Friday, August 5, 2016

Gary E. Stevenson on the proper balance of getting and understanding

Elder Gary E. Stevenson (b. August 5, 1955 - 61 years ago today) was called as a Seventy in 2008, then as Presiding Bishop in 2012. He was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015.
"'And with all thy getting get understanding' (Prov 4:7), or, said another way, 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding' (Prov 3:5).
"I have personally observed the heartbreak and personal havoc wrought upon those whose focus is on the worldly 'getting' and not on the Lord’s 'understanding.' It seems that those who lean unto their own understanding or rely on the arm of the flesh are more likely to develop a disproportionate focus or obsession for material gain, prestige, power, and position. Keeping the 'getting' in accordance with this scriptural guidance of 'understanding' will temper your temporal appetite. This will allow the proper context for your activities as a student and as a productive member of society and of the Lord’s kingdom....
"Ralph Waldo Emerson said, 'This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.' Fortunately, Latter-day Saints never have to look very far to know what to do. This is now your time. With your knowledge of a loving Heavenly Father and the great plan of happiness, you all have rudders deep in the water. Now, put your oars in deeply as well and pull hard and even.
"In a recent talk President Monson quoted from Proverbs, as he had done before: 'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.' He then said, 'That has been the story of my life.' (Monson, Ensign, May 2010, p. 112; quoting Proverbs 3:5–6.) What a great life to emulate."
- Gary E. Stevenson, "Lean Not unto Thine Own Understanding," BYU Devotional, January 14, 2014
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Stevenson warms about one of the challenges of our time; there seems to be a growing divergence between "focus is on the worldly 'getting' and not on the Lord’s 'understanding.'" Finding the proper balance between those needs and invitations is an important part of our purpose in mortality; it sets "the proper context" for our choices and activities in life.

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