As I observe the world around me – I cannot help but make comparisons. After witnessing the majesty of heaven, my observations of the world will never be the same.
I have noticed that many people are afraid to “draw a line in the sand”. What I mean by that is that they try to find a way to make everything and most everyone okay. I realize that there was once a time past in which the judgments of others were harsher, more vocal and less forgiving. I am not suggesting that the days of teachers who rapped rulers on student’s knuckles should return. Yet, I would encourage our nation to embrace being individuals and communities of responsibility.
In heaven, there was no evil. It was as though the atmosphere there was infused with truth (and maybe it was). Void from heaven were lies, rationalization, and self-deprecation. Dominant was an attitude of service, gratitude, and love.
I believe that sin is the willful transgression of divine (God’s) law. A good definition of evil is defined as morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked. Therefore, sinning is evil or wicked. I believe that it is important to recognize the negative influence that sin has upon the earth we live on and the lives we live. Nothing good comes from sin (evil) and never will.
I recognize as a witness of heaven that I am blessed to have an understanding of heaven and its virtues that few others have. It is because of that understanding that I feel a responsibility to help others know and understand the virtues of heaven and the God who created us. We were born into this world to learn and grow in positive godlike ways. However, we are free to choose the blessings that come with embracing God and his ways or the snares and degradation that comes with rejecting Him.
Oh how I wish that each of us could enjoy just five minutes in heaven. Though I fully understand why that cannot be case, I also understand the change that would be pervasive in this world if such could be the case. One taste of heaven and you would never want or be willing to settle for anything less.
Yet, if we truly want to experience heaven on earth, we have to be willing to pay the price and walk the walk. The sublimity of heaven is not reached by lowering our behavior nor our standards. Those who seek heaven’s influence would consistently display the following characteristics:
• Self respect
• A desire to serve
• Devotion to family and marriage relationships
• Humility (which is not the same as submissiveness)
• Advocate of truth
• Seek to be a positive influence
• A devotion to God and all that is good and true
• Accepting of God’s perfection, his unchanging character and the eternal nature of His laws
In the world around us, I see an abundant use of lies, rationalization and evil influence. I see behaviors, choices and attitudes that contribute more to a hell on earth than to a heaven on earth. I see men (and women) who are concerned more with self-gratification and concerned less with their positive influence. I see companies who are more concerned with their profits than they are with their products, services, and employees. I see the epidemic use of situational ethics and morality (the bending, twisting, and altering of God’s character and commandments to suit their wants and purposes). Worse yet, despite all of the evidences ever-present upon this earth testifying of God’s hand in its creation, we are seeing a minority of those who passionately embrace immorality raise a voice that is louder and heard more frequently than the voice of those who know and follow God.
We are soon the see the results of a presidential election. Do we want to see a man lead us whose party has abandoned God and who disrespects the sacredness of life or do we want to see a man whose life has embraced service, a love of God and who is devoted to promoting strong families and marriages?
As Gorden B. Hinckley once stated, “I think the Lord would say to us, Rise, and stand upon they feet, and speak up for truth and goodness and decency and virtue.”
How those who follow God vote in the next few weeks will matter greatly. However, how we choose to conduct our lives and influence the world around us will matter even more. There is always opposition and there always will be but we can and do have the power within us to make this world a better place – a heaven on earth. All we have to do is believe and be willing to stand for truth and righteousness.
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