Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Behold I have given unto you my gospel...

13 Behold I have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which I have given unto you—that I came into the world to do the will of my Father, because my Father sent me.
14 And my Father sent me that I might be lifted up upon the cross; and after that I had been lifted up upon the cross, that I might draw all men unto me, that as I have been lifted up by men even so should men be lifted up by the Father, to stand before me, to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil—
15 And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.
Those are three of the most powerful verses I've read in the scriptures. They come from 3 Nephi chapter 27. It is a perfect summary of Christ's purpose, and His. He died for us, that we may be lifted up. It's through His pain and suffering that we are to be saved. We have the chance to repent because of it, and we may choose to do so, and to follow His commandments, to receive our Eternal glory. We will be judged according to our works, as pointed out here, as well as in the Bible (Revelation 11:18; 20:12,13). Through our faithfulness and obedience will we be rewarded. The Lord asks us simple things to do, and if we do them, we have great things to look forward to.
It's not that we work our way into Heaven. We aren't going to be told we're saved because we did good things. Scriptures don't say that. Jesus Christ suffered and died on the cross to give us the opportunity to be cleansed of our sins. No unclean thing can enter into the Kingdom of God, and we are all unclean. We all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It is only through Christ's Atonement that we may be saved, because it is only through repentance that we may be cleansed, and repentance calls upon the Atonement. We are saved by grace, and judged according to our works. The Lord has laid out a plan, and expects us to follow it. We may choose to do so, and be rewarded, or not, and suffer the consequences. Every act of obedience brings blessings. Every step down the straight and narrow path brings good results. We cannot and will not be punished if we are living righteously, and we cannot and will not be rewarded if we are not. We have guides to know what to do: we have the Scriptures, and we have a Prophet. Thanks to these blessings, we never have to wonder. We can always find the answer to our questions, and always know which direction to take.
The Lord suffered great and terrible things for us. We are indebted to him more than we'll ever be able to repay. The least we can do is honor Him, respect Him, and follow His commandments. We're asked to do pretty easy things, and it's the least we can do for what He did for us. Plus, even with the great debt that we are in, He still blesses us. So, through simple obedience and righteous living, we get even more blessings, and we show our respect to our Heavenly Father, and His Son.

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