Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Elder David A. Bednar on faith in God's ultimate purposes

Elder David A. Bednar (born June 15, 1952) was serving as the president of BYU–Idaho when he was called and sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2004.
"We recognized a principle that applies to every devoted disciple: strong faith in the Savior is submissively accepting of His will and timing in our lives—even if the outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted. Certainly, John and Heather would desire, yearn, and plead for healing with all of their might, mind, and strength. But more important, they would be 'willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [them], even as a child doth submit to his father' (Mosiah 3:19). Indeed, they would be willing to 'offer [their] whole souls as an offering unto him' (Omni 1:26) and humbly pray, 'Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done' (Luke 22:42)....
"Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in moving mountains—if moving mountains accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Righteousness and faith certainly are instrumental in healing the sick, deaf, and lame—if such healing accomplishes God’s purposes and is in accordance with His will. Thus, even if we have strong faith, many mountains will not be moved. And not all of the sick and infirm will be healed. If all opposition were curtailed, if all maladies were removed, then the primary purposes of the Father’s plan would be frustrated.
"Many of the lessons we are to learn in mortality can be received only through the things we experience and sometimes suffer. And God expects and trusts us to face temporary mortal adversity with His help so we can learn what we need to learn and ultimately become what we are to become in eternity."
- David A. Bednar, CES devotional March 3, 2013; reprinted as "Accepting the Lord’s Will and Timing," Ensign, August 2016, pp. 16-23
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

In this address, Elder Bednar talks of counseling with a young couple who learned shortly after their marriage that the husband had a serious and likely fatal form of bone cancer. As they talked together, they discussed the possibility that it might not be God's will for the young man to be healed, and Elder Bednar asked if they had faith in God even if that were the outcome. This is a critical principle of faith in God:

As Elder Neal A. Maxwell stated, "Faith in God includes trust in God's timing." ("Lest Ye Be Wearied and Faint in Your Minds," General Conference, April 1991). Elder Bednar teaches powerfully that not all of our prayers are answered the way we hope and desire, but that is a necessary condition of our mortal experience in fulfilling the "primary purposes of the Father's plan" for us. Some lessons are learned only through suffering and hard experience. True and deep faith allows for that to happen in our lives. God's love and His wisdom are always greater than ours, and learning to trust in Him is so critical for us.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15