my works

In case you missed it - but I'm sure you didn't - c jane had some interesting discussions going on at her place last week. I generally enjoy reading such Internet discussions, although I rarely join them, because I think we can all learn something from everyone else. Even cowardly anonymous commenters.

There were way too many facets of last week's conversation to cover in one post, or even by myself, but one topic that caught my eye was the "Faith vs. Works" question. (Ah, the old faith or works debate! Check!) The oldest one in the book....
I'm not really going there, either, except to comment on one thing that was said. A commenter criticized "Mormons" for thinking that we can earn our way to heaven, for doing good works and then patting ourselves on the back. I spent approximately .5 seconds thinking about that before I decided that
1. I KNOW good works will not get me to heaven; no one has ever told me that in 22+ years of Mormonship and
2. Still, sometimes I do things just because I think I should. Call it over-achievement, following blindly, an overdeveloped sense of guilt (we Mormons are famous for that one!), call it what you want. Even when there are no foreseeable benefits, even when I don't know why, I try to do what I am asked. Or what I'm not asked. Just hoping it will do me good.

For example.
My brother has been living with Slice and me for almost a month now ... in our one-bedroom, one-bath, half-kitchen portion of the house. We gave him half of our living room when he had nowhere else to go.

I was apprehensive about it, to say the least. I knew he would take our bed, our space, our water, our LIMITED ALONE TIME. I figured he would take our food and towels and toilet paper. And, judging his past behavior, I knew there would be conflict on several different levels.

What I didn't count on was the danger he would pose; the stress it all would put me under. Stress I really don't need right now, if you know what I mean.

And I'm thinking -- I BETTER be earning some brownie points here somewhere.
Judge me as you will.


T.R. Morgan said...

"teach me all that I must do, to live with him someday."

The song was first performed at a stake Primary conference in 1957. After hearing the performance, LDS Apostle Spencer W. Kimball asked the Primary general board, if the phrase "Teach me all that I must know / To live with him someday" could be changed to "Teach me all that I must do / To live with him someday". As Kimball later explained, "To know isn't enough. The devils know and tremble; the devils know everything. We have to do something.

Works do get us into heaven. If we don't love Jesus, we will not follow His commandments and He will not chose us. Nor will He pay the punishment for our sins and we can not get into heaven.

Likewise the converse is true. If we love Jesus we will follow His commandments and He will chose us and pay the punishment for our sins so that we can get into heaven with Him.

The difference is works alone don't get us there. We still need His grace to pay for our sins and He will only do so if we follow His commandments.

Fig said...

Your works are good. I hope things get easier with the stress stuff. I really do think you will be glad you helped - in your specific situation and in most situations. Service is good, generally speaking.

Mormons are an interesting bunch. I think we all feel so incredibly obligated.