Sunday, June 5, 2016

Harold B. Lee on what we think of Christ

President Harold B. Lee (1899-1973) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1941. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1970-1972, then as Church president from July 1972 until his passing less than 18 months later in December 1973.
"I am thinking now of two contrasting incidents. A dear friend received one of those fateful messages: 'We regret to inform you that your boy has been killed in action.' I went to his home, and there I saw the shattered family, possessed of all the things that money could buy—wealth, position, the things that the world would call honorable, but there they were with their hopes and dreams shattered around them, grasping for something that they had not lived to obtain and from that time on, seemingly did not obtain. The comfort which they could have known was not there.
"I contrasted that with a scene I witnessed up in the LDS Hospital just about six months ago now, when one of our dear faithful mission presidents was there slowly dying. He was in extreme pain, but in his heart there was a joy because he knew that through suffering ofttimes men learn obedience, and the right to kinship with him who suffered beyond all that any of us can ever suffer. He, too, knew the power of the risen Lord.
"Today we should ask ourselves the question, in answer to what the Master asked of those in his day, 'What think ye of Christ?' (Matt. 22:42). We ought to ask as we would say it today, 'What think we of Christ?' and then make it a little more personal and ask, 'What think I of Christ?' Do I think of him as the Redeemer of my soul? Do I think of him with no doubt in my mind as the one who appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith? Do I believe that he established this Church upon the earth? Do I accept him as the Savior of this world? Am I true to my covenants, which in the waters of baptism, if I understood, meant that I would 'stand as a witness of him at all times, and in all things, and in all places, wherever I would be, even until death?' (Mosiah 18:9)."
- Harold B. Lee, "Be Guided by the Light Within," Conference Report, Oct. 1955, pp. 54-57
Click here to read the full talk

How do we deal with challenges, setbacks, suffering, frustration, disappointment, or loss? Often the way we react tells a lot about our faith in God and trust in Christ's hand in our lives. The two contrasting examples President Lee gave may be extreme, but they are reflected tine and tine again in smaller ways in our lives.

I love this challenging line of thought: what do we think of Christ? What do I think of Christ? And in what ways does my life witness that belief?

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