Monday, February 27, 2017

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin on safety through careful obedience

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin (1917-2008) served as a Seventy from 1976 to 1986, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1986 until his passing in 2008 at age 91.
"With all my heart I echo the Savior's admonition that you choose to hear and heed the word of God. 'Keep the commandments. In this there is safety and peace' (Hymns, 1985, no. 303). In our world today the only protection from 'all the fiery darts of the adversary' (D&C 3:8) is to choose to 'Put on the whole armour of God, that [we] may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil' (Ephesians 6:11).
"And Satan is certainly wily. He is cunning—the master of deception and the father of all lies. Only by keeping all the commandments are you protected by 'the whole armour of God' from Satan's incessant, insidious efforts to lead you carefully into his power....
"And so we must keep all the commandments. You cannot approach the gospel as you would a buffet or smorgasbord, choosing here a little and there a little. You must sit down to the whole feast and live the Lord's loving commandments in their fullness.
"You have been taught the commandments. You know what to do:
"Study the scriptures.
"Pay your tithes and offerings.
"Attend your meetings.
"Partake of the sacrament.
"Magnify your callings and serve others.
"Sustain your Church leaders.
"Do your home teaching and visiting teaching.
"Make and keep sacred covenants.
"Share the gospel.
"Be honest, true, chaste, benevolent, and virtuous.
"The righteous King Benjamin, who loved his people dearly, gathered his people together near the end of his righteous life to share with them the deepest feelings of his heart. After reviewing the basic beliefs and commandments of the gospel of Christ with his beloved people, he offered this simple but powerful exhortation near the conclusion of his great sermon: 'And now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them' (Mosiah 4:10; emphasis added)."
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Choose the Right," BYU Fireside, September 4, 1994
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

There is safety in obedience; what an important message. The world is becoming ever more dangerous as the adversary increases "fiery darts" of opposition and temptation. But through God's armor we can resist and be safe.

But partial armor is not much better than no armor. We seek "the whole armor of God" that comes from "keeping all the commandments" in their fulness.

Elder Wirthlin reminds us what some of those key aspects of the Lord's feast are, and then reminds us, along with King Benjamin: "And now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them." We all need that reminder regularly!

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