Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children, and ye have not as yet understood . . .
What is it we haven’t understood? What is it that we need to know but have failed to comprehend? The Lord is clear:
how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you; (Doctrine & Covenants 78:17)
What an interesting way to say that we don’t comprehend what Father has prepared for us. “In His own hands.” “Prepared for [us].” What lovely, personal touches! He, our Father has carefully prepared blessings for us, He is holding them for us, and is awaiting our arrival!
Then Father attempts to put our minds at ease.
And ye cannot bear all things now;
He might be saying, “Don’t fret that you don’t understand. Just be assured that I am looking after you completely and personally.” In fact, what He says next offers great reassurance.
nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours. (Doctrine & Covenants 78:18)
He might say: “You are tempted to worry every minute of every day whether you are doing well enough. You imagine that your ability to make mistakes exceeds My ability to redeem. Well, stop worrying! I have your fate in My hands—and these are capable, gracious hands.”
There is the fundamental problem for earnest but imperfect seekers. We know we fall short. We know we make multitudes of mistakes. And we worry that we will be consigned to wash endless pans with burned on gunk at the bottom of the least kingdom while all our friends, family, and ward members are gathered above at a glorious feast enjoying great company and heavenly cuisine.
Yes, indeed. “[We] have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for [us].” We don’t understand. In fact, we can’t imagine what He has in store for us!
Our Beloved Father sent us on this earthly field trip to get experience. He knew that we would get badly soiled by our earthly experience. He knew also that we would get lonely, sad, and discouraged. He knew that we would not remember those glorious days when we hung out with Heavenly Father and Mother and they held us lovingly on their laps, teaching us and filling us with goodness. All we know is the earthly filth that covers us now. We lose the vision. We get discouraged. We are tempted to give up. We hate our fallenness and filthiness even as we wallow in it.
But Our Beloved Father wants us to receive the heavenly vision. “The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.”
Father offers an unexpected qualification for glory.
And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more. (Doctrine & Covenants 78:19)
If we receive all things with thankfulness, we will be made glorious. If we receive hardships as a blessing and fallenness as an opportunity, we will be made glorious. Glorious! Radiant! Holy!
What does it look like to receive all things with thankfulness? In our family, it has meant accepting our 20-something miscarriages as an opportunity to trust God and draw close to Him. It has meant accepting cancer as a school of patience. It has meant accepting reproof as an opportunity to grow. We receive all of these things with thankfulness. In return, He promises to make us glorious.
With such startling news of His graciousness, we are tempted to join Enos in asking, “Lord, how is it done?” (Enos 1:7). How can this possibly be true? How can one as foolish and failing as I be made glorious?
And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent. (Mosiah 3:17)
Jesus makes it all possible.
His eternal love motivated Him to make the infinite sacrifice. Having paid the price for our sins, He washes away all our accumulated mortal gunk so that we can again be clean. And more! By His grace, we can be glorified!
And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety (Alma 34:16).
One of my favorite passages in all scripture is Lehi’s benediction to his noble life.
But behold, the Lord hath redeemed my soul from hell; I have beheld his glory, and I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love. (2 Nephi 1:15)
May we receive all things with thankfulness that we may be made glorious.
Invitation to Share Gratitude!
This season, consider a holiday gift that will help you build the spirit of gratitude in your family and among the people you love. God’s Trophies is a heartwarming children’s tale about Rupert learning gratitude for all of God’s creations. Rupert’s whimsical adventure also teaches children that they are each God’s most beloved creation. Wonderful illustrations accompany the joyful story. This book would make an excellent holiday gift for any special people in your life. For the holiday season, I am offering five copies of God’s Trophies—a $65 value—for $25 with free shipping in the US.
To get this special offer, go to Etsy