Not only did Jesus come into the world to bring life, to save and to rescue, He also seeks to enlist us in His cause. He ascended into heaven, but His purposes have not concluded.
He is represented in the Parable of the Sergeant by the lieutenant, who informed the troops under his command that others needed rescuing through a difficult mission. The sergeant represents His servants the prophets and apostles, but he could also be any one of us. We also can be among the members of the squad who stood with their leader, who because of their trust are willing to follow his lead.
The parable of the sergeant came to be as I thought about a particular phrase in the following statement from the first chapter in the Book of Mormon: “But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance” (1 Nephi 1:20). He goes on to tell the story of his family’s escape from Jerusalem before its destruction at the hands of the Babylonians, and later his own escape from his brothers who turned against him. The phrase “all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith” turned over in my mind for a while.
Just as the lieutenant asked his platoon, the Lord could be asking any of us: “Do you believe it can be done?” It’s when we stand up and express our faith and commitment to Him that He can choose us to do His will and accomplish His purposes. He can choose us to have an impact and make a difference by seeking out those who need rescuing through His gospel.
In one of the symmetries of the gospel of Christ, we choose to be chosen. That’s not to say that every one of us will be an Abraham, an Elijah, a Peter, a Paul, a Nephi, or a Moroni, but ultimately that’s not the sense of being chosen that really matters. Jesus will choose any who truly choose Him out of all the other choices we have in life, out of all the other things we could pursue and devote our time and energies to.
The more we choose faith, the more the Lord can use us, and the more power we’ll have to follow His lead. And when the mission is accomplished, we will receive His commendations before Heavenly Father.
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