Sunday, June 1, 2014

What Manner of Men?

What Manner of Men?
by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom

Even though this was a talk given during the priesthood session of conference, I think it can be applicable to everyone. -man, woman, priesthood holder, non-priesthood holder.

Elder Hallstrom begins his talk by reminding us how amazing technology is these days.  "Few could have imagined today's world, where anyone who has access to the Internet with a smartphone, tablet, or computer can receive the messages of this meeting."

He then goes on to say:
"However, this vastly increased accessibility to the voices of the Lord's servants, which are the same as the Lord's own voice has little value unless we are willing to receive the word and then follow it.  Simply stated, the purpose of general conference . . . is fulfilled only if we are willing to act -- if we are willing to change.

The theme of this talk is change - changing into what kind of man/woman we want to be, and more importantly, becoming the man/woman Christ wants us to be.

"What manner of men ought we to be?  Even as I am."
(3 Nephi 27:27)

CHANGE - verb /'chanj/
1.  to become different
2.  to become something else

Change is hard, but it is possible.
". . .Once any of us conclude --"That's just the way I am," we give up our ability to change.  We might as well raise the white flag, put down our weapons, concede the battle, and just surrender--any prospect of winning is lost."
". . .Who we are is not who we can become."

How do we change?
The only possible way is with the help of the Savior and his Atonement.
". . .His Atonement gives every one of us--no matter our weaknesses, our frailties, our addictions--the ability to change."

How do we know what to change?
When we read, study, watch, and/or listen to the meeting of conference "with the 'real intent' to change, the Spirit has full access to our hearts and minds".  The Spirit will whisper to us the things in our lives we need to do differently, the changes we need to make.

"What changes are required of us to become the manner of men we ought to be?"
1.  "We need to be priesthood men [and women]. . .showing spiritual maturity because we have made covenants.  We should be different."

"When men say unto us, “you are not like us,” we reply, “we know it; we do not want to be.” 
We want to be like the Lord, we want to secure His favor and approbation (approval, praise) and to live under His smile. . ." 

I just love that quote!  We should want to be different.  Different is good.

2.  "We need to serve!. . . Avoiding our most important duty to serve our [family], not accepting or passively fulfilling callings in the Church, or not caring about others unless it is convenient is not who we should be!

3.  "We need to be worthy!. . .We need to wake up to how commonly accepted practices in the world choke our power. . .If we think we can even flirt with pornography or violations of chastity or dishonesty in any form and not have it negatively affect us and our families, we are deceived. . .If there are any unresolved sins preventing our worthiness, we need to change."
Do not go along with what the world says is acceptable or 'cool'.  Be true to yourself and your values.  Be different!  When the world says, "You're not like us."  don't be afraid to respond, "I know it, and I don't want to be."

Remember:
"Mercifully, He has not left us alone.  "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weaknesses. . .Then will I make weak things become strong" (Ether 12:27).  Relying upon the Savior's Atonement, we can change."

It is possible!  With our desire and the Savior's help, we can become "even as Him".

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