Last Sunday I listened to the session of General Conference that I had missed.  I came to this passage from Elder Renlund’s talk:

When a friend of ours in South Africa, Diane, was a new convert, she attended a branch outside of Johannesburg. One Sunday, as she sat in the congregation, the layout of the chapel made it so that the deacon did not see her as the sacrament was passed. Diane was disappointed but said nothing. Another member noted the omission and mentioned it to the branch president after the meeting. As Sunday School began, Diane was invited to an empty classroom.

A priesthood holder came in. He knelt down, blessed some bread, and handed her a piece. She ate it. He knelt down again and blessed some water and handed her a small cup. She drank it. Thereafter, Diane had two thoughts in rapid succession: First, “Oh, he [the priesthood holder] did this just for me.” And then, “Oh, He [the Savior] did this just for me.”

I did not hear the rest of the talk.  I fell into a reverie.

Imagine that the whole service was just for her.  Imagine that the good people of the area knew that Diane  needed the sacrament and fellowship that Sunday, so they organized a service and a communion just so she could attend it.

Imagine that this was the only reason the building had been built and the branch organized, in fact.  To help Diane.

Imagine that the whole church apparatus in South Africa existed only to find, convert, and sanctify Diane.

Imagine that the whole church everywhere existed only for her sake.  So that her own church services would have context and support, so that she could fine the gospel wherever she traveled, so that she would never find that the whole thing was an illusion just to support her but would find richness and reality wherever she went.

Imagine that the whole world was so, staffed by angels in the guise of men and women, just for the sake of the salvation and sanctification of one soul named Diane.

If it were so, it would be reasonable.  It would not be something quixotic or romantic.  It would be pure celestial pragmatism.  It would be an exercise in cold-blooded calculation that would do an accountant, or Brigham Young, proud.  Because the returns on that investment would far outweigh the costs.

One soul that becomes God like God is worth that much.  Godhood is transcendent and infinite.

The whole universe is not too much just for the sake of one soul.  If the light from a far off galaxy will one night reach a soul looking up into the night sky and give that soul comfort and spiritual thoughts, then the galaxy will be placed there.  Astrology has the relationship between men and stars exactly wrong.

God himself will suffer for that soul.

Would we risk all of that, something worth more than the suns and the worlds, for a moment of irritation or gratification?  Yet we do.  There is no such thing as a minor sin.


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