Thursday, April 26, 2018

Elder Ronald A. Rasband on having integrity in following Christ

Elder Ronald A. Rasband (b. February 6, 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 2000.  He was the senior president of the Seventy when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015.
"How would you describe your integrity to the cause of Jesus Christ? The Lord said of Hyrum Smith, the Prophet Joseph’s brother, 'And again, verily I say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith; for I, the Lord, love him because of the integrity of his heart, and because he loveth that which is right before me, saith the Lord.' (D&C 124:15.)
"I assure you, no accumulation of wealth, recognition, position, or popularity can supplant a heart full of love for the Lord’s ways and God’s children. 'Lovest thou me?' the Savior asked His disciples when they had gone 'a fishing.'
"Peter responded, 'Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee.'
"And the Lord said, 'Feed my sheep.... Feed my sheep.' (John 21:16–17)
"Integrity of purpose to the Lord’s work is to love as He loved, essentially to feed His sheep with kindness.
"When Jesus called from the shore to the disciples, who had returned to fishing, He told them to throw their nets on the right side. (See John 21:6.) So it is with us. We are most successful when we do things the Lord’s way, as He has told us. We are here to feed His sheep. You have people who depend on you, who need you, and who will be blessed by your attention. Leave here today recognizing that your morality, your ethics, and your honesty are driven by the way you treat people."
- Ronald A. Rasband, "Integrity of Heart," BYU devotional, March 13, 2018
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The Lord's tribute to Hyrum Smith, quoted by Elder Rasband, has always been very moving to me. To be loved by the Lord because of the "integrity of [your] heart" would be a incomparable tribute. That verse elaborates that the integrity lies in the fact that Hyrum "loveth that which is right before me." When our personal focus is so fixed on the things of eternal importance, we too will receive the blessings from God that are promised to those who love Him above all else. Truly, "Integrity of purpose to the Lord’s work is to love as He loved, essentially to feed His sheep with kindness."

Part of the test of integrity is whether we truly are willing to "do things the Lord's way" in every instance where we have instruction or guidance. That applies particularly to our efforts to minister to one another in love. So much is demonstrated "by the way you treat people." That is what Christian discipleship is all about.

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

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