Tuesday, September 20, 2016

M. Russell Ballard on developing spiritual self-reliance

Elder M. Russell Ballard (1928- ) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985.
"Every person must know that he or she is a child of God and is loved by Him. People need to realize that regardless of their circumstances, as desperate as those may be, they are entitled to the Light of Christ in their lives. From Moroni we learn, 'The Spirit of Christ is given to every man' (Moroni 7:16). The promise is that every son and daughter of God can find, through the Spirit, answers to the challenges in their lives, including how to become more self-reliant. We must, therefore, ever keep in our minds how precious each child of God is and how important our service is to each one of them.
"We become more self-reliant in some ways as we recognize our dependence on Him from whom all good things come. This is the spirit noted in Alma 34:27, in which we are counseled to cry unto the Lord over our homes, our families, and our work. 'Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be... drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.'
"At the root of self-reliance are the dignity and importance of seeing ourselves as children of God regardless of circumstance, culture, or location."
- M. Russell Ballard, "Becoming Self-Reliant—Spiritually and Physically," Ensign, March 2009, pp. 50-55
Click here to read the full article

Elder Ballard describes a bit of a paradox. You become more self-reliant as you learn to rely more on the Savior and on guidance through the Holy Ghost. Truly, "the root of self-reliance" lies in the proper understanding of our relationship to God.

We must know that we are a child of God and that He loves us, and will bless us in our needs and challenges. And beyond that, all of God's children are precious to Him, and our service to one another truly matters.

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