Friday, March 29, 2019

President Harold B. Lee on following God's engineers

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.
"The place of these heaven-endowed messengers who represent the Lord in every dispensation of the gospel upon the earth may be illustrated by an incident related by a traveler in northern Europe. Our traveler was leaving by boat from Stockholm, Sweden, traveling out into the Baltic Sea. To do so, the boat had to pass through a thousand or more islands. Standing on the forward deck, the traveler found himself becoming impatient because of what seemed to him to be a careless course. Why not a course near to this island or another and more interesting than the one the pilot had chosen? Almost in exasperation he was saying to himself, 'What's wrong with the old pilot? Has he lost his sense of direction?' Suddenly he was aware of markers along the charted course which appeared as mere broom handles sticking up in the water. Someone had carefully explored these channels and had charted the safest course for ships to take.
"So it is in life's course on the way to immortality and eternal life: 'God's engineers,' by following a blueprint made in heaven, have charted the course for safest and happiest passage and have forewarned us of the danger areas.
"How dreary and frustrated is the human soul who not only does not come 'in the name of the Lord,' but who disregards the guideposts marked out by 'God's engineers' of the above illustration! Of this the Apostle to the Gentiles wrote: 'If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable' (1 Corinthians 5:19). That misery certainly can only be matched in him who in this life has no faith or hope in Christ.... But what strength and fortitude comes to him who puts his trust in the Lord!"
- Harold B. Lee, "Blessed Is He That Cometh in the Name of the Lord," Conference Report, April 3, 1955, 17-20; see Stand Ye In Holy Places, 44-45
Click here to read the full talk

We are blessed in our time with "heaven-endowed messengers who represent the Lord." President Lee illustrates their role with an example of route-finding in a challenging situation. In our day, we are faced with many of those challenging situations, but ones that present spiritual challenges instead of physical ones. We can be blessed as we learn to listen to, and follow the counsel of, spiritual guides:

Peace and happiness come as we gain a witness of the role of "God's engineers" who have "charted the course for safest and happiest passage and have forewarned us of the danger areas."

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

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