Thursday, April 23, 2015

2 Nephi 30:1-2 -- On Covenanting with God

"And now behold, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you; for I, Nephi, would not suffer that ye should suppose that ye are more righteous than the Gentiles shall be. For behold, except ye shall keep the commandments of God ye shall all likewise perish; and because of the words which have been spoken ye need not suppose that the Gentiles are utterly destroyed.
For behold, I say unto you that as many of the Gentiles as will repent are the covenant people of the Lord; and as many of the Jews as will not repent shall be cast off; for the Lord covenanteth with none save it be with them that repent and believe in his Son, who is the Holy One of Israel."
2 Nephi 30:1-2

The people in the book of Mormon were of the lineage of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Lehi's family lived in Jerusalem before they were instructed by God to depart.  So, in these verses Nephi is basically telling people not to feel superior because of their genealogy.  The same thing happens to a certain extent now.  We often feel that we are born into a family or group that is exceptional and favored of God.  ... And in some ways that is true.  In my Patriarchal Blessing it tells me that I am of the lineage and blood of Abraham, and come through the lineage of Ephraim, Joseph's son.  Those things are amazingly cool to know, and definitely, as the children of the prophets, we have inherited some amazing promises.  However, as it says in these verses, none of that matters unless we repent, and keep the commandments.  The Lord only covenants with people who do so.  No matter how cool we have the potential to be, we have to live up to it, right?  And he offers that same potential to others who are willing to live up to it as well.
In thinking about covenants, my mind keeps going to Isaiah 1:18: "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool."  ... That reasoning leads to a promise between us and God.  We agree to repent and follow him, and he agrees to make us clean... clean like we were never dirty.  Restored to perfect, pristine condition... completely unsullied.  And that promise isn't just to a specific group.  It is to everyone.  And God *wants* everyone to take it.  He isn't sitting up in heaven thinking, oh, well, I hope SHE doesn't take me up on that promise, because I don't really like her. :)  He likes me fine... *and* everyone else.  In fact, he loves us more than we can imagine with our limited mortal minds. :)  And he wants us to take the deal. :)  It's a pretty good one.  No matter what we've done or who we have been, God offers to wipe the slate clean, and make us spiritually as though we had never sinned if we will turn our lives around.  That's the best rehabilitation program around.  We just have to realize that we need it. :)
Today, let's work on not being prideful, because of our cool genealogy or anything else.  Let's remember that we really need God in our lives.  Everything is better with him.  We are better, we are happier, we are more prepared, and we are kinder and love people more.  Let's covenant with God to keep his commandments and to repent of our sins.  Sometimes those things are hard, I know.  But nothing could be more worth it.

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