by Emily Freeman
There is a question and activity that floats around the classes of the church that I want to edit.
Before that sounds too presumptuous, I want to admit that I am guilty of the non-edited version of the activity myself.
It goes something like this.
A teacher has their students anonymously write down on a piece of paper whether they think they would make it to the Celestial Kingdom if they were to pass through the veil that very day.
Part of the value of the activity, I suppose, is to offer some self reflection for everyone participating about their standing before the Lord.
I also suppose one could not get too much of this self reflection.
However, in my experience, it usually ends with a majority of crumbled up slips of paper with the word “no” in my garbage can and a classroom of 30 people wondering if they will ever be good enough.
I had a boy ask me today, “If we were at home and then yelled at our sister and punched her or something, and then all of a sudden died without getting a chance to repent–would we be doomed?”
The worst part of it was how many other students got worried, intent looks on their faces as they waited for the answer.
I figured out today that we might have the wrong idea about the character of the Lord.
What kind of God do we think we worship?
One who is just waiting for us to slip up?
One that has a giant “SMITE” button on speed dial?
One who finds pleasure in failure?
I told the boy his question could be answered really easily Don’t hit your sister!
But just in case it did happen, please remember who we kneel down before every night and morning.
Luckily, we are studying scriptures this semester that teach about the character of Christ.
Today, we read this one from 2 Peter:
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”
2 Peter 3:9
We worship a God that is longsuffering.
One that is not willing that any of us should perish.
He won’t accept no for an answer.
One that will fight for us to make it.
Now I do stand by my original statement that older brothers shouldn’t hit younger sisters (ever!), and that a good self reflection is mightily healthy and even necessary on a daily basis, and that we really should not consider our standing before the Lord flippantly. However, in the midst of all of this, let’s remember who He is.
So I am asking for a favor.
If you are going to run a self reflection activity in class or family home evening, will you edit the question to say this–
How many of you think that with the Savior with you every step of the way you can make it to the Celestial Kingdom?
That’s a better way to ask I think.
This weekend let’s be a little more patient with ourselves and others–always remembering how good the Lord is to us. How willing He is to make us someone better.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts…”