On Becoming Joint Heirs with Christ

What a marvelous and wondrous thing it is to have one of my sons at my side in front of a sacred edifice over whose portals is inscribed the legend, “HOLINESS TO THE LORD, THE HOUSE OF THE LORD.” I desire to do so with all of my children. During my lifetime, it has been my lot to be present when men, women, and children have died, often violently. I have closed the eyes of the pure and innocent as they departed from this mortal existence. I know something of death. And more than most, I know something of that which awaits us as we cross the veil. Having confronted violence numerous times, I am grateful for the tender prayers of my angel mother. With prophetic insights she prayed, nearly 50 years ago, that I would never be compelled to take a life. “Should that happen, you will not be able to work in the House of the Lord.” In that day, half a century ago, the nearest temple was a thousand miles away. Today there is a temple forty five minutes away. How could she have known? On this day, my greatest desire is that my beloved children, all of them, might be redeemed. It is my prayer that each might strive to be worthy of entrance into the House of the Lord. Where repentance is needed, we remember the words of Ezekiel: “If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die. None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.” (Ezekiel 33:14,15) What a marvelous promise! Having repented of our sins, when in a future day we appear at the bar before our Lord, none of our sins will be mentioned! Indeed, the promise is sure: “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.” (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42) On the other hand, should we be remiss, and cross the veil in our sins, how dreadful shall be that meeting, when we will view with Him, as on a movie screen, our filthy thoughts and shameful acts, and are consigned to a lesser place, because we would not have better! Of our own selves, we would not enter a better, knowing ourselves not worthy of such. How great, and how tragic, shall be our regret over what might have been! All will be resurrected, of that I have no doubt. But only those who have become pure through repentance will be worthy to live with their families, and in the presence of God. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:17) Let us not be like the man who is invited to festivities at the mansion of the king, Along the way he crosses a muddy field. By the time he reaches the mansion, his shoes, his clothing, are covered in mud. He may look in the window and view the beauty of the interior, and the elegantly dressed guests, but he will in no way enter in. Such will be our lot except we repent. Let us then make ourselves worthy, that we might exit from this life to greater living. If we will do so, the day will come when we will hear a voice saying: “… lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou hast been faithful in keeping the commandments of God…” ( The Book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ,¬†Alma 8:15)