"Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and call things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."It's to see what we desire in our hearts, and what we do about those desires. As I kept on meditating on this, God told me so clearly and simply that this life would still be an absolutely fair test, with the same potential for exaltation, without ANY interaction from God, whatsoever. Without the church. Without interaction from Christ. Just our consciences to guide us. (He still had to triumph over sin & death so He could pay our debt to justice, but that could have happened quietly, without prophecy and without a following.)
That idea came so cleanly, so clearly, so quietly and simply into my heart. I asked, "Then why, God? Why all of the effort and failure and heartache to work so much with your children? When you know so many will take what You give them and transform it into bludgeons to use on one another, especially the downtrodden and weak? Why go to all the effort?" His answer was so typical of Him, and so all-encompassing:
"Because I love you."
The true test is in our hearts--whether we are Mormon or Muslim, Jew or Gentile, American or Aborigine. Our life circumstance doesn't matter a single bit. Our access to "saving ordinances", et al, as members of the LDS church only provides a different arena in which to act out the desires of our hearts. I haven't yet pondered on why it is that some are blessed so richly (like my husband and myself), born to families that are pretty darn good, raised with sufficient food, clothing & shelter, without serious abuse from those that are supposed to love us, and then grow into adults who try to keep God's commandments and are blessed with so much safety as a result. But the answer I got that afternoon was astounding to me: God goes to all of this effort, all of this heartache, all of this rejection because He loves us, and He can't NOT do it.
God ROCKS my world. :oD