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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Earning God's trust

How does one become a prophet, apostle, or get into other "prestigious" callings in the church? I used to think it was because the Lord chose them for whatever characteristics they naturally had, whatever strengths they had, or that they had lots of luck. Recently I’ve learned that the Lord calls those he can trust and the people the Lord trusts have to earn that trust. Lehi and Nephi earned the trust of the Lord by doing as they were commanded, having faith in the Lord, praying diligently and with true intent, and trusting that they were doing the right thing (not murmuring). The funny thing though, is that all of these are basic gospel principles, but are so easy to fail at doing.

Contrast this with the doctrine of foreordination, the doctrine that Heavenly Father determined our callings and ordinations in the pre-mortal life. (Alma 13:3) This is a doctrine I used to struggle with until I gained some additional understanding. Much wrong has been done by men that were "predestined" to sit in a position of power. However, this doctrine is different than that of God just choosing men he wants to rule without them ever presenting of body of work before him. The men he chooses as his prophets were foreordained in the pre-Earth life because of the work they did there, and as spirits proved their worth, and gained the Father's trust. Then when they came to this life they had to continue their good works.

I am sure many were foreordained who never even stepped foot inside a church, which is the beauty and bitterness of Heavenly Father's plan. Many are chosen to do the work, but only a few follow. Just because a man is foreordained doesn't mean that he must follow the path he was foreordained for. On the same token, I imagine that there are many who were not foreordained to any calling in this life, but gained Heavenly Father's trust because of the work they've done in this life.

The point is that our agency allows us to prove ourselves to our Heavenly Father whether we "will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command [us]." (Abr 3:25) Whether or not we proved ourselves in the pre-mortal life, we must still prove ourselves in this life if we are going to do as we were foreordained to do.