Friday, September 25, 2015

“Lord, Is It I?” by Pres. Uctdorf

Find this talk here.

  • Though the first third of this talk is stories trying to teach the same subject, it's an important subject, and I'm glad to see it addressed. Scriptural study in the church often demonstrates the spiritual blind spot problem Pres. Uctdorf discusses: we read scriptures to prove what we already think, rather than to determine what we're supposed to think. Thus, members of the church are often at least as Pharisaical as Christ's mortal persecutors, strictly adhering to the letter of an oral tradition built up as protection for God's simple and straightforward law. We have an entire book of scripture devoted to telling us how badly the Gentiles will reject the gospel in the latter days, but often fail to realize that *we* are those very Gentiles. We somehow figure King Benjamin's very clear instructions with regard to beggars and the needy somehow don't apply to us. We read scriptures condemning priestcraft, and faithfully pay tithing to support our professional priests, their fleet of high-end Toyota Avalons, and their high seats in our famous synagogue.
  • "The ward had every outward indication of faithfulness". It's wonderful that he would put it that way. Clearly the outward signs we consider to be hallmarks of the righteous aren't everything we sometimes think they are. Perhaps, to carry the thought a little, those outward signs we interpret as abject wickedness may not merit our trust, either.
  • Yes, in this world it's easy to procrastinate scripture study. It's even easier when your bishop warns you against studying on your own.
  • "Where is my treasure" -- an excellent question. Do we treasure our church membership more than anything, or are we interested most in our relationship with Christ? Pres. Grant says he specifically prayed not to meet Jesus Christ because he knew of too many people who claimed to have met Christ, and then fallen from the Church. So which is more important: the earthly organization, or the Savior?
  • "Does the Spirit of God dwell in your hearts?" How do you know? I know I don't regularly receive what I'd call "revelation", and Joseph Smith says that since the Holy Ghost is a revelator, you can't have received him and not be receiving revelation, then I guess I have somewhat to work on.
  • Pres. Uchtdorf is exactly right: it's awfully hard to look at ourselves with sufficient candor to spot our weakness and humbly seek to change.
  • It's nice to think of ourselves deciding to become better sons, husbands, etc. when we acknowledge our failures, but the scriptures say the right thing to do is to humble ourselves and ask Christ for grace, so that those weaknesses may become strengths. In other words, don't get so caught up in behavior; get caught up in Christ.

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