Thursday, November 30, 2017

President Spencer W. Kimball on our precious mortal probation

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"Oliver Wendall Holmes said: 'Many people die with  their music still in them. Why is this so? Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it, time runs out.' Tagore expressed a similar thought in these words: 'I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.'
"My plea therefore is this: Let us get our instruments tightly strung and our melodies sweetly sung. Let us not die with our music still in us. Let us rather use this precious mortal probation to move confidently and gloriously upward toward the eternal life which God our Father gives to those who keep his commandments."
- Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, pp. 16-17

President Kimball wrote his landmark book The Miracle of Forgiveness to help invite and encourage all to receive the blessings of repentance in their lives. This excerpt comes at the end of the introduction to the book, as he sets the stage for the joy and blessing that come as we accept the invitation to repent and be forgiven. It's in the spirit of Amulek's urgent plea to both his listeners and future readers to "not procrastinate the day of your repentance" (Alma 34:33).

The two quotes that introduce the thought emphasize the frustration of too many of us, failing to accomplish what we could and should in life. We let circumstances or misunderstanding, or even transgression, hold us back from truly living with joy and fullness. So President Kimball offers this sincere and heartfelt plea:

What a sweet and hopeful expression! We all have beautiful melodies inside us, that we need to allow to flow out freely and bring joy both to us and those around us. We should not let anything hold us back from living life to the fullest! We need to move "confidently and gloriously upward" with God's help; as we obey and allow His blessings into our life, we will find that wonderful opportunity to live in joy, with the sweet melodies of life flowing freely.

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

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