Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Is Required

This last week was definitely one of recovery.  Recovering from too much driving, too much playing, and not enough sleep.  I arrived home with a bad cold that left me stuffy and muddle-headed for several days, determined to rest until I felt better.

Fortunately there was nothing on my schedule and I did just that.  A little laundry and a little rest.  A few dishes and a little rest.  And then a nap.

On Tuesday I felt much better and I rejoiced and cleaned with a vengeance.  Perhaps a little too vigorously, because on Wednesday I felt terrible again.  I was so frustrated with myself.

Later in the day I was reading in the Book of Mormon.  I was reading in the chapter of 3rd Nephi where Jesus appears to his disciples and teaches them again.

Something about one of the verses caught my eye and I read it again.

And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end, behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.  3 Ne. 27:16
 I love lists in the Book of Mormon--phrases that tell us exactly what is necessary.  And here one was, from the Savior Himself.

Be Baptized in His name
Endure to the end

I looked at the verse again. 
...him will I hold guiltless before my Father...
It occurred to me as I sat there that here were the essentials, as listed by the Savior.  There was no injunction to keep all of the laundry done in a timely manner.  No suggestion that my salvation was linked to my ability to keep a clean house or even to feel good about what I accomplished in a given day.  Only the short list; repent, be baptized, endure to the end.

I realized as I sat there that day, snuggled under my warm blanket with a box of tissues nearby, that what I was frustrated with myself about was my list, not His.

And that in the final analysis, only His things matter. 

I could post a whole new post about the phrase "endure to the end."  We in the LDS church seem to have attached many meaning to that phrase, most of which involve pain, suffering, gloom, doom, and occasional amputation of frost-bitten feet.  When I did a scripture study one year and followed all of the references of "enduring to the end" or "enduring in the way," I was surprised that there were no mentions of pain, just of persistence.  If I remember right, the most common reference I found was to "stay in the way."  So we can stop dreading the enduring!


  1. Hmm... sounds like you got a week of my life!

  2. I just gave a talk today about enduring to the end and about how so frequently it's a heavy, dreary word meant to make us focus on the interminable nature of our suffering, but really, it's a word that ought to be said with joy... because we have SO much to endure for. This Gospel is a Gospel of joy - because we know what we know, we can endure through all things knowing that the Savior is with us, and that all things will be made right in the end. That is not a depressing thought at all. Quite the opposite!