Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Elder Dallin H. Oaks on the timing of the Lord

President Dallin H. Oaks (born August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984. He became President of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles and also 1st Counselor in the First Presidency in January 2018.
"If we have faith in God and if we are committed to the fundamentals of keeping His commandments and putting Him first in our lives, we do not need to plan every single event—even every important event—and we should not feel rejected or depressed if some things—even some very important things—do not happen at the time we had planned or hoped or prayed.
"Commit yourself to put the Lord first in your life, keep His commandments, and do what the Lord's servants ask you to do. Then your feet are on the pathway to eternal life. Then it does not matter whether you are called to be a bishop or a Relief Society president, whether you are married or single, or whether you die tomorrow. You do not know what will happen. Do your best on what is fundamental and personal and then trust in the Lord and His timing."
- Dallin H. Oaks, "Timing," BYU devotional address, 29 January 2002; see Ensign, Oct. 2003, pp. 10-17
Click here to read the full talk
I include myself among those who have struggled with questions of timing, when things didn't seem to happen the way I hoped or planned, or the way I thought I "deserved." In many cases, the passage of time has proved that there was wisdom and blessing in the delay. In other cases, I'm still waiting to understand. But learning to trust in faith has to be one of the great purposes of this existence.

Truly, the key to happiness is to learn to trust in God's timing. When we have confidence in His wisdom, it will make the delays easier to understand.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
May 28, 2015

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