Friday, January 30, 2009

2 Nephi 31:16-17

"And now, my beloved brethren, I know by this that unless a man shall endure to the end, in following the example of the Son of the living God, he cannot be saved.
Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost."
2 Nephi 31:16-17

This is some great imagery. The first verse says enduring to the end “in following the example” of Christ… which I think is an interesting wording. Doesn’t say endure to the end as a separate thing, but as part of follow his example… it says that we need to keep following his example no matter what. I love that, because “enduring to the end” to me always seems so vague. Like reality television where you just have to last until the final episode and you win… doesn’t matter HOW you last, just that you do. Luckily, here is God telling us that life is so much better than reality television.  We’re enduring something specific… enduring in following the example of Christ. Definitely hard to do sometimes, because we’re weak and sinful people who have a lot to learn. … but it does matter how we last, and it is something we can learn about and work on.
The next verse tells us some of the steps in following Christ’s example: repentance, baptism, remission of sins. And this is amazing imagery… “remission of your sins by fire” … like the refiners fire, come to burn off all the impurities and only leave the pure part of us left. Love that. Not certain that it would feel good, or how much of me would be left… but what a great thing… to burn away every part of you that is bad, and only be left with the good. And maybe we can do part of that today, as we work to endure by following Christ’s example. Let’s listen to the Holy Ghost, talk to God, and burn off the bad parts of ourselves.

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