Saturday, May 4, 2019

D&C 58:26-28 -- On Showing Up and Doing Good

"For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;
For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward."
Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-28

There are some great ideas here.  The first one I wanted to talk about is the idea of not being commanded in all things.  I think we get this one mixed up sometimes and think that it means that God doesn't want us to bother him about everything, or that God isn't interested, or that God is too busy for us.  I don't think that any of those things are true.  God clearly tells us in D&C 6:36 that we should "Look unto [him] in every thought."  That isn't a contradiction of what it is saying here.  God is totally okay if we always include him, and even if we ask him about everything.  What he is saying here is that we should be creative, and come up with our own good things to do, rather than waiting for God to spell it out, or only doing things that are required by a specific commandment.

The other idea I really liked was just the idea of if we do good we won't lose our reward.  ... I think sometimes we feel like living the gospel has to be dramatic.  We read about angels appearing to people and seas parting and people building miraculous ships, and whole nations rising and falling depending upon their righteousness.  Sometimes those big stories in the scriptures make our personal stories seem sort of bland, or lacking in what seems like mandatory heroics.  However, I think that a lot of our awesomeness is in just taking our commitments seriously and showing up. 

Anytime when we are doing good rather than doing evil is a win... even a cause for celebration. :)  If we find ourselves at church rather than doing something else on the sabbath, then we're getting it right.  If we are praying and reading our scriptures, and making time for God in our lives... we're building that heroic foundation, whether it looks flashy or not. :)  Now, of course this doesn't mean that just showing up is enough and now we can relax with our guaranteed golden ticket.  ... Thinking like that might get us into the "minimum requirement"/slothful servant category... but I do think that it is a spectacular beginning, and that if we're making those choices in our lives, that leads us to finding other creative ways to do good.  We just have to keep making good choices.

Today, let's do good, and remember that showing up is a great step and it means that we are going in the right direction.  Let's not get overwhelmed or feel like we need dramatic miracles in our lives in order to feel like we're on the right track... let's just focus on making good choices, and finding creative ways to do good in the world around us. :)  Moving mountains not required. :)

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