To say that God will judge us is to affirm that we are accountable for
our choices. God measures the quality of a life by the practice of Christ-like
virtues, the most important being loving service to "the least of
these" (Matt. 25:31-40; cf. Moro. 7:45-48).
Jesus taught that we will be judged by the same measure we apply to others.
If we wish to be forgiven, we should forgive; if we wish not to be condemned,
we should not condemn (Luke 6:36-38).
The scriptures describe the final judgment as a process in which the
good we send out returns to us (Alma 41:2-3, 14-15).
By natural affinity we receive in the next world whatever glory or joy
we embrace in this one (D&C 88:29-33, 40).
There are diverse destinations in the afterlife because "God granteth
unto [all] according to their desire" (Alma
29:4; cf. D&C 76).
If Christ is both judge and advocate, then divine judgment is like a
trial where our own defense lawyer writes the decision. Elsewhere, the
scriptures liken the final judgment to servants giving account of their
stewardship. Did we magnify our talents (Matt. 25:14-30)?
How did we treat our fellow servants (JS-M 1:49-54)?
The temple offers yet another image: the judgment as an intimate interview
with Christ, who shows us the scars that are the signs and tokens of his
love for us, embraces us, and draws us by the hand into God's presence.
Christ alone is the keeper of the gate: in the end, no one else's judgment
of us matters (2 Ne. 9:41).
Charles W. Penrose: We
do not believe that our Eternal Father will condemn any person who
acts according to his sincere belief and who endeavors, as far as
he can, to understand and practice what is true. . . . The Father
will find a place for them all, somewhere in His great universe,
where they can be happy, where they can fill the measure of their
creation, where they can progress forever, learn more and more,
become better, brighter and more glorious, and unite with Him in
His great and glorious purposes concerning His children.
|"Liberality of the
'Mormon' Faith," Scrapbook of Mormon Literature
Henry C. Etten & Co., 1911), 2:68, 74
Hugh Nibley: I made
my covenants and promises personally with God, in the first person
singular. "I want you to understand," said Heber C. Kimball,
"that you make covenants with God, not with us. We were present
and committed those covenants to you, and you made them with God,
and we were witnesses." . . . The Lord alone knows who are
the true Church, he alone stands at the gate, "and he employeth
no servant there" as he takes each one by the hand and speaks
each name. Even the Prophet does not know who are in the covenant
and who are not.
|Dialogue: A Journal
of Mormon Thought 12, no. 4 (Winter 1979), 43
Ardeth Greene Kapp: As
we crossed the border, I began wondering about our ultimate journey,
our journey to our eternal home. When we reach that border crossing,
how will we respond to the question, "What have you to declare?"
. . . I believe it will be the evidence of our love for each other
that will qualify us for the passage.
|I Walk by Faith
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1987), 107-108
Marlin K. Jensen:
Only our infinitely empathetic and merciful Savior will ultimately
know . . . each of us well enough to make a fair judgment concerning
. . . our eternal destinies.
|Heroes of the Restoration
(Salt Lake City, Bookcraft, 1997), 33
D. Michael Quinn:
After death, I expect to be as close to God or as distant from His
presence as we both are comfortable to be.
|"Apologia Pro Mea Via,"
Sunstone, December 2003, 26