Monday, August 17, 2015

Dieter F. Uchtdorf on Satan's discouragements

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (1940- ) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"The Lord said to Abraham, 'My name is Jehovah, and I know the end from the beginning; therefore my hand shall be over thee' (Abr. 2:8). My young friends, today I say to you that if you trust the Lord and obey Him, His hand shall be over you, He will help you achieve the great potential He sees in you, and He will help you to see the end from the beginning....
"We don't always know the details of our future. We do not know what lies ahead. We live in a time of uncertainty. We are surrounded by challenges on all sides. Occasionally discouragement may sneak into our day; frustration may invite itself into our thinking; doubt might enter about the value of our work. In these dark moments Satan whispers in our ears that we will never be able to succeed, that the price isn't worth the effort, and that our small part will never make a difference. He, the father of all lies, will try to prevent us from seeing the end from the beginning....
"We know that God keeps His promises. We need to fulfill our part to receive His blessings."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "See the End from the Beginning," Ensign, May 2006, pp. 42-45
Click here to read the full talk

President Uchtdorf seems always to have encouragement and hope to offer in his messages! The passage quoted from Abraham is intriguing; there are two very interesting phrases in it. I used to think "knowing the end from the beginning" referred to the ability to distinguish between the two; sometimes our concern over the beginning, or the current troubles, makes us forget there is a promised result down the road that might be obscured.

But I think it's maybe even simpler. The ability to see the end from the beginning could mean the capability to perceive where a path will lead when you embark on it. You are standing at the beginning, and with God's promised help, can perceive and comprehend the destination. That seems like a powerful gift; it would make the journey so much easier, when the vision of the end is clear and vivid! President Uchtdorf promises that God will help us to have that ability.

And in addition, the divine promise is "my hand shall be over thee." That implies protection, shelter, blessing, guidance — many positive and comforting images.

President Uchtdorf points out how difficult it often is for us to see the end, in the midst of the uncertainty of our daily challenges or of Satan's discouragements and distractions. But we know God will see it always; we need to trust His promises, and do all we can to be worthy of them.  "We need to fulfill our part to receive His blessings."

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