Wednesday, August 5, 2015

L. Tom Perry on enduring to the end

Elder L. Tom Perry (August 5, 1922 - May 30, 2015) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1974. At the time of his passing at age 92, he was the oldest living general authority and the third in seniority among the leading quorum.
"Enduring to the end is definitely not a do-it-yourself project.
"First, it requires the Savior's redemptive power. We cannot return to our Heavenly Father's presence unless we are clean, and so we must continue to repent. Ideally, we repent moment by moment, but we also attend sacrament meeting each week to partake of the sacrament and renew our baptismal covenants.
"Second, enduring to the end requires the Holy Ghost, who will both guide and sanctify us.
"Third, we must be an integral part of a community of Saints, serving and receiving service from our brothers and sisters in the gospel. With baptism we become part of the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:11-13); each of us has a role to play, each of us is important, but in order to succeed we must be unified in our Savior.
"Fourth, we must share the gospel with others. The promises of bringing even one soul unto the Lord are profound and eternal (see D&C 18:15). Moreover, the gospel takes deeper root in those who share it frequently.
"Finally, we must always maintain faith and hope in Christ to endure to the end, and among the many ways we do this are praying, fasting, and reading the scriptures. These practices will fortify us against the subtle schemes and fiery darts of the adversary.
"I love the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it defines the way we can partake of the fruits of the gospel, experience the 'exceedingly great joy' (1 Nephi 8:12) that only it can bring, and endure to the end through all of the challenges of mortal life. The gospel teaches us all we need to know to return to live with our Father in Heaven as resurrected and glorified beings."
- L. Tom Perry, "The Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ensign, May 2008, pp. 44-46
Click here to read the full talk

The opening statement of this excerpt is intriguing to me: "Enduring to the end is definitely not a do-it-yourself project." We usually view "enduring" as a pretty personal, individual thing. But Elder Perry points out the proper attitude, involving five levels or aspects of support.

Elder Perry was known as one who lived with joy and enthusiasm. He endured in that way because he exemplified the qualities described above. He offers wise counsel that we should consider in our own personal aspects of endurance. If we understand and practice the five points he suggests, enduring can be a joyful and fulfilling experience for each of us.

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