Monday, August 2, 2021

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on our individual relationships with God

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (1940- ) served as Church Commissioner of Education from 1976-1980, as the president of BYU from 1980-1989, as a Seventy from 1989-1994, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1994.
"Who is it that whispers so subtly in our ear that a gift given to another somehow diminishes the blessings we have received? Who makes us feel that if God is smiling on another, then He surely must somehow be frowning on us? You and I both know who does this—it is the father of all lies (see 2 Ne. 2:18). It is Lucifer, our common enemy, whose cry down through the corridors of time is always and to everyone, 'Give me thine honor' (Moses 4:1)....
"Brothers and sisters, I testify that no one of us is less treasured or cherished of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us—insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all. He doesn't measure our talents or our looks; He doesn't measure our professions or our possessions. He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other. I know that if we will be faithful, there is a perfectly tailored robe of righteousness ready and waiting for everyone, (see Isa. 61:10; 2 Ne. 4:33; 2 Ne. 9:14) 'robes... made... white in the blood of the Lamb' (Rev. 7:14). May we encourage each other in our effort to win that prize."
- Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Other Prodigal," General Conference April 2002
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Holland's wonderfully descriptive language and presentation always speak to my heart. This insight speaks to the tendency we all have at one time or another to evaluate ourselves in comparison to others—their gifts, talents, blessings, life circumstances. It is enabling and powerful to recognize where these misguided compulsions to compare often come from:

To truly believe that God loves me, even with my "insecurities, anxieties, self-image, and all"—what a gift that is! His standards, His priorities are so much different than the ones we often limit our perspectives to.

And the final insight: "May we encourage each other in our effort to win" God's ultimate approbation. The great secret isn't "winning" for myself. It's helping all those around me to succeed. In the end, that may be the only way for each of us to succeed ourselves.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
April 13, 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15