Monday, October 19, 2020

Elder D. Todd Christofferson on personal happiness and community well-being

Elder D. Todd Christofferson (born January 24, 1945) was called to the Seventy in 1993, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2008.
"When people turn from a sense of accountability to God and begin to trust instead in the 'arm of flesh,' disaster lurks. Trusting in the arm of flesh is to ignore the divine Author of human rights and human dignity and to give highest priority to riches, power, and the praise of the world (while often mocking and persecuting those who follow a different standard). Meanwhile, those in sustainable societies are seeking, as King Benjamin said, to 'grow in the knowledge of the glory of him that created [them], or in the knowledge of that which is just and true.' (Mosiah 4:12.)

"The institutions of family and religion have been crucial for endowing both individuals and communities with the virtues that sustain an enduring society. These virtues, rooted in scripture, include integrity, responsibility and accountability, compassion, marriage and fidelity in marriage, respect for others and the property of others, service, and the necessity and dignity of work, among others.

"...our joyous message to our children and to all humanity is that 'the truth of God' points a better way, or as Paul said, 'a more excellent way' (1 Corinthians 12:31), a way to personal happiness and community well-being now and to everlasting peace and joy hereafter....

"There is much we can do as neighbors and fellow citizens to contribute to the sustainability and success of the societies we live in, and surely our most fundamental and enduring service will be to teach and live by the truths inherent in God’s great plan of redemption."

- D. Todd Christofferson, "Sustainable Societies," General Conference October 2020, Saturday afternoon

Elder Christofferson's message considered some of the broader concerns of society. What causes them to decline or even collapse? What are the warning signs? How can we resist and counteract the tendencies to move in that direction? I thought it was very thought-provoking.

We are seeing some of the more concerning signs in our own time. The change in values, the lack of a sense of accountability to God, the failure of family structures—these are dangerous trends. There most certainly is a better way, a "more excellent way." We must remember God in order to receive His help.
Each of us can try harder to set good examples and to share the principles of eternity. We need to "teach and live" according to the eternal plan of happiness. Never has it been more important to strive to be a light to the world.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2020)

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