Saturday, September 18, 2021

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf on being genuine and trusting God's power to bless our lives

President Uchtdorf (1940- ) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He served as second counselor in the First Presidency from 2008 until 2018.
"Whether your testimony is thriving and healthy or your activity in the Church more closely resembles a Potemkin village, the good news is that you can build on whatever strength you have. Here in the Church of Jesus Christ you can mature spiritually and draw closer to the Savior by applying gospel principles day by day.
"With patience and persistence, even the smallest act of discipleship or the tiniest ember of belief can become a blazing bonfire of a consecrated life. In fact, that's how most bonfires begin--as a simple spark.
"So if you feel small and weak, please simply come unto Christ, who makes weak things strong (see Ether 12:27). The weakest among us, through God's grace, can become spiritually strong, because God 'is no respecter of persons' (Acts 10:34)....
"My beloved brothers in Christ, the God of Creation, who breathed life into the universe, surely has the power to breathe life into you. Surely He can make of you the genuine, spiritual being of light and truth you desire to be."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "On Being Genuine," General Conference April 2015; see Ensign, May 2015, pp. 80-83
Click here to read the full talk

President Uchtdorf began his discourse in the Priesthood session of the recent conference by telling the story of a historical incident from 18th-century Russia, during which a regional governor named Potemkin is said to have pulled off a deception by making villages appear prosperous during a tour by Catherine the Great.  The term "Potemkin village" has come to symbolize "any attempt to make others believe we are better than we really are."  President Uchtdorf warned about putting on fa├žades or hiding our challenges and shortcomings, encouraging us to be "genuine" as we allow the Atonement and the Gospel to help us overcome the imperfections.

President Uchtdorf's message is one of hope and encouragement. The image of a tiny ember growing to a blazing bonfire is a beautiful one. President Uchtdorf wants us to believe that God has the power and desire to help us become what we sometimes pretend to be... or what we long to be. We don't do it ourselves; we rely on Him to breathe the divine power and light into us.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
May 16, 2015

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