Sunday, October 25, 2020

Elder Ulisses Soares on turning our thoughts to the Savior

Elder Ulisses Soares (born October 2, 1958 in Brazil) has served as a Seventy since April 2005, and as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy since January 2013. He was sustained to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles on April 1, 2018.
"Being aware of all that is necessary for us in this life, the Savior invites us to seek Him in every thought and to follow Him with all our heart. This gives us the promise that we can walk in His light and that His guidance prevents the influence of darkness in our life.

"Seeking Christ in every thought and following Him with all our heart requires that we align our mind and desires with His. The scriptures refer to this alignment as 'stand[ing] fast in the Lord' (Philippians 4:1). This course of action implies that we continually conduct our lives in harmony with the gospel of Christ and focus daily on everything that is good. Only then may we achieve 'the peace of God, which passeth all understanding' and which will 'keep [our] hearts and minds through Christ Jesus' (Philippians 4:7)."

- Ulisses Soares, "Seek Christ in Every Thought," General Conference October 2020, Sunday morning

The concept of "alignment" is fascinating to me. The word align derives from old French and means to set or place into a straight line, a proper order or arrangement. You have to know what the proper or correct arrangement is in order to align. If we are clear about that correct positioning, we attempt to achieve it through adjustments. Or sometimes, when we know one thing is correct and true, and are not sure about a second thing, we can try to "align" the second to the first.

Elder Soares suggests that we align our mind and desires to the Savior. We know and believe that He is just and true; he is the perfect model. Our goal is to emulate Him. So we devote our hearts to Him and seek to follow with all our hearts.
Once something is in alignment, there may be things that can remove it from the proper positioning; it can be "knocked out" from the alignment. So it requires ongoing caution, periodic checking and evaluation, and occasional adjustments to preserve alignment. All of those things apply to our spiritual alignment to the Savior.

The real blessing of alignment with Him comes in the peace and joy that follow. Those are divine promises, and we constantly feel them reinforced as we follow that path.

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

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