Is There an Opportunity Cost to Heaven?
Is there an opportunity cost to heaven? Does the law of sacrifice require that you give up one thing in order to obtain another? Why is mortality important? Does mortality give us an opportunity to choose? If so, then why does it? Mortality gives us a brief opportunity to only be able to focus on only one thing at a time. That which we choose to focus on, also informs what we have chosen to ignore. This mortal time we have is a great blessing.
If sacrifice is a law, then what sacrifice? Will any do? Should the sacrifices people made in an old book be the ones we imitate? Are their blessings our blessings because we read them? If not, then have we come to God in the same manner they did, have the visions of eternity opened to our view? Did Abraham's blessing come because Noah built an ark and had to deal with such great loss of life? Was Moses able to rest on the promises made to Melchizedek? Why the necessity of Issac, and Jacob opening the heavens themselves, wrestling with an angel to obtain a blessing, when surely their Father Abraham's priesthood, perhaps in most anyone's view, would have been sufficient to "seal them up?"
What sort of vanity did Jesus tell Joseph characterized the religions of his day? Priestly forms without power? Teaching for God's doctrine the commandments that men devised must be what God desires? How near did they draw unto him with their lips? How closely can we come without obtaining? How closely would the great imitator desire that we come?
Alma says that "I would that ye should remember that the Lord God ordained priests, after his holy order, which was after the order of his Son, to teach these things unto the people. And those priests were ordained after the order of his Son, in a manner that thereby the people might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption."
Who was it that ordained these priests? Was it "the Lord God"? Should this be taken literally? What is his "holy order after the order of his Son"? How were they ordained such that by such a blessing, others "might know in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption." When the Brother of Jared came into the Lord's presence, did he receive redemption, being redeemed from the fall and brought back into the presence of God? Was this an example of how the people might know "in what manner to look forward to his Son for redemption"? Would such a man know how to teach others to obtain such blessings?
Is it important for redemption to occur in mortality? If so why? If not, then why not? Is there anything about enduring their glory now that will enable us to endure their coming then?
If what we choose to focus on is something less than will redeem a person, what will be the result as we finally recognize our telestial distractions for what they are? Will it kindle in my mind torment like a lake of fire and brimstone?
Will this torment take away every bit of one's pride? Will it bring humility? If so, then what?
When Moroni appeared to Joseph, he quoted scripture, telling him that the day would soon come that would burn as an oven, saying "they that come" shall burn them. Who is "they"? He said further that this burning would leave them neither root, nor branch, which seem to me like genealogical terms. In order to save the earth from being utterly wasted the angel says our hearts must turn to the fathers. Could this be "they that come" which seems to accompany burning? Does this prophecy have anything to do with the Lord's revelation to Noah, when he said:
"When thy posterity shall embrace the truth, and look upward, then shall Zion look downward, and all the heavens shall shake with gladness, and the earth shall tremble with joy; And the general assembly of the church of the firstborn shall come down out of heaven, and possess the earth, and shall have place until the end come."
Might this be "they that come"? Have any of us arrived at a point where we can say "Zion has looked downward and all the heavens have shaked with gladness and the earth trembled with joy?" Might this be the "fathers" we need to turn to? the "fathers in heaven"?
Are these the "blessings of the fathers" that Abraham sought for and obtained?
Joseph taught "If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be wise. The first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory."
He also taught our kindred dead need our help to save them. If our kindred dead need our help for salvation, can they qualify as "fathers in eternal glory"?
"Let us here observe, that after any portion of the human family are made acquainted with the important fact that there is a God who has created and does uphold all things, the extent of their knowledge, respecting his character and glory, will depend upon their diligence and faithfulness in seeking after him, until like Enoch the brother of Jared, and Moses, they shall obtain faith in God, and power with him to behold him face to face.
"We have now clearly set forth how it is, and how it was, that God became an object of faith for rational beings; and also, upon what foundation the testimony was based, which excited the enquiry and diligent search of the ancient saints, to seek after and obtain a knowledge of the glory of God: and we have seen that it was human testimony, and human testimony only, that excited this enquiry, in the first instance in their minds—it was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers—this testimony having aroused their minds to enquire after the knowledge of God, the enquiry frequently terminated, indeed, always terminated, when rightly pursued, in the most glorious discoveries, and eternal certainty." (Lectures on Faith, Lecture 2)