That was after I told her that we sacrifice goats and babies in there - because it is the trendy thing to do these days..... I always do the extreme sarcasm to break down barriers where I know there is incredible bias. It throws people off - and then I present the truth to them. That was one case where it had the desired effect. We talked about how it is line upon line, precept on precept, until a person comes to a fullness of knowledge and power. Not unlike climbing a ladder - one rung at a time:
The same thing applies to Calling and Election. It is a little here and a little there - until you get there. Life is a time for striving - but not stressing...... Slow and steady wins the race - and we are competing with no one else but ourselves. Our own God-given and inspired abilities. Pride compares ourselves to the progress of others. Our progress is our own. Comparing self to others is a satanic concept. Jealousy is a base character trait. It is good to have holy envy (feelings of "I would love to have that wonderful gift, just like that person has developed so nicely") - as it will motivate and inspire you to your full potential.
Seeking to be better than someone else - for reasons alone to be superior, is a soul-shrinking thing. I was an extreme Type A personality in my teen years. It took being a missionary in Brazil - and loving how the people there were happy without being in the rat race - before I was able to get a better perspective. Seeking to be superior, or to have power over someone else, is largely a learned behavior - a distinctly telestial one. One that needs to be stamped out and overcome in order to develop largeness of soul; to have magnaminity of soul. It can take years to unlearn what we have developed in this fallen world. I was (and still am) amazed at the pure love my two youngest daughters had for each other as little girls. They were truly happy when one succeeded. They had not developed the "if you win, I fail" mentality - which is often the by-product of a world where supply can be tight. BUT - having said that - this is the object of our life experience. To learn to master this impulse to have more or to have power over another - so that, when we reach a world of unbridled plenty, we do not become drunken with the excesses and unbridled power that we will wield and have access to.
Thus, one of the great directives of life. Know thyself; nothing in excess. We have to learn complete and total self-control. Down to our thoughts. When we become master over a few things, the Master of ALL will give us access to worlds without end - and power without limits. And to those, who have been given much, yet have squandered it away (consumed it upon their lusts and been less than magnanimous with the many talents they have been given), it will be taken from them, even that which they were given.
So, there is the key to life right there.
It takes line upon line and precept upon precept to slowly get it right. As Joseph Smith said, it may well take into the eternities. And that is okay. It is not so important the rate of climb, as it is the attitude of the climb (nose up or nose down). As long as we are just barely making along at +0.5 degree of climb, over an eternity, our place will be in the stars. If our rate of climb is negative (we have no desire to move upward, spiritually speaking), then there may well be no hope for us.
Here is the quote that got me pontificating:
Earth life, a necessary part of eternal progression, is the proving ground for the exalted-to-be, a state in which we are undergoing a period of testing and proving to see if we will do the Lord’s will. (See Abr. 3:22–26.) A modern revelation speaks of those who are valiant in the service of the Lord during this testing period:“Then I would exhort you to go on and continue to call upon God until you make your calling and election sure for yourselves, by obtaining this more sure word of prophecy, and wait patiently for the promise until you obtain it.” (Teachings, p. 299.)What is necessary to receive this inestimable blessing? The Prophet Joseph said that one must begin at the beginning with the first principles of the gospel:“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave.” (Teachings, p. 348.) (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Deseret Book Co., 1938