What are we worthy of? Worthiness is not what the Lord asks of us. What he asks is for our heart and our mind. Worthiness is only a result!
Worthiness is only relative to our understanding. Even Enoch suffered from a relativism. In the book of Moses Enoch was shown the history of the world. He saw zion and all that were taken up. He saw the wicked generations. He saw millions upon millions and compared them with the stars of the heavens. Some where brought unto the Lord, but Enoch witnessed the Lord weeping over those who could not enter. Enoch asked, “…how is it thou canst weep?” After all look at how many the Lord had to choose from (billions), what difference did it make to loose a few? The Lord expressed to Enoch that, “…these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;” (Moses 7:31-32). If we are to see from the eyes of the Lord, even the least of these are His, and He weeps and desires them to come back. If Enoch had to learn that lesson, we too can adjust the false traditions of worthiness we have been taught.
We are conditioned by the ways of the world, seeking out results to convince ourselves of our individual value/worth. Isn’t that where the word worthiness comes from? What is your worth? Who dictates worth? Is it authorities (civil/church/popularity/acceptance)? Or is it God, the one who knows the worth of a soul? As soon as the question is asked, the answer is loud and clear- it is God who dictates worth. He has stated that “…the worth of a soul is great in the sight of God;” (D&C 18:10). Enoch’s example shows that God knows and loves each one of those souls.
Instead of worthiness, we need to look upon our willingness. The Greek version of the scripture in Matthew clears up a lot of misconception on the Lords expectation to “…be ye therefore perfect.” (Matthew 5:48). Perfect is a scary word and creates much stress and anxiety in saints who want to obtain celestial glory. The clarity comes in the correct translation of the word perfect as “without guilt.”
Obviously the Lord knew that we would all fall and therefore be imperfect. Then why ask us to be perfect? Our traditional mentality tells us that Christ paid the price so we can be perfect. However, Christ does not save man in his sins. The miracle of Christ’s atonement is that he can make us new creatures, but that doesn’t change the fact that we made mistakes and therefore we are still not perfect. Well that is perfect in the sense of the traditional mentality. So what then does it mean to be perfect by being without guilt?
Without guilt means that we are willing to be held accountable for what we do wrong. We desire to change and are willing to submit our will to the will of the Father so that He can make the change in us (saving us from our sins). When that has been done, your sins can be shouted from the roof tops and have no affect on your standing or your confidence- your confidence can wax strong in the face of God. You know that you have not only been forgiven of the thing, but also that the sinner in you no longer exists and has been replaced with more of the mind and will of God. Not only are you clean of the sin, but you also have no more desire to do evil, but to do good continually. You are trusted of God and that is when God gives man power.
Satan (Hebrew) and De-a-blos (Greek) both are names for Lucifer that mean “to accuse.” Worthiness is mans way of judging unrighteously or accusing one another of their worth. We hold one thing above the next when we assess someones worth as less then another’s. When we are more concerned of being perfect, or more accurately, without guilt, we seek to be at peace and to serve one another. My favorite quote from Joseph Smith is his request for us to “put a cloak over his sins and he’ll put one over ours… for charity covereth a multitude of sins.” The key is our willingness to trust God. Those who are willing to trust God are without guilt, or perfect!
“27. And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
This is a pointer to the perfection described in Matthew 5:48. When men come unto God they are “willing” to take upon them the name of the son of God, always remember Him and keep His commandments which He has given them. When we are willing and follow his formula, then will he make weak things become strong unto us.
None of us are worthy or ever will be. We shall always be indebted. Worthiness suggests deserving and what we deserve is to be burned in the vineyard. However, through Christ we can become perfect, or without guilt, or sweet and preserved unto the Lord. The transformation requires our sacrifice, our trust, to give ourselves to the mind and will of God, to be willing servants. When we are willing to give ourselves (facsimile #1) to His will, then can the word be planted, nourished, rooted, and grow into a strong tree that produces the fruit of Christ that is:
“42. …sweet above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea, and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst.”
The Lord looketh upon the heart and so should we. The heart doesn’t suggest worthiness. The heart is about desires and appetites or willingness. That is what we should see. Then we can see beyond the externalities and outward signals that can be distracting. Then we can avoid the condemnation of the Lord when he spoke of the vessel being clean on the outside, but on the inside dirty.
In conclusion I point to the facsimiles of Abraham as the image that Joseph Smith provided us to remind us the first step to ascension. Facsimile #1 is called the “WILLING SACRIFICE.” Father Abraham was a willing sacrifice. His son Isaac was a willing sacrifice. Because they were willing, they were considered by the Lord a “worthy sacrifice” or an acceptable sacrifice.