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Just dropping by ... Analogy of the Dirty and Clean Glasses of Water

Yevet Tenney Published on 10 October 2013

This last month, I have been more diligent in my prayers and scripture study. I have been waking up at 4:30 in the morning and going upstairs to pray and read scriptures. No, I don’t set the alarm; my eyes just pop open, and I lay there thinking.

I can’t go back to sleep, so I get up and make myself useful. The other morning I learned something about Christ that helped me to understand life in an entirely different way.



It came to me in the form of an analogy. I will call it the Analogy of the Dirty and Clean Glass of Water. Imagine that you see three glasses filled with water.

Two are full of muddy water, and one is full of clean water. If you pour the muddy water into the muddy water, it will never be anything but muddy water.

It doesn’t matter how fast or slow or how much you pour. It will remain dirty. On the other hand, if you pour enough of the clean water into the muddy water, it will eventually become pure and clean.

After the fall of Adam and Eve, the earth fell from the presence of the Lord. Because Adam and Eve transgressed the law, they were no longer pure enough to be in the presence of God. They had to be cast out because their souls had become unclean.

They became, in essence, glasses filled with muddy water. The fallen world they entered was also filled with muddy water.


They drank, and their children drank, and they shared water back and forth, but they were never able to become clean because they were sharing muddy water from their own glasses.

Some drank more freely of the dirt of the earth and consequently became more and more muddy until some of them actually became glasses full of clay, and finally, sandstone.

The time of Noah was such a time. People were filled with violence and wickedness. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were such people. God could not get into their hearts because they were so hardened.

Their own wickedness was bad enough, but they were teaching their children the same wicked practices.

When children are unable to see the positive role models of God’s plan, the family of man is in grave danger of self-destruction. God had to intervene. We all know the story found in Genesis 8:20-33:

20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous;


21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

22 And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD.

23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

24 Peradventure there be 50 righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the 50 righteous that are therein?

25 That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

26 And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom 50 righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.

27 And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes:

28 Peradventure there shall lack five of the 50 righteous: wilt thou destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there 45, I will not destroy it.

29 And he spake unto him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be 40 found there. And he said, I will not do it for 40’s sake.

30 And he said unto him, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall 30 be found there. And he said, I will not do it, if I find 30 there.

31 And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be 20 found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for 20’s sake.

32 And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure 10 shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for 10’s sake.

33 And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.

God would have saved the cities if he could have found 10 righteous people. Lot and his family were the most righteous. He led Lot, and those of his family that would go with him, away from the destruction.

He saved Noah’s family with the ark. God is as merciful as He can be, but when wickedness is so great that it will eventually destroy all goodness, He has to make changes even if it hurts.

Getting back to our analogy, there is not much to be done with glasses of petrified clay.

When Christ came to earth, He brought a glass full of pure and clean water. He lived among men, and shared his pure “living water” with everyone around Him, but He never drank of the muddy water of the earth.

In other words, He never sinned, even though he had many chances. The devil tempted Him when He had fasted for 40 days in the wilderness.

He overcame those temptations and every other one He faced. He was treated in a most cruel manner and never reviled against His antagonists.

He was always a paragon of kindness. He was finally put to death in the cruelest manner possible. Even then, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Christ went back into the Father’s presence as clean and as pure as He came down. He was a pure glass of water without the stain of the earth.

That gave Him an infinite pitcher of crystal-clear water. He now has power to pour “living water” into our souls to cleanse us from the muddy water of the world.

The catch is: A drop or two of living water here and there won’t do. We have to immerse ourselves in His water. How do we do that? All the Sunday School answers – read the scriptures, pray, follow the doctrine of Christ.

Faith, repentance, baptism and prayer for the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us. But it is more than that. It is choosing to pour more “living water” into our glasses than we pour muddy water. In other words, we must learn to live as He lived and do His work of healing.

We must fill our hearts with charity and goodness. We must allow Him to wash out the muddy water of the earth and fill our glasses with His water. Our glasses must be filled to the brim and overflowing with His goodness. Then we can be cleansed. Easy, right? Not so.

The earth is filled with muddy water, and it gets worse day by day. Not only is the earth filled with muddy water, Satan has his stale and murky water everywhere. You can’t get away from it.

There are puddles on the shelves at the grocery store, rivers of filthy water on the Internet, and it flows in churning waves in the music we listen to and babbles in torrents in the movies we watch. It is easy to fill our glasses with the muddy, stale water of the earth.

It gushes into our souls at every opportunity. We have to make hard choices. We must constantly dam up Satan’s water by turning it off, walking away or closing our minds to it.

We must not choose the muddy water, which is easy to get. We must avoid it at all costs, and we must protect our children from it. We must plead for the “living water” by diligently seeking it though prayer and fasting.

We must allow Christ to make a conduit in our souls for the living water to flow into our hearts. When that is done, we must make it our mission to bring everyone to Christ, for He alone has the living water that will cleanse their souls. PD