Saturday, May 28, 2016

Don't Get Me Wrong

Let us assume you, the reader, have been through the LDS endowments and take them seriously. You would have been told that you had covenanted before God, angels, and witnesses that you would obey the law of God and keep his commandments.

Alternatively, let us assume you, the reader, have at some point in the past repented of all your sins and cried mightily unto the Lord until you received a remission of them and were visited with fire and with the Holy Ghost. You would have had a covenant of obedience to God impressed upon your soul at that time, howsoever that was phrased to you as an individual.

Now comes the test: do you take these covenants seriously? Will you actually do it?

God's not going to hound you or nag you. He will simply wait to see if you will do it. And here's how you may be tested.

Say you give alms, as Jesus taught, and the beggar asks for your phone number. If you keep the law of God, you'll give it to him - for Jesus said to give to everyone who asks you to. And they start calling you and asking for money or other services. And if you keep the law of God, you fulfill their requests according to their desires. And, if you do better than me, you won't murmur or complain at them about it, for you will remember that your enemies can have no power over you save it were given them by God, just as it was for Jesus.

Of course they'll mistreat you. But so also did they mistreat Jesus and the prophets. Why would you expect to fare differently? And that is also part of the test. Will you honor God's commandments even under duress? Possibly even to the loss of every worldly thing, even your life? Will you love your enemies, do good to them who hate you, and bless them who despitefully use you and persecute you?

If you don't, then God may have to look elsewhere for his saints and prophets, who ofttimes are sent to testify to the wicked that their deeds are evil, and be tortured and killed for it.

You see that you are, if you take the law of God seriously, a servant to all, a willing slave to all, by your own obedience to the commandments of God. After all, you're asking to be made a God, and what do Gods do? Examine Jesus's ministry and the teachings of the prophets for the answer.

So I'm not whining about how bad I have it, nor am I asking for help. My point was to invite you to likewise willingly enter the refiner's crucible and begin the process of having your impurities burned from your soul by the trials and affliction that shall be visited upon you if you take your covenants seriously and keep the commandments of Jesus, as foolish as they may seem, so that you may be able to offer an acceptable offering to the Lord.

It would suck if at the end one was found merely honorable, or not valiant in the testimony of Jesus, don't you think? I mean, if we, with our worldly wisdom, prudently avoided the tests and trials that were intended to prove our mettle and strengthen our souls and make of us pillars in the house of God, but were, you know, "good" people who never did "bad" things, and occasionally gave a beggar a dollar.

If - and this is a pure hypothetical - we keep coming back until we are either saved or lost, and if we desire to be saved, why not do it now? Why not drop the world's ways of abuse and control and manipulation, confess and make restitution, and cry mightily for forgiveness and to recieve the Spirit of God, and keep the commandments with all our might, mind, and strength?

As an aside, the slavery motif occurs quite often throughout scripture. Do you suppose that's significant? Remember Alma's people being enslaved by the Lamanites. And Nephi was a servant to his brethren until they sought to slay him - they were his trial. And I wonder if Joseph Smith's trial was being a slave to the Church, ultimately laying down his life at her request? And did not Jesus both serve and die for the sake of all, both his enemies and his friends and family? Can we hope to be what he is by doing less?