Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Elder L. Tom Perry on achieving our best through understanding our potential

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.
"One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves. One of our common failings is to depreciate our tremendous worth.
"A firm I was associated with sometime ago embarked on a great executive development program at considerable expense to itself. The program was open to all who expressed an interest. All they had to do was sign up. The firm paid the costs and even allowed the employees one hour off from their normal daily work for classroom time—a free opportunity for an education in the art of management. During the two years the program was offered, only 3 percent of the employees signed for the course.
"I have observed another situation where this 3 percent statistic seems to be somewhat reliable as the number of the divine children of our Father in heaven who have enough faith in themselves to make the effort to do something important with their lives. Now, we are a special group assembled here because of the light and knowledge that have been given to us about our potential. Surely, we could never be numbered among the 97 percent who are not taking advantage of opportunities....
"President Romney has said: 'We mortals are in very deed the literal off-spring of God. If man understood, believed and accepted this truth and lived by it, our sick and dying society would be reformed and redeemed and men would have peace and eternal joy.' With this divine knowledge burning within our souls, surely much will be expected of us. As a child of God, be the best of whatever you are."
- L. Tom Perry, "Be the Best of Whatever You Are," BYU Devotional, March 12, 1974
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

"Faith in ourselves"—do we understand and appreciate our true potential, and does it help drive our decisions and actions? Or do we fall into traps of self-doubt and questioning, the uncertainty that can paralyze and hold us back? Elder Perry suggests that "most of us" face this challenge and gives wise counsel:

In the passage Elder Perry quoted from President Marion G. Romney, we are again reminded of what our heritage is and how great is the potential we each possess; our "sick and dying society" would be transformed if we only came to fully accept the truth of our divine heritage! While society as a whole may never come to this realization, we can do so individually, and thus transform our personal worlds and those around us. The simple truth we teach our children to sing, "I am a child of God," is more powerful than we acknowledge.

(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