Monday, June 4, 2018

President James E. Faust on the power of the Savior's influence in our lives

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"We should earnestly seek not just to know about the Master, but to strive, as He invited, to be one with Him (see John 17:21), to 'be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man' (Eph. 3:16). We may not feel a closeness with Him because we think of Him as being far away, or our relationship may not be sanctifying because we do not think of Him as a real person.
"How can we receive the personal blessing of the Master’s divine and exalting influence in our own lives? Since our own feelings are sacred to us and cannot be disputed by others, let us begin with those quiet assurances which occasionally can come to all of us and which we know are true. We cannot always prove these verities to others, yet they come as a form of knowledge. Is this part of the divine which ferments within us, reaching to its source? Is it not like a personal witness of truth flowing through the thin curtain which separates this world from another?
"Is there not a yearning to understand in your mind what is in your heart, a feeling which you cannot give utterance to because it is so unspeakably personal? The Master said that this quiet reality can 'speak peace to your mind concerning the matter.' (D&C 6:23.) ...
"It is my testimony that we are facing difficult times. We must be courageously obedient. My witness is that we will be called upon to prove our spiritual stamina, for the days ahead will be filled with affliction and difficulty. But with the assuring comfort of a personal relationship with the Savior, we will be given a calming courage."
- James E. Faust, "A Personal Relationship with the Savior," General Conference, October 1976
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

What can we do in our lives to feel more "connected" to the Savior? How can we feel more of His influence in our lives, His strength and love? President Faust suggests we start by examining our most inner, personal feelings and notice His influence that is already there::

We can indeed bridge the "thin curtain which separates this world from another" as we feel more of His love and influence. President Faust goes on to suggest five specific things we should strive to do:

  1. A daily communion involving prayer.
  2. A daily selfless service to another.
  3. A daily striving for an increased obedience and perfection in our lives.
  4. A daily acknowledgment of His divinity.
  5. A daily study of the scriptures.
As we are "courageously obedient" in our lives, we will feel His love and closeness, and be strengthened in a greater measure.

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

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