Monday, February 13, 2017

President Russell M. Nelson on help in today's world

President Russell M. Nelson (b. Sept 9, 1924) was an internationally-renowned heart surgeon when he was called to serve as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He was set apart as president of the Quorum of Twelve on July 15, 2015.
"Problems abound in this world because it is populated by imperfect people. Their objectives and desires are heavily influenced by their faith or lack of it. Many put other priorities ahead of God. Some challenge the relevance of religion in modern life. As in every age, so today there are those who mock or decry the free exercise of religion. Some even blame religion for any number of the world's ills. Admittedly, there have been times when atrocities have been committed in the name of religion. But living the Lord's pure religion, which means striving to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ, is a way of life and a daily commitment that will provide divine guidance. As you practice your religion, you are exercising your faith. You are letting your faith show....
"The scriptures provide one of the best ways to find our course and stay on it. Scriptural knowledge also provides precious protection....
"My dear brothers and sisters, what are we missing in our lives if we are 'ever learning, [but] never able to come to the knowledge of the truth' (2 Timothy 3:7)? We can gain great knowledge from the scriptures and obtain inspiration through prayers of faith.
"Doing so will help us as we make daily decisions. Especially when the laws of man are created and enforced, God's laws must ever be our standard. In dealing with controversial issues, we should first search for God's guidance."
- Russell M. Nelson, "Let Your Faith Show," Ensign, May 2014, pp. 29-32
Click here to read or listen to the full article

It seems the world in which we live is becoming more and more secularized; in too many places and too many lives, religion no longer plays a significant role. President Nelson laments the lack of faith; but among the faithful, he is convinced that by living "pure religion" and "striving to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ" we open the way to receiving guidance from above.

The concept of "practicing your religion" or "exercising your faith" implies working to develop or strengthen them, as if exercising a muscle or improving a skill. Those are things true disciples must be eager to do, and never hesitate to let faith show.

But in the struggle against secularization, President Nelson counsels that scripture study and scriptural knowledge "provides precious protection" for our lives.

Our resistance to modern secularization will be much more effective as we have a stronger foundation of scriptural understanding. This is a very timely warning for our day.

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