Monday, September 11, 2017

Elder L. Tom Perry on overcoming the tares in our wheat

Elder L. Tom Perry (1922-2015) was called as an Assistant to the Twelve in 1972, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1974. At the time of his passing at age 92, he was the oldest living general authority and the third in seniority among the leading quorum.
"That old enemy of all mankind has found as many devices as he can think of to scatter tares far and wide. He has found ways to have them penetrate even the sanctity of our own homes. The wicked and worldly ways have become so widespread there seems to be no real way of weeding them out. They come by wire and through the air into the very devices we have developed to educate and entertain us. The wheat and the tares have grown close together. A steward managing the field must, with all his or her power, nourish that which is good and make it so strong and beautiful the tares will have no appeal either to the eye or the ear. How blessed are we as members of the Lord’s Church to have the precious gospel of our Lord and Savior as a foundation on which we can build our lives.
"From the Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi we read: 'For behold, again I say unto you that if ye will enter in by the way, and receive the Holy Ghost, it will show unto you all things what ye should do' (2 Nephi 32:5).
"We must never let the noise of the world overpower and overwhelm that still, small voice."
- L. Tom Perry, "Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families," General Conference, October 2014; see also Ensign, November 2014, pp. 43-45
Click here to read or listen to the full article

Elder Perry applied the parable of wheat and tares to the challenges we face today. In his application, the tares are Satan's counterfeits and misuses of technology and other good things that exist in our time. I appreciate how he describes the proliferation of tares: "The wheat and the tares have grown close together" and it becomes difficult to weed out the tares.

It's an important principle, however, to recognize that one of the best ways to "weed out" the tares is to overwhelm them with good wheat. As we "nourish that which is good and make it so strong and beautiful" then whatever tares appear "will have no appeal either to the eye or the ear." So the truly positive thing we can do is to build up the very best in our lives.

The Holy Ghost will provide us guidance and counsel, comfort and peace—as long as we allow it to. Elder Perry's reminder of preserving that part of the wheat field above all else is a very timely one!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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