Each of you who really wants to endure to the glorious end that our Heavenly Father has foreseen should firmly establish some personal priorities. With many interests competing for your loyalty, you need to be careful first to stay safely “on the boat.” No one can serve two masters. If Satan can get you to love anything—fun, flirtation, fame, or fortune—more than a spouse or the Lord with whom you have made sacred covenants to endure, the adversary begins to triumph. When faced with such temptations, you will find that strength comes from commitments made well in advance. The Lord said, “Settle this in your hearts, that ye will do the things which I shall teach, and command you.” He declared through His prophet Jeremiah, “I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.”
When priorities are proper, the power to endure is increased. And when internalized, those priorities will help keep you from “going overboard.” They will protect you from cheating—in marriage, in the Church, and in life.
If you really want to be like the Lord—more than any thing or anyone else—you will remember that your adoration of Jesus is best shown by your emulation of Him. Then you will not allow any other love to become more important than love for your companion, your family, and your Creator. You will govern yourself not by someone else’s set of rules but by revealed principles of truth.
The different roles of men and women
This statement suggests that before we were born we made certain commitments, female and male, and that we agreed to come to this earth with great, rich, but separate gifts. We were called, male and female, to do great works, with separate approaches and separate assignments, and accordingly were given different songs to sing. You say, Where do I begin? Rather than beginning with a wish list of all the things you want in life, the real question may be what you are not willing to do without. You should select two or three of life’s experiences that you are absolutely sure you want to have; these important things you should not leave to chance. Then you should think about what you can contribute to society by way of service to the Church, home, and community. You also need to think of what life will demand from you. Everything has its price. Much is expected of us.
Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love he sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid,
And home, rejoicing, brought me.
Another verse of the hymn reads:
I nothing lack if I am His
And He is mine forever.
Belonging can be forever, because love can be forever.
Was Carolyn Hemenway Harman, the mother who buried three husbands, reared two families, and was Relief Society president for eighteen years “liberated”? Many people in today’s society would say no—imagine yielding one’s life in perpetual service to husbands, children, and neighbors whose needs consumed her very life! They might have said to her, “Aunt Carrie, get out from under all that. You’re entitled to a little happiness of your own. It’s time somebody waited on you for a change. Don’t let them do this to you. You don’t belong to them.”
But Aunt Carrie knew better; for the King of Love was her Shepherd. She loved and served him by loving and serving those to whom she fully and freely belonged. She was theirs, and they were hers—forever! In thus belonging, she who gave her life, a day at a time, to serving other people for the Master’s sake also found her life and her liberation; for she came to know the truth, and the truth made her free. May we be wise enough to emulate her.
The way to grow in the faith that we are the children of our Heavenly Father is to act like it. The time to start is now. You've received some prompting in your heart while you have listened to my suggestion about what God would have you do, or do differently. Do what you have been prompted to do. Do it now. After you obey you will receive more impressions from God about what he requires of you. Keeping commandments increases the power to keep other commandments.
Today you could seek correction. You could keep a commitment. You could work hard. You could help someone else. You could plow through adversity. And as we do those things day after day, by and by we will find that we have learned whatever God would teach us for this life and for the next, with him.
You are a child of God. Our Heavenly Father lives. Jesus is the Christ, our Savior. Through Joseph Smith the knowledge of the plan of salvation was restored. If we act upon that plan as we should, it will allow us to claim eternal life, which is our inheritance. And if we act upon it, we will be blessed with a humility that gives us the power to learn and the power to serve and the power to rise up to the privileges that God wants to grant us.
That is why we sometimes describe our fields of study as "disciplines." You've noticed as you studied in different fields that they have different rules. In physics there are some rules about how to decide to believe something is true. That is sometimes called the "scientific method." But when you move over into your course in engineering or in geology, you find yourself learning some slightly different rules. When you arrive in your history or your French literature class, you find yet another set of rules. And your accounting professor seems to be living in a very different world of many rules. You will someday, if you haven't yet, experience the turmoil of trying to learn in a discipline that is trying to agree on new rules but failing.
What all disciplines have in common is a search for rules and a commitment to them. And what all great learners have is a deep appreciation for finding better rules and a commitment to keeping them. That is why great learners are careful about what commitments they make and then keeping them.
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