- Our life on earth is a stewardship of time and choices granted by our Creator. The word stewardship calls to mind the Lord’s law of consecration, which has an economic role but, more than that, is an application of celestial law to life here and now. To consecrate is to set apart or dedicate something as sacred, devoted to holy purposes. True success in this life comes in consecrating our lives—that is, our time and choices—to God’s purposes. In so doing, we permit Him to raise us to our highest destiny.
There are five elements to a consecrated life that Elder Christofferson points out. Let's look at each one of these.
- As the Savior demonstrated, the consecrated life is a pure life.
- Consecration therefore means repentance. Stubbornness, rebellion, and rationalization must be abandoned, and in their place submission, a desire for correction, and acceptance of all that the Lord may require.
- A consecrated life is a life of labor.
- By work we sustain and enrich life. It enables us to survive the disappointments and tragedies of the mortal experience. Hard-earned achievement brings a sense of self-worth. Work builds and refines character, creates beauty, and is the instrument of our service to one another and to God. A consecrated life is filled with work, sometimes repetitive, sometimes menial, sometimes unappreciated but always work that improves, orders, sustains, lifts, ministers, aspires.
Elder Christofferson points out that there is a need for non-work related items in our lives too.
- Music, literature, art, dance, drama, athletics—all can provide entertainment to enrich one’s life and further consecrate it. At the same time, it hardly needs to be said that much of what passes for entertainment today is coarse, degrading, violent, mind-numbing, and time wasting. Ironically, it sometimes takes hard work to find wholesome leisure. When entertainment turns from virtue to vice, it becomes a destroyer of the consecrated life.
Respect for one’s physical body
- A consecrated life respects the incomparable gift of one’s physical body, a divine creation in the very image of God. A central purpose of the mortal experience is that each spirit should receive such a body and learn to exercise moral agency in a tabernacle of flesh.
- Those who believe that our bodies are nothing more than the result of evolutionary chance will feel no accountability to God or anyone else for what they do with or to their body. We who have a witness of the broader reality of premortal, mortal, and postmortal eternity, however, must acknowledge that we have a duty to God with respect to this crowning achievement of His physical creation.
- A consecrated life is a life of service.
- Those who quietly and thoughtfully go about doing good offer a model of consecration.
- A consecrated life is a life of integrity. We see it in the husband and wife “who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.”5We see it in the father and mother whose demonstrated first priority is to nourish their marriage and ensure the physical and spiritual welfare of their children. We see it in those who are honest.
- One who lives a consecrated life does not seek to take advantage of another but, if anything, will turn the other cheek and, if required to deliver a coat, will give the cloak also.
He concludes with these comments:
- Of particular significance is the influence of a consecrated man or woman upon others, especially those closest and dearest. The consecration of many who have gone before us and others who live among us has helped lay the foundation for our happiness. In like manner future generations will take courage from your consecrated life, acknowledging their debt to you for the possession of all that truly matters.
Elder Christofferson's words cause me to reflect on the daily decisions I make. How do I allocate my time? Who am I sharing my life with others. How am I helping build the kingdom of God? I can do a better job of dedicating my time to the Lord. By serving others and living my life in a righteous manner, I will be ready when the Lord needs me to help others along the pathway of life.