Together, We Can Make a Difference

April 2013 Area President


Second counselor, Pacific Area Presidency

Years of service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reflect, in transparent memory, what learning opportunities have been provided mankind to survive a world filled with dreams, challenges and experiences of a lifetime.

During the formable years of youth we thought we had it all wrapped up in tiny little packages, ready to open as vistas of new horizons were created in our minds eye. We were ready for anything because we knew the desires of our heart and could always see the light at the end of the tunnel, or so we thought.

These same years were filled with education from those who were the teachers of experience. Then followed learning in communication skills and trying to understand people, who often had a different way of thinking. We came to envision a common thread, a converting belief, a fulfilment of a mission to mankind that was not about one’s self. Each day would be quickly consumed, and often we did not take time to smell the roses.

As the time of hastening the work becomes more of a reality, we as sons and daughters of the living God simply must work united to remove from our hearts and to drive from our society, all elements of divisiveness in both word and deed. Such tend to limit a person’s ability to progress, learn and be fully accepted in this vast world which we call home.

In doing so, a 15th century clergyman indicated that if one has “not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.”1

While we can agree to disagree on certain points of religious tenants, we can come together as a God-given human family to make life and this world a better place.

Ask yourself, what is it that you, honestly deep down in your soul, desire to receive. Perhaps it is a more sure answer to the following:

  •  Where did I come from?
  •  Why am I here?
  •  Where am I going?

Responses to such questions cannot be defined from the philosophies of men, but must be revealed in time tested principles which serve as a constant guide. The theology we must come to understand is that all men and women are sons and daughters of God, that we lived with Him in a premortal state, and that the lives we live today are part of an eternal journey. Together we can make a difference through daily study from revealed scripture, pondering, and divine answer through prayer.

Among us today are Prophets, Seers, and Revelators of whom it is written:

            “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but revealth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” 2

We are taught to believe and understand  God our is our Eternal Father in Heaven, His Son, is in reality Jesus Christ, and  we can receive a witness by the Spirit of the Holy Ghost is assuredly true.

Continuing revelation is needed today as it was at any point in the history of the earth. Scriptural evidence given is clear:

 “Search these commandments for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled. What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same. For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever.3

Prophetic council has taught us that our faith must be constant in a world of shifting values. “We have seen a tremendous change in patterns of moral and spiritual conduct in the last few years. Churches are the great conservators of truth. [Our] religion continues to teach, without equivocation or apology, that personal virtue is to be cherished, that honesty and integrity are central to our conduct, that civility is to be practiced, that kindness is an incumbent responsibility, and that respect for the beliefs and practices of others is a principle that cannot be avoided if one is a Christian.”4      

We believe in a religion that honors and respects womanhood. “We declare without equivocation that in this Church a woman walks neither ahead of her husband nor behind him but at his side as his equal.”5

“Fathers have the basic and inescapable responsibility to stand as head of the family. That does not carry with it any implication of dictatorship or unrighteous dominion. It confers the mandate to provide for the needs of their families. Those needs are more than food, clothing, and shelter. Those needs include righteous direction and the teaching, by example as well as precept, of basic principles of honesty, integrity, service, respect for the rights of others, and an understanding that we are accountable, not only to one another but also to God, for that which we do in this life.”6

Women, who choose to make a house a home, make a far greater contribution to society than those who command large armies or stand at the head of impressive corporations. The influence of women who, in their own ways, build stable family life and nurture for everlasting good the generations of the future can never be discounted.7

These same ideals require constant development among the youth of today, the pioneers of tomorrow, who will learn to go before and show others the way to follow.

Of such principles and teachings we must never, ever, ever, give up. Life will never be the same for everyone, but ones individual actions can help to heal hearts and homes. Together we must find joy in the worth of a soul as we journey:

            “...And if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of

            God he doth nourish them, and strengthen them, and provide means

            whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has commanded them….”8

Never say goodbye to friends made through the years, or family that can be united in eternity. We will see one another again because together, we can make a difference.

Notes

  1. William Law, 15th century clergyman
  2. Amos 3:7
  3. D&C 1:37-39
  4. The Mission – Preface by President Gordon B. Hinckley
  5. ibid
  6. Standing for Something – President Gordon B. Hinckley
  7. ibid
  8. 1 Nephi 17:3