannot take this development at face value.  I keep analyzing it.  What does it mean?  What could it parallel or symbolize?  Can I turn it into a meaningful metaphor or a lesson I can apply to my life?  I know, weird.  I've long since gotten over the weirdness of the way my mind constantly does this.  It's how I understand the world around me (or perhaps don't understand it). 

The thing that keeps coming back to my mind is repentence, and the look on my face has morphed from confusion into wonder.

The story that keeps coming back to my mind, and most of you will realize why, is that of the Anti-Nephi Lehies, later known as the people of Ammon.  When they repented of their sins, "the curse of God did no more follow them."  This is often interpreted to mean that the mark of darkness was removed from their skin as was later spoken of a different group of people in these words: "And their curse was taken from them, and their skin became white like unto the Nephites."  Looking at grammar alone, I would have to say the curse and the color of their skin were two separate things, but that may or may not be my actual opinion.  And anyway, the idea was that a whole lot of people could just change from dark-skinned to light-skinned.

Have you ever thought about that actually happening?  What would have to happen in order for this to take place?  In my books, I do make the presumption that the people of Ammon became fair-skinned and work it through genetics in the next generation.  But what if one day, like on my hand, the mark was just...just missing?



Mom said…
Loved the analogy - my mind kind of works the same way I see a stop sign at the corner and think "how does that apply to me" - weird. When I first read about your birthmark I couldn't help but think that we are not the same people we used to be (and no one else is either - parents, friends, siblings etc) therefore we need to give each other the benefit of the doubt and allow ourselves and others the space to change and mature and lose the birthmarks. But, like always you said it so much better - repentance.
Kristin Sokol said…
I found similar mark on Alyssa's hand recently. So...Mystery solved.
Stephanie said…
What an interesting thought. Ryan & I were having a discussion the other day about what color of skin the 3 Nephites would have. Would they look like our typical (albeit Lamanite) native Americans or would they be more caucasion? When white man landed on the continent, the natives were fascinated by their white skin, which leads me to believe that the 3 would've been at least somewhat similar to the Lamanites, because surely over the centuries their lives crossed paths.... IDK. Good, thought provoking post. :)
Su said…
That's an interesting thought! I had a similar experience with my birthmark... it used to be on my shoulder. And now it's gone.