Sunday, February 28, 2016

Robert D. Hales on choosing to be in God's kingdom

Elder Robert D. Hales (b. August 24, 1932) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1985, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
"By choosing to be in His kingdom, we separate—not isolate—ourselves from the world. Our dress will be modest, our thoughts pure, our language clean. The movies and television we watch, the music we listen to, the books, magazines, and newspapers we read will be uplifting. We will choose friends who encourage our eternal goals, and we will treat others with kindness. We will shun the vices of immorality, gambling, tobacco, liquor, and illicit drugs. Our Sunday activities will reflect the commandment of God to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. We will follow the example of Jesus Christ in the way we treat others. We will live to be worthy to enter the house of the Lord.
"We will be examples 'of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity' (1 Tim. 4:12).
"We will receive 'a mighty change... in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.' We will keep our 'covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things... all the remainder of our days' (Mosiah 5:2, 5).
"We will demonstrate that we 'are desirous to... be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light;
"'Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort' (Mosiah 18:8-9)."
- Robert D. Hales, "The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom," Ensign, Nov. 2000, pp. 6-9
Click here to read the full talk

This is an interesting analysis of some of the characteristics that should follow "believers in Christ" as they become distinguished from the world. Elder Hales is clear to point out that those who choose to be in His kingdom are separated from the world, but not isolated; it's important that these differences be allowed to "shine" amid the darkness. They include:

  • Modest dress
  • Pure thoughts
  • Clean language
  • Uplifting choices in entertainment
  • Friends who share eternal goals
  • Treating all with kindness
  • Shunning worldly vices
  • Keeping the Sabbath Day holy
  • Be Christlike in our relationships with others
  • Be worthy of temple worship and service
  • Demonstrate the "mighty change" of heart that results in doing good continually
  • Bear the burdens of others eagerly
  • Mourn together with those who mourn
It's an impressive list, and a good invitation to self-examination!

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