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.
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.
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?