Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Gospel and Comic Books Part 5: Enduring to the End

Consider the following... You're in a battle. This is no ordinary battle: There are people throwing fireballs at you, other people flying overhead, and did that guy just shoot lasers out of his eyes? It becomes pretty apparent to you who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, and you know that this is no ordinary battle... This is a battle with some serious consequences attached to it. The outcome could not only determine the fate of those involved, but the fate of the entire world. It's pretty obvious who you would root for... The matching outfits make it pretty obvious (good ol' blue and yellow!). You cheer for the heroes, and do anything you can to help. Suddenly, they just stop. All the good guys just sit down and take a breather. You run up to them and start shouting "what are you doing? You can't just let Magneto win!" Cyclops simply replies "We're too tired. We've been up pretty much all night the past couple weeks fighting these guys, and we're just exhausted. We'll try again later." What!? Come on! Not even Cyclops can be that sissy, can he? But you look around, and sure enough, everyone's about to fall sleep. Even Wolverine! (Well, maybe not Wolverine, but everyone else, for sure). What can you do? You can't just force the X-Men to do anything. All you can do is sit back and watch Magneto and his crew of villains take over the city, then the world. And that doesn't bode well for non-mutants. Soon, they'll be enslaved, or worse.
But of course, that would never happen. The X-Men would never give up in the middle of a fight! (Not even Cyclops... though he'd be the most likely). They're going to see it through to the bitter end, no matter what happens. Nothing would stop them from defending the innocent and upholding justice. That's what they do, that's why they're the X-Men. They're there through thick and thin, and are going to make sure the job gets done.
The battle isn't over till it's over, and that's just as true for us as it is the X-Men. Just because it starts getting really hard, even overwhelming, or we're tired or sick of fighting, that's no reason to just sit there and let the Adversary walk all over you. There are times in every one's life when the odds seem insurmountable, and we're not sure where we can turn for help. There are also times when the temptation is so enticing, that we're not sure we can resist it, or if we even want to. No body is perfect, and no body is immune to this.
We're all here to be tested. Just like the prophet Alma taught, "For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors." (Alma 34:32). We are meant to prepare for that time when we stand before the Lord to be judged. Imagine what it would be like to get up there and have to tell your Heavenly Father "Well, I got really tired, and that seemed like it would be really fun, so I decided to just go for it." That probably wouldn't go over very well, would it? Just because it's hard to get up and go to church, or you're really tired and don't feel like reading your scriptures, or your friends keep telling you one little drink won't hurt doesn't mean that you can just give up. Once you know who you are and see the path laid ahead of you, it's Exaltation or bust... and that all depends on you. Endure to the End! Live the life you know you should live. Enduring to the End is just constantly redoing those previous steps: It's always having faith in Jesus Christ and in your Heavenly Father, it's constantly repenting and making yourself better, it's living worthily to take the sacrament and renew the covenants you made at baptism, and it's striving to constantly have the Holy Ghost with you. It seems to me that this step is either the easiest or the hardest, and you're the one that makes it that way.

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