Sunday, February 17, 2019

President Howard W. Hunter on reverence in society and in church

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"There are wide areas of our society from which the spirit of prayer and reverence and worship has vanished. Men and women in many circles are clever, interesting, or brilliant, but they lack one crucial element in a complete life. They do not look up. They do not offer up vows in righteousness, as the requirement is stated in the Doctrine and Covenants, 'on all days and at all times.' (D&C 59:11.) Their conversation sparkles, but it is not sacred. Their talk is witty, but it is not wise. Whether it be in the office, the locker room, or the laboratory, they have come too far down the scale of dignity who display their own limited powers and then find it necessary to blaspheme those unlimited powers that come from above.
"Unfortunately we sometimes find this lack of reverence even within the Church. Occasionally we visit too loudly, enter and leave meetings too disrespectfully in what should be an hour of prayer and purifying worship. Reverence is the atmosphere of heaven. Prayer is the utterance of the soul to God the Father. We do well to become more like our Father by looking up to him, by remembering him always, and by caring greatly about his world and his work."
- Howard W. Hunter, "Hallowed Be Thy Name," General Conference October 1977
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

President Hunter points out some important differences between worldly attitudes, and the "humble followers of Christ" (2 Ne 28:14). Too often men and women in the world seek only to be "clever, interesting, or brilliant," coming across as witty but forgetting to be wise and humble. There is a desire to impress their peers, to stand out and be influential—but without regard for a divine power and its righteous principles. Certainly as we grow in our spirituality and understanding of the Savior's love for us and His plan for happiness, we will see how little the approbation of the world means compared to God's approval for our lives.

President Hunter warns too about the risk of forgetting sacred things, sacred times, sacred places. When we gather in our meetings, we should remember why we are there and strive to do nothing that would detract from the spirit of worshipful reverence. As we strive to "always remember Him," that will be more natural for us.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15