My New Year's Resolution for this month is to "feel more deeply to sing the song of redeeming love" - taken from Alma 5:26. This is a direct result, I believe, of recognizing what was the focus of my monthly resolutions thus far this year - that we are, in fact, loved enough to be redeemed. Since I have focused on that foundational belief in those resolution posts, I have been contemplating how to approach this month's resolution in a specific manner that builds upon and adds to what I have written thus far.
As I thought about how to begin, I realized I want to make one simple, yet critical, point:
In order to feel to sing a song of redeeming love, it is necessary to feel redeemed.
As I stated last month, there is a fundamental difference between being "redeemed" (bought back, purchased, etc.) and being "saved" (kept from being sold / lost). Mormon theology is crystal clear that all have been redeemed from the Fall and the influence eternally of evil - that the only people who are not redeemed are those who know they are being offered that redemption and consciously choose to reject it and embrace evil instead. Everyone else, regardless of their actions in mortality, are redeemed and "rewarded" in some way.
This recognition should bring a degree of joy and rejoicing to those who believe it - but, unfortunately, our focus on the "final reward" (salvation and exaltation) often gets in the way of a simple appreciation of the initial gift (redemption). Too often, the obsession with the final reward blinds us to the obligation we should feel to "sing the song of redeeming love" - and that's a shame.
Therefore, my only plea at the beginning of this month is for anyone who reads this to consider the love of God that would motivate a God to promise redemption for all who agreed to come to this mortal sphere - to not let us be separated forever - to do whatever it took to purchase us from a fallen state and, subsequently, offer to keep us from falling again.
Salvation and exaltation are impossible without redemption occurring first - so we should feel the emotion expressed within a song with which I will end this post:
I Stand All Amazed
(Click the circle next to "Words and Music" at the top, left of the page - then click the "Play" button above that spot.)