- In the last few days I have prayed for help and assurance that I will not fail in the call which has come to me to serve in the First Presidency.
He says as we pray for assurance and help with our assignments, we will find the answers in three similar ways.
- The message may come in words to your mind or in a feeling or both. But it will include at least three things to give you assurance and guidance in what you must do in this seemingly overwhelming calling.
- The assurance will come from a memory of times Heavenly Father has helped you through dangers and difficulties.
We will be drawn to times in our life that provide assurance that God's hand is active in our lives. He will be able to use these prior experiences to build our faith to continue to move forward with our assignments.
- What is impossible for you is possible with God’s help in His service. And even when you were very small and in the years since, He has with His power and His Spirit gone before your face and been on your left hand and on your right hand when you went in His service (see D&C 84:88 ). You can receive assurance that God will watch over you if you pray for it in faith. I know that.
- I had prayed, as you will, about overwhelming inadequacies. The answer was very clear and very direct and really a rebuke as I prayed. “Forget yourself—start praying about the people you are to serve.” That does wonders, I can testify, to bring the Holy Ghost.
He says that praying for those you will serve will have an impact on how you spend you time, and how you manage your other responsibilities in life.
- Be prepared to lose track of time as you pray. You will feel love for the people you are to serve. You will feel their needs, their hopes, their hurts, and those of their families. And as you pray, the circle will grow wider than you would imagine, to perhaps people not in your quorum or your family but to those they love across the world. When you forget yourself to pray for the circle of others, your service will be extended in your heart. It will change not only your service but your heart. That is because the Father and His Beloved Son, whom you are called to serve, know and love so many people your service will touch, however limited to a few it may seem to be to you.
- Go to work.
We have to put in the time and effort necessary to touch peoples lives. It requires work on our part to succeed.
- Priesthood power is given you to bless others. And that always takes moving out and doing something, usually something hard to do. So you can expect, in addition to assurance of God’s help and the command to forget yourself, the clear prompting by the Holy Ghost to go and do something which will bless someone’s life. That may be as obvious as going prayerfully to visit a person or a family or a quorum member to whom you are assigned to serve.
In summary, we are to help others live their lives in accordance with the teachings of the gospel. This will allow the spirit to be in their lives and give them direction on how to keep the commandments through life's difficulties.
- You are to help Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, make eternal life possible for those you serve. To do that, the Spirit must take a testimony down into their hearts. And that testimony has to lead them to choose to keep the commandments of God, whatever storms and temptations may come.
He offers these words of encouragement to those that feel inadequate and overwhelmed.
- You can get assurance in your service. You can forget yourself and begin to pray for and love those you are to serve. And you can choose what to do and measure success by the degree to which it changes the hearts of the people you serve. But it is never going to be easy for you or for those you serve. There will always be pain in service and in the repentance necessary to bring the power of the Atonement to change hearts. That is in the nature of what you are called to do.
We can gauge our success by inviting all to come unto Christ. Their choice to do so, is not a measure of our success. But we have to invite with the spirit. The spirit will come into their lives and work with them to have the desire to change.
- Success requires people we serve to choose to accept the testimony of the Spirit into their hearts. The Spirit is ready. But many people aren’t ready to invite the Spirit. Our task, which is in our power, is to invite the Spirit into our lives so that people we serve will want to have the fruits of the Spirit in their lives—the fruits that they can see in ours.
Finally, he speaks about the influences of the word that stop us from having the spirit. These temptations and distractions need to be avoided. It will not be easy but it is necessary for us to have the spirit with us.
- God helps the faithful priesthood holder who decides to see and say no evil, even in a wicked world. It will not be easy. It never is. But you can have the promise fulfilled for you as I know that it can be for me: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven” ( D&C 121:45 ).
I love the three areas he covers. Probably the most important to me is "go to work." I have lots of responsibilities in my life but I need to make sure that those things in life that are not necessary are decreased and those that are needed are increased. Priesthood service is necessary and I have to make that a bigger priority in my life. So today, I am going to commit to giving more time to the service of the Lord. I am going to pray that I will be lead to those that need help. I am going to ask who I can minister to that needs some additional help or more importantly, I am going to pray to find out who needs a friend. With that direction, I am going to go to work to try to help those in needs. It starts today, I pray I can be up to the task. This talk helps me to have confidence in such an overwhelming task.