One mark of True Religion is that God exacts covenants upon those who occupy His church. Really! God personally sees to it that one does not just fall into full membership/fellowship in His kingdom with mere consent, and passive attendance. It's that same way with serving God--one actually pays for the privilege!
Outrageous? Check it out! God is not looking for a cadry of applauders, but a team-ful of beefy players, and a full count of second- and third-stringers who can--and do--freely substitute!
This reality became clear, last week, as Ranelle and I stepped out of the van that drove us to old Nauvoo. Upon realizing the magnitude of where we were, we suddenly saw the vast irony involved. You see, just six months earlier we had laid on the line not only our wealth, but also our Eternal security should we not do the job! No hint of anything in return--nothing. And now this: a free trip to Nauvoo, and Carthage. Suddenly, there at the van's doorway we glimpsed the generosity of our kindly God.
So for part of two days we walked the streets of that wannabe City of the Saints, and there we sensed the screaming and hateful mobs that once trampled the very turf upon which we stood! Our presence there was an unbelievable gift, and we wore ourselves out just walking and looking!
Then at second days' end, Sister O and I re-entered the van, and with our group hauled off to nearby Carthage. There, we visited the jail. In the tour, Elder O'Dell stood for twenty minutes at the very window where God's Latter-day Prophet Joseph Smith received two bullets. As his riddled body crashed through that very window, he received two more bullets from the courtyard below, then another as he lay dead where he landed.
Me, I was sobered. Sobered at being there, and sobered to think that not one lawful finger was ever pointed at the 150 "brave" mobsters who did it.
Leaving Carthage at 6:30 p.m., our group of 13 hunkered down for an eight hour drive back home. Wonderful trip!