Sunday, July 8, 2018

President Spencer W. Kimball on the need for faithful devotion in today's world

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895-1985) was ordained an apostle in 1943 and served as President of the Church from 1973 to 1985.
"It seems that at no time in world history has there been a greater need for understanding and blending the wholesome and divine teachings of the Master into our lives and into all our dealings with our fellowmen. I say to everyone within the sound of my voice, 'Do not fail the Lord.' We must accept the truth that the gospel principles are not on trial but that we are. The teachings of Jesus as revealed through the ancient and modern prophets are constant and unchanging.
"The history of man evidences that these teachings are true. The rise and fall of civilizations according to the alternating righteousness and wickedness of the peoples proclaim the need to hear and to heed the Savior’s divine messages. We must prepare ourselves, both individually and as a church, to defend the gospel truths against a world steeped in atheism and godlessness. We must oppose the so-called intellectuals who reason that they have all the answers, and we must contend mightily with those whose lust for power and worldly gain destroy their sense of right and wrong.
"As members of Christ’s true church we must stand firm today and always for human rights and the dignity of man who is the literal offspring of God in the spirit. We cannot condone a separation of our religious beliefs from our daily living. Righteousness must prevail in our lives and in our homes."
- Spencer W. Kimball, "Fortify Your Homes Against Evil," General Conference April 1979
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Kimball's voice was weak, ravaged by cancer and age; but his message was always clear and strong. I particularly enjoyed this talk, as he shared with Church members a sense of his vision for their duties and opportunities in the face of a challenging world. Never has there been a greater need for living the teachings of the Master:

In this talk, President Kimball used the phrase "we must" a total of 16 times as the tried to convey the need of faithfulness and obedience to his audience. Even in this short excerpt, notice the urgency of his invitations:

  • we must recognize that we are being tried on how we can live gospel truths
  • we must be intellectually prepared to stand up for our beliefs
  • we must be ready to contend against intellectualism
  • we must oppose those who lose a moral sense in their desire for power and profit
  • we must stand firm in defense of the rights and dignities of men
This message, of how much the Lord depends on us and is counting on our efforts in His work, should inspire us to greater efforts and faithfulness in the things that matter most.

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

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