Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf on rising up when we fall

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf (born November 6, 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He served as second counselor in the First Presidency from 2008 to 2018.
"Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward.
"We know this mortal life is a test. But because our Heavenly Father loves us with a perfect love, He shows us where to find the answers. He has given us the map that allows us to navigate the uncertain terrain and unexpected trials that each of us encounters. The words of the prophets are part of this map.
"When we stray—when we fall or depart from the way of our Heavenly Father—the words of the prophets tell us how to rise up and get back on track.
"Of all the principles taught by prophets over the centuries, one that has been emphasized over and over again is the hopeful and heartwarming message that mankind can repent, change course, and get back on the true path of discipleship.
"That does not mean that we should be comfortable with our weaknesses, mistakes, or sins. But there is an important difference between the sorrow for sin that leads to repentance and the sorrow that leads to despair."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "You Can Do It Now!" General Conference October 2013
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

I've learned from my outdoor experiences that even the strongest hikers occasionally stumble and fall! Some of us do it more frequently than others. President Uchtdorf employed that analogy in discussing our spiritual lives to remind us that it's not the fall that matters, ultimately—but how we respond to it. The most important thing is to get back up quickly, "dust ourselves off" (repent), and begin moving forward again:

One of the keys President Uchtdorf shared was that we should know and follow the words of the prophets to help us remain on the proper path in life, to avoid losing our way and getting off-course. The prophets will continue to remind, as they always have, that repentance is available and will bless our lives, regardless of where we are and what has happened in our past.

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

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