Monday, June 21, 2010

On courage and looking at the bright side

I came upon this from Joseph F. Smith yesterday and found it to be inspiring:
One of the highest qualities of all true leadership is a high standard of courage. When we speak of courage and leadership we are using terms that stand for the quality of life by which men determine consciously the proper course to pursue and stand with fidelity to their convictions. There has never been a time in the Church when its leaders were not required to be courageous men; not alone courageous in the sense that they were able to meet physical dangers, but also in the sense that they were steadfast and true to a clear and upright conviction.

Leaders of the Church, then, should be men not easily discouraged, not without hope, and not given to forebodings of all sorts of evils to come. Above all things the leaders of the people should never disseminate a spirit of gloom in the hearts of the people. If men standing in high places sometimes feel the weight and anxiety of momentous times, they should be all the firmer and all the more resolute in those convictions which come from a God-fearing conscience and pure lives. Men in their private lives should feel the necessity of extending encouragement to the people by their own hopeful and cheerful intercourse with them, as they do by their utterances in public places. It is a matter of the greatest importance that the people be educated to appreciate and cultivate the bright side of life rather than to permit its darkness and shadows to hover over them.

In order to successfully overcome anxieties in reference to questions that require time for their solution, an absolute faith and confidence in God and in the triumph of his work are essential.

The most momentous questions and the greatest dangers to personal happiness are not always met and solved within oneself, and if men cannot courageously meet the difficulties, and obstacles of their own individual lives and natures, how are they to meet successfully those public questions in which the welfare and happiness of the public are concerned?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?

Today while search the scriptures for answers to questions I have in life I came across this powerful verse:
Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God? Know ye not that he hath all power, and at his great command the earth shall be rolled together as a scroll? -Mormon 5:23
What a fantastic lesson and reminder! Sometimes situations in life that seem so dire are truly of little consequence when we look at them through the scope of the grand plan of salvation. Even still, we are in the hands of an all-knowing, all-loving God who understands how we feel no matter how significant the issue in our lives may be!

The Lord also helps us in the small things. Recently my home teacher told a story in elder's quorum about the spirit telling him to not pay out of his own pocket to upgrade to first class (he's a very big guy, coach much be exceptionally uncomfortable for him). Unfortunately, this elicited muffled laughs from some in the quorum, but the spirit witnessed to me the truth of his story. Further, I knew it to be true because I know his character and I know that God is truly aware of and concerned with the smallest things in our lives.

Often patience is the key because the Lord always keeps his promises. Our Heavenly Father repeated a particular promise through his prophets at least 17 times in the Book of Mormon. One example is this:
And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you. -Mosiah 2:22
I know that I am most definitely "in the hands of God"! I have seen and felt him lift me up so many times. I know that with patience that if I do my part--keeping the commandments--God knows what is best of me, and will proper my family and I. Of course patients is the most difficult part, but I know this principle to be true.