I had a rather profound thought today in Sunday School.  The lesson was about King Benjamin (first few chapters of Mosiah) and how he was teaching his 3 sons, then started teaching his kingdom.  We were talking about the narrative of events along with some gospel principles.  One of the verses we read said “…if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants” (Mosiah 2:21).   Brother Miner asked us what that means.  One of the answers given was “An unprofitable servant would be one who uses more than he can put back”.  Brother Miner said something about no Return On Investment.  Then he asked if anyone had ever made money back on their kids.  There were some chuckles, then he asked why we do it.  Why put so much into something that doesn’t give back nearly what we invest in it.

If you look at this monetarily, it doesn’t make sense.  Kids are like cars…they are a drain on money and resources.  Any decent financial advisor will try to keep you from putting money in a long-term “losing” investment.  So what is the Return On Investment in our children?

One of the answers is given in the Doctrine and Covenants, wherein the Lord says “The worth of souls is great in the sight of God “ (D&C 18:10).  President Monson, on a couple of occasions tells a story where he was at a stake conference, and a person in the audience was asked what the worth of a soul was.  After a few moments of silence the person said “The worth of a soul is its capacity to become as God.”  That capacity to become as God does not come from money or any other worldly thing.  The scriptures have many accounts of people who tried to buy their way into the kingdom of God.  It didn’t work then, and it doesn’t work now.  Instead, one must work out their salvation and keep the commandments of God.

I also thought about how the Gospel is all inclusive, yet, at the same time, very personal.  There are some things that every person must do within the Gospel, such as be baptized, receive the Priesthood, make and observe their temple covenants, to name a few.  The Lord has given us these things by commandment.  They are fixed things that all people who wish to live with God must do. 

However, each person is individual, with their own thoughts, likes, dislikes, trials and triumphs.  The Gospel is designed to allow people to be individual.  We all have different things to work on in our quest for perfection.  Aside from the fixed ordinances, we have a common goal…eternal life. 

One asks why God would send us here, knowing many (if not most) would fall short of eternal glory.  As already mentioned, God views the worth of souls to be great.  Even with that divine piece of revelation, there is nobody who will be perfect enough to make it on their own.  In the end, we will not be able to provide God with a decent Return On Investment.  We are unprofitable servants, even those who are called to be prophets. 

Jesus evens the balance sheet.  Because he loves us, he will change us from unprofitable to profitable, so long as we do all we can.  We will no longer be a losing investment.  Our value to God will be realized as we progress towards becoming as He is.  It is up to us to be worthy of that blessing.

This entry was posted on Sunday, April 20th, 2008 at 6:32 pm and is filed under Church Meetings, Older Posts, Scriptures. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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