“The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it…. Anyone who can read can learn how to read deeply and thus live more fully.”
~Norman Cousins

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I read from my scriptures (book), but you can find scripture reference here.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

God's Chosen People by Ann Y.

I realized that I promised to write about forgiveness, and I just plain forgot...

I've studied the scriptures, and I found it interesting and confusing (at first) that it seems as though Heavenly Father doesn't treat all of his children the same. What I mean is, the scriptures abound with stories of Heavenly Father's children who commit sin and are destroyed as a consequence. I don't think I need to give examples of such as there seems to be an example or two in every chapter. This destruction seems only correct, and we expect it. However, there are also stories (as mentioned in my first post) of those that commit atrocious acts and go on to be forgiven, even lauded. How can this be?

Yes, we are told that the Lord offers us his atonement to grant us forgiveness of sins, but to be forgiven and to be exalted are two different things entirely. Once again, I am drawn to the story of the sons of Mosiah. They not only sinned against man, they sinned against God. They persecuted the church. That's a pretty big offense. Many men in the scriptures were guilty of much less and were struck dead without a second thought, it seems. Why?

Well, I don't pretend to know the mind of God, by any means, but I do think it striking to note the actions of those men after their conversion. They went on to be crusaders of the truth, traveling into hostile lands and converting thousands of Lamanites to the gospel. The word then that comes to mind is "potential."

Heavenly Father knew the potential of these men who went on to greatness. He knew that if given the opportunity, they would achieve the impossible. Perhaps, one piece of the puzzle then, is their potential. Heavenly Father granted them forgiveness, in part, because he knew their future potential to save nations. If one person is granted more leeway than another because of his potential, that might lead one to assume that some of Heavenly Father's children are more blessed or loved than others, as they seem to have greater access to forgiveness of sins. That would be a dangerous and incorrect assumption.

"Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen." D&C 121:34. Many times in the scriptures, the Lord refers to "the chosen" people. So many misinterpret this. It seems, once more, to imply that some are more favored than others. I submit to you that that assumption is a lie perpetrated by Satan. We all have equal access to the atonement of Christ. Heavenly Father loves all of his children, and he wants them all to come back to him. The difference between a lost child and one that is saved is that child's own dedication to repentance. The men in the scriptures who began as grave sinners and then went on to greatness have, after their conversion, dedicated their lives to grasping and holding on to the atonement of Christ. They turn their backs on sin forever, and they do NOT ride the fence. These great men--men like Alma the Younger, the sons of Mosiah, Paul, and others--are "Chosen" men of God. Who are the "Chosen" then? God's "Chosen" people are not the people He chooses, but those who choose Him!

This means that the atonement of Christ, and really all of the blessings of the gospel, are available freely to all. Even the bloodiest of hands can be washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. All it takes is work. Success in repentance, as in life, is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. You can have your slice of the atonement, but by Golly, you've got to earn it!

Never let your past sins hold you back, and once you have repented of something, let it go and (unlike Lot's wife) don't look back. Heavenly Father does not place any glass ceilings on his children, so don't place any on yourself. Above all, don't ride the fence or allow yourself to stagnate in one spot. Life is like riding the down escalator: if you're not going forward, you're going back.

Let's show our beloved Father in Heaven that we are worthy of forgiveness. Let's show the world that, like the people of Anti-Nephi-Lehi, we cannot look at sin save with abhorrence. Above all, let's show the world, and our Father in Heaven, that we are His "Chosen People."

1 comment:

  1. I have seriously never thougth of God's "chosen" people in this light before. You are so right in pointing out that God has chosen all of his children. He loves all of us. He is no respector of persons.
    It is a wonderful thougth to realize that we must choose God. I have known this, but never thought of it in this light. Thanks.

    Also.. It is our responsibiliy to choose the atonement as our true source of hope. It is our responsibility to understand the Love of the Savior as he outlined in our life.

    I enjoyed this post.


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