I am certain that anybody with a teenager knows that there are people who will do anything they can to get the most benefit with least effort on their part.
As a parent of a pre-teen, I see it every single day. When I receive poor work, I ask him to do it again and yet he still tries to pass off unacceptable work the first time. The effort and work are requirements, a principle of the gospel that will bring us happiness. Why, then, does he repeatedly try to skimp his way through?
The Savior told us that the idler will not receive the blessings of His kingdom (D&C 42:42). Why is that? He has taught us to be involved in good works continuously. Living the gospel can be a joy but that joy does not come without personal sacrifice, effort, and work.
What kind of work is needed to obtain eternal life? Eternal life is what Heavenly Father enjoys at his eternal companion’s side. How can He be a perfect and wise parent, a loving, kind and charitable creator without spending eons of time working on perfecting the imperfections?
2 Nephi 28: 8 says “And there shall also be many which shall say: Eat, drink, and be merry; nevertheless, fear God—he will justify in committing a little sin; yea, lie a little, take the advantage of one because of his words, dig a pit for thy neighbor; there is no harm in this; and do all these things, for tomorrow we die; and if it so be that we are guilty, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God.”
All play and no work
As much as people would like to think that we end up at his side no matter what, we know that it isn’t part of the plan. No one can cheat their way through the plan of our wise Father in Heaven. The next verse of the scripture denounces that false teaching saying, “Yea, and there shall be many which shall teach after this manner, false and vain and foolish doctrines, and shall be puffed up in their hearts, and shall seek deep to hide their counsels from the Lord; and their works shall be in the dark.”
I think of the great man Abraham who, having his wonderful promises of the Lord riding on his only posterity, was asked to give that child up as a sacrifice. Not only did he agree to give up his son, he also accepted the idea that all the promises made him would go unfulfilled. The Lord pulled at Abraham’s very heartstrings. He proves us as well. He will pull and tug at our hearts until He knows we are willing to sacrifice all for Him. There is no way around it.
The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” (www.lds.org, Guide to the Scriptures: Sacrifice) Mosiah 3:17 teaches “And moreover, I say unto you, that there shall be no other name given nor any other way nor means whereby salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent.”
In Doctrine & Covenants 76:53, the Lord identifies those who will inherit eternal life in the presence of our Heavenly Father. These “who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.” These will overcome all things through their faith in Jesus Christ. They will grow and develop and walk the path that is set before them.
Jesus Christ is the way, the light and the truth. No one will be able to sneak past Him through the pearly gates for it is He who marked the way to eternal life.