Friday, February 26, 2016

Dallin H. Oaks on surviving in times of commotion

Elder Dallin H. Oaks (b. August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984.
"We are living in the prophesied time 'when peace shall be taken from the earth' (D&C 1:35), when 'all things shall be in commotion' and 'men's hearts shall fail them' (D&C 88:91). There are many temporal causes of commotion, including wars and natural disasters, but an even greater cause of current 'commotion' is spiritual.
"Viewing our surroundings through the lens of faith and with an eternal perspective, we see all around us a fulfillment of the prophecy that 'the devil shall have power over his own dominion' (D&C 1:35). Our hymn describes 'the foe in countless numbers, / Marshaled in the ranks of sin' ('Hope of Israel,' Hymns, no. 259), and so it is....
"We are surrounded by challenges on all sides (see 2 Cor. 4:8-9). But with faith in God, we trust the blessings He has promised those who keep His commandments. We have faith in the future, and we are preparing for that future. To borrow a metaphor from the familiar world of athletic competitions, we do not know when this game will end, and we do not know the final score, but we do know that when the game finally ends, our team wins. We will continue to go forward 'till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done' (History of the Church, 4:540)."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Preparation for the Second Coming," Ensign, May 2004, pp. 7-9
Click here to read the full talk

"Temporal commotion" is a bad enough problem, when we see so much confusion in the world around us. But "spiritual commotion" is a much more serious concern, since the consequences are more severe.

Elder Oaks advises us to deal with those challenges by "viewing our surroundings through the lens of faith and with an eternal perspective." What seems to be so confusing and threatening, often becomes rather trivial in that context. Ultimately, we know what the outcome will be, if we choose wisely:

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