Thursday, February 28, 2008

2 Nephi 26:24-28

24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.
25 Behold, doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price.
26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.

This is one of those scriptural passages that I have probably read for years, and completely missed it every time. I kind of forgive myself, because it does happen shortly after the chapters which quote Isaiah, which are always a little bit more difficult to stay focused during, and these chapters are sort of written in the same style.

I do attribute my finding it to my decision to focus on scriptures that teach about Christ and the grace of Christ, otherwise I don't think it ever would have stuck out to me.

This scripture, to me at least, corroborates the idea that is so often forgotten, that the Grace of Christ is available to all of us for free, quite literally. So often I get this sense in myself that I have to arrive to a certain "minimum level of goodness" before the Atonement will really work for me. In many ways, it feels like Nephi is talking to guys like me, who really want to be good, and are painfully aware of how not good they are sometimes, and how often they don't always feel worthy of the Grace of Christ.

Nephi's response? "Where in the world did you get that idea?? Has Christ ever told anyone they weren't welcome? Even the vilest of sinners was invited to come unto Him. Why would you think that you were any different?"

In particular, I love the phrase: "buy milk and honey, without money and without price." The grace of Christ is free, there is no payment which we can offer, no list of tasks or self-punishments to be made before His grace can take effect in our lives? We simply have to come and partake.

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