Sunday, June 12, 2016


Sometime during the editing of the first parts of this Thought, Kathleen asked me if it might be possible for someone who would be reading to wonder about just going ahead and wasting this mortal probationary period, spending it enjoying all the carnal pleasures which were neither available in our pre-mortal nor will be available in our post-mortal probationary periods, thinking God will bring to pass our eternal life eventually anyway.

Our conversation reminded me of when the topic of ‘only being accountable for the laws which we are given’ would come up in a class. Invariably one of the students would make a comment about not learning any more laws, so that they would have less to be accountable for.

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 commandment; and where there is no commandment the mercies of the Holy One of Israel have claim upon them, because of the atonement; and they are delivered by the power of him. (Book of Mormon – 2 Nephi 9:25)

The answer seems to be the same for both queries.

First: During our mortal probationary period we are not all being measured by the same measuring rod.

As I have previously stated, the standard by which our mortal probationary period will be measured will be determined by the amount of the Lord’s laws, knowledge and understanding we have been given and I would quickly add the opportunity we are given to adhere to those laws.

Although I have always believed that having an understanding of the laws which govern our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness as a guide during mortality to be more of a blessing than a curse, there is definitely an accountability and responsibility which attends the receiving of any portion of His laws.

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:18, 19)

It only takes a bit of pondering to connect the dots between the advantage the Savior and the noble and great ones gained during their pre-mortal probationary estate over those who were not so valiant to understand how that applies to those who have been blessed with and take advantage of the opportunity of having been given much during their mortal probationary period.

Thus, for that boy who was born in Pocatello, Idaho, of goodly parents, having been taught the laws of the Plan of Happiness all the days of His life, adherence to the philosophy of Zen Mormonism is especially important everyday he is blessed to sojourn in mortality.

Second: The verses following Doctrine and Covenants 83:3 where the Lord is talking about this principle of there being a differentiation between our individual responsibility and accountability, depending on the amount of the laws of our Father which have been available to each of us, are interesting and helpful to our understanding why the mortal probationary period will be of much greater importance to some of His children than others.

Ye call upon my name for revelations, and I give them unto you; and inasmuch as ye keep not my sayings, which I give unto you, ye become transgressors; and justice and judgement are the penalty which is affixed unto my law.

Therefore, what I say unto one I say unto all; Watch, for the adversary spreadeth his dominions, and darkness reigneth.
(Doctrine and Covenants 82:4, 5)

I suspect those who are reading these Thoughts, having paid the price of finding them on Face Book or on my blog pages after I was shut down from my email blasts on Yahoo, are to some degree aware of the laws of the Plan of Happiness. Therefore, I would like to spend a few lines writing about at least two principles which fall into the category of things we need to ’watch’ and which we may not usually consider as part of the challenge which attends we who have been given much and have a sufficient period of life during our mortal probationary period.

I have written in previous Thoughts about the influence Elder Maxwell had on me as a mentor and the way he taught about the principle of time. He felt that during our mortal probation the restraints of time placed upon us are a strange phenomenon, since it was not relevant during our pre-mortal and will not be relevant to us during our post-mortal probationary states.

There is no doubt regarding the use of time along with the use of our talents and resources as significant tests of our diligence in ‘watching.’ Like the principle of love, our obedience to all the laws and the prophets, likewise, seems to hang on the test bound up in these the principles of using time, talents and resources correctly.

It is not much of a stretch to say that every choice we are faced with will involve an evaluation of how our decision will affect the amount of time, talent and resources we will be asked to commit to fulfilling the requirements of that choice.

It is easy to understand that being obedient to the law of tithing is going to demand a decision about the use of our resources. However, it is a defined principle which says obedience demands 10% of our increase. Once we have been given the law we are expected to live the law.

It should be easy to grasp the principle involved with the living of the word of wisdom. We are to abstain from partaking of those elements which are harmful to our spiritual and physical welfare and partake of those elements which are beneficial to our spiritual and physical welfare. Once we have been given the law we are expected to live the law.

However, there are instances when we are given the opportunity to serve, where the commitment of time, talents and resources are not so well defined, and each of us is left to determine how much of our precious time, talents and resources we will spend fulfilling the callings and opportunities for service we have been given.

There are few moments during our daily routines when we are not making choices of how much of our time, our talents and our resources we are going to spend on self-fulfilling activities and how much we will spend on service to others and how much we have little control of because of the obligations of our life sustaining duties.

Since the existence of time, talents and personal resources seems to be a reality of our mortal probation and not necessarily one which we will be tested on in our other probationary states, it seems for those of us who have been given a fair portion of eternity to spend in mortal bodies it becomes an area we need to become particularly aware of its constancy and importance.

The choices of how we use our time, talent and resources are indeed one of those loosely defined areas of our mortal life where we need to be carefully ‘Watching’ lest we fall into the dominion of the adversary.

(To be continued)

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