My RM sons, who have never been inactive in their lives, have made a conscience choice to go inactive just after returning from their missions. Both won’t listen to me anymore and both think they can just play for a while and have no effect on their testimonies. I am a convert. My wife and I have always been active, served faithfully,FHE, personal/family prayer, personal/family scripture study. The boys have filled priesthood callings, EFY, Seminary graduates, Eagle Scouts, 100% HT, Patriarchal blessings, and every other advantage a good Mormon boy would have. They both think they can be inactive without damaging effects to their testimony or conviction. Yet there is no commitment to build the kingdom. I am wondering if i can share with them the effects of inactivity? How a person weakens step by step until they fall into full apostate status.
There are too many members of the Church who feel they can take a “vacation” from Church activity and then be able to return when they have had their fun or rest. What they don’t realize is that they develop habits that become very difficult to break. The longer they are inactive the less likely they will return to full activity.
One of the great parables the Lord gave us is that of the “Ten Virgins”. Five were wise and prepared for the Bridegroom. When they were awakened with the cry that he was coming, they had sufficient oil for their lamps. They were active, they had kept the commandments continually and they had received all of their life saving ordinances. They then trimmed their lamps and went into the wedding when He came. The five that were foolish had to go find more oil for their lamps. They were not active, they had to repent of their sins, and try to receive ordinances they had delayed in receiving. They were not prepared, worthy or there when the Savior came and the wedding began. When they finally returned with oil in their lamps, the door had been shut and they were not to be admitted. In Matthew 25, we read: “11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Each of us including your sons need to be prepared each day as we do not know when the Savior will come again. We can’t be saying that we will repent and return to full activity at that time as it will be too late. The door will be shut and He will say: “I know you not.”
There are those who have been active and served many years in the Church and feel that the Lord will remember all they have done in the past, that they will still be rewarded for all the good they have done and be invited into the wedding. In Chapter 3 of Ezekiel, the prophet Ezekiel tells us that this is not so for he states: “20 Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity,… he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.”
Just as the “Good Shepherd” left the ninety and nine and went to look for the one that was lost, we need to help those who have lost their way. With love in our heart, we need to pray for them, help them realize the importance of “enduring to the end” and assist them in regaining a testimony of the Gospel and the Lord Jesus Christ. This can best be accomplished through love, concern for their well being, helping when needed and not being argumentative. We should never give up or think that someone is lost or beyond help. Rather we need to trust in the Lord and become an instrument in His hand in bringing them back into the fold.