Duty to the Church

"O that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart, that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth, and cry repentance unto every people! Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth. But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." (Alma 29:1-3)

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Our job is to overcome what is given to us.

(p. 282) Much of our individual frustrations as Saints come as a result of trying to move too quikcly toward perfection....¶ We have a great work before us to attain exaltation...This life's agenda is very limited, even though the full effort involved will last many lifetimes....(p. 283) ¶ At some point, you will have recieved what you need in this sphere, and can move on to the next stage of development.1  When you have gained everything you need from this life, you will have received the 'fullness' from God.  It is called the 'fulness' because it is all that can be obtained here....

We don't need to take on everything at once. We only need move in the right direction. If we walk gracefully through the troubles which come our way, we are doing what is needed. The only battles we need fight are the ones which block our path. Other people's battles are not ours. Our fight is with our own weaknesses, temptations, and lack of charity [pride, vanity and selfishness]. That fight is conducted a few minutes at a time. We shouldn't run ahead, nor do we need to mourn past failings. It is enough to start where you are and live gracefully the next few minutes; then again the few minutes after them; and then continue to do so. The greatest task for all of us is to endure to the end....(p. 284) ¶ There are limits as to what can be learned here, and there for there are limits to what is expected here....

(p. 284) Christ set the great example.  He progressed from less to more.  He may have been exalted before birth, but He nontheless was not all he would become as a result of His mortal experience.  He had the 'fulness' before birth, but remained less than what He would become as a result of coming into the flesh. While in the flesh, he was less than He would become after His resurrection.

It is important to realize this word 'fulness' is referring to completion of development.  Each stage of experience has its own definition of what it means to gain a 'fulness.'

(p. 289) Even if you think those who preside over your ward, stake or area are unworthy, it is unimportant.  The Church is comprised of flawed mortals, and that will not change.  The character flaw of any given Church leader is irrelevant to his standing in his office.  He will be released soon enough.  No one remains a Bishop or Stake President for long.  And if they failed to develop charity and the pure love of Christ while serving, that is their failure and not yours.  On the other hand, if you fail to develop charity and love for a flawed man, that is your failure.

(p. 290) The Lord wants us to gain equilibrium. Gifted saints are a part of the Church. So, too, are leaders. Leaders may struggle with their own personality quirks and egos. They may resent being called to preside over a ward member whose own gifts are greater than the theirs. Such a leader will need to grow, and develop charity for themselves and for the ward member whose gifts belong as a part of the Church. All gifts, just like all callings, come from above. They both belong to the Church. Gifted members must find a way to love, and show charity to the insecure and resentful; even if these weaknesses manifest themselves in a leader. They cannot retreat into judging and bitterness over the reactions they excite. Saints, just as all other humans, fear things which they do not understand. It is important to realize possessing gifts may seem threatening to many others. The "order" we are reminded of requires each of us to work to accommodate one another. None of us is without flaws, fears, and anxieties. Your calling will not make you more gifted. Your gifts will not make you called. You are both a Saint and a fellow citizen in the Church of God. Each of us is given for the blessing and benefit of the other. If we can find how to love each other, and how to lose resentments and jealousies, we will also find ourselves all closer to God. We cannot bridge the gap which separates us from Zion until we confront this issue. Zion will need to be one: One heart, and one mind, living as one....

(p. 291) "We need each other. The circumstances in which we find ourselves help shape us. When we want to sprint, we find we are limited by our family, friends, callings, neighbors, jobs or other circumstances. This is not inadvertent. It is necessary. It is a blessing to be given these tensions and conflicts. Reconciling them requires patience and compromise. The greatest revelations of our hearts to the Lord, ourselves and to others comes as we struggle to show kindness and patience while confronted with all the inevitable conflicts of life. When we lose ourselves, we find ourselves. The graceful resignation to accept our circumstances as a gift from God comes only through having circumstances which differ from our own view of the 'ideal.' What you have in your life is ideal. Keep in mind Alma's reflection as he wished for better circumstances for his ministry: 'But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me (Alma 29: 3). We are meant to see the gulf between our present life and what would be 'perfect.' Then we are meant to live perfectly inside the life we have been given. There is enough difficulty, enough challenge, enough struggles, enough opposition given to every one of us to allow us to grow into a meek and graceful disciple of Christ." (Denver Snuffer, Eighteen Verses, ch. 16, p. 282-292. Emphasis Added)

 

1. See The Missing Virtue in Denver's Ten Parables

2. See 1 Corinthians 12: "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, and it hath pleased him. And if they were all one member, where were the body? But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary; And those members of the body, which we think to be less honorable, upon these we bestow more abundant honor; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness. For our comely parts have no need; but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honor to that part which lacked; That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honored, all the members rejoice with it. 7 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular." (1 Corinthians 12:18-27, Inspired Version)

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The angles are tasked with cleansing, not us.

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind, which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels; but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world. And the world is the children of the wicked. The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them out into the world to be burned. There shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:48-51, Inspired Version)

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"The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked. The enemy that sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the world, or the destruction of the wicked. The reapers are the angels, or the messengers sent of heaven.

"As, therefore, the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world, or the destruction of the wicked. For in that day, before the Son of Man shall come, he shall send forth his angels and messengers of heaven. And they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity, and shall cast them out among the wicked; and there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. For the world shall be burned with fire. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear." (Matthew 13:37-45, Inspired Version)

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