Friday, November 12, 2021

Elder Ronald A. Rasband on the spiritual experiences of our lives

Elder Ronald A. Rasband (b. 1951) served as a Seventy beginning in 2000.  He was the senior president of the Seventy when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2015. This talk was given when he served in the presidency of the Seventy.
"Our personal journey through life provides us with many special experiences that become building blocks of faith and testimony. These experiences come to us in vastly different ways and at unpredictable times. They can be powerful spiritual events or small enlightening moments. Some experiences will come as serious challenges and heavy trials that test our ability to cope with them. No matter what the experience may be, each gives us a chance for personal growth, greater wisdom, and, in many cases, service to others with more empathy and love. As the Lord stated to the Prophet Joseph Smith in a reassuring way during one of his most significant trials at Liberty Jail, 'All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good' (D&C 122:7).
"As experiences accumulate in our lives, they add strength and support to each other. Just as the building blocks of our homes support the rest of the structure, so too do our personal life experiences become building blocks for our testimonies and add to our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ....
"In these days of worldly intrusions into our lives, when trials and difficulties may seem to engulf us, let us remember our own special spiritual experiences. These building blocks of faith will bring us conviction and reassurance of a caring, loving Father in Heaven, of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and of Their restored true and living Church."
- Ronald A. Rasband, "Special Experiences," General Conference April 2008
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Rasband's message was to acknowledge the events that help us to progress in life. They can be positive "spiritual events," both powerful and dramatic as well as "small enlightening moments." Certainly we should seek more of both of those events, large and small, and recognize their impact. But we are also blessed by "serious challenges and heavy trials" that bring growth in ways we don't expect, if we respond appropriately.

As these experiences accumulate in our lives, we establish the foundation upon which real discipleship can be built:

Elder Rasband encourages us to remember the "special spiritual experiences" when we are engulfed by the "worldly intrusions into our lives." The strength that will follow will bless us with God's help and ever-growing faith.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
December 5, 2015

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