Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Ezra Taft Benson on our relationship with the Lord

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served as the 13th President of the Church from 1985 until his death in 1994 at age 94.
"Why don't we go all the way with the Lord—not part way? Why don't we sacrifice all of our sins—not some of them? ...
"Some day we may see that pair of hands that sacrificed so much for us. Are our hands clean, and do they show the signs of being in His service? Are our hearts pure and filled with His thoughts?
"Each week we make a solemn covenant to be like Him, to always remember Him in everything, and to keep all of His commandments. In return, He promises to give us His spirit.
"We once knew well our Elder Brother and His and our Father in Heaven. We rejoiced at the prospects of earth life that could make it possible for us to have a fulness of joy. We could hardly wait to demonstrate to our Father and our Brother, the Lord, how much we loved them and how we would be obedient to them in spite of the earthly opposition of the evil one.
"Now we are here. Our memories are veiled. We are showing God and ourselves what we can do. Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar His face is to us.
"God loves us. He is watching us. He wants us to succeed. We will know some day that He has not left one thing undone for the eternal welfare of each of us. If we only knew it, heavenly hosts are pulling for us—friends in heaven that we cannot now remember who yearn for our victory. This is our day to show what we can do—what life and sacrifice we can daily, hourly, instantly make for God. If we give our all, we will get His all from the greatest of all."
- Ezra Taft Benson, "Jesus Christ—Gifts and Expectations," BYU devotional address 10 December 1974; see also Ensign, December 1988, pp. 2-6
Click here to read the full talk at the BYU site
Click here to read the full talk from the Ensign
This talk from President Benson has wonderful thoughts, invitations, and testimonies. I love the opening line from the excerpt: "Why don't we go all the way with the Lord—not part way? Why don't we sacrifice all of our sins—not some of them?" President Benson invites us to be fully converted, to give our full hearts to God; to serve with devotion, to be faithful in covenants. He knows that is the only way to claim the fulness of blessings.

I think this is an interesting testimony:

President Benson's witness of God's love for His children, and His desire to help them succeed, is especially powerful:

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