Personal Online Journal

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Things will work out"

Soon after the election I received an email with quotes from "Meeting the Challenges of Today" (Neal A Maxwell, Oct 1978 BYU Devotional).
make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21).
President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had "never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life" (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ.
We are now entering a period of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: we shall see in our time a maximum if indirect effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism that uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of Western civilization to shrink freedom even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.
I put my trust in the oracles of God. They are watchmen upon a tower. (Ezekiel 33, D&C 101). Does that mean I am absolved of the responsibility of learning of what is right to do? No. The Lord expects us to study out the decision and then take it to Him to confirm. When the Lord gives clear counsel, how quick are we to observe it? (See "Quick to Observe", David A Bednar)

Following is the quote from the email.
Resistance to abortion will be seen as primitive. Concern over the institution of the family will be viewed as untrendy and unenlightened. ... Before the ultimate victory of the forces of righteousness, some skirmishes will be lost. Even in these, however, let us leave a record so that the choices are clear, letting others do as they will in the face of prophetic counsel. There will also be times, happily, when a minor defeat seems probable, but others will step forward, having been rallied to rightness by what we do. We will know the joy, on occasion, of having awakened a slumbering majority of the decent people of all races and creeds which was, till then, unconscious of itself. Jesus said that when the fig trees put forth their leaves, 'summer is nigh.' Thus warned that summer is upon us, let us not then complain of the heat.
This is prophecy from 1978 being fulfilled in our days.

He goes on to discuss the principle of foreordination as a principle to help us in trying times, "the doctrine of foreordination properly understood and humbly pursued can help us immensely in coping with the vicissitudes of life."

This statement reminds me of President Hinckley when he said, "Things will work out. Keep trying. Be believing. Be happy. Don’t get discouraged. Things will work out." (Jeffrey R. Holland, “President Gordon B. Hinckley: Stalwart and Brave He Stands,” Liahona, Jun 1995, 2)

Neal Maxwell also warned, "Isolated from other doctrines or mishandled, though, these truths can stoke the fires of fatalism, impact adversely upon our agency, cause us to focus on status rather than service, and carry us over into predestination."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Meekness -- A Dimension of True Discipleship

Over a year ago I listened to "Meekness -- A Dimension of True Discipleship" ( by Neal A Maxwell. I just found my notes and thought I would post them so I can find them easier later.
In that premortal council wherein Jesus meekly volunteered to aid the Father's plan, He said, "Here am I, send me." (Abr. 3:27.) It was one of those special moments when a few words are preferred to many. Never has one individual offered, in so few words, to do so much for so many, as did Jesus, when He meekly proffered Himself as ransom for all of us, billions upon billions of us!
In contrast, brothers and sisters, we often see in our unnecessary multiplication of words not only a lack of clarity, but much vanity. Our verbosity is sometimes a cover for insincerity or uncertainty, whereas the subtraction of self reduces the unnecessary multiplication of words.
Meekness is one of those attributes acquired only by experience, some of it painful, for it is developed "according to the flesh." (Alma 7:11–12 .) It is not an attribute achieved overnight, nor is it certified to in only one exam—but, rather, "in process of time." (Moses 7:21, 68–69 .) The Savior said we are to "take up [the] cross daily"—not just once or occasionally. (Luke 9:23.) His rigorous requirement places a premium upon our having meekness.
The meek think of more clever things to say than are said. And it's just as well, for there is so much more cleverness in the world than wisdom, so much more sarcasm than idealism.
The meek can be bold
Meekness permits us to be prompted as to whether to speak out or, as Jesus once did, be silent. But even when the meek speak up, they do so without speaking down.
I stress again that meekness does not mean we are bereft of boldness. A meek, imprisoned Joseph Smith displayed remarkable boldness in rebuking the grossness of the guards in Richmond jail:
"Silence, ye fiends of the infernal pit! In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die this instant!" (History of the Church, 3:208.)
Meekness rests on trust and courage. It is reflected in Nephi's meek acceptance of an assignment, saying, "I will go and do …" (1 Ne. 3:7 ) without knowing beforehand all the implications of what he was undertaking.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Spirit of Power and of Love

Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all I need to do. Often then, I do nothing. It is better to just be up and doing and then remember the following.

Remember not to run faster than you have strength. Mos 4:27 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim. 1:7

I truly feel that there is a power that comes into my life as I foster a spirit of obedience. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

"Therefore dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for His hand to be revealed." D&C 123:17