Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Neil L. Andersen on how we receive the Lord's help in challenging times

Elder Neil L. Andersen (b. 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 1993, and was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2009.
"We recognize the enemy and understand his plan.... The pride of the world seeks to destroy faith by casting doubt on the existence of God or, if not His existence, His personal care and concern for His children. It has been a tactic of the adversary since ancient times...
"You are on the battlefield, right in the crossfire. The conflict will not diminish but intensify in the years ahead. How will we, how will you, withstand the attack? The prospects could seem bleak without the power and promises of our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ....
"As you arm yourself for battle, your protection comes from God who is our Father. You have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and you take His name upon you. You are commissioned as a disciple of Christ, as a defender of the faith....
"You are to be 'armed with righteousness and the power of God in great glory' (1 Ne. 14:14). When you are armed with 'righteousness and the power of God in great glory,' it is because something is happening inside of you, as well as the outward, public display of your discipleship. Your belief in Christ and your love for Him fills your soul. We sometimes refer to this as conversion....
"Armed with righteousness, the Lord’s power through the Gift of the Holy Ghost is magnified and elevated in you. Angels and miracles surround you. You are armed with the power of God in great glory. Happiness and peace follow even in times of difficulty. Jesus said, 'These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.' (John 16:33) ...
"I assure you that while the battle rages, we need not fear. The Lord will help you, your family, and others you love who need special help. We know the outcome. The Savior will triumph over all!"
- Neil L. Andersen, "Our Prayer for Our Granddaughters," BYU Women's Conference, April 27, 2012
Click here to read the full talk

We often hear about the trouble and confusion of the time in which we live. Elder Andersen gives a somewhat different perspective on the challenge of our day, warning of the attacks on faith and belief in God. The adversary would destroy faith and make God into a fable. This conflict will only "intensify in the years ahead"; and hence the need for us to be fortified and ready for the battle.

We prepare by being "armed with righteousness and the power of God in great glory." That happens, according to Nephi's description, when "the power of the Lamb of God" descends upon the "covenant people of the Lord." Elder Andersen describes it as a fruit of the process of conversion. With that endowment, we are prepared for the battles to come:

Elder Andersen concludes with his assurance that "we need not fear" even though a battle rages around us, as long as we are thus armed with God's power.

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