Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Harold B. Lee on the living water of the scriptures

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.
"Just as water was and is today essential to the physical life of those who settle in this country, just so is the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ essential to the spiritual life of God's children. That analogy is suggested by the words of the Savior to the woman at the well in Samaria, when He said: '...whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life' (John 4:14).
"Great reservoirs of spiritual water, called scriptures, have been provided in this day and have been safeguarded that all might partake and be spiritually fed, and that they thirst not. That these scriptures have been considered of great importance, is indicated by the words of the Savior, 'Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me' (John 5:39).... Through these generations the messages from our Father have been safeguarded and carefully protected, and mark you likewise that in this day the scriptures are the purest at their source, just as the waters were purest at the mountain source; the purest word of God, and that least apt to be polluted, is that which comes from the lips of the living prophets who are set up to guide Israel in our own day and time."
- Harold B. Lee, "Wells of Living Water," Conference Report, Oct. 1943, 101
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Water is essential to life; the gospel's spiritual water is essential to spiritual life. President Lee builds on that analogy presented by the Savior Himself as he presented the concept of a "well of water springing up into everlasting life." What a beautiful imagery.

And the "reservoirs of water," where that nourishment is stored, is in the scriptures. We are asked to partake of it, but we choose whether we will do that or not. How blessed we are to have such resources "safeguarded and carefully protected" through the ages for our benefit. But the best and purest source of spiritual water is in the teachings of the living prophets of our own day; we must drink deeply!

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