Monday, March 7, 2016

David O. McKay on making God the center of our being

President David O. McKay (1873-1970) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1906.  He served as a counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith beginning in 1945, then then as the president of the Church from 1951 to his death in 1970 at age 96.
"There has been but one perfect character in this world—the peerless personality of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world. No man can do better than to accept Christ as the great Exemplar and the safest Guide.
"It is not an easy thing in this old world to make God the center of our being. To do so we must determine to keep his commandments. Spiritual attainment, not physical possessions, not the indulgence and the gratification of the body, must become the chief goal.
"Only in the complete surrender of our inner life may we rise above the selfish, sordid pull of nature. We should seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. What the spirit is to the body, God is to the spirit. As the body dies when the spirit leaves it, so the spirit dies when we exclude God from it. I cannot imagine peace in a world from which God and religion are banished."
- David O. McKay, "Old Battles Yet to be Fought—New Victories to Win," Conference Report, October 1945, pp. 129-135
Click here to read the full talk

As disciples of Christ, we face the task of striving to "accept Christ as the great Examplar and the safest Guide." A disciple is one who disciplines himself in following the teachings and example of another. But as President McKay teaches, it's not always an easy task:

So with obedience to commandments as our chief discipline, we must surrender ourselves. Not just superficially, in outward compliance; but "the complete surrender of our inner life" is the key to having God at the center of our being. In the end, that is truly the only source of peace in the world.

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