Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sheep and Goats

Our lesson today in Priesthood was on the Second Coming, and we were given assignments to read a small section of the lesson aloud and make comment. My section was about the Judgement, and included this scripture, which I'm sure I've heard a hundred times before:

Matthew 25:31-40
 
31- When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
32- And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33- And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34- Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35- For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36- Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37- Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38- When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39- Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40- And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The scripture goes on to say that the 'wicked' did not do these things, and will therefore be cast out.

What struck me this time around is the way the Lord defined those who were righteous and those who were wicked - the sheep and the goats. Righteousness was not defined by Church attendance, keeping the Word of Wisdom, putting on a great Road Show, wearing a white shirt to Church, or serving in a particular calling. The only criteria for righteousness seemed to be how we served our fellow man. How we loved and cared for those around us. That was it. Likewise, wickedness was defined as a selfish absence of service, caring, or love.  The other commandments truly pale in importance compared to this crowning principle of love and service. This was one of those profound moments of realization for me.

And then my thoughts turned to the way many of us MoHos are treated. So many of us hunger and thirst for acceptance (see my last post), love, dignity, caring, and equality. So many of us are sick of being persecuted and being imprisoned in closets of anonymity. So many of us are naked and exposed to hate, ridicule, insults and the injustice of our society. How sad it will be  - how truly sad - when the parent who casts out his own child simply because he is gay finds out he is actually a goat, and not a sheep after all.  How sad, indeed, to discover that you have altogether missed the very essence of Christianity.

1 comment:

Sulli said...

Your interpretation and insight is inspiring. I like your view of those scriptures.