Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Because of Your Faith

(Find the talk here)

Elder Jeffery R. Holland’s talk in the Saturday morning session of General Conference was quite different than most talks I have heard him give. Usually Elder Holland talks about spiritual purity, or about the Priesthood. He always speaks with boldness and clarity – and that was no different his October. But instead of giving his usual admonitions and direction, instead his talk was one of gratitude to those who do good things.

My thanks to all you wonderful members of the Church – and legions of good people not of our faith – for proving every day of your life that the pure love of Christ “never faileth.”

And then he closed his talk with a statement I don’t think I have ever heard from the pulpit at General Conference:

Brothers and sisters, seeing your example, I pledge anew my determination to be better, to be more faithful – more kind and devoted, more charitable and true as our Father in Heaven is and as so many of you already are.

It was fascinating to see an apostle of God get up and say that he was impressed by our example as doers of good. That shows humility and meekness, in my opinion. Elder Holland is a great man – I feel he is very much a doer of good, and I’m sure that he demonstrates charity daily. But he took his opportunity to speak in Conference to tell us that we are doing a great job and that he admires us for our sacrifice and hard work.

One of his statements that really hooked me was that “the personal value, the sacred splendor of every one of you, is the very reason there is a plan of salvation and exaltation.” He made me feel like he was talking about all the good things I do, even though I definitely don’t do that many good things. And to be reminded about the personal nature of the atonement of our Savior and the plan of salvation is something I can always hear again and again.

Elder Holland spoke a lot about all the various things members of the Church do to serve, and then he said

Smile, if you will, about our traditions, but somehow the too-often unheralded women in this church are always there when hands hand down and knees are feeble. They seem to grasp instinctively the divinity in Christ’s declaration: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the lease of these ..., ye have done it unto me.”

I want to be more like Elder Holland seems to think I am – charitable and sacrificing. And I especially want to be more grateful for the unselfish, sacrificing, charitable people in my own life. So many people have done so much for me, without expecting anything in return – simply because they live by the pure love of Christ.

More thank you cards need to be sent, more prayers of gratitude, and more “paying it forward.”

How does it make you feel to be publicly, individually appreciated on the pulpit by a prophet of God? How have you been blessed by the charity of others? How have you shown your appreciate for the charity others have shown you? Do you understand the personal significance of the plan of salvation?

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