Sunday, April 3, 2011

the grace of marriage

I have been thinking about how commandments allow us to access the grace of God.

They aren't given to us just so that we have something to DO to work out our salvation. They are given to us because by so doing God is giving us access to his power -- through choices that change us, that he has told us to make, we are enabled to have our natures changed. I may start out obeying the commandment not to lie simply out of fear or duty – but as I recognize my inability to be completely honest on my own, repent and access the Savior's atonement, and am empowered by the grace and love of Christ to be honest in all my doings, I then actually begin to become an honest person. The commandment itself is grace; it is an enabling power to become honest (something I could never do on my own because I cannot change my nature, but the atonement can).

Specifically, I have been thinking recently about the commandment to be married for eternity in the temple and how it allows us to have access to the joys, trials, and experiences that will change us and made us Godly.

Knowing that we can be together forever and having faith in the covenant we make with God, in His promises to us, empowers us in striving to strengthen our relationships and overcome trials. To commit to the process of "having a marriage." I think it's not so much that we “have to be married in the temple in order to go to the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom” like a checkmark on the list of “things we have to do” but rather I think that we are commanded to be married in the temple because by doing so we are placed in a covenant, and in the circumstances necessary, to have the experiences that will MAKE us worthy to enter the highest glory of the Celestial Kingdom – that will make us celestial beings. The process of turning “I” into “we” that we learn in marriage is kindred to the process of turning “I” into “we” as we turn our will over to God and become one with Christ. The work of marriage, as we use the atonement to honor our covenant and have a successful relationship, is also enabling us to become exalted. It is layer upon layer of the grace of Christ.

It's not the doing, but the becoming - becoming that does not happen because of what I do but because I cannot do, and I need grace, which empowers my becoming.

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