Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Crucial Test of Life

My sweet 15 yr. old daughter texted me late last night and said "Mom, I think you might like to read this talk by Elder Packer.  It's very good." So, this morning, after taking her to a class, I came home and felt to read through it.  I actually watched and read at the same time.  You can also do so at "The Choice".

We will reap what we sow...
I'll share a few clips here that stood out for me today.  One of them was that this life seems to be a constant battle of good and evil, light and dark, right and wrong.  One of the things that I've struggled with over the past several years - is the quest for Zion and how far from it we often may be - in our own neighborhoods and amongst those who seem to desire the same things yet are at different places on the path.

I've spent many, many hours reading, researching, studying, fasting, praying and seeking further light and knowledge concerning the preparing of Zion vs the contrast of what is actually happening around us.

Elder Packer shares truths from his own experience and the teachings of the Lord.  I invite all to ponder on the day in which we live and the importance of making wise choices, for, we will truly reap what we sow.

"It is the understanding of almost everyone that success, to be complete, must include a generous portion of both fame and fortune as essential ingredients. The world seems to work on that premise. The premise is false. It is not true. The Lord taught otherwise.....You need not be either rich or hold high position to be completely successful and truly happy....In fact, if these things come to you, and they may, true success must be achieved in spite of them, not because of them.
...We come into mortal life to receive a body and to be tested, to learn to choose....We want our children and their children to know that the choice of life is not between fame and obscurity, nor is the choice between wealth and poverty. The choice is between good and evil, and that is a very different matter indeed.
When we finally understand this lesson, thereafter our happiness will not be determined by material things. We may be happy without them or successful in spite of them.....Wealth and prominence do not always come from having earned them. Our worth is not measured by renown or by what we own.
....Our lives are made up of thousands of everyday choices. Over the years these little choices will be bundled together and show clearly what we value.
The crucial test of life, I repeat, does not center in the choice between fame and obscurity, nor between wealth and poverty. The greatest decision of life is between good and evil.
We may foolishly bring unhappiness and trouble, even suffering upon ourselves. These are not always to be regarded as penalties imposed by a displeased Creator. They are part of the lessons of life, part of the test.
Some are tested by poor health, some by a body that is deformed or homely. Others are tested by handsome and healthy bodies; some by the passion of youth; others by the erosions of age.....Some suffer disappointment in marriage, family problems; others live in poverty and obscurity. Some (perhaps this is the hardest test) find ease and luxury.
All are part of the test, and there is more equality in this testing than sometimes we suspect....This message is central to the scriptures. The Book of Mormon tells us that “men are instructed sufficiently that they know good from evil” (2 Ne. 2:5).
We are taught, also, “Men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose”—
One: “liberty and eternal life, through the great mediation of all men.”
Or, two: “to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil.” (2 Ne. 2:27.)
...“Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matt. 6:33).
“Before ye seek for riches, seek ye for the kingdom of God....“And after ye have obtained a hope in Christ ye shall obtain riches, if ye seek them; and ye will seek them for the intent to do good—to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted.” (Jacob 2:18–19.)
“Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold, the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich” (D&C 6:7).....“Behold, he that hath eternal life is rich” (D&C 11:7).
What, then, do we want you to do?  Simply this:   Be good!   Study the gospel.  Live it!   Stay active in the Church.    Receive the ordinances.    Keep your covenants."