I had a job interview yesterday, and it got me thinking about the Final Judgment. (Lest you think the interview was incredibly harrowing, it actually went quite well, but it still got me thinking.) Judgment Day will be a lot like a job interview, I think, with a few major differences. It will take a lot of preparation to do well (a lifetime, in fact). We'll review our qualifications and experiences with our interviewer, and He will ask us several important questions to test our knowledge and understanding.
But we won't be able to stress our strengths and downplay our weaknesses, for He will know us perfectly. We won't be selling ourselves, for we have already been bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20). We won't be relying on the confidence of our handshake or the quality of our suit to make a good impression. The impression will already be made--an impression upon our countenances, in our hearts, our very beings. And our interviewer, even Jesus Christ, the perfect Judge, will be able to read that impression, for "for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). Whatever the verdict of that intensely personal interview, we won't be able to complain of bias or misunderstanding. His judgment will be undeniable and inescapable, and in that day "every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him...at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God" (Mosiah 27:31), "and people shall see eye to eye and shall confess before God that his judgments are just" (Mosiah 16:1).
With such a final decision hanging in the balance, what can I do to prepare? Career centers often recommend that you practice sample interview questions before an interview--What is your greatest strength? How do you get along with groups? Are you willing to relocate? What qualifies you for this job?
The fifth chapter of Alma gives a great list of questions for preparing for this crucial interview--Have ye walked, keeping yourselves blameless before God? Are ye stripped of pride? Do you make a mock of your brother? Can ye look up to God with a pure heart and clean hands, having the image of God engraven upon your countenances? Have ye spiritually been born of God?
They're hard questions, and reading them made me realize that I'm not at all ready for that particular interview. But it also gave me hope. This interview is ongoing, and the interviewer isn't looking for only one candidate to hire. Alma says, "behold, he sendeth an invitation unto all men, for the arms of mercy are extended towards them, and he saith: Repent, and I will receive you" (Alma 5:33). Christ also told His disciples that there was room in the kingdom for all who would receive Him: "In my Father's house are many mansions...I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). My interviewer is loving, and He wants to make room in His organization for me. He tenderly makes up for my failings when I fall short, when I in humility accept His help.
I want to pass that interview because I love my interviewer. He is the perfect boss--my Savior, my Redeemer, the Great High Priest, the Lord Jehovah, the Anointed One, my Friend. I want to be ready, not because I'm scared of hell, but because I don't want to disappoint the Lord I love.