Archive for the ‘God’s law’ Tag

Unto None Else

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:7, “The Path to Peace and Joy,” Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov 200

Yesterday I talked about how the Savior made salvation possible through his sacrifice.  Today I am going to talk about the requirements for us to qualify for that salvation.  The requirement, as presented in 2 Nephi, is actually quite simple.  Verse 7 states:

Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.

The requirements are “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.”  In the Mormon church, we use the term repentance to describe this state of being.  However, as you explore what a broken heart really must be like, you realize that it requires a great deal from you.

Richard G. Scott’s talk “The Path to Peace and Joy” is a beautiful summary of the process of repentance, and how to go about doing it.  True repentance requires us to change our very being so that not only do we no longer break the laws of God, but we also no longer desire to break them. It is an internal, deep process that we will be doing for our whole lives.

Repentance, although it is hard, is a great gift.  If it were not for the Savior we would never have the chance to improve ourselves because we would be subject to condemnation after the first law we broke.  Through the Atonement, however, we are allowed to be human, to make mistakes, and to then repent of those mistakes.  Through the Atonement, we are not asked to be perfectly obedient (which is what the law alone requires) but rather we are asked to be working, with all our hearts, towards perfect obedience.

In my life I can think back to mistakes I have made, and I am very, very grateful for the opportunity to repent of those mistakes.  My life is so much better for that reason alone.

Today I am going to get out The Miracle of Forgiveness and look at it as Elder Scott recommended in his talk.  Reading the whole book would be too big of a task for me to promise to do in a post, because I try to keep these tasks to small things I can do the day I write them.  However, I will look through it and definitely think about reading it.

How would your life be different if you never had the opportunity to mend past mistakes and improver yourself?

By The Law No Man is Justified

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:5

Laws are necessary for things to function. For example, just think about what your house would be like without the law of gravity.  Or, think what our country would be like without a government.  Chaos, disorder, even violence and misery would result. The laws that God gives us are equally as necessary.  If we were not commanded to love our neighbor, for example, we would naturally act selfishly, causing pain and misery.

However, a side effect of having these laws is that once we break them we are subject to the consequences.  And, since no human being has ever been totally perfect except Christ, each and every one of us would be subject to punishment.  And, not just a little slap on the wrist, but eternal punishment, because we could never meet the demands of justice.  In 2 Nephi 2:5 it says:

And by the law no flesh is justified; or, by the law men are cut off. Yea, by the temporal law they were cut off; and also, by the spiritual law they perish from that which is good, and become miserable forever.

Sometimes I get the idea, subconsciously, that it is my obeying the commandments that brings me salvation.  However, if it were my obedience alone that were to save me then I would have been condemned a long, long time ago when I first committed a sin.  Salvation cannnot come through obeying the law, because the law is exact and unyielding and leaves no room for growth or improvement.

It is very humbling to think that no matter how good I get at obedience, I will always be totally dependent on the Savior for salvation.  Although sometimes I may think that I am better than other people because I appear more obedient, the truth is that I am just as dependent on the Savior as even the most sinful person ever to live.  We are all condemned by the law, even the best of us.

As I prepared to write this I realized a misunderstanding of this principle can lead to all kinds of bad behavior.  It can lead to pride, or it can lead to perfectionism, or it can lead to self-hate, and so on.  When I hear people talk about why they left the LDS church, it seems that very often it can be traced back to the misunderstanding of this principle.  If  you believe you will be saved only so much as you perfectly obey the law, then you will be miserable because no one can perfectly obey the law except the Savior.

This is NOT a license to go out and do whatever you want.  Later on I will talk about why to gain salvation we must do our best to obey the law, although most of us will never achieve perfection in this life.

This past week I have been trying to work on not being so prideful, so today I am going to try and watch my thoughts and catch myself when I start to think I am better than other people.  Then, tonight, I will write in my journal about what I noticed and about how this principle helped me to see my pride.

When you realize that you are not saved by the law, or by perfect obedience, does that change how you think about some things? How does it change?

The Law is Given Unto Men

Reading: 2 Nephi 2:5, Jacob 6:9-10, D&C 88:42

Consider this post part 1 of 2.

God has given us many commandments.  The laws we live by must be obeyed or there will be consequences.  In Jacob 6:

Know ye not that if ye will do these things, that the power of the redemption and the resurrection, which is in Christ, will bring you to stand with shame and awful guilt before the bar of God? And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment.

The law is given through prophets living, and through past prophets through the scriptures.  While we are not held accountable to laws we do not know, once we learn them we are held accountable to them.  In 2 Nephi 9:25 & 27 it says,

Wherefore, he has given a law; and where there is no law given there is no punishment; and where there is no punishment there is no condemnation; and where there is no condemnation the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; for they are delivered by the power of him. . . But wo unto him that has the law given, yea, that has all the commandments of God, like unto us, and that transgresseth them, and that wasteth the days of his probation, for awful is his state!

We certainly have a law given to us, or else what would I have to write about?

Tomorrow I will talk about what it means to us that we have been given a law, but that none of us are perfect in following those laws.  Stay tuned!

There are many sources for me to learn more about God’s commandments.  We receive God’s commandments through the scriptures and through a living prophet.  In these modern times we can also receive information about God’s commandments through the scriptures, through general conference, through church magazines, through church websites, through books by general authorities, through lessons in church, and so on.  I cannot even begin to claim that law has not been given to me.

Today I am going to once again do some extra scripture study this evening.

How do you receive God’s law?  Are there ways you could be a better recipient of God’s law?