Thursday, December 12, 2013

The List

There is an informal list that as LDS people we are given to do to reach the highest level of exaltation. It's not written down anywhere (well, except where I wrote it) but it is understood.

Here is that list. Read the list.  The List.

Exhausted yet?

Yeah, me too.

LDS people know about grace. They believe in grace. They just don't accept grace.

Other Christian people fully embrace grace because why would you want to do that big long list?

Fully accepting grace means that you don't have to do anything. As long as you accept Jesus then you are saved. You may want to do something but you don't have to. You have no responsibility. After all you are a horrible sinner, there is nothing you can do to deserve grace. It is completely free because Jesus is so good and you are so terrible. You are no better than a serial killer.

LDS people on the other hand are children of God who Heavenly Father loves. But we are also  convinced that we are never good enough and must do everything possible to be accepted by Heavenly Father. He loves us, but He won't let us come to live with Him unless we are perfect. We live in that constant paradox.

So few of us believe we are saved because who can be with that big long list? Sure some will say "you don't have to do everything at once. There are seasons."

True, but have you ever talked to an LDS geneologist? That is the most important thing. This is the season.
To a mother, raising her children is the most important thing. This is the season.
To a home schooler, that is the most important thing. This is the season.
To the ward food hoarder specialist that is the most important thing. This is the season.
And to all of them their most important thing is your most important thing.
Everything is in season.

As for me, I prefer a middle ground.

I don't have to do everything on that list.

That was so freeing to come to that conclusion.

Jesus gave us three things to do.

And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. - Luke 10:27

That's it.

1. Love God.
2. Love your neighbor.
3. Love yourself.

Now the things on The List are all good things. But they are merely tools. You don't have to use every tool in your tool box. Some become your favorite tools that you use over and over again. Some you don't even know how to use or ever need to use and sometimes you need a completely different tool that isn't in the toolbox and you have to go out and get it or make it.

I don't believe we can be saved by proclaiming Jesus and then doing nothing or doing evil things.

I don't believe that following a long list of things to do is necessary to be saved.

What I do believe is that we need to follow the path He lays out for us.  Along that path we will have to fight dragons and help people and learn things. Each of us has a different path. As long as we are headed in the right direction, on our path, then He will come to meet us wherever we are.

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