Sometimes it seems like I want to save myself. If I make a list and hold myself accountable to it, I can change any bad habit, right? I just need to have the “will power” to do what I say I will do — then I can change. Then I can become better. Then I can be worthy to be called a disciple of Christ.
This is a lie. Satan wants us to try to do it alone. He tricks us into thinking that only if we keep the commandments and do the checklist, will we be saved. If we read our scriptures, say our prayers, serve our neighbors, minister to our sisters, go to church, etc., we will be saved. This doesn’t sound like a bad list of things to do, does it?
Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said,
Too often, we complicate the beauty and simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ with endless lists of meticulous expectations. However, when we focus on the “why” of the gospel, much of the confusion fades away.”Dieter F. Uchtdorf
So, why is there a checklist? Why are there commandments? Aren’t we supposed to do them? There is nothing wrong with doing the checklist. Sometimes it is all we can do. And sometimes the checklist keeps us going until we feel ready to give it all up — when we are ready to admit our nothingness and turn to Him.
For me, sometimes it feels easier just to check off the list. To be saved by Christ, I must surrender my will. I need to admit my faults — admit my weaknesses — admit that I can’t do it alone.
Maybe we like some of our sins and aren’t ready to let them go. Maybe we think that we can figure it out ourselves and that we will be ok just completing the checklist because we aren’t ready for Christ to change us. But the checklist is hard — especially when we are only doing it by gritting our teeth.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28–30
When we understand the “why” of the gospel, it becomes easier to live the gospel.
Jesus Christ saves us – over and over again. Only through Him can we be made whole. Only through Him can we become clean and find rest. No checklist necessary.
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