Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Elder Ronald A. Rasband on reaching out to others in love

Elder Ronald A. Rasband (b. 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 2000.  He was the senior president of the Seventy when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015. This talk was given when he served in the presidency of the Seventy.
"To sustain our leaders is a privilege; it comes coupled with a personal responsibility to share their burden and to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
"President Monson has said:
"'We are surrounded by those in need of our attention, our encouragement, our support, our comfort, our kindness—be they family members, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us....
"'"...Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these..., ye have done it unto me" [Matthew 25:40].' (Thomas S. Monson, 'What Have I Done for Someone Today?' Ensign, Nov. 2009, 86, 87.)
"Will we respond with love when an opportunity is before us to make a visit or a phone call, write a note, or spend a day meeting the needs of someone else? Or will we be like the young man who attested to following all of God’s commandments:
"'All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
"'Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.' (Matthew 19:20–21.)
"The young man was being called to a greater service at the side of the Lord to do the work of the kingdom of God on earth, yet he turned away, 'for he had great possessions.' (Matthew 19:22.)
"What of our earthly possessions? We can see what a tornado can do with them in just minutes. It is so important for each of us to strive to lay up our spiritual treasures in heaven—using our time, talents, and agency in service to God."
- Ronald A. Rasband, "The Joyful Burden of Discipleship," General Conference April 2014
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Elder Rasband reminds us of our commitment to sustain our leaders and follow their counsel and example, and then quotes President Monson's instructions about serving and blessing others.  There are so many ways to serve: "We are surrounded by those in need of our attention"! How eager we should be to reach out to them with help and encouragement. But too often we cling to possessions we might be able to share, and our time and energy in giving to others:

We should remember our commitments and covenants to bear one another's burdens and to love our neighbors. It would be well for us all to evaluate our personal lives in this regard!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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