Sunday, May 22, 2016


Hopefully you enjoyed part one of this Thought and you have decided to read this second installment of my ponderings on the importance of our coming to the understanding that the secret of living a Christ centered life is founded on the principles of grace and mercy upon which the success of HIS eternal plan rests as it applies to our eventual individual everlasting state of existence.

In the delightful and enlightening little book of scripture called the Pearl of Great Price, in the Book of Moses chapter 1 the 39th verse, Heavenly Father explains the main purpose of His existence.

For behold this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

It is difficult to comprehend the depth of His love for His children which is expressed in these few words. All that He has created, all the words he has revealed through his prophets and all that is to be comprehended by the Mission, Crucifixion, Atonement and Resurrection of His son Jesus the Christ, yes even our Heavenly Father’s very existence is for the soul purpose of helping each of us gain eternal life and immortality.

When we include verse 38 of Moses chapter 1 which precedes the one just quoted we are struck even more forcefully with the extent of the Love, Mercy and Grace He has for his children.

And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.

We can quickly understand that He is saying He has created other earths, He is creating other earths, and He will yet create many more earths. But when we combine the two verses just cited, I believe He is also telling us that His work with each of us will go on until He knows He has maximized the potential of our immortality and eternal life. I am convinced that like there being no end to his creation of earths, likewise, there is no end to his work of striving to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of each of us.

It was 1994, just after Kathleen and I had returned from serving our mission as President of the Colombia North Mission. I had left her in Reno, Nevada, to prepare our home for a quick sale so we could make our move to Mission Viejo, California, for our last assignment with the Church Education System. I had gone off to Provo for a CES conference. We were in a session where Marion Duff Hanks, a recently released General Authority, was the featured speaker. It was not the first time I had heard hints about his subject matter, but it was certainly the most powerful presentation I had heard on the principle.

During his remarks he opened up the probability that many of Heavenly Father’s children would receive most of the effects of Heavenly Father’s work and glory during their pre-mortal estates and their post-mortal estates. For these Thoughts I will confine myself to this affirmation, but I was also brought bolt upright when Elder Hanks said his personal feeling was that Heavenly Father would not be finished with any of us until we were exalted. Since that is beyond the depth or height of my understanding I will not be going in that direction.

As I mentioned previously, Kathleen and I had just returned from spending three years loving and living among the wonderful people of Colombia in their beautiful country.

Colombia has one heart but the country is made up of many different cultures. There are those who are indigenous, those whose roots stem from Europe, those who arrived from Africa during that horrendous period of history when human selling of humans was a profitable business, there are those who identify with the Caribbean coast, others with the mountains, others with the jungle and still others with the plains. If we were to exhaust all the cultural differences which exist in the country we would still have to understand the multiple groups which are created because of the diversity of wealth and education in the country.

If we were to multiply the divergence of experiences which the inhabitants of Colombia have during their mortal sojourn by the many nations which have, do and will exist on this planet we begin to understand Paul’s words in his first epistle to the Corinthians chapter 15 verse 19.

And if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

In fact if we add all of those whose lives span but hours or days as mortal beings and the centuries and nations who have never heard the word of God during mortality and restrict the individual results of His works to our mortal span alone His plan makes little sense and in fact becomes illogical.

While we were serving in Colombia we became aware of one of the saddest scenarios of my personal life span. There were a large group of children, who roamed the streets of Bogota, ranging from infants to young adults who were referred to as ‘sewer children.’ The name was given because this was where the majority of them spent their young lives and called these sewers home. Their ranks were continually growing as they would often be the only ones who would rescue an abandoned infant and add them to their family. They managed to survive by cunning and thievery much like the street urchins in a Charles Dickens novel. For many of them their main sustenance was the inhaling of glue to numb their minds and bodies to the cold and pain and the hunger in which they existed.

Anyone who could even begin to make logic out of the justice of their eternal existence being dependent upon ‘this mortal life only’ and somehow hint that they had some kind of choice to live a Christ centered life has to have been blinded by the pride of the world.

There is no logical way their eternal existence can be measured on the same scale with that of a boy born of goodly parents in Pocatello, Idaho who had the benefit of having an abundant access to that part of the gospel which had been given for salvation in his day.

My current privilege of being authorized to use the sealing powers in the Newport Beach Temple has burned into my soul the testimony of our Heavenly Father’s work having been a great part of our pre-mortal existence, is a great part of our mortal existence (no matter how brief or extensive or under what conditions), and which I believe will continue for as long as needed in our post-mortal existence until our Father in Heaven can say His work with each of us has been completed.

We shall write more about this in next week’s installment.

(To be continued)

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