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The Bible and the Book of Mormon

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Not my Fault

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In today’s world, many have adopted the philosophy that somehow God and the world owe them something for nothing and that aberrant behavior is "not our fault." Those who achieve excellence are often labeled as "over-achievers" and greedy. Mediocrity seems to be the goal and many are perfectly content to let someone else take the blame or shoulder their burdens. "Let big brother government take care of me" seems to be the mantra of many who do not want to work. In Revelation 4:15-16 the Lord told John "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because those art lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth."

Jesus has always demanded excellence and even perfection. "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matt 5:48) Paul exhorts us to "covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew unto you a more excellent way." (1 Cor 12:31)

When the young, rich man came to Jesus asking what he should do to inherit eternal life, Jesus told him to obey the commandments. The young many replied that he had done so from his youth. Jesus did not commend the young man and tell him that he was now "saved" because of his faith, but instead commanded him to sell all that he had, give it to the poor, and follow Jesus. Jesus wanted excellence from the young man and promised him eternal life if he did so. The young man was unwilling to do all that was necessary to achieve this excellence and went away sorrowing. Jesus never said that faith alone was sufficient for salvation. In his Sermon on the Mount Jesus told of more works men needed to do to gain eternal life.

The ultimate in having "big brother" shoulder the responsibility for our bad actions is to believe that Jesus will take care of all our sins without any effort on our part. This philosophy breeds mediocrity and encourages laxity in keeping the commandments of God. Many now even condone reprobate behavior in clergy extending the "saved by grace" belief to a "saved by Will and Grace" attitude. This is merely a natural extension of the belief that it does not matter what you do as long as you accept Jesus as your savior.

Relying solely on grace for our salvation is like saying, "Let someone else take responsibility for my behavior." With the "someone else" in this case being Jesus. By expecting Jesus to do everything for us we become like children ever dependent on their parents to take care of them, and never learning to become responsible adults.

Just as in the secular world, those that seek excellence by trying to become like Jesus are ridiculed and even persecuted by those willing to just get by. Jesus warned against mediocrity in the parable of the talents. The servant who did nothing with the talent or grace that was given him lost all and was cast into outer darkness.

It is just as wrong to believe that works alone can save us. The grace of God is like a ladder extended down to a man who has fallen into a pit whose sides are so steep that he cannot climb out himself. Christ extends the ladder, but we must climb it in order to attain salvation. Thus, it is by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 08:59  

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