Wednesday, July 8, 2015

7/6/15 - As It Should Be

2 Nephi 10:23-24
“Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, reconcile yourselves to the will of God, and not to the will of the devil and the flesh; and remember, after ye are reconciled unto God, that it is only in and through the grace of God that ye are saved.”

God gave us agency for the intent of learning from consequence. There are good and there are bad consequences we all must face because of the choices we make. As it says in 2 Nephi 11, "it must needs be that there is an opposition in all things". With this opposition we are capable of experiencing the deepest abyss of sorrow and the sweetest of tastes of the fruit of the Gospel. Satan is and can be very deceiving, making that which is evil appear to be of good. As missionaries we are tempted with many small and large things. As small as, "no we won't bother talking to this person, they won't change" or as large as breaking a covenant made in the Temple. Jesus is awesome... Like He was perfect in allowing people to exercise their own agency. Just to give a couple of examples... He asked for the woman to show Jesus where her dead brother, Lazarus was laid up, Jesus could easily have just walked to the tomb without needing to ask where he was. Going even farther, after He commanded Lazarus to raise up, He asked of them to loose him from what he was wrapped in, when He could have simply had him unwrapped when He raised him from the dead. In the same sense God could appear to every man and woman living on this earth and prove to them that He is God and make this work of salvation go a lot smoother, but He allows us to exercise our faith and put some elbow grease into it that we may have an everlasting increase. Appearing to the world and saying that, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true and living church and is the only way to eternal happiness", would in a sense take away our agency and we would be objects being acted upon, not agents to act. With agency though, comes the principle of accountability. When the earth was created, God required of Jesus to "return and report" of the progress being made and to see if the intelligences would obey. If we utilize this principle in full, we ought to give a full accounting of the decisions we have made each night as we pray unto our Father in Heaven. Doing so will give us a desire to have more good to report than bad because of our own decisions. It saddens me to witness of the lack of many missionaries testimonies of obedience to the small and simple things. It saddens me to see the lack of peoples’ diligence in home teaching or Sabbath Day observance with their families. People seek and supplicate for great blessings when in reality they are forgetting to do the "small and simple things" (Alma 37:6-7*). Those small and simple things are what bring those great blessings. "Seek not for riches, but for wisdom... Eternal life is what makes us rich" - Doctrine & Covenants 6:7. I believe that the small and simple things we do in behalf of our Savior in this work of Salvation will be the catalyst of great things to be worked in the hearts of man. We do not often see every blessing that is predicated to every commandment that is given, but it is promised that it is given. I know this to be true. It is our duty to teach the consequences of sin and the way to eternal life and then sit back to watch God's hand work, after all we can do. 

Elder Gillespie

* Alma 37:6-7
“Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.”

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