Monday, May 28, 2012

GCBC Week 9: “Abide in the Lord’s Territory” & “To Hold Sacred”

Elder Ulisses Soares was my husband’s mission president in the Portugal Porto Mission (which has since been combined with the Portugal Lisbon Mission), so hearing him speak in General Conference is always a treat. My husband speaks very highly of him, and loves him like a father (as I imagine many missionaries view their mission presidents). I met him once at a mission reunion several years ago when we were newlyweds, and the talk he gave at the fireside has stuck with me ever since. Maybe I’ll write a blog post about it some day.

I was bummed that my husband didn’t get to hear President Soares speak (he was on a flight back from Paris), but I am grateful for the Ensign and the videos made available online so my husband can sort of have the chance to hear his president speak again.

Abide in the Lord’s Territory – By Elder Ulisses Soares

Jesus Christ established the perfect behavior pattern by which we can build upon our attitudes to be able to fulfill these sacred covenants. The Savior banished from His life any influence that might take His focus away from His divine mission, especially when He was tempted by the enemy or by his followers while He ministered here on earth. Although He never sinned, He had a broken heart and a contrite spirit, full of love for our Heavenly Father and for all men. He humbled Himself before our Father in Heaven, denying His own will to fulfill what the Father had asked of Him in all things until the end. Even at that moment of extreme physical and spiritual pain, carrying the burden of the sins of all mankind on His shoulders and shedding blood through His pores, He told the Father, “Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt”

“You can’t be right by doing wrong; you can’t be wrong by doing right.”

I love this little saying Elder Soares quoted from President Monson. I am sure it has been made into many printables out there, and I’d even bet that several Relief Society sisters already have it in vinyl lettering on a tile or wood block. And they should. It is absolutely true.

To Hold Sacred – By Elder Paul B. Pieper

Today the struggle continues. Secular voices are growing in volume and intensity. They increasingly urge believers to abandon beliefs the world considers irrational and unreasonable.

The sacred cannot be selectively surrendered. Those who choose to abandon even one sacred thing will have their minds darkened, and unless they repent, the light they have shall be taken from them. Unanchored by the sacred, they will find themselves morally adrift on a secular sea.

Elder Paul B. Pieper’s talk really hit me, especially the last several paragraphs. I reread his talk one day after worrying about all the pulls of the secular world, and the discussion about “Mormonism Lite” (or “unorthodox” Mormonism) and all the people who are pulled apart by the secular voices all around us. His talk was very timely for me, and I am trying to hold sacred the truths that I have received, so that my mind won’t be darkened. What a scary thought!

What struck you in these talks?


  1. Those comments you quoted from Elder Pieper's talk also caused me to jump. I have wanted to review this talk with my family and am thankful for the reminder here tonight.

    I also really enjoyed the other talk mentioned here and particularly love the subject of staying on the Lord's side. I believe that our choices and thoughts DO place us on one side or the other - so much more than some seem to think (I don't take things lightly!). What excellent reminders were given to help one not make light of decisions or rationalize that something may not be "that bad." I hope I'm not getting this one mixed up with a book I am reading (I will have to review it tomorrow - time for bed)! I think the two of them complement each other.
    Corine :D

  2. I served my mission in Brasil, so I just love E. Soares for his lovely Portuguese accent!

    One sentence from E. Soares caught my attention "if our attitudes are bad, we are being influenced by the enemy because he persuades men to do evil." I have been grumpy all day, so I suppose I felt this sentence as a call to repentance. I have watched a grumpy person enter a room that had been filled with happiness and light and felt that room sour and darken on the influence of the grump. I don't want to be the one to sour a room! Sometimes I think I lean to sarcasm, to edginess--perhaps edging closer to that line of demarcation I really want to avoid. I need to work harder to help myself and my family be humble and do those things which sow in the Spirit, having good attitudes being among them.

    E. Pieper brought to mind several friends I have watched leave activity in the church in the last few years. I have watched them let go of the sacred, turn away from light little by little until they no longer remember the miracles they have witnessed, the power they once felt, the divine they once embraced. It is frightening how easy it is to edge--again, closer to that line of demarcation--to trade humility for hubris, innocence for edginess. The keys I loved: recognize, remember, hold sacred that which comes from heaven. We must use them daily. Record the tender divine experiences, but also re-read them, share them with our children.

    1. Angie--I do so like your comments! I don't think I would've noticed the part where he talked about attitudes if you hadn't talked about grumpiness. Because, oh my, isn't that true?! And what a fantastic weather vane for if you're in the Lord's territory or the enemy's territory. Heck, with that as a gauge, even my KIDS could tell me whose territory I was in. So thanks for bringing this to my attention. :)

  3. Elder Pieper spoke in our meetinghouse in Henderson, NV. It was shortly after President Monson was called and he talked about succession. It was really memorable- he also invited: "Come and see, we have the Christ!"

    I had just read this talk when I opened my emails. I had to share... I love how he put two scriptures together- I thought how they could make a nice poem

    "We see through a glass darkly"
    Not knowing the full meaning of all things
    Seeing the truth but partly
    Till we seek for what the spirit brings

    This, those secular would we forget
    By applying the spirit to reason
    But what is sacred, we respect
    And would consider that as treason

    1Cor 13:12
    1Nephi 11:17

    1. Ooooh, I agree. Cool poem, and cool definition of sacred: that which God respects, we respect. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Everyone. Happy Sunday. :)

    I wanted to focus more on Elder Pieper's talk, because there were several things in there that caught my attention. Whenever I read a talk, I ask myself "What does [speaker] want me to DO with this talk?" As I read and re-listened to this talk, my answer to that was that I need to figure out how to better Recognize, Remember, and Hold Sacred things that come from the Spirit. It's important for us to do that so that we can "rely on sacred personal witnesses already received when our faith is challenged" and how it's important to DAILY "reflect upon and record the impressions that come from the Spirit."

    So. Thinking about that, and how awful I am at it these days. (Journaling? Please. Reading my patriarchal blessing?? Uhhh...I think it's in my bedside drawer?? Scripture notebook. Well, I've been meaning to buy a new one, but... You get the idea.) This also led me to think about how this current pregnancy (induction on Tuesday!) has been absolutely brutal, to the point where I have felt some frustration and even anger at heaven for this particular trial. I would say my faith has taken some hits. But Elder Pieper's talk was like a whisper, asking me "Have you tried to remember the feelings that led you to seek to have this baby in the first place? Are they recorded anywhere? Have you even opened your patriarchal blessing for comfort, assurance, and strength?" A gentle reprimand and a bit of an invitation to me, today. And a powerful one.

    I also felt prompted to turn to Elder Scott's talk in the Ensign, in conjunction with this one, and felt like this went so perfectly along with it: "Inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will enhance our ability to recall revelation." A second witness of a call for me, personally, to do better.

  5. I especially appreciated the reminder by Elder Pieper to remember the sacred experiences we have had, and that is one way to show gratitude to God for them.


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