Tuesday, November 5, 2013

John 5:28-29

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."
John 5:28-29

I don't usually write about damnation. I guess I prefer to focus on the more hopeful, positive aspects of the Gospel. But I think that we see the negative parts frequently in our lives, and have to fight the negative side of ourselves a lot, so maybe we should talk about it a little.
In 3 Nephi 28:9, Christ is in the middle of explaining to the 3 Nephites the changes that would happen to them, and he says "And again, ye shall not have pain while ye shall dwell in the flesh, neither sorrow save it be for the sins of the world."  I think this is the only kind of sorrow that can last beyond this life... beyond the resurrection.  Everything else will be solved.  No death, no sickness... perfect bodies, perfect minds.  But our sorrow for sin... for others or ourselves... can still exist.  Why?  Because the consequences for sin also last beyond the grave.  Choices that limit us on earth only will be wiped away.  We choose to quit a job, or we do something risky and lose a limb, and those things affect our lives... but in the resurrection they won't matter at all.  On the other hand... if we make bad choices about our relationship with God, and we stick with those choices throughout our lives and don't repent, then we are limiting ourselves ... for eternity.  Not just for now.  Choices like that would seem different if we could step back from our lives and look at them objectively.  Trading God for anything at all temporary would seem ludicrous, when comparing our time on earth to our time in eternity.  But here we are, *in* our lives, and it is hard to see things objectively all the time.  The temporary things seem to matter so much, and it is hard to let go of the known immediacy for the unknown waiting... even if we know for certain sure that it is better.  As we often do.
Damnation is limitation.  It is stopping our progress.  We see it in others and we cry for them.  They choose money, sex, or drugs over God, over family, over self respect.  We watch their lives melt down and we see the limitations that they have chosen for themselves.  We pray for them to see it and to repent and come back.  ... But then we are faced with similar choices, and too often, we jump into them as well.  We know it is wrong, and we start hating ourselves, snapping at people, and trying to forget all of the things that make us feel guilty... we turn our lives into a huge mess.  And if we die in that mess, it doesn't go away.  It isn't one of those things that disappears and everything is all better.  Which is why we need to repent now.  We need to start untying the knots we've made in our lives and straightening things out.  We need to start choosing God over whatever else.  Because until we make it right, it won't BE right... ever.  And that is damnation.  Being stuck in our own hole... never being able to crawl out, because we're too far in and we wanted to hide rather than live.
Today, let's untie the tangles of our lives and make things right.

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