Saturday, September 11, 2021

Elder Marvin J. Ashton on acting "straightway" to bless others

Elder Marvin J. Ashton (May 6, 1915—Feb 25, 1994) served as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles from 1971 until his death in 1994 at age 78.
"Wishing things were different in our lives, or waiting for a roadblock to be removed or an attitude altered, can cause us to mark time rather than to move forward straightway. William Shakespeare wrote, 'Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win By fearing to attempt.' (Measure for Measure, act 1, sc. 4, lines 77-79.)
"Use your specific talents. Don't procrastinate action while wishing for missing abilities. To those who are inclined to respond with 'Not now' or 'Not yet' to the invitation to 'come, follow me,' may we suggest, with all the love and sincerity we possess, He wants you. He will welcome you straightway regardless of where you have been, where you are now, who you are, or what talents you possess or lack....
"Those whose goal it is to follow the Savior straightway not only look for answers to their own problems, but also help others find solutions to life's difficulties. They open their hearts and minds to those who are troubled, ignored, or weary."
- Marvin J. Ashton, "Straightway," Ensign, May 1983, pp. 30-32
Click here to read the full talk
In this memorable talk, Elder Ashton referred to the New Testament description of Jesus calling Simon Peter and Andrew to service, and how they "straightway" left their fishing nets to follow (see Matt. 4:18–22). He encourages us to not delay in our choices and righteous works. It's so easy to postpone making the changes or being sincere in commitment. In this excerpt, he warns of one of the things that can bring hesitancy—our self-doubt and lack of confidence as we worry about missing qualifications or abilities.

Elder Ashton's reminder is that as we do the best we can with what we have, "help[ing] others find solutions to life's difficulties," we will do much good and bless others as well as ourselves. We should each consider areas in which a decision or commitment made "straightway" could change or bless us.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
May 6, 2015

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