One of the words used in the scriptures to describe our relationship with God is heir. Paul wrote to the Romans, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs” (Romans 8:16–17).
The deceased mother in the Parable of the Will represents our Heavenly Father, the Progenitor of our spirits, and the executor of the estate is Jesus Christ. He executes the will—in other words, the plan and purposes—of Heavenly Father. That makes Heavenly Father’s children the heirs, gathered to hear His directions on how we can receive the riches that He wants to impart to us. He has stipulated the terms in the scriptures and revelation through modern prophets, specific steps that we need to take.
At the same time, the deceased can typify Jesus because He died to make our inheritance possible. That makes the executor of the estate the Lord’s prophet and apostles who lead His Church in our time, given all the authority needed to direct the work of salvation on the earth and make sure the path is clearly marked.
Jesus taught, “For narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:14). “Who then can be saved?” asked His disciples on another occasion when Jesus spoke of the smallness of the entrance (Matthew 19:25). In other words, the kingdom of God has its requirements, and we are now in a time of preparation. Said the prophet Alma, “And we see that death comes upon mankind … which is the temporal death; nevertheless there was a space granted unto man in which he might repent; therefore this life became a probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God; a time to prepare for that endless state … which is after the resurrection of the dead” (Alma 12:24).
Are we preparing only to meet God? No, there’s more to it. The prophet Nephi spoke of both the requirements and the outcome of meeting them:
And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.2 Nephi 31:19–20
In the will, the prerequisites were designed to help the heirs bless others and become better people themselves, prepared to better use the inheritance they would receive. Like these heirs, we have a set time because in a future day, we’ll give an accounting to God and learn what inheritance we have qualified for. Just as those of us left behind when a parent passes on usually don’t know exactly what they have to bequeath to us, we can scarcely imagine the wonder of that which our Heavenly Father desires to grant us when we meet Him again.
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