Saturday, October 17, 2020

Elder David A. Bednar on trusting in Jesus as our Savior

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.
"These scriptures provide a perfect framework for organizing and preparing our lives and homes both temporally and spiritually. Our efforts to prepare for the proving experiences of mortality should follow the example of the Savior, who incrementally 'increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man' (Luke 2:52)—a blended balance of intellectual, physical, spiritual, and social readiness....

"Just as challenging times reveal inadequacies in temporal preparedness, so too the maladies of spiritual casualness and complacency inflict their most detrimental effects during difficult trials....

"Faithfulness is not foolishness or fanaticism. Rather, it is trusting and placing our confidence in Jesus Christ as our Savior, on His name, and in His promises. As we 'press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men,' (2 Ne 31:20) we are blessed with an eternal perspective and vision that stretches far beyond our limited mortal capacity. We will be enabled to 'gather together, and stand in holy places' (D&C 101:22) and 'be not moved, until the day of the Lord come.' (D&C 87:8)"

- David A. Bednar, "We Will Prove Them Herewith," General Conference October 2020, Saturday afternoon

Elder Bednar spoke of the need for tests in academia as a means of measuring progress; it helps us identify what we know, and what we need to continue to learn. The principle can be applied to our mortal experience, as we hope to have measuring points to help identify what growth is lacking in our lives. Elder Bednar especially hoped that we are gaining the growth from the challenges we currently face. It is so critical to avoid "spiritual casualness and complacency" that rob us of sacred opportunities in life, especially in the midst of trying times.

Two important principles described by Elder Bednar are preparing in advance for trials to come, and enduring as we press forward with steadfastness. But those who "press forward" faithfully are sometimes criticized for their lack of independence, initiative, or self-determinism. That's reflects a misunderstanding of what true faithfulness really is.

Those who are truly faithful will "press forward" because of their deep confidence in the Savior and His plan. They have that powerful eternal perspective that brings hope and wisdom. We should all be working to grow in those attributes!

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

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