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Question

 

Hi Gramps,

Does God prefer if we are obedient yet resentful? or disobedient and unresentful? Meaning, we do what we are “supposed” to do because we feel guilty if we don’t; or we don’t do whatever would make us feel guilty and therefore don’t have guilt or resentment?  Thanks.

Betty

 

Answer

 

Betty,

With either option you seem to be asking, can we present ourselves before the Lord if we only go part of the way to reach Him?  It doesn’t matter which option we look at, this is not where we want to plant our feet.

The Lord said be perfect.  But as Elder Jeffrey R. Holland points out: “Be ye therefore perfect… eventually.”  Perfection is a journey.  And we cannot let ourselves to be too disappointed  by minor failures along the way.  It is the continual striving and trying that is important.  It is the “not letting ourselves be discouraged” that the Lord is looking for.

So, maybe you’re only part way there… today.  But are you still pressing forward with a steadfastness in Christ?

19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.

 

20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.

 

21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.

 

2 Ne 31:19-21

I’m going to tell you a story about brushing teeth.

As a child I hated brushing my teeth.  My parents made me do it.  Even then, when I thought I could get away with it, I skipped it.  But with continual effort (mostly from my parents) I eventually understood it was something I was supposed to do.  Later,  I understood the concept of “rules” and I did it because I felt I was supposed to do it.  And I tried to do what I’m supposed to do.  Then I learned about dental hygiene, plaque, cavities, halitosis, etc.  I wanted to brush my teeth to avoid all those negative consequences.

But the final stage was when I was in my teens and I began to realize that when I forgot to brush my teeth, my mouth just felt filthy.  It was disgusting.  I didn’t need any rules or bad consequences explained to me.  I just plain knew it was disgusting.

You may want to ask yourself where you are in this journey regarding your own personal struggles.  Remember that the “continually pressing forward” is the important thing, regardless of failures.  And eventually you will get to the point where you find that if you forget to brush your teeth, you’ll simply feel the disgust with it, and fix it because you really want to.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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