Up On The Roof


A number of years ago our family took a trip to Ocean City, New Jersey. According to Wikipedia “it is widely considered the greatest family summer resort in the country.” I don’t know if that is true or not but it does have a great boardwalk that stretches for two and a half miles along the Atlantic Ocean. The boardwalk is packed with shops and places to eat as well as amusement centers that cater to kids. The atmosphere is free and spending the day walking up and down the boardwalk observing people and the surrounding festivities is cheap entertainment.

One amusement center that we visited forever embossed upon my mind some immortal words. It was a amusement center like most. It had endless arcade games. It was kid heaven. The whole amusement center, which was part of the boardwalk, had chicken wire running across the top. Hung in the chicken wire were all sorts of prizes. Mostly big stuffed animals as I recall. A man, in a booth, was seated in the mist of all this commotion with a microphone. He kept repeating over and over and over into it- “The roof, the roof, the roof will be your prize.” At first it didn’t make any sense to me. But, then it dawned on me that he was meaning that if we were a big winner, we could chose something hanging from the “roof.” I never actually witnessed anyone winning something from the “roof,” but a reminder that you “could” was blaring in your ears at all times. Well, we all know that those types of establishments promise a lot but deliver little.

While the worldly amusement park announcer rarely if ever delivers his promise of the “roof” being the prize, there are celestial prizes on the Lord’s “roof” that has been promised to those who diligently seek it. And the promise comes from one who can be trusted; Jesus Christ himself.

“Yea, blessed are the poor in spirit who come unto me, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And again, blessed are all they that mourn, for they shall be comforted. And blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. And blessed are all they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled with the Holy Ghost. And blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. And blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. And blessed are all the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. And blessed are all they who are persecuted for my name’s sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. For ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven…” (3 Nephi 12: 3-12).

If we fix our eyes upward toward the prizes on the Lord’s roof, it is not full of stuffed animals and other worthless trinkets. His prizes are comfort, the Holy Ghost, mercy, seeing God and inheriting the earth. The ultimate prize being found worthy to be “in the kingdom of heaven.” These are prizes worthy of a lifetime of effort. These are rewards to all those who diligently seek them.

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