This past Christmas season the LDS church had a big campaign about how Christ is the gift of Christmas. He is God's gift to mankind. But lately I have been questioning if I want that gift. What would I do with it? A strange question considering I taught about Christ for two years. I know who He is on a fundamental level. I could tell you all sorts of facts about Him, what He did, and "why" He is needed. But yet I still wonder why there is all this hubbub about him. I have always known Christ is important but I don't know if I have ever quite felt it.
The doctrine is that it is only through Christ that we can return to live with God. Well why? That kind of seems like a dumb plan if you ask me. Why do I have to go through some arbitrary process to live with God again? Why does He make me completely dependent upon His only begotten son? Why can't I be dependent upon His son Jacob Allred? I know I am not perfect but should that matter? Haven't I been taught that I am powerful beyond all measure? Doesn't the power to change ultimately reside in me? So why do I need a third party involved? It is said that no unclean thing can enter into heaven. Okay well let me go clean myself! I can change! I have soap and water. So why do I need a special brand of soap? Is my soap not good enough? Does it not work or something?
So maybe the question really is why do I need Christ? Or better yet, why does God require me to need Christ? Why can't I be powerful enough to change myself? I often hear people finding power in the atonement. This has always baffled me. Is the atonement giving them an extra boost of willpower to do their home-teaching or to refrain from getting into a fight? You know that you can become a better person without Christ. Many people quit smoking, support the homeless, and forgive their neighbors all without needing this extra support. They just do it on their own sheer willpower and desire. They do it without help. That sounds a little more impressive than those who call for help at the first sign of struggle.
The last few years I have become more and more independent. Not only have I become independent financially but in many ways spiritually. I have learned the resiliency of the human body and mind. I ran a marathon, an idea two years ago I would have thought impossible. I have proved to myself that I can do incredible things without asking for God's intervention. I'm amazed at what the body and mind can do. I want to keep challenging myself to see what I can do. I want to be the master of my ship. I want to control my destiny.
During a time in which my very belief in God has been in question and my own independence has increased, I guess it's no surprise that I ask these questions. I question how much I need or don't need God and His son Jesus Christ.
I don't know why God requires me to need Christ for my salvation. Maybe it's to teach me humility and not let pride rule my will. Maybe humbling myself to a subsidiary role is a requisite process to eventually becoming like God. As Christ says in Ether 12:27 "...my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me" Maybe it's all about humility. Maybe...
I was not ever thus, nor prayed that thou shouldst lead me on.
I loved to choose and see my path...
Will my life finish the verse?
...but now, Lead thou me on!