I love being surprised by the Ensign! As a young girl, the Ensign was a "grownups" magazine. Then I was eighteen, but it seemed to be a "married woman's" magazine. So I didn't read it. Not until Caleb was called as EQP did we even opt to recieve it. A few months ago I was struggling with pride and having the printed words of General Conference proved invaluable in overcoming that issue.
Today I was eating some delicious leftovers for breakfast and needed something to read - to get me in the spirit of the Sabbath Day. I went to the bookcase, and sticking nearly two inches out (our bookcase is a bit of a mess) was the January Ensign. I opened immediately to a talk given by Richard G. Scott, of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. The title is "Living Right," but that's not what first caught my eye. I began reading in the middle, as I normally do, and read this:
"Wherever you live, whatever your occupation or focus in life, you will be drawn into the battle for the souls of men and women. Be valiant in that struggle. It is waged on the basis of character. Satan and his troops have defined their character by resolute opposition to the will of our Father and consistent violation of His commandments. You solidify your character by consistent correct choices.
Neither Satan nor any other power can weaken or destroy your growing character. Only you can do that through disobedience."
The feeling in my heart testifies of the truth in these words. Satan cannot destroy me. He can tempt me to destroy myself, but he can do nothing to hurt me.
"There are two patterns for making decisions in life: (1) decisions based upon circumstance and (2) decisions based upon eternal truth. Satan encourages choices to be made according to circumstance."
Principle 4 (as outlined on freecapitalist.com): Perpspective determines action.
So what is Scott telling us? Maintain God's perspective and take action in that way. God's perspective, or TRUTH, is the perspective that will lead us to make the best decisions, eternally speaking.
"The pattern of the Lord is for His children to make decisions based upon eternal truth. This requires that your life continue to be centered in the commandments of God. Thus, decisions are made in accordance with unchanging truths, aided by prayer and the guidance of the Holy Ghost. In addition to your own strength and capacity, you will enjoy divine inspiration and power when needed. Your actions will be predictable and will bless the lives of all in the circle of your influence. You will have a meaningful life of purpose, peace, and happiness. "
Here comes the part that set me on fire this morning:
"As an exceptional son or daughter of God, you are sorely needed. There is an urgent need for men and women who will stand for principles against the growing pressures to compromise those very principles. Men and women are required who will act nobly and courageously for what the Lord has defined as right, not for what is politically correct or socially acceptable. We need individuals who have the spiritual, righteous influence that will motivate others to enduring good. We need politicians of integrity, businesspeople who are honest and morally clean, attorneys who defend justice and the legal system, and government officials who preserve principle because it is right. Above all, we need mothers and fathers who will preserve the sanctity and safety of the home and the integrity of the family, where faith in God and obedience to His commandments are taught as the foundation of a productive life.
You can be an essential part of that shining light, that righteous influence to increase the moral fiber of your country and home. " (emphasis added)
We are always told how important we are as INDIVIDUALS. And although it's true coming from a teacher, a parent, or a man ordained of God to recieve His revelation on earth, it's sometimes nice to hear it coming straight from the latter.
Then there was this part about truth, here, just read it:
"There are some things that are wrong because God decreed they are wrong. Truth is not determined by what people think, no matter how influential they may be. Truth was determined by an Almighty God before the Creation of this earth, and it will exist forever."
How comforting to know that God is the same throughout eternity. Truth, His law, will be the same forever. I can trust in a God who is the same: whose word is the same, whose laws are the same and whose love is the same yesterday, today and forever.