Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The Challenge to Become

I am fully aware that it has been awhile since I last post. It has been awhile because I have been so busy. I encourage you to think about and answer the following question in your own time.
"What does the challenge to become means to you?"

This post is based on an October 2000 General Conference talk that I love and it is called "The Challenge to Become" by Dallin H. Oaks. I would like to share with you some highlights while I was reading the talk.

He mentioned,

"Many Bible and modern scriptures speak of a final judgment at which all persons will be rewarded according to their deeds or works or the desires of their hearts. But other scriptures enlarge upon this by referring to our being judged by the condition we have achieved.

From such teachings we conclude that the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions.

The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.

Jesus’ challenge shows that the conversion He required for those who would enter the kingdom of heaven was far more than just being converted to testify to the truthfulness of the gospel. To testify is to know and to declare.

The gospel challenges us to be “converted,” which requires us to do and to become. If any of us relies solely upon our knowledge and testimony of the gospel, we are in the same position as the blessed but still unfinished Apostles whom Jesus challenged to be “converted.”

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the plan by which we can become what children of God are supposed to become. This spotless and perfected state will result from a steady succession of covenants, ordinances, and actions, an accumulation of right choices, and from continuing repentance.
“This life is the time for men to prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32).

Now is the time for each of us to work toward our personal conversion, toward becoming what our Heavenly Father desires us to become. As we do so, we should remember that our family relationships even more than our Church callings are the setting in which the most important part of that development can occur.  The conversion we must achieve requires us to be a good husband and father or a good wife and mother.

We are challenged to move through a process of conversion toward that status and condition called eternal life. This is achieved not just by doing what is right, but by doing it for the right reason for the pure love of Christ. The Apostle Paul illustrated this in his famous teaching about the importance of charity.

The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, “the pure love of Christ” (Moroni. 7:47), is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion.

Charity is something one becomes. Thus, as Moroni declared, “except men shall have charity they cannot inherit” the place prepared for them in the mansions of the Father (Ether 12:34; emphasis added).
Like other parables, this one can teach several different and valuable principles. For present purposes its lesson is that the Master’s reward in the Final Judgment will not be based on how long we have labored in the vineyard. We do not obtain our heavenly reward by punching a time clock.

What is essential is that our labors in the workplace of the Lord have caused us to become something. For some of us, this requires a longer time than for others. What is important in the end is what we have become by our labors. Many who come in the eleventh hour have been refined and prepared by the Lord in ways other than formal employment in the vineyard.

These workers are like the prepared dry mix to which it is only necessary to “add water” the perfecting ordinance of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. With that addition even in the eleventh hour these workers are in the same state of development and qualified to receive the same reward as those who have labored long in the vineyard.

This parable teaches us that we should never give up hope and loving associations with family members and friends whose fine qualities (see Moroni. 7:5–14) evidence their progress toward what a loving Father would have them become. Similarly, the power of the Atonement and the principle of repentance show that we should never give up on loved ones who now seem to be making many wrong choices."

I encourage you to read the whole talk in your own time, Here's the link below.

If you can't see what the Image that I have shared on this post, it says "In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something."

Stay Tuned until next time.

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