To those who wish they could do more for God:
Confession time: One of my greatest weaknesses is the fact that I constantly feel unworthy. It’s something that has pressed my mind for as long as I can remember. As I read the account of Christ’s ministry in the Americas this time around, though, I felt I was learning a lot more than I ever have. I felt myself feeling down as I thought, “I’m glad I wasn’t there, because there is no way on earth that I could ever come face to face with Jesus Christ without either fleeing to the darkest corners of the earth with thoughts of inadequacy haunting me for the rest of my days or bursting into flames because of my unworthiness.” Then we learned about the Parable of the Grateful Cat. Now take note: This is not a biblical parable, nor is it even a scriptural one. Rather, it was given by a Latter-day Apostle named James E. Talmage. The gist of the story goes like this:
A man was talking a walk near a pond when he saw two boys with a basket. He then realized that the basket was full of kittens and that the boys intended to drown them. The mother cat was running on the bank, clearly in distress. Upon inquiry, the boys told the man that their family’s cat just had the kittens, but the family couldn’t afford them – hence the drowning. The man paid the boys and took the kittens under his arm, touting them back to his home. The mother cat followed him, occasionally emitting grateful yet mournful purrs. The man made a comfortable place for them to stay in his house. The mother cat, seeing her kittens were taken care of, left with much joy. The next day, the man was having a party with notable company. During the party, the mother cat returned. In her mouth was a fat, still slightly alive mouse. She walked up to the man and dropped it at the feet of the man, then turned around and left.
This is by no means a perfect parable, but we can still learn much from it. So let me invite you to do something with me: Imagine yourself in the story. I’ll let you draw from it what you will, but I will accentuate one point – that man did not need that mouse. There really isn’t anything he could have done with it except give it to the kittens. But, at the same time, I cannot picture him saying, “You dumb cat! How dare you bring this filth into my house!” It is the same with us. God doesn’t need whatever works that we do in this life. Rather, the good works we do show appreciation for what He did for us.
I know there are many people like me who have feelings of inadequacy that constantly plague them. They think, “God did so much for me, yet I can’t even do a portion of what He asks in return.” We need to remember that, in reality, there is absolutely no way for us to ever pay back the debt that Christ paid for us. It’s sad to say this, but it’s true. But that is what is so great about the gospel. Brother Griffin shared a special quote with the class that really hit home for me: “A perfect man at an imperfect trial was found guilty so that one day an imperfect man at a perfect trial would be found not guilty.” We are not perfect, and that is okay. That’s why we have the Atonement. We were by no means sent here to earn our way to heaven, for that is impossible. We do, however, have to do the best that we can, for there is nothing else that makes Him happier or prouder. He did all of this because He loves you. He always has, and He always will – no matter what you do. Do your very best to do what is right and have faith that that is enough for Christ. He will accept whatever offering you give. And even more importantly, I know He will accept you.