Friday, July 18, 2008

Losing One's Life

As I read the scriptures, it appears to me that Christ didn't accept His part of the Atonement because He wanted to get glory; He left the issue of reward in the hands of His father - no strings attached. He did it because He loved us - pure and simple. He showed that love by laying down His own life for us - by becoming a "minister" and a "preacher". He didn't do it for a personal reward; He did it for our reward.

Frankly, I don't think we will gain an eternal reward by trying to earn an eternal reward. I think we will receive an eternal reward when we quit trying to earn it and focus instead on helping others in whatever way we can - when we end up forgetting about being rewarded and simply love and serve and obey for the sheer joy of doing so and seeing the results in the lives of others. We won't be "given" anything; rather, we will be changed into a condition acceptable to Him. In other words, we will become something.

I think we will not be complete and whole until we can act for our Savior in the "at-one-ment" of others (individually and as a community) - in the process of relieving their suffering, taking their pain and misery from them, bringing them joy and comfort, caring for them in a real and powerful and practical way, and empowering them to do so for others (individually and as a community).

4 comments:

Ellen said...

My evangelical friend insists that faith, and not works, is the only thing needed for salvation. He does, however, believe that faith will generate change that will lead to just the behavior you describe here.

Whether you believe in faith alone or in faith plus all you can do, the goal isn't to stomp all over helping others as we scramble for salvation. The goal is to help others because they need help. So simple.

backandthen said...

This is my issue:
When I try to ponder and understand how much love it took Christ to do what He did it makes me so sick and it hurt me so much that I just want to hide somewhere. I don't know why but I have the feeling that it would not do any good to hide and it would be pointless anyway.

adam said...

Isn't it neat that when we "focus on helping others in whatever way we can" the whole debate over faith and words takes a much needed seat in the foyer?

Papa D said...

Thanks, everyone. I've always thought that the whole faith vs. works debate was a false dichotomy. I've always defined faith as a belief that is so strong that it motivates one to act - and the ideal is when those actions are inspired by the Holy Ghost - the will of God - fruits of the vine - etc.