Monday, May 30, 2011

Words of Mormon 1:11

Words of Mormon 1:11And they were handed down from king Benjamin, from generation to generation until they have fallen into my hands. And I, Mormon, pray to God that they may be preserved from this time henceforth. And I know that they will be preserved; for there are great things written upon them, out of which my people and their brethren shall be judged at the great and last day, according to the word of God which is written.
We're going to be judged out of what is written. For Mormon that day will be great. I think both meanings of great apply, both great as in positive, and great as in big or important. The great and last day he says.... For some that day will not be great (Alma 5 17-20). For some it will be dreadful. If that "day" is the last day, then the "day" in which we live is the second to last. The last hour. So.... we should stay alert to that fact.

So how do you know if the judgement day will be great, or dreadful? Scriptures teach if we are prepared we shall not fear. I don't think this refers so much to food storage as much as the preparation of our soul and character. Although food storage is nothing to be neglected, physical survival is one of our basic instincts.  But what good is it if our souls arrives at the throne of God unprepared afraid, naked and ashamed. That's what I'm getting at in this post.  Christ of course can fix those things but not if we don't come to Him. And not if we don't believe him. (Alma 33:20) (Matthew 13:15) (Doctrine and Covenants 112:13)

I think the book of Mormon was given to us to prepare us, or help us be prepared for that day when we have to give an accounting of all our choices. The Atonement alone provides relief. Membership, or having on the wedding garment as the parable of the foolish virgins teaches is no safety net.

Here is the typical list of ways members of the church think of to be prepared:

"If we follow the counsel of the prophet, there is no need to fear." Yet this is not who the scriptures say in whom to place our trust (2 Nephi 4:34). I need to clarify, I think there are people called to lead, and preach repentance, and leaders acting under the inspiration of their calling. I love and listen to them. Therefore when there is a messenger with a true message we obviously heed it. But the message still comes from God, and it's the Lord's church so it's still in Him that we should put our trust.

The questions we usually ask ourselves are:
Am I out of debt?
Do I own my home?
Do I have a year supply of food (and where possible, fuel)?
Do I have an emergency fund (at least a few months' worth)?
To the extent possible, am Self sufficient?

Here's a few more that may be worth considering.
Do I know more about the man called to lead the church or more about the Lord?
Do I seek an encounter with the Lord? Or do I put my trust in mortal leaders? Five foolish virgins had on the "wedding garment" yet were unprepared when the Master came. Five of them.... they had on the wedding garment and yet had no oil in their lamps.
Do we have oil in our lamp? Are we the foolish virgins the parable refers to?
Do we recognize the voice of the Master? Or do we recognize the voices of men?
Do we have oil in our Lamp or just oil in the pantry? No use having food storage, and financial reserves only to arrive at the place appointed after death confused and not quite prepared, wishing more had been done with the time allotted on earth.

Mormon speaks of "great things" which are written on these records. Some things matter eternally, some things matter temporally, and some things don't matter at all.  The things in the scriptures are what matter.  If the judgement day is going to be a "great" day.... it probably means we have gotten the correct priorities straightened out while on earth.  We have taken Christ at His word, taken the Gospel seriously, we have obtained the promises available, not just a passing wish, or fantasy based on institutional membership. The Promise of Eternal life is available on earth while mortal. Christ promises his followers He will come to them (John 14:18),(Doctrine and Covenants 93:1). This would ensure the judgement day would be a pleasing one, because that day would have been advanced. Do we believe Christ? Do we trust in the word of God that has been written? Or do we doubt that He really means it?

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