Sunday, December 16, 2018

President Boyd K. Packer on moving forward in faith and strength

President Boyd K. Packer (1924-2015) served as an Assistant to the Quorum of the Twelve (a position that no longer exists) from 1961 to 1970, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He served as president of that Quorum from 1994 until his death in 2015 at age 90.
"Now another generation of youth comes forward. We see a strength in them beyond what we have seen before. Drinking and drugs and moral mischief are not a part of their lives. They band together in study of the gospel, in socials, and in service.
"They are not perfect. Not yet. They are doing the best they can, and they are stronger than the generations that came before.
"As the Lord told Oliver Granger, 'When [they fall they] shall rise again, for [their] sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than [their] increase' (D&C 117:13).
"Some worry endlessly over missions that were missed, or marriages that did not turn out, or babies that did not arrive, or children that seem lost, or dreams unfulfilled, or because age limits what they can do. I do not think it pleases the Lord when we worry because we think we never do enough or that what we do is never good enough.
"Some needlessly carry a heavy burden of guilt which could be removed through confession and repentance.
"The Lord did not say of Oliver, '[If] he falls,' but 'When he falls he shall rise again' (D&C 117:13; emphasis added)."
- Boyd K. Packer, "The Least of These," General Conference October 2004
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Packer recognizes a strength in the rising generation of youth that is exceptional, and many of us have witnessed that—youth who are resisting temptation and striving to be faithful and obedient in greater measure than ever. But yet there are great challenges, and mistakes will be made; President Packer reassures us there is a power to help us overcome any misstep:

That's a powerful message; it does not please God when we dwell on the mistakes, missed opportunities, or apparent failures of our past; or if we consider ourselves inadequate or insufficient to serve Him adequately. "I do not think it pleases the Lord." We must put the things of the past behind us and move forward with faith, hope, and confidence in Him.

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

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