Sunday, March 6, 2022

President James E. Faust on life's challenges and defining decisions

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"At times I have stumbled and been less than I should have been. All of us experience those wrenching, defining, difficult decisions that move us to a higher level of spirituality. They are the Gethsemanes of our lives that bring with them great pain and anguish. Sometimes they are too sacred to be shared publicly. They are the watershed experiences that help purge us of our unrighteous desires for the things of the world. As the scales of worldliness are taken from our eyes, we see more clearly who we are and what our responsibilities are concerning our divine destiny.
"I humbly acknowledge that these many experiences have nurtured a sure knowledge that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer. I have heard His voice and felt His influence and presence. They have been as a warm, spiritual cloak. The wonder of it is that all who conscientiously strive to keep the commandments and sustain their leaders can receive this same knowledge in some measure. The privilege of serving in the cause of the Master can bring great satisfaction and inner peace."
- James E. Faust, "A Growing Testimony," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 59
Click here to read the full talk

It's interesting that President Faust introduced this thought with his own admission of feelings of having fallen short. But it's in the context of the "wrenching, defining, difficult decisions" of life. So he has not done as well as he wished in confronting and resolving those decisions? Interesting thought. He sees in those moments of choice a chance to grow and be defined in significant and powerful ways:

But I love then sweetness of President Faust's testimony about how those experiences of his life blessed him in increased testimony and confidence, "as a warm, spiritual cloak" encompassing him in times of need. That is such a powerful image. He offers the same promise to us, as we carefully obey, sustain our leaders, and serve the Lord.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2022)
July 7, 2016

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