Monday, April 19, 2021

Elder Dale G. Renlund on dealing with unfairness by reaching out

Elder Dale G. Renlund (born November 13, 1952) served in the First Quorum of Seventy starting in 2009, until his call to the Quorum of Twelve in October 2015.
"How we deal with advantages and disadvantages is part of life’s test. We will be judged not so much by what we say but by how we treat the vulnerable and disadvantaged. As Latter-day Saints, we seek to follow the Savior’s example, to go about doing good. We demonstrate our love for our neighbor by working to ensure the dignity of all Heavenly Father’s children.

"With our own advantages and disadvantages in mind, reflection is healthy.... To try to see things with an eternal perspective can be clarifying. As we become more like the Savior, we develop more empathy, understanding, and charity.

"...all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that by His authority families can be joined together forever.

"When faced with unfairness, we can push ourselves away from God or we can be drawn toward Him for help and support."

- Dale G. Renlund, "Infuriating Unfairness," General Conference April 2021, Saturday afternoon

This talk for me was one of the highlights of the April 2021 conference. I was grateful to see Elder Renlund confronting real, challenging issues. There truly is so much unfairness in life, as we perceive it. As we ponder it, we truly can become infuriated. Perhaps we should become infuriated, at least at the portion of that unfairness that is created by man's choices and actions.

Elder Renlund provided some important thoughts to ponder on the issues of the unfairness of life. He presented possible explanations, recommendations for how we respond, and encouragement to maintain perspective.

For those of us who generally fall into the "advantaged" camp, Elder Renlund gave this advice:

This is very wise counsel. In most cases, there is not much we can do about how the "unfairness" impacts us. But therre is much we can do about how we respond, and in particular, how we help those who are suffering greater disadvantages than we are. We need to "go about doing good" and succoring our neighbor. As we follow Christ's example, we become more like Him, and feel His joy.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)

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