prepared by Don R. Hender

"All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
~ Isaiah 53:6 ~

All We, Every One of Us All

It is a false notion that any one of us can earn our way into Heaven. For well are in the same position before God. Only by, in and through the atonement of Jesus Christ and by his Grace are we able to be saved. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (1 John 1:8) For he who pretends that he is without sin is a liar, for all have sinned unto death. And all can only be saved through repentance, forgiveness and by the grace, power and mercy of God as wrought by the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Jesus tells a parable of the Pharisee and the publican:

    "And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.' And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner.' I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
    ~ New Testament | Luke 18:9-14

That we are all reliant upon Jesus Christ for our ultimate salvation ought not to imply to us that we ought not repent of our sins and need not do anything but rely on Christ, for God does 'command all men every where to repent' (Acts 17:30). And our very level of salvation is depended upon our righteous performance as a part of this probationary state that we are in. We must repent or perish for no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God as pointedly expressed by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 6:8-10. So do not be cheated out of your exaltation by the notion that you do not need to repent of your sins and begin to live righteously. Nephi in the Book of Mormon sums it up this way:

    "For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do."
    ~ Book of Mormon | 2 Nephi 25:23

The unrepentant will not enter into the kingdom of God. Wickedness is not accepted into the kingdom of God. Thus it is given unto all men that they must REPENT OR PERISH. That is that which is expected of us to do. We are to seek after God, live his commandments and by every word spoken by his mouth as are in the scriptures and taught by his apostles and prohets. We are to repent of all wickedness and live righteously. Moses in the book of Moses states thus:

    "Wherefore teach it unto your children, that all men, everywhere, must arepent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God, for no unclean thing can dwell there, or dwell in his [God's] presence; for, in the language of Adam, Man of Holiness is his name, and the name of his Only Begotten is the Son of Man, even Jesus Christ, a righteous Judge, who shall come in the meridian of time."
    ~ Pearl of Great Price | Moses 6:57

And though like sheep, all men who are fallen as was Adam, have gone astray, and as carnal natural men it is our nature to tend to go 'our' own way, we in fact must conform and control ourselves in that we must learn to live the commandments of God. For the commandments of God are but the words of our loving Father given unto us to live by that we might one day return unto his kingdom and live with Him, in the presence of God.

ver. 8 January 2016