Sunday, March 18, 2018

President Thomas S. Monson on the blessings of inspired service

President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1963. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency with Presidents Benson, Hunter, and Hinckley and then became Church president in 2008. He led the Church for almost a decade until his passing in January 2018.
"Brethren, it is in doing—not just dreaming—that lives are blessed, others are guided, and souls are saved. 'Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves,' added James. (James 1:22.)
"May all of us... make a renewed effort to qualify for the Lord’s guidance in our lives. There are many out there who plead and pray for help. There are those who are discouraged, those who are beset by poor health and challenges of life which leave them in despair.
"I’ve always believed in the truth of the words, 'God’s sweetest blessings always go by hands that serve him here below.'  (Whitney Montgomery, 'Revelation,' in Best-Loved Poems of the LDS People, 283.) Let us have ready hands, clean hands, and willing hands, that we may participate in providing what our Heavenly Father would have others receive from Him."
- Thomas S. Monson, "Priesthood Power," General Conference October 1999
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Ah, the curse of good intentions! President Monson urges us to make sure they turn into good actions, that we find the best ways to serve and bless those around us. President Monson repeated the first phrase of this quotation several times as he gave counsel over the years:

One of the keys to be better in doing, better in serving, is "to qualify for the Lord’s guidance in our lives." President Monson suggests that as we learn to listen to the promptings that will come to the worthy, we'll be in better position to recognize and bless those in need. So we must have "ready hands, clean hands, and willing hands." President Monson was a grand example of this principle in his own life of dedicated personal service.

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

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