I had a bit of an epiphany last night while talking to friends. Well, maybe "epiphany" overkill. But, I'm tired and that was the only word I came up with.
We were talking about wanting to get by with doing less. But, when you do that, you worry about where the line is. We were talking about this in relation to spiritual matters, so it involved qualifying for eternal life with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I shared some of the thoughts I've recently had on this subject. I've been thinking about things in terms of "eternal progression". We've learned from modern day scripture that whatever we learn and accomplish in this life (not including materialistic accumulation) we will carry with us to the next. And the more we learn and grow, the further along the path we'll be.
Our ultimate goal is to return to our Father in heaven and, in time, "inherit all that (our) Father hath"--meaning that we can grow to be like Him. Not to supersede Him, He will always be our God and our Father. But, to become like Him, as a child watching a parent may some day grow up to emulate that parent.
So, this life is learning and practice. Which will continue in the hear after.
And that's where my analogy comes in.
I wasn't the best student my first couple of years of college. I figured out what I needed to do in order to get at least a B and I did it. Studying and memorizing in such a way that the knowledge would soon be forgotten once the assignment or test was over. Eventually, maybe part way through my Junior year, I really gained an appreciation for my courses, my education, and all that I was learning. I think it was my exercise physiology professor who really helped with this. I loved that class and wanted to soak up all of the knowledge I could. So, I really studied and internalized it.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for most of the courses I took before that. And so, I regret. A lot. Sure, I can take courses and check out books from the library and study those subjects I glossed over. And I can learn all that I missed.
But, it will be much harder now. A lot has changed. I have less time and my mind is full of so many other things, it might be difficult to learn and process.
And I think that's how things will be in the world to come.
I think we can do less and still receive exaltation. But, we'll be far behind others who worked harder to come to know God and Jesus Christ in this life. They will have practiced becoming like Them and be that much closer to that goal. Not to mention the fact that since they will know Them better, they will be far more comfortable in Their presence.
So, it's back to that simple concept of Choice. You reap what you sow. There is work to be done. The more we get done in the here and now, the further along the path we will be.
That's pretty much it.