This article is based on the week four Come, Follow Me lesson for the Doctrine and Covenants (pg. 15). To some this title is a valid question. To some it is silly, because it seems obvious to them why we should serve the Lord. So let’s discuss it, shall we?
Dividing it up
Day 2’s lesson is based on Doctrine and Covenants 4. The heading of this section has three distinct categories in it, so let’s use that as the basis for talking about the intents and doctrines behind these verses.
1–4, Valiant service saves the Lord’s ministers; 5–6, Godly attributes qualify them for the ministry; 7, The things of God must be sought after.
Most of us are likely aware of the prevalence of use this section receives from people serving missions. In many missions the missionaries are required to memorize it and quote it often. Personally, I believe the doctrine behind and underneath the words of this revelation extend far beyond something we quote by rote memory. This section also defines our relationship with God, both personally, and as people who have been reserved to come to earth in the last dispensation of time.
Valiant service saves us
We need to look at the verses of this section individually and carefully.
1 Now behold, a is about to come forth among the children of men.
The work described here as “marvelous” is a work that has been prophesied about for thousands of years. The Restoration of Christ’s gospel and his priesthood authority is unequaled in the annals of time. Nothing of this magnitude has ever happened before. And mind you, some pretty amazing things have happened before. Think God leading the children of Israel out of Egypt, or saving Noah with the ark. The Restoration rivals anything that has ever happened in the history of the world.
Why does the work of the Restoration top all other events ever to happen, save the Savior’s life and work for us? I will hazard a guess. The responsibilities of those who live during the last dispensation of time have not only unparalleled blessings among all of God’s children who have ever lived to this point, but we also have unparalleled responsibilities. In verse two we begin to see some of those responsibilities spelled out.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the of God, see that ye him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand before God at the last day.
The first thing the Lord states in this revelation is that those of us who serve Him must do so with all our “heart, might, mind and strength.” In other words, with everything we have. No other generation in time has had this complete of a requirement demanded of them, but at the same time no other generation’s work has been as great as that demanded of this generation. The work of the millennial reign of the Savior begins in its infancy with the Restoration of his gospel. Christ’s grand work is to perform all labors necessary for the salvation of all (note the explicit use of the word ALL) of God’s children. With the restoration of the priesthood power, covenants, and temples, along with all the technological advances of our day, God’s work of salvation for all His children can begin in earnest, on both sides of the veil.
This work couldn’t even begin until after Christ was crucified and entered the spirit world to organize the missionary work to all the spirits who had lived since the days of Adam and Eve. But for the last couple of millennia, the work in the spirit world was all that could be done. With the Restoration of the gospel again to the earth, and the speeding up of the advances in society, now the covenant-making process can begin in earnest with the building of temples, widespread availability of priesthood power among the Saints, and advances in technology to find, record, and begin to piece together the family tree of God’s children in mortality. For now we can only go back so far in our records, but when the Savior returns all the records of the earth will be opened and the work will be engaged in by all who live upon this planet. For a thousand years, what we have begun here will cover the earth until all has been revealed and all have been given the opportunity to accept or reject Christ’s gospel message.
Can you see why, with this great weight of responsibility laid upon the shoulders of the Lord’s people, that we must be so diligent in our efforts to accomplish the work we have been called to do? The priesthood and covenant blessings are not given out lightly, they are for those who seek to become like God only. Those with no interest in being like God need not bother with making covenants. Covenants are only for those wanting to go to the Celestial kingdom. So yes, our calling is to become saviors on Mount Zion, servants of God in His holy work. If we expect to stand blameless before Him at the last day, we had better take our responsibilities seriously.
3 Therefore, if ye have desires to serve God ye are to the work;
In all past generations of time, to do the work of God required that you be called to the work by someone holding the priesthood. In this, the last dispensation, all those who even have a desire to serve God are called to the work. His work is so vast, so inclusive, and so permeating that He needs all of us to roll up our sleeves and get to work. This is why we have been reserved for coming to earth at this time. This is the responsibility of our whole generation, to help call repentance to our brothers and sisters, to personally become Christlike in our thinking and behavior, and to do all we can to seek out those who have not yet had the opportunity to make covenants with God, take their names to the temple, and do their work for them, so they can begin to progress and move forward into eternity. What a holy calling we have!
4 For behold the is white already to ; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in that he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
Adam and Eve began the planting with the seeding of the earth, hence the everlasting decree that we multiply and replenish (or fill) the earth. But the time has come when all of God’s work with His children is beginning to bear fruit. He has been moving peoples around the planet, planting them where they would most likely prosper. He has been preparing the earth for this last time of gathering. It is now here, and we are a part of it. This is the preparatory work for the final judgment. All must hear the gospel before they can be judged, and we are tasked, for the sake of our own souls, as well as for the sake of those whom we serve, to find them and offer them the gospel of Christ. Can there be a greater work than this? Can there be any earthly concern that is weightier than this sacred duty to God and our own family members?
Qualities for the ministry
5 And , , and , with an single to the of God, him for the work.
The work of salvation cannot be done by selfish people or through selfish means. Only those who seek the glory of God and the accomplishment of His work can actually do His work. And to do this we must learn all the Christlike virtues. This is why we are tasked with learning to be charitable to others, to exercise our faith, and to increase our hope in Christ to bring us back to the presence of our Father in Heaven when our work here is through.
6 Remember faith, , knowledge, , , , , charity, , .
Verse six gives us some of the Christlike virtues we need to be seeking out and practicing in our daily lives. These virtues don’t just teach us to be better people; these virtues enable us to accomplish the work the Lord needs done. Remember when I said earlier that selfish people can’t accomplish God’s work? This is what I am talking about.
The importance of seeking out the Lord
As I mentioned in the article written for yesterday’s Come, Follow Me lesson (Why Is it Hard to Fear the Lord?) it is easy to lose our focus on God and forget about Him. He is not present before us, like Man is. God must be sought for on a daily basis. We must read His words, study His works, and pray to learn of His personality and faithfulness.
7 , and ye shall receive; , and it shall be opened unto you. Amen.
Our Father has promised us over and over again that those who seek Him will find Him. No, it won’t be today, and probably not tomorrow. But continued searching for an understanding and a connection to our Father will bring us closer and closer to understanding His love, kindness, benevolence, charity, power, majesty, and sovereignty over all things. Our reverence will increase, our appreciation for all that is good will expand, and our love will grow. And why will our seeking for Him result in our finding Him? Is not this the reason for making and keeping covenants? Isn’t this the reason for serving each other, for seeking the welfare and salvation of those we don’t currently remember we know? We find God; we come to understand God, because we become like God. Christ is our example in all things. As we look to Christ he will lead us home to our father. This is why we should serve God with all our heart.
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