Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Moroni 7:11 -- On Following

"For behold, a bitter fountain cannot bring forth good water; neither can a good fountain bring forth bitter water; wherefore, a man being a servant of the devil cannot follow Christ; and if he follow Christ he cannot be a servant of the devil."
Moroni 7:11

In several places in the scriptures it tells us that we have to make a choice about whether we are going to follow or serve God.  In Matthew 6:24 we're told that "no man can serve two masters," and Joshua 24:15 says "choose you this day" referring to choosing between God or idols.  Elijah asks us "How long halt ye between two opinions?" (1 Kings 18:21) and tells us to make a choice and follow it.

We think sometimes that we can get through life without making a choice, or that the choices aren't clear and until they are we have no responsibility.  But it isn't that easy, or lazy.  It's like choosing a major in college.  We can wait to declare and just take general education classes in the beginning, and we can try out classes from different majors.  We can even declare a major and then change our minds to something else.  But if we don't eventually choose permanently, we're never going to graduate and get that degree.  And it is on *us* to do the research and make the choice.  All of the information that we need is there, all around us.  And we can try different things, and experiment, and make many choices before we commit.  But no one can tell us what we want to be, and who we are going to become.  We have to figure that out on our own.

It's similar with God.  We have the information that we need, and we can research and pray and compare living with God in our lives to living without God in our lives.  We can toy with the ideas and resources and attend different churches and wonder if they are really "us" all we want, but eventually we have to figure it out and choose, and choose permanently, or we'll never be able to build on that choice and move from spiritual kindergarten up to the bigger lessons that lead to salvation.  God is always there to help us, as are the scriptures and the spirit.  We have what we need to make a decision and a commitment.

The choice isn't just between God and coasting or not choosing.  As these verses point out, our choice really is between God and Satan.  Anything that we choose that is *not* God is serving Satan, and promoting his agenda.  Unfortunately in spiritual life there is no neutrality; no playing Switzerland.  We're progressing and moving forward or we're regressing and slipping back.  Fencesitting is just the first step to Hell. :)  We have to follow something... good or bad.  And we get to choose that for ourselves.

Today, let's choose good, and choose God.  Let's bring forth good water, and stay out of Satan's clutches.  Even if we're in a time of transition or waiting in our lives, that doesn't mean standing still spiritually.  We can always learn more and be more.  We can be better and kinder, to ourselves and to others, and there is always something good and worthy to discover.  If we don't know what to do, let's go to God in prayer, let's make that contact, and once we do, let's honor it by choosing to serve God, and formalize the arrangement with a covenant, whether it is by being baptized and agreeing to follow God and always remember Christ that first time, or whether it is renewing that covenant with the sacrament.  As we dedicate our lives to God, we will be blessed, and we'll feel the positive effects of growing closer and closer to God and all good and leaving the influence of Satan behind. :)

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