December 11, 2015

God is at the Helm: GC 6

This is my sixth week studying a general conference talk each week. There is so much to learn from each of the messages given at General Conference. I have felt a difference in my life by reading and thinking about these messages. I'm enjoying this. It holds me accountable to jot something about each one down here.

Elder Ballard spoke about the Sabbath day being a delight. He said, "Another important doctrine that we should cling to is to observe the Sabbath Day. This helps us remain unspotted from the world, provides us with physical rest, and gives each of us the spiritual refreshment of worshipping the Father and the Son every Sunday. When we delight in the Sabbath day, it is a sign of our love for Them." We are blessed spiritually and physically as we keep the Sabbath day holy and delight in it, but it s also a sign of our love to Them.

I could spend more time thinking about the Sabbath day and my own observance and feelings about it today, but what jumped out at me the most was his words about the leaders and apostles of the church.

I feel like lately, on social media and such, I have heard more negative things spoken about apostles and prophets than I ever have in my whole life. And I have been working on a little fault of mine of being too critical of some of the people around me. So I was grateful for his words to validate my own beliefs about who the Lord calls. He doesn't call us to serve when we are perfect or particularly skilled and refined. He calls us if we are willing and humble and trying to rely on Him and listen to the Spirit. Elder Ballard also reminded me how easy it is to see each other's weaknesses, but how we can choose to focus on something else.

Elder Ballard openly acknowledged that the Lord's servants are "mortal and subject to human imperfection." But "the Lord's grace is sufficient to accomplish His work through mortals." He shares, " I have been a personal witness as both quiet inspiration and profound revelation have moved to action the prophets and apostles, the other General Authorities, and the auxiliary leaders. While neither perfect nor infallible, these good men and women have been perfectly dedicated to leading the work of the Lord forward as He has directed."

He continues, "Our leaders have the best intentions, but sometimes we make mistakes. This is not unique to Church relationships, as the same thing occurs in our relationships among friends, neighbors, and workplace associates and even between spouses and in families. Looking for human weakness in others is rather easy. However, we make a serious mistake by noticing only the human nature of one another and then failing to see God's hand working through those He has called. Focusing on how the Lord inspires His chosen leaders and how he moves the Saints to do remarkable and extraordinary things despite their humanity is one way we hold on to the gospel of Jesus Christ and stay safely aboard the Old Ship Zion."