Saturday, January 15, 2022

President Ezra Taft Benson on the spiritually alert life

President Ezra Taft Benson (1899-1994) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1943, and served as the 13th President of the Church from 1985 until his death in 1994 at age 94.
"Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but He expects us to work out most of the details and methods. The methods and procedures are usually developed through study and prayer and by living so that we can obtain and follow the promptings of the Spirit. Less spiritually advanced people, such as those in the days of Moses, had to be commanded in many things. Today those spiritually alert look at the objectives, check the guidelines laid down by the Lord and His prophets, and then prayerfully act—without having to be commanded 'in all things' (D&C 58:26). This attitude prepares men for godhood....
"Sometimes, the Lord hopefully waits for His children to act on their own, and when they do not, they lose the greater prize, and the Lord will either drop the entire matter and let them suffer the consequences, or else he will have to spell it out in greater detail. Usually, I fear, the more he has to spell it out, the smaller is our reward."
- Ezra Taft Benson, "Not Commanded in All Things," Conference Report, April 5, 1965, pp. 121-122; see Ensign Sept 1977
Click here to read the full talk

This is an interesting analysis of the process of mortality. God doesn't tell us everything to do; he doesn't answer every question and give guidance in every minute instance. Instead, he wants us to learn and grow through our own experience. We need to learn to make decisions. And we need to learn to recover from bad decisions. That's all part of the process of growth.

I love the simple description of being "spiritually alert" — what a great attribute!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
August 29, 2015

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