Tuesday, December 4, 2018

President Harold B. Lee on acting on the inspiration we receive

President Harold B. Lee (1899-1973) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1941. He served as a counselor in the First Presidency from 1970-1972, then as Church president from July 1972 until his passing less than 18 months later in December 1973.
"President [David O.] McKay taught us this in the temple one day.... 'I want to tell you one thing: When the Lord tells you what to do, you've got to have the courage to do it or you had better not ask him again.'
"I've learned that lesson, too. Sometimes in the middle of the night I've been awakened and am unable to sleep until I've gotten out of bed and put down on paper the thing that I have been wrestling with. But it takes a lot of courage to act when directed as an answer to prayers."
- Harold B. Lee, "Qualities of Leadership," address to the Latter-day Saint Student Association convention, Aug. 1970, 5; see also Teachings: Harold B. Lee, 54.

This is a great message from two prophets. First, quoting President McKay, the challenge that we must act on inspiration when we receive it, if we want to continue to receive it:

President Lee expanded on the thought of his mentor by sharing his own personal confirmation of the principle. Sometimes the answers to our questions come at inconvenient times; and during the night is a time when often the mind is freed from other cares and can be more open to receiving inspiration. President Lee's message is to always take time to record impressions, so that they will not be lost and can then be acted on fully as soon as possible.

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

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