Sunday, February 18, 2018

Elder David A. Bednar on living so that our actions match our beliefs

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.
"The commandment 'Thou shalt not bear false witness' (Exodus 20:16) applies most pointedly to the hypocrite in each of us. We need to be and become more consistent. 'But be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity' (1 Timothy 4:12).
"As we seek the Lord’s help and in His strength, we can gradually reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do, between expressing love and consistently showing it, and between bearing testimony and steadfastly living it. We can become more diligent and concerned at home as we are more faithful in learning, living, and loving the restored gospel of Jesus Christ."
- David A. Bednar, "More Diligent and Concerned at Home," General Conference, October 2009
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

This concept of hypocrisy and bearing false witness against oneself is an interesting one. Elder Bednar discusses a number of ways it applies in this talk, as we strive to live the gospel-directed life. It is sometimes a hard lesson to learn, to make our true inner lives correspond to the outer perception we are presenting:

So the key warning is to "reduce the disparity between what we say and what we do." As we mature in the gospel, we know what we should be doing; we understand the guidelines and recommendations for our personal worship, our private behavior, etc. But Elder Bednar's warning is that we all too often fall short of the ideal.

Brigham Young said it this way: "The sin that will cleave to all the posterity of Adam and Eve is, that they have not done as well as they knew how" (JD 2:129-130). Our challenge is to have our behavior measure up to our beliefs, completely and sincerely. Elder Bednar's recommendation is to focus on being "more diligent and concerned at home" to establish those patterns of faithful living in our lives.

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

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