Sunday, August 26, 2012

Believe, Obey, Endure: Counsel from a living prophet

President Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and prophet to the world, gave a wonderful sermon a few months ago entitled, “Believe, Obey, Endure.” Although this sermon was originally addressed to the young women of the Church, I believe that everyone can and should read this talk and apply the teachings of happiness to themselves, for President Monson teaches correct and eternal principles.

In his sermon, President Monson spoke of the current world conditions and told the young people that our time is, “a time of opportunity, a season of growth, a semester of development—marked by the acquisition of knowledge and the quest for truth.” He warned that while we are in our young years, we are also in prime years for Satan to tempt us and do his utmost to entice us from the path which leads us back to our Heavenly Father. “The world around you is not equipped to provide the help you need to make it through this often-treacherous journey,” said President Monson. “So many in our society today seem to have slipped from the moorings of safety and drifted from the harbor of peace.” 

He continued, “Permissiveness, immorality, pornography, drugs, the power of peer pressure—all these and more—cause many to be tossed about on a sea of sin and crushed on the jagged reefs of lost opportunities, forfeited blessings, and shattered dreams.”
However, there is a way to safety as we look to the lighthouse of the Lord. President Monson offered, “three essential signals from the Lord’s lighthouse which will help you to return to that Father who eagerly awaits your triumphant homecoming. Those three signals are believe, obey, and endure.

Believe. “Believe that you are a [son or] daughter of Heavenly Father, that He loves you, and that you are here for a glorious purpose—to gain your eternal salvation. Believe that remaining strong and faithful to the truths of the gospel is of utmost importance. I testify that it is!” Believe that miracles can and will happen as you strive to follow the guidance of the Lord and live His commandments.

Obey. “Obey your parents. Obey the laws of God. They are given to us by a loving Heavenly Father. When they are obeyed, our lives will be more fulfilling, less complicated. Our challenges and problems will be easier to bear. We will receive the Lord’s promised blessings. . . . You have but one life to live. Keep it as free from trouble as you can.” Obedience to God’s commandments is the one sure way to ensure lasting happiness and long-term success.

Endure. “What does it mean to endure? I love this definition: to withstand with courage. Courage may be necessary for you to believe; it will at times be necessary as you obey. It will most certainly be required as you endure until that day when you will leave this mortal existence.” Enduring may seem overwhelming at times with all of the challenges we face. President Monson counseled, “seek heavenly guidance one day at a time. Life by the yard is hard; by the inch it’s a cinch. Each of us can be true for just one day—and then one more and then one more after that—until we’ve lived a lifetime guided by the Spirit, a lifetime close to the Lord, a lifetime of good deeds and righteousness. The Savior promised, ‘Look unto me, and endure to the end, and ye shall live; for unto him that endureth to the end will I give eternal life’ (3 Nephi 15:9).”

President Monson closed with these words:

“You are precious, precious [sons and] daughters of our Heavenly Father sent to earth at this day and time for a purpose. You have been withheld until this very hour. Wonderful, glorious things are in store for you if you will only believe, obey, and endure.”

I know what President Monson teaches is the doctrine of our Heavenly Father and that if we live the teachings set forth in this sermon we will truly attain happiness both in this world and in the world to come. President Monson is a prophet of God, the prophet called on the earth today to teach us the mind and will of God. He speaks the truth.