Sunday, February 21, 2010

GC Recap #16 -Two Principles for Any Economy

President Uchtdorf gave this talk at the General Priesthood Meeting. I wasn't there, obviously, so this was new to me, but it caught my attention and I think it's worth the recap. He said, "Knowing that some of you are experiencing your own periods of anxiety and despair, I wanted to speak today about two important principles that sustained me through this formative period of my life.

"The First Principle: Work. How I admire men, women, and children who know how to work! How the Lord loves the laborer! He said, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” and “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” He also gave a promise: “Thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you.” Those who are unafraid to roll up their sleeves and lose themselves in the pursuit of worthwhile goals are a blessing to their families, communities, nations, and to the Church.

"Work is an antidote for anxiety, an ointment for sorrow, and a doorway to possibility. Whatever our circumstances in life, my dear brethren, let us do the best we can and cultivate a reputation for excellence in all that we do. Let us set our minds and bodies to the glorious opportunity for work that each new day presents.

"When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration. President Thomas S. Monson put it this way: “It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. . . . It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals. If we constantly put our goals off, we will never see them fulfilled.

"Work can be ennobling and fulfilling, but remember Jacob’s warning not to “spend . . . your labor for that which cannot satisfy.” If we devote ourselves to the pursuit of worldly wealth and the glitter of public recognition at the expense of our families and our spiritual growth, we will discover soon enough that we have made a fool’s bargain. The righteous work we do within the walls of our homes is most sacred; its benefits are eternal in nature. It cannot be delegated."

About 2 weeks ago I had a dream. I am not one who has memorable dreams very often. In fact I can probably count the number of times that I had a dream that I remember when I woke up. But this one has stuck with me. It was so vivid and real.

There was some sort of a natural disaster in our area the dream took place in the aftermath. I was trying to find food for my family. I remember my sister and I were driving to a nearby store to find this food, we passed a gas station that was dark, the ceiling was caved in and the food they had was long ago ransacked and gone. So we went to Smiths. We stood in a long line where we were given a list of things that we could purchase. I remember looking at the list and telling my sister that this wasn't enough. We talked about that it was probably ok because mom and dad had a big storage and they would certainly share. But then my mom showed up and was looking to get more food because they didn't have enough either. I can remember how panicked I became, I didn't have enough food to feed my family and there was nothing I could do about it. Still, while I am writing this it makes me very anxious. I woke up and it was so clear, that we needed to prepare. We needed to get a better food storage.

So today I went visiting teaching and the lesson I was giving was on Managing Resources Wisely and Staying Out of Debt. So I was sharing this dream that I had. My companion then told me that her husband had an eerily similar dream about the same time. So I share this not to say that a natural disaster is sure to happen soon, it may never. Maybe its just time to be prepared to do what I can, instead of just praying about it, as Elder Uchdorf mentioned.

He then went on to say, "The Second Principle: Learn. For members of the Church, education is not merely a good idea—it’s a commandment. We are to learn “of things both in heaven and in the earth, and under the earth; things which have been, things which are, things which must shortly come to pass; things which are at home, things which are abroad.”

"Joseph taught the Saints that knowledge was a necessary part of our mortal journey, for “a man is saved no faster than he [gains] knowledge,” and that “whatever principle of intelligence we attain . . . in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection.” During challenging times, it is even more important to learn. The Prophet Joseph taught, “Knowledge does away with darkness, [anxiety], and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is.”

"Strive to increase your knowledge of all that is “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.” Seek knowledge “by study and also by faith.” Seek with a humble spirit and contrite heart. As you apply the spiritual dimension of faith to your study—even of temporal things—you can amplify your intellectual capacity, for “if your eye be single to [God’s] glory, your whole [body] shall be filled with light, . . . and [comprehend] all things.”

"In our learning, let us not neglect the fountain of revelation. The scriptures and the words of modern-day apostles and prophets are the sources of wisdom, divine knowledge, and personal revelation to help us find answers to all the challenges in life. Let us learn of Christ; let us seek out that knowledge which leads to peace, truth, and the sublime mysteries of eternity."

He then ends by saying so beautifully, "I know this for a certainty: it is often in the trial of adversity that we learn those most critical lessons that form our character and shape our destiny. I pray that during the coming months and years we can fill our hours and days with righteous work. I pray that we will seek to learn and improve our minds and hearts by drinking deeply from the pure fountains of truth."

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