Tuesday, July 12, 2016

L. Tom Perry on the challenges and blessings of life

Elder L. Tom Perry (1922-2015) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1974. At the time of his passing at age 92, he was the oldest living general authority and the third in seniority among the leading quorum.
"Today we find ourselves surrounded with so much depression, despair, lack of confidence, and loss of hope. I ask myself: For what purpose is all this gloom? Consider with me for a moment the great blessings which have been promised us in a covenant with the Lord. He has entered into a solemn and binding contract with each of us from the very beginning to give us all that He hath according to our faithfulness. He has declared, 'I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say.' (D&C 82:10.)
"By solemn covenant He will perform His part of the agreement. The opportunity to receive these great blessings is ours to control, based on our individual performance....
"One of the purposes of the mortal experience is to see if we will follow the Savior's counsel to 'seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.' (Matt. 6:33.)
"We live in the most glorious era in the history of mankind. The opportunity to reap the blessings of the Lord has never been greater, as is the opportunity to serve Him and experience the eternal satisfaction which comes from that service.... Let us remember, it is in our power to enjoy the fruits of the gospel, for He has promised us if we will be obedient to His law and be willing to render unto Him what He requires of us in service and sacrifice, we will find the joys of eternity."
- L. Tom Perry, "Behold, the Lord Hath Shown unto Me Great and Marvelous Things," Ensign, Nov 1992, pp. 15-17
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Perry had a joyful spirit. His personal demeanor and his public discourses frequently expressed his enthusiasm for life. He shares some of that philosophy in this excerpt. He sees no room for "gloom" or "despair," given the promises of God to his children related to their mortal experiences. Elder Perry believes we have the ability to choose many of the circumstances of our lives as we choose to enjoy the fruits of the gospel in our lives. Choosing to obey and to serve results in the joys of eternity.

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