Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Elder L. Tom Perry on sharing the truth in love

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.
"Today’s 'manner of conversation' seems to involve the Internet more and more. We encourage people, young and old, to use the Internet and the social media to reach out and share their religious beliefs.
"As you utilize the Internet, you may come across ongoing conversations about the Church. When directed by the Spirit, do not hesitate to add your voice to these conversations.
"The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is unlike anything else you will share with others. In the information age, it is the most valuable information in all the world. There is no question about its worth. It is a pearl of great price (see Matthew 13:46).
"In speaking about the Church, we do not try to make it sound better than it is. We do not need to put a spin on our message. We need to communicate the message honestly and directly. If we will open communication channels, the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will prove itself to those who are prepared to receive it.
"There is sometimes a wide difference—a gulf of understanding—between the way we experience the Church from the inside and the way others look at it from the outside. This is the principal reason we hold open houses for temples before each dedication is taken care of. The member volunteers at the temple open houses are simply trying to help others see the Church as they see it from the inside. They recognize the Church is a marvelous work, even a wonder, and they want others to know it too. I ask you to do the same.
"I promise you that if you will respond to the invitation to share your beliefs and feelings about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, a spirit of love and a spirit of courage will be your constant companion, for 'perfect love casteth out fear' (1 John 4:18)."
- L. Tom Perry, "Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear," General Conference, October 2011
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Elder Perry's theme in this conference talk was that we should be unafraid to share our feelings about the Church and the Gospel with those around us. He promised that we would find peace and confidence as we begin to make those efforts, replacing any fear that we might initially have in approaching the topic.

In this excerpt he encourages us to take advantage of online opportunities to stand up for the truth. We should "communicate the message honestly and directly" when we have the chance to correct misconceptions or stand up for true principles. As always has been the case, "those who are prepared to receive" the message of the restoration will recognize its truth.

As we recognize the Church for what it is, "a marvelous work, even a wonder," and share that message, our efforts will be blessed.

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

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