Humankind faces innumerable dilemmas individually, locally, regionally, and globally, and has done so throughout history. The Lord once referred to these in a revelation as “the perplexities of the nations” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:79). As grave as many of our predicaments are, none carries more gravity than that described by the ancient prophet Jacob.
“[T]he fall came by reason of transgression; and because man became fallen they were cut off from the presence of the Lord. … Wherefore, the first judgment which came upon man must needs have remained to an endless duration. And if so, this flesh must have laid down to rot and to crumble to its mother earth, to rise no more. … [And] if the flesh should rise no more our spirits must become subject to that angel who fell from before the presence of the Eternal God, and became the devil, to rise no more. And our spirits must have become like unto him, and we become devils, angels to a devil, to be shut out from the presence of our God, and to remain with the father of lies, in misery, like unto himself” (2 Nephi 9:6–9).
A bleak word picture if there ever was one. Fallen. Cut off. Shut out. Rotten. Crumbled. Angels to a devil. Miserable.
For a business owner, perhaps no occurrence is more drastic to see your venture lose profitability and fall apart, leaving you with nothing—or less than nothing, if you were to come out of it with debt so large you can never so much as break even.
The executives and board of directors of a fictional company found themselves in this situation in the Parable of the New Investor. They had no means among themselves to rescue their doomed organization. The chairman was not in the position to provide what was needed, so he called in a friend who had all the means—all the financial and social capital to make the chairman’s strategy work. But it had to be done under the investor’s conditions.
It could be seen as risky, even when we lived with Heavenly Father before we were born, to undertake this venture of mortality, not knowing if we would make it back. There were those who wanted, and perhaps those who now want, a guarantee of a return to His presence. But the only guarantee we can have is our own commitment to follow Christ and adhere to the laws and principles of His gospel (including repentance). As the executives and board realized, the promise of success was sure as long as they let the new investor be their guide.
We know what Jesus has done and what He can do. He has the power to make this risky venture successful.
I removed them from the quotation earlier, but Jacob’s description of our predicament is punctuated with expressions of hope and gratitude for the solution:
“there must needs be a power of resurrection …” (v. 6)
“it must needs be an infinite atonement …” (v. 7)
“O the wisdom of God, his mercy and grace!” (v. 8)
“O how great the goodness of our God, who prepareth a way for our escape” (v. 10)
“O how great the plan of our God!” (v. 13)
When the future looks bleak, especially when it comes to our ultimate happiness and salvation, Jesus is the answer. He has invested everything He has in our success. He won’t instantly solve all our problems, but in the words of an Apostle of the Lord, “through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all will be made right according to God’s timing” (Elder Richard G. Scott, “Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority”).
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