Saturday, November 26, 2016

Elder Dallin H. Oaks on measuring personal progress

Elder Dallin H. Oaks (b. August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984.
"How can we measure our progress? The scriptures suggest various ways. I will mention only two.
"After King Benjamin's great sermon, many of his hearers cried out that the Spirit of the Lord 'has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually' (Mosiah 5:2). If we are losing our desire to do evil, we are progressing toward our heavenly goal.
"The Apostle Paul said that persons who have received the Spirit of God 'have the mind of Christ' (1 Cor. 2:16). I understand this to mean that persons who are proceeding toward the needed conversion are beginning to see things as our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, see them. They are hearing His voice instead of the voice of the world, and they are doing things in His way instead of by the ways of the world."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become," Ensign, Nov. 2000, pp. 32-34
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

It seems to be our nature to want to know how we're doing... how we're progressing. Am I growing? Am I learning? Am I moving forward in good ways?

Elder Oaks suggests two positive and practical ways of self-evaluation. The first is to notice that we're losing the desire to do evil; our hearts are being purified and our whole desire is do good. And the second is that we begin to see things the way God sees them; we begin to listen to His voice and ignore the world.

Another way of saying this is that we are becoming more like Him. His will becomes our will; His desires are our desires. As we start to notice more and more evidences of that in our lives, we know we are progressing as we should.

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