Thursday, December 2, 2021

Elder David A. Bednar on becoming chosen by choosing God in our lives

Elder David A. Bednar (born June 15, 1952) was serving as the president of BYU–Idaho when he was called and sustained as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in October 2004.
"To be or to become chosen is not an exclusive status conferred upon us. Rather, you and I ultimately determine if we are chosen. Please now note the use of the word chosen in the following verses from the Doctrine and Covenants:
"'Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?
"'Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men' (D&C 121:34-35; emphasis added).
"I believe the implication of these verses is quite straightforward. God does not have a list of favorites to which we must hope our names will someday be added. He does not limit 'the chosen' to a restricted few. Rather, it is our hearts and our aspirations and our obedience which definitively determine whether we are counted as one of God's chosen....
"The fundamental purposes for the gift of agency were to love one another and to choose God. Thus we become God's chosen and invite His tender mercies as we use our agency to choose God."
- David A. Bednar, "The Tender Mercies of the Lord," General Conference April 2005
Click here to read the full talk

What does it mean to be "chosen"—to be one of "the chosen people" or to be "chosen of God"? Elder Bednar teaches that it has nothing to do with honor or special preparation, or some obscure selection process. Rather, it relates to our own actions in deciding to follow God, accept the love He offers us, and be obedient to his commandments.

In short, we choose to be chosen. When we exercise our agency appropriately and become devoted and faithful disciples through our choices and actions, we then are counted among the chosen ones. Interesting concept!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
June 15, 2016

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