Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Elder Marvin J. Ashton on having deep and enduring testimonies

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (1915-1994) served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1971 until his death in 1994 at age 78.
"They are those without commitment or testimony. These are those who would be convenience members. Some testimonies spring up quickly and flourish for a while until the heat comes on or a stony place is encountered. Then the withering starts to take place.
"'Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth' (Matt. 13:5; italics added).
"Deep and enduring testimonies grow and strengthen as they are daily nurtured. They increase as they are shared. Meaningful testimonies have roots planted in fertile soil. The sun, the rain, and even the storms make them stronger and more durable. As the events of daily life come upon us, some testimonies wither under the heat of everyday occurrences. Roots are shallow, testimonies fade, and there is no harvest.
"Let us seek to be totally committed. Then we will not fall upon stony places, wither away, or stray from the paths of security and happiness. Those who serve with complete dedication wherever called do not wilt, wither, wonder, or wander. Their roots are deep and solidly planted in the fertile soils of the kingdom. The harvest is enjoyed with every passing day as they serve."
- Marvin J. Ashton, "Who Will Forfeit the Harvest?," General Conference, October 1978
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

It's important to remember that testimony can not only be gained, but also lost—and perhaps more easily lost than gained. That seems to be particularly true in our time, when dissension and doubt seem to overcome "even the very elect" in too many cases. It's the deepness that becomes crucial, and Elder Ashton gives wise counsel:

So regular, thorough nourishment is critical for our testimonies to have deep roots. Elder Ashton counsels us to "be totally committed" and to "serve with complete dedication wherever called." Giving of ourselves brings nourishment and strength in ways that will keep our roots "deep and solidly planted in the fertile soils of the kingdom."

(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