August 24, 2013
The Ultimate Cost
God wants to bless us. But first He wants to know that we mean what we say – at the ultimate cost. This scripture has deeper meaning to me when I consider ‘at the ultimate cost’:
And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.
“Prove them”, to me, means to try them at the ultimate cost. I think God is saying, “Will they be obedient even when their trial asks of them the ultimate cost?”
- Abraham was told to sacrifice his only son. He had only one son from Sarah, and his son was a miracle. Would Abraham sacrifice Isaac? Would he trust in God, even at great personal cost?
- Moses was told to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, but the Red Sea blocked their exit route. Moses had ruined any chance of a future with the king. Would he go back to Egypt and be a slave when he came to the sea?
- Nephi was told to build a ship to sail to the promised land. Immediately, he asked the Lord where to find ore. But would he be obedient to God when his brothers mocked him? Would he be loyal to God and possibly lose friendship, love, and family ties?
- Alma was the prophet, he taught members of God’s church how to improve themselves, how to be happy in this life, and to strive for eternal life. But would he continue to lead the people even when his own son hated the church and persecuted its people? Would he remain the prophet and maybe lose his son?
- Alma the younger was his own person. He left his home to preach the gospel to people who took it lightly. But would he have the courage to stand by his beliefs even when his life was in jeopardy? Would he be true to his words even if it cost him his life?
- Peter was told to preach the gospel and to save souls. Jesus was gone. He could no longer hide behind Jesus’ miracles because he was the leader. Would he go back to fishing, or would he give up his trade forever to be obedient to Jesus’ commandment to preach? Would he trust Jesus, permanently give up his livelihood, and believe that he could be the prophet?
- Joseph Smith was told to form a church. Many people opposed it. The mob seized him several times. They caused his newborn child to die. They persecuted the saints that he dearly loved. They falsely accused him. Some of his friends turned their backs on him. The mob tarred and feathered him. Would he stand by what he said even when he or the ones he loved got hurt?
Having the faith to move mountains comes at a cost. Maybe it’s the cost of family, friends, comfort, or desires. No matter the cost, ultimate trust and faith in the goodness of God are better and worth it. There is an ultimate cost when striving for eternal life but the reward of eternal life is greatest. In trials each prophet’s actions say, “I don’t like it, but I trust you. Whatever you want is what I’ll do.” Their actions show surrendering their will to His. God wants everyone to surrender to Him, whether they’re a prophet or not.
Most people don’t realize their greatness and obedience. They were true to God, they accepted his plan, and their blessing was that they got to be born. The Lord wants everyone of them to return to him; one-third of the spirits of God already got lost and He doesn’t want more to follow. He wants all of His children to return to him – but He won’t force them; He’ll let them choose and risk them possibly choosing something else.
- God’s ultimate cost is giving His children their agency and letting them choose where they will go even if they don’t return to Him.