Friday, September 22, 2017

President David O. McKay on the glorious blessing of a clear conscience

President David O. McKay (1873-1970) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1906.  He served as a counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith beginning in 1945, then then as the president of the Church from 1951 to his death in 1970 at age 96.
"It is glorious when you can lie down at night with a clear conscience that you have done your best not to offend anyone and have injured no one. You have tried to cleanse your heart of all unrighteousness, and if you put forth precious effort you can sense as you pray to God to keep you that night that He accepts your effort. You have a sense that you are God's child, a person whose soul God wants to save. You have the strength to resist evil. You also have the realization that you have made the world better for having been in it. These and countless other virtues and conditions are all wrapped up in the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
- David O. McKay, Man May Know for Himself, p. 458

What a blessing a truly clear conscience is! President McKay calls it "glorious" to get to the end of a day and know that you have done your best in every way, and to have the sense that God accepts the effort of that day:

Joseph Smith once described three things we must have in order to properly exercise faith in God. First, we must start with the belief in His existence. Then we must correctly understand His "character, perfections, and attributes." Finally, we can have faith only when we possess "an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to His will." (Lectures on Faith 3:2-5). That confidence that we are doing what is right, that we are striving to do the very best we can given our current understanding—what a precious gift it is!

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

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