Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Elder David A. Bednar on our individual responsibility to learn and grow

Elder David A. Bednar (born June 15, 1952) was serving as the president of BYU–Idaho when he was called and sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2004.
"Each member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an individual responsibility to learn and live the Lord’s teachings and to receive by proper authority the ordinances of salvation and exaltation. We should not expect the Church as an organization to teach or tell us everything we need to know and do to become devoted disciples and endure valiantly to the end. (See D&C 121:29.) Rather, our personal responsibility is to learn what we should learn, to live as we know we should live, and to become who the Master would have us become. And our homes are the ultimate setting for learning, living, and becoming....
"The overarching purpose of Heavenly Father’s plan is for His children to become more like Him. Accordingly, He provides us with essential opportunities to grow and progress. Our commitment to learn and live according to truth is increasingly important in a world that is 'in commotion' (D&C 45:26) and is ever more confused and wicked. We cannot expect simply to attend Church meetings and participate in programs and thereby receive all of the spiritual edification and protection that will enable us 'to withstand in the evil day.' (Ephesians 6:13.)
"'Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness.' ('The Family: A Proclamation to the World,' Ensign, May 2017, 145.) Inspired Church leaders, teachers, and activities help individual and family efforts to grow spiritually. And though we all need help pressing forward on the covenant path, the ultimate responsibility for developing spiritual strength and stamina rests upon each one of us....
"If all you or I know about Jesus Christ and His restored gospel is what other people teach or tell us, then the foundation of our testimony of Him and His glorious latter-day work is built upon sand. We cannot rely exclusively upon or borrow gospel light and knowledge from other people—even those whom we love and trust."
- David A. Bednar, "Prepared to Obtain Every Needful Thing," General Conference April 2019
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

A critical question for life is how we can learn and comprehend "everything we need to know and do to become devoted disciples and endure valiantly to the end." Elder Bednar seems to be responding to a misconception that the Church provides that; instead, the major responsibility lies with each one of us.  While the church provides assistance and support, ultimately each of us must "work out or own salvation."

So the call is for us to "rise up" and be more faithful in learning, following, repenting, serving, and truly striving to follow the path of discipleship. 

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

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