Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Live All the Words

This week, I've been rereading Elder Hales' talk from General Conference.1 One of the things he said is that obtaining revelation is not easy; it requires that we fast, pray, study, and ponder. He was referring to the effort made by the speakers at General Conference, in their preparation. But the same applies to us, in our own search for guidance.

Referring to conference talks, he said, "What is said is not as important as what we hear and what we feel." This was interesting to me - I looked at my notes for this talk, and indeed, had written down reminders of things that he hadn't actually said. (And it's good that I had jotted down those reminders, or they would be lost; my brain is not as sticky as it used to be.)

What gave me most pause was this comment:
In recent decades the Church has largely been spared the terrible misunderstandings and persecutions experienced by the early Saints. It will not always be so...

President Harold B. Lee taught: “The only safety we have as members of this church is to … give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through His prophet. There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your [personal] views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord Himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that ‘the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; … and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory’ (D&C 21:6).”
There are issues today that are much-discussed in blogs and other online media. I read the arguments for and against, and try to remain open-minded, and to sort out which positions I can support. Elder Hale's talk reminds me that, while I need to be informed and think things through on my own and use my brain and my experience and my own common sense, it is vital that I know and consider what the prophets have said. Their words need to be taken into account. And if their words make me uncomfortable, then, rather than simply dismissing them, I must examine myself and my course.

Elder Hales also taught
The greatest blessings of general conference come to us after the conference is over. Remember the pattern recorded frequently in scripture: we gather to hear the words of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them.
I need to live the words. I need to fast, pray, study, and ponder, and I need to live the words.

1. LT, this is my "one thing."

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