Wednesday, October 15, 2014

D&C 131:1-3 -- On God's Requirements

"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;
And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
And if he does not, he cannot obtain it."
Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-3

I think that these verses are interesting in the context that God has set an example for us and that we are to follow him.  I like the idea of God married, of us as his children, not descended from a single all-powerful entity, but children of our father who is married and thus the idea of other relatives as well, being there, involved in our lives.  ... Definitely doesn't take the all-powerful part away, but still somehow makes it more personal and more accessible perhaps.
To do as God asks in this life, and to achieve all that we can, we have to get married.  Not just any marriage, of course, but a marriage sealed for eternity, so that it will last beyond death.  One of the goals of temple work is to make sure this happens for every marriage that could possibly qualify.  Other people might not have the opportunity to get married in this lifetime because of circumstances beyond their control.  I'm sure God will resolve all of the loose ends, perhaps during the millennium.  The whole requirement to marry definitely rubs some people the wrong way because they either aren't attracted to the opposite sex that way, or they don't want their salvation tied up with or reliant on someone else's, or whatever the reason.  One one hand, it's like baptism.  It's a requirement, not a negotiation.  But it's definitely a more complex requirement, and a tough one for some.  For people who choose not to marry, celestial glory is still possible.  Just not at the highest degree... which perhaps, like the consequences of many other things that we choose in this life, means a limitation on eternity.  It's a choice.  On the other hand, if the desire to follow God's commandments is there, and we are willing to work with him, God can change our hearts and help us grow and learn and find a desire to fulfil even the commandments that we have questions about.  Not grudgingly, but happily, willingly, and with joy.  That is true of this commandment, as it is of all others.  We sin because we desire to sin, but God can teach us to desire righteousness instead.  To change, to come to God on his terms rather than expecting him to change for us.
Today, let's work on changing our ways, and our minds, for God, and putting him first... before anyone else, especially ourselves.

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