Thursday, August 14, 2008

Plan(s) of Salvation

Before the foundations of this world a plan was proposed and each of us who is born to the earth "shouted for joy". After the ancillary celebrations (and the notable expulsion of a farely large group of dissident party poopers), we left heaven with the promise that one day we could return if we were obedient to God's law. Sometimes I wonder what we were thinking.

In life we have many different challenges, this I suppose is built into our purpose for being here. Sometimes we even share the same challenges as others around us. Case in point: One day the Lamanites decided that they were going to wipe out the Nephites (again) and also the recently established People of Ammon, both of the non-aggressive groups had a different way of responding to the threat. The Nephites fought "for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church." The People of Ammon on the other hand buried their swords "deep in the earth" and refused to retaliate.

Which reaction was correct? They both were. "If all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever;" Captain Moroni lead the Nephites in the defence of their nation. Consider the other side: "And as sure as the Lord liveth, so sure as many as believed, or as many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, I say unto you, as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away." "And thus we see that, when these Lamanites were brought to believe and to know the truth, they were firm, and would suffer even unto death rather than commit sin; and thus we see that they buried their weapons of peace, or they buried the weapons of war, for peace."

One problem, two very different solutions, now what's the point of all this? The Plan of Salvation is an all encompassing thing that effects each of us. In saying this, the Lord understands each of our unique situations; so there is the Plan of Salvation and then there are my acts of salvation (the actual salvation part being made possible through Jesus of course). We each come from different backgrounds and contexts just as the People of Ammon were different from Captain Moroni, so we will be schooled according what best serves our needs. The path is straight and narrow, but even on a finite straight line there are an infinite number of points. There are common points we all need to pass through (baptism's probably a good place to start), but in the end we need to choose our own way back to heaven. When we make peace with this fact, that's when the fun begins and maybe that's what we got so excited about in the first place.

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