Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Ronald A. Rasband on the blessing of sustaining and following leaders

Elder Ronald A. Rasband (b. 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 2000.  He was the senior president of the Seventy when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015. This talk was given shortly after his call as a Seventy.
"We have sustained leaders today who, by divine inspiration, have been called to teach and guide us and who are calling out to us to beware of the dangers we face each day—from casual Sabbath-day observance, to threats to the family, to assaults on religious freedom, and even to disputing latter-day revelation. Brothers and sisters, are we listening to their counsel?...
"As we press forward, choosing to follow the counsel and the warnings of our leaders, we choose to follow the Lord while the world is going in another direction. We choose to hold fast to the iron rod, to be Latter-day Saints, to be on the Lord’s errand, and to be filled 'with exceedingly great joy' (1 Nephi 8:12).
"The growing question of today is clear: are you standing with the leaders of the Church in a darkening world so that you might spread the Light of Christ? ...
"I have needed the Savior and the rescue of His hand so many times. I need Him now as never before, as does each of you. I have felt confident at times leaping over the side of the boat, figuratively speaking, into unfamiliar places, only to realize that I could not do it alone.
"As we discussed during Face to Face, the Lord often reaches out to us through our families and leaders, inviting us to come unto Him—just like He reached out to save Peter.
"You too will have your many moments to respond to frequent invitations to 'come unto Christ' (Moroni 10:32). Isn’t that what this mortal life is all about? The call may be to come rescue a family member; come serve a mission; come back to church; come to the holy temple....
"I pray that we will reach out—reach out and take the Savior’s hand that He is extending to us, often through His divinely called leaders and our family members—and listen for His call to come."
- Ronald A. Rasband, "Standing with the Leaders of the Church," General Conference, April 2016, Saturday afternoon session
Click here to read the full talk

To sustain is a gift offered to us as Church members. It's the privilege of acknowledging the authority of those in the Church given certain callings, and publicly manifesting our trust in both the process that led to their call and the premise that they will provide inspired guidance and leadership. Once we make that commitment, the important question is, "are we listening to their counsel?"

It's truly a distinguishing characteristic of the Church of Jesus Christ to claim that there are leaders divinely commissioned to represent the Lord in providing inspired teaching and counsel. If we truly believe the claim that they are inspired to share what He would have us know, why would we not be eager to hear and follow??

Well might we each ask ourselves, "What do I do in my life that demonstrates that I am listening to, and heeding, that inspired counsel?"

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