Thursday, November 6, 2014

D&C 64:22 -- On Spiritual Requirements

"And after that day, I, the Lord, will not hold any guilty that shall go with an open heart up to the land of Zion; for I, the Lord, require the hearts of the children of men."
Doctrine and Covenants 64:22

This verse was from a time in Church history where God asked some people to stay and not sell their homes or stores yet, so they could help equip others.  He asked them to stay for five years.  Seems like a long time to us mortals, especially if we are excited about something and already making plans to move.  But then he says that they are free after that to go... and I really like the part at the end, where they are going with an open heart, and the Lord requires our hearts.  Not in some creepy horror-movie way, but I think more in a classroom teacher way.  Hearts are a required part of the course. :) 
We aren't really used to that, because in our daily lives, no one can really know what is in our hearts.  They can ask certain behaviors of us, but they can't require us to be true believers or to be all-in emotionally.  We can often still feel/see the difference between people who are just going through the motions and people who are really learning it internally, and we know that people who are internally motivated do better at everything, but it is really hard to screen for, and not something you can put on a syllabus or get from a resume.  We try sometimes, and we call it loyalty or attitude and find mostly inaccurate ways to measure it, but with God, he *knows* what is in our hearts, and he also knows that to truly reach our potential, we need to be all-in spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. 
I think that a lot of our lives we live in a state of halfway, sort-of motivation that doesn't often get us anywhere, but which seems safe, so we don't have to overcommit or work too hard. :) Today, though, let's remember that our hearts are required for salvation.  Let's not hold anything back as we learn and grow and serve the Lord.  Let's learn how powerful we can become when we are on the same page with God and have our whole selves committed and pointed in the same direction.

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