- I am here to bear my testimony that we were with our Heavenly Father before we came to this life. The scriptures tell us so. We also know that we chose to take a physical body, to come to live in this estate, to live His commandments, and to have opposition in all things. The opposition which we must have is to make us strong; the fire which we withstand is to harden our spiritual steel. It is also God’s plan that we cannot return to his presence alone, without the help of someone else.
God's plan is that we return to Him. But it is also God's plan that along the way, we encourage, teach, and assist others to come back as well.
- When we return to our Heavenly Father, he does not want us to come back alone. He wants us to return with honor with our families and those whom we have helped along the road of life. In preparing this message, it has become very clear to me that the true nature of the gospel plan is the interdependence we have upon one another in this life and the estate in which we now live.
- It is clear to me that we have imperfections of body, imperfections of mind and intellect—that we are not perfect. And for that reason we are dependent on others. We must be self-sufficient ourselves, but that does not mean independent of help of others. We cannot gain a testimony without having the help of the Holy Ghost. We cannot do genealogy without having the help of those who came before us—our forebears. We are here to see if we will serve the “least of these our brothers,” and since I’ve been a General Authority I have come to find out that the President of the Church, his counselors, and the Twelve Apostles consider themselves the least of us.
Elder Hales shares some basic truths about our purpose here on earth. He speaks with such plainness and simplicity. I have never considered the basic doctrine he teaches with this paragraph. Please ponder on it with me.
- A just God has placed us here on the planet earth where we experience suffering and imperfection all around us. And this life and estate are necessary because in this life we experience something we cannot do any other place. The life we had before and the life we will have hereafter will leave our bodies, spirits, and minds in a more perfect state. But we did not and will not have the opportunities to give of ourselves in the same way as we can in this life. What a simple truth of a gospel principle!
I find hope is that comment. We are here to experience things that we could not experience anywhere else in God's plan of happiness. Despite all the hurt, pain, and suffering in the world, we have things we can only experience in this life to learn. Even when our pains are extreme and we don't understand the purpose of our suffering, we can be assured that we are learning something we cannot learn at any other time in God's plan for us.
- As we suffer and serve in this life, we are fulfilling a very essential part of the gospel plan.
He speaks of the feeling of loneliness that is so common. He speaks of the human tendency to want to be alone and to no ask for help and how we need to stay away from that in our physical and spiritual lives.
- Those who are alone and lonely should not retreat to the sanctuary of their private thoughts and chambers. Such retreat will ultimately lead them into the darkening influence of the adversary, which leads to despondency, loneliness, frustration, and to thinking of themselves as worthless. After one thinks of himself as worthless, he then ofttimes turns to associates who corrode those delicate spiritual contacts, rendering their spiritual receiving antennas and transmitters useless.
- When you attempt to live life’s experiences alone, you are not being true to yourself, nor to your basic mission in life. Individuals in difficulty often say: “I’ll do it alone,” “Leave me alone,” “I don’t need you,” “I can take care of myself.” It has been said that no one is so rich that he does not need another’s help, no one so poor as not to be useful in some way to his fellowman. The disposition to ask assistance from others with confidence, and to grant it with kindness, should be part of our very nature.
- Loneliness and withdrawal take us as a pawn off the board in the game of life.
Elder Hales speaks so elegantly about our need for help from others. It seems natural for me in my life to want to think I can handle everything on my own. I need to change that thinking. I need to learn to rely on others and allow others the life changing blessings of offering service to me and my family. I am grateful to those that have figured this out in their life and give service to me and my family in such selfless ways. There are several close friends in our lives that would do anything for me and my family. I am grateful for them that they see the eternal need to help and rely on others. They see the eternal plan of our Heavenly Father so clearly and I need to learn from their examples, how to be more willing to give, and how to be more willing to receive.