by Elder Michael T. Ringwood
GOOD (adjective)- just, to walk uprightly before God, observing to do [what's right] continually, to keep the commandments (Alma 63:2)
GUILE (noun)- the use of clever and usually dishonest methods to achieve something, cunning, a stratagem, deceitfully cunning (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
"Today there are some who would have us believe our search for relevance can be satisfied only by obtaining position and power. Yet, thankfully there are many who are uninfluenced by this perspective. They find relevance in seeking to be truly good and without guile."
How can we become truly good and without guile? There are several ways listed throughout this talk. I've compiled a list:
- Go about doing what is right for right's sake rather than for praise, position, power, accolades, or authority.
- Be just
- Walk uprightly before God
- Strive to do good continually
- Keep the commandments
- Sacrifice your time, talents, and effort to help and lift others
- "Great women and men are always more anxious to serve than to have dominion"- President Spencer W. Kimball
"These things are not done for praise or accolades. These men and women are not motivated by the possibility of receiving titles or authority. They are disciples of Christ, going about doing good continually. . ., they are trying to please their Father in Heaven" (and no one else)!
Have you seen the Church's video LIFT? The brethren in this video are great examples of "doing what was right for right's sake rather than for praise, position, accolades, or authority."
You can watch it HERE.
Elder Ringwood mentioned how sad he is when he hears of "some who stop serving or even stop attending church because they are released from a calling or feel overlooked for a position or title.. I hope they will one day learn. . .that the service that counts most is usually recognized by God alone. In our pursuit of me and mine, have we forgotten Thee and Thine?"
I am ashamed to say the statement above totally applies to me. I have been without a church calling now for almost a year. I have numerous times question my worth, my abilities, and even my place in the church. Why do I even go if I'm not needed? I often ask myself.
After reading this talk, I'm bound and determined to change my way of thinking and being. I'm going to find my own way of serving without a formal calling.
"The good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ is that the desires of our hearts can be transformed and our motives can be educated and refined."
One way we can help to reach our ultimate transformation of self is by partaking weekly of the sacrament. Elder Ringwood said:
"Each time we renew the covenant of baptism by partaking of the sacrament, we are one step closer to that ultimate goal. As we endure in that covenant, we access the strength to mourn with those who mourn and to comfort those who need comfort. In that covenant, we find the grace that enables us to serve God and keep His commandments, including loving God with all our hearts and loving our neighbors as ourselves. In that covenant, God and Christ succor us so we can succor those who stand in need of our succor."
This just gave the sacrament a whole new meaning for me. A purpose for partaking of it that I had never thought of before.
This talk has really encouraged me to not be so wrapped up in praise, position, power, honor, or authority, but to be engrossed in "going about doing good continually" and pleasing my Heavenly Father.