The Judgment-Seat of Christ – Mormon 3:20-22

20 And these things doth the Spirit manifest unto me; therefore I write unto you all. And for this cause I write unto you, that ye may know that ye must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, yea, every soul who belongs to the whole human family of Adam; and ye must stand to be judged of your works, whether they be good or evil;
21 And also that ye may believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, which ye shall have among you; and also that the Jews, the covenant people of the Lord, shall have other witness besides him whom they saw and heard, that Jesus, whom they slew, was the very Christ and the very God.
22 And I would that I could persuade all ye ends of the earth to repent and prepare to stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.

After describing the stubbornness and foolishness of his people–when things went badly they blamed God (Mormon 2:12-15), but when things went well they took all the credit for themselves (Mormon 3:9-11)–Mormon speaks directly to us, his latter-day readers. Think about the Final Judgment, he urges us. Don’t forget that you will one day stand before the judgment seat of Christ and account for your actions. Prepare now, so that you will be ready then.
I can think of at least three ways that remembering the Final Judgment can help us:

  1. It helps us keep an eternal perspective. We make better decisions when we think about the long-term consequences of our actions. Thinking about an event which will take place after we die gives us an extremely long-range planning horizon, which should help us make wiser decisions today.
  2. It reminds us that our decisions have consequences. Those consequences may not appear immediately, but that doesn’t mean that the law of justice has stopped functioning. It likely only means that we have been given a buffer–a period of time to come to our senses and repent before we are exposed to the full demands of justice.
  3. It helps us to think about our decisions in terms of God’s priorities instead of our own. When we remember that we will have to explain our actions to our Father in Heaven, who has all knowledge and who is perfectly righteous, we might think differently about those decisions, and we are more likely to make decisions that He will approve of.
Today, I will follow Mormon’s counsel. I will remember that, at some point in the future, I must stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. I will strive to make my decisions with an eternal perspective, with an awareness of the consequences of my decisions, and with a sincere desire to understand and do the will of my Father in Heaven.

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