A dam stops the forward movement of water. The condemnation that the church is under (D&C 84:54-57) is simply a stopping of our progression due to our failure to seek to know the mind and will of God. It is the atonement and the mind and will of God that provides us with the tools necessary to break free from the chambers of hell, even the chains of hell (Alma 12:11). When we are told that we are damned or condemned by the Lord, this is not a final condition of which we must remain. Instead, it is a cry to us, the damned or condemned, to inform us of the greatness of the danger we are in, in order to reach out to save us from our sins (not save us in our sins).
It is in the words of Christ that we find hope (the vision of our potential). It is the words of Christ that produce sufficient faith for us to take action, hoping with great anxiety that God will do exactly as he promised. God always keeps his end of the bargain. When God has gained your trust (the disobedient do not trust God), now you can express confidence to others to do the same, and that is charity (this is your testimony). Hope, Faith and Charity are not three separate attributes. They are three stages of the heart moving forward, progressing, becoming like God, even becoming a god. Without hope, faith, and charity, we are damned, condemned and cannot progress.
“28. He that keepeth his commandments receiveth truth and light, until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.”
The Lord is sharing with us a pattern to break free from the ignorance, damnation, and condemnation. He wants us, his children, to progress, to become free agents. Let’s break that scripture into three key parts:
- You must keep the commandments– In order to keep the commandments we must know the commandments. To know requires reading, searching and praying. Knowing the commandments is what produces that initial hope. Those who give up hope has failed to comprehend the purpose of reading, searching and praying. If knowing the commandments doesn’t produce hope, then you must study them more because there is something that you don’t understand. The commandments always produce hope when they are understood (unless you’re rebellious.)
- Those who keep the commandments receives truth and light. That is how we are supposed to obtain education, through truth and light. Learning by faith is learning by obedience to the commandments you understand, while seeking to understand all the commandments.
- Eventually, you’ll be glorified in the truth and light and know all things.
Can you see how the gospel provides a hope, a foundation that cannot be shaken despite the storms, quakes, and turmoil in this world? Our being offended or taking offense, our justifying or covering up of our sins, our ignorance is what is holding us back from obtaining our greatest reward. We cannot find joy here in the world. The joy is in Christ. You and I do not belong to this world. Yes, we were born here, but we do not belong here.
Harrah for Israel!