Saturday, October 13, 2018

President M. Russell Ballard on God's eternal plan of redemption

President M. Russell Ballard (born October 8, 1928) was called as a Seventy in 1976, and has served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1985. He became acting president of the Twelve in January 2018.
"The revelation he [President Joseph F. Smith] received on October 3 [1918] comforted his heart and provided answers to many of his questions. We too can be comforted and learn more about our own future when we and our loved ones die and go to the spirit world by studying this revelation and pondering its significance in the way we live our lives each day....
"On this special 100th anniversary, I invite you to thoroughly and thoughtfully read this revelation. As you do so, may the Lord bless you to more fully understand and appreciate God’s love and His plan of salvation and happiness for His children.
"I testify that the vision President Joseph F. Smith received is true. I bear witness that every person can read it and come to know it is true. Those who do not receive this knowledge in this life will surely come to know its truthfulness when everyone will arrive in the spirit world. There, all will love and praise God and the Lord Jesus Christ for the great plan of salvation and the blessing of the promised Resurrection when body and spirit will once again be reunited, never to be separated again."
- M. Russell Ballard, "The Vision of the Redemption of the Dead," General Conference October 2018
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Ballard began his talk by noting that his remarks had been prepared before the passing of his wife Barbara, who died earlier in the week preceding conference. It was extremely appropriate and timely that he discussed a topic so relevant to his own situation and emotions. President Ballard then discussed the history and importance of the "Vision of the Redemption of the Dead" received 100 years ago by President Joseph F. Smith, now found in Doctrine and Covenants 138. The history of this revelation is very interesting to consider, including the personal tragedies and losses in President Smith's life that led to his pondering and searching.

President Ballard encourages us to learn from the revelation in ways that will enhance our personal understanding of eternity, and bless our daily lives:

I like to pay attention to invitations and challenges that are given in General Conference. President Ballard invited us all "to thoroughly and thoughtfully read this revelation" and promised blessings that would come from the reminder of its teachings and the personal application.

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

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