Tuesday, December 6, 2016

D&C 121:34-36 -- On Being Called and Chosen

"Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—
That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness."
Doctrine and Covenants 121:34-36

This is an interesting explanation of the difference between being called and chosen, and also the requirements for using God's power, or having the Spirit active in your life.  We learn in D&C 4:3 that "if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work," so we know how to qualify ourselves to be called by God.  We all are, if we have any desire to serve him.  He doesn't turn anyone away.  He asks us all to step up and work to do his will, build his kingdom, help people in need... make the world better.

However, we don't always act on our calling.  We often know what we should/could be doing to make things better, but things seems to keep getting in the way, and we end up not acting on it.  Thus this verse, as well as others, like D&C 105:35: "There has been a day of calling, but the time has come for a day of choosing; and let those be chosen that are worthy."

Unlike technology, or "the force" in Star Wars, God's power can't be used for good or evil; it can only be used for good.  And if we're called and we don't act on it, or we let the power of the calling go to our heads and try to use our newfound super-importance for ourselves rather than for God, it's going to fail.

I think this is true with pretty much everything in life, because this whole world is God's.  If we try to do things the wrong way, we're only going to see brief, and very limited success.  True, long-term success comes through obedience to God... getting his help and applying his power in our lives.  If we keep his Spirit with us, "all things shall work together for [our] good" (D&C 90:24), which is a pretty cool promise.

Today, let's set our hearts upon God rather than the things of the world.  Let's keep God's spirit with us through doing and being good and never evil.  Let's do things the right way, with God's help.  Then he will choose us, as we choose him.

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