Sunday, July 10, 2016

Richard G. Scott on finding strength and power for life's challenges

Elder Richard G. Scott (1928-2015) served as a Seventy from 1977-1988, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He passed away in September 2015 at the age of 86.
"As you continue to live righteously, you will always know what to do. Sometimes the discovery of that may require significant effort and trust on your part. Yet you will recognize what to do as you meet the conditions for such divine guidance in your life: obedience to the commandments of the Lord, trust in His plan, and the avoidance of anything that is contrary to it. The more closely you conform your life to the doctrine of the Lord, the more capacity you will have to do what the Spirit inspires you to do. (See D&C 43:15–16.)
"I suggest that you memorize scriptures that touch your heart and fill your soul with understanding. When scriptures are used as the Lord has caused them to be recorded, they have intrinsic power that is not communicated when paraphrased. Sometimes when there is a significant need in my life, I review mentally scriptures that have given me strength. There is great solace, direction, and power that flow from the scriptures, especially the words of the Lord."
- Richard G. Scott, "He Lives," Ensign, Nov. 1999, pp. 87-89
Click here to read the full talk

Most of us would agree that there are times in life when it's not easy to know what to do. But the promise from Elder Scott is that there is a way we can always know what to do! That's a pretty remarkable claim. The knowledge comes, he claims, from righteous living that enables us to receive divine guidance. Spiritual impressions and direction come to those who strive to "conform [their] life" to the Lord's doctrine.

And then he offers this additional, very practical, suggestion. If we "treasure up" in our minds the words of the Lord, we build a reserve of counsel and inspiration that can bless us in making those critical decisions of life. I find the claim fascinating that there is "intrinsic power" in using scriptural counsel verbatim instead of paraphrased. What an incentive that is to make greater efforts to learn and remember!

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