For the Salvation of Zion - Doctrine and Covenants 94-97
The one thing that I noticed as I was reading this week's lesson, For the Salvation of Zion, is that there are a lot of IFs here. The Lord has so many blessings in store for us, but there are always requirements for us to qualify for them. Heavenly Father required a lot of those early Saints, and I'm sure it was difficult for them.
So I am not surprised to know that they didn't always live up to those expectations. Partially because He has expectations for me too, and I am not exactly doing all that I should. But the truth is, the Lord knew they weren't going to be doing everything perfectly, and He knows I won't either. All He expected of them was an honest effort to try.
I think that same principle applies to me.
The Salvation of Zion comes in the temple
The true message for me in these sections is all about the temple.
During this last year, one of my goals even when we weren't going to church, and even though the temples were closed, was to keep my temple recommend current. I knew that I wanted to be worthy and ready when the temples opened again to go back as soon as possible.
Funny thing is, that time has come and gone and guess who hasn't been back to the temple yet. (That would be me, in case you're wondering...)
Yes, my recommend is current. I did go to the trouble of having my interview over Zoom and getting it signed so I would be prepared. But that's where my efforts came to a bit of a stand still.
Now I spend my time making excuses for why I haven't gone yet. I might think in my head that my excuses are valid, but I know in my heart that they are actually pretty lame.
So this makes me a lot like these early Saints that were told to build a temple, and they probably had great intentions to do it, but they kept putting it off. They had their reasons, and I'm sure their reasons for waiting may have seemed valid, too. All it really took was faith that the Lord would provide a way.
It's really easy for me to look back on what they did (or didn't do) and judge them for it, but I really have to be careful to look at them while holding a mirror to myself. There are valuable lessons to learn from them, and I hope I learned one.
I decided that maybe I need to be more like Hyrum.
He heard what was needed and said he wanted to be the first one to get started on the work. I realized there is a lot of work that I should get going on without delay too.
Like when they pass around a sign up to clean the church. Or make meals for a sick member. Or raise my hands when they've asked for a volunteer to pray.
I've always been more likely to take a "wait and see" approach and see if the sign up sheet gets filled up and then I'll contribute if needed. (You can't see me, but I'm hanging my head in shame...)
Building Zion is about all of us
Building Zion is not so much about building the temple as preparing a people worthy enough to enter it. I heard that in a video this week, and it really struck me. Zion isn't a place, it's people that are pure in heart, anxiously engaged, working to gather Israel and become what Heavenly Father hopes we will become, wherever we're located.
If I want to build Zion, I have a lot of work to do. And on that note, I guess it's time to see if I can get an appointment to go back to the temple.
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