There was a time in my life when the idea of the Lord second coming terrified me; but I wasn’t prepared. After I learned about repentance and that it washes away sins I was significantly less scared. Then there have been moments when I felt like He can’t come soon enough. If he could only come now this test would be over and I could return home.
But now I am trying something new. It’s not trying to command him in coming or not coming but in being “content with what is allotted unto me.” Alma wanted to be an angel to proclaim repentance and the plan of salvation that sorrow would be gone. I mean what greater righteous desire could he have than to remove sorrow?
But Alma being satisfied with his allotment and then meekly “hoping to be an instrument to help save some soul.” is what Elder Maxwell describes as “ a significant spiritual journey is thus reflected in nine soliloquy like verses. (April, 2000)
So how do we become content? Maybe the better question is how do we feel enough? How do we obey all the commandments in order to return home?
The simple truth of the matter is we don’t. God commands us to be perfect but in the same breath instructs us that if men come unto me I show unto them their weakness… I give unto men weakness. He gives us weakness. We absolutely need our Savior. When I was scared that Jesus would come again it was because I didn’t understand that He gave me these weaknesses, which often lead to sin, to make me humble and to realize how much I needed Him. And so that once I felt His redemptive power I could extend God’s love and mercy to others.
I learned this year that the beatitudes are progressive and interrelated. (Look in the Bible Dictionary under beattitudes) So our Lord was teaching “how to progress beyond the behavioral law of Moses when he gave them.
If I have a hard time being merciful usually the answer lies in a previous beatitude .. which might be feast after righteousness, or maybe even come unto Christ and feel His atoning power, forgive and wash my sins that I can then extend that mercy to others. Or if I am having a hard time seeing God I simply ask myself, have I mourned? Am I meek? etc
Sometimes I get blocked because I get discouraged when I am persecuted or reviled. Sometimes that persecution comes from a church member or an intimate relationship. I used to think it was unjust or unfair but like the primary songs promises “ God gave us families to help us become who he wants us to be… this is how He shares his love” … What? Is God’s love manifest in persecution? According to the beatitudes you are right on track if you are. Perhaps this is why the apostles after being beaten could “depart …rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. (Acts 5:41)
So recently I have been hearing more and more people say. I just wish the second coming would be here. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this. But I think a smarter thing to say would be. Wow, what a marvelous time to be alive. If you aren’t planning on coming right away, how can I prepare my family? What do I need to be doing to be a light to those around me? Can I feel the enabling power of the atonement to lead myself and my family through these day. Will you allow me to remember you and gain a correct idea of your character attributes and perfections that my fears may be hushed and I can walk with confidence that path that you want me to. How can I be patient to your will and hope for his second coming and yet rejoice that I have more time to learn and grow in mortality.