"It appears," said Elder Hartman Rector Jr. of the Seventy, "that we do not change when we die, which means that if we are addicted to drugs, bad habits, and evil desires when we go out of this life, those influences will probably follow us. Therefore, repentance and forgiveness, which come under the heading of fearing God and keeping His commandments, are our whole duty here in mortality." (See Eccl. 12:13.)
Speaking at the October 1985 general conference, Elder Rector said: "Mortality is, in reality, a very, very short period. It is literally a snap of the fingers compared to an eternity. It is so short that we can do it. We can prevail. Why, you can stand your foot in a vise for a while if you know it's going to be taken off soon. It is when you can see no relief in sight that it becomes unbearable. Yes, earthly probation is short compared to eternity, but so very much is riding on how we handle the trials and temptations of the flesh. It is, as the Lord said in essence to the Prophet Joseph: thine afflictions will be but for a small moment, then if thou endureth it well thy God shall stand by thee forever and ever. (See D&C 121:7-8; 122:4.)"Therefore, it appears that one reason we are being resurrected is so we can be judged. The Master continues,
And for this cause have I been lifted up; therefore, according to the power of the Father I will draw all men unto me, that they may be judged according to their works.' (3 Ne. 27:15.) The works the Master refers to here, I believe, are the works that He inspires us to do by His Holy Spirit. Paul, speaking of those who through the gospel have covenanted to do the will of Jesus, said,For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do.' (Philip. 2:13.) Paul further stated, `Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.' (Col 1:29.)
"The works which we do of ourselves are not sufficient to exalt us. In the words of King Benjamin,
I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.' (Mosiah 2:21.) It seems you and I can do little of ourselves, but through Christ we can do all things. (See Philip. 4:13.) Therefore, when we do well we are receiving credit for His works. In the words of Nephi, we arerelying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.' (2 Ne. 31:19.) Moroni echoes the same theme when he says people of the Church were
relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and the finisher of their faith.' (Moroni 6:4.) Then the Master tells us how we can make His atoning sacrifice effective in our lives and get credit for His works of righteousness.And it shall come to pass, that whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled; and if he endureth to the end' - and I would add in repentance, including obedience and forgiveness - `behold, him will I hold guiltless before my Father at that day when I shall stand to judge the world.' (3 Ne. 27:16.)
"Ah, then you and I must be guiltless at the last day, and being the sinners that we are, that would be impossible without Christ paying for our sins and our acceptance of His payment through our own faith, repentance, and baptism."