Friday, August 7, 2009

How, Then, Can We Feel Justified If We Shrink From Our Duty Because Of A Minor Discomfort Or Inconvenience? / Lloyd


Sometime before I was twelve I remember asking my mother why there weren't more Mormon actors. We had been talking about the well known Mormon actress Loraine Day. My mother’s reply was consistent with her feelings about the importance of the Sabbath, which we observed in our home while I was growing up. She replied, “Because actors must often work on Sundays.” Period!


All my life I have fought to be able to attend church services and to build a protective hedge around the entire Sunday. So many times my life has been diverted from the wrong course I was taking because of clear prompts I received during sacrament service. Just as often I've perceived prompts to take beneficial actions I hadn't considered before.


Judy says that Sabbath worship is so fundamental to my life, who I am, that I would not be able to understand when baptized members of the Church, covenant people of God, chose otherwise or were more or less casual about church attendance. It's true. I don't understand. It is so sad.


Our family has been greatly blessed because Judy and I felt united in the importance of celebrating the Sabbath and making whatever sacrifice we needed to attend church with our family and then strive to nurture the Spirit from church throughout the day. Monday's come all too soon. Of course we would want those same blessings for all our children and their children.


The following excerpt from the Ensign expresses much better than I can this feeling I have:
“One incident in the Prophet’s life had a powerful influence on me as a young man:
“At a late hour of the night Joseph was lying down and slumbering heavily from weariness. . . . A few moments later an infuriated mob burst the door open and . . . seized him and were dragging him from the house when Emma screamed. . . .
“. . . A group gathered . . . to hold a council . . .
After the council was concluded, the leading mobocrats declared that they would not kill him but would strip him naked and whip and tear his flesh. . .  They thrust a reeking tar paddle into his face and attempted to force it down his throat . . .
“After they left Joseph, he attempted to rise, but fell back again from pain and exhaustion. He succeeded, however, in tearing the tar away from his face so that he could breathe freely. . .  
“Securing some covering for his person, the Prophet entered the house, and spent the night in cleansing his body and dressing his wounds . . .
“The next morning, being the Sabbath, the people assembled at the usual hour of worship. With them came some of the mobbers . . .
“With his flesh all bruised and scarred, Joseph went to the meeting and stood before the congregation, facing his assailants of the previous night calmly and manfully. He preached a powerful sermon and on the same day baptized three believers into the Church.”
“I cannot begin to imagine the pain and discomfort the Prophet Joseph must have endured. He had ample excuse not to preach the following morning, but this and many other experiences of similar or worse consequence did not cause him to shrink from his responsibility. How, then, can we feel justified if we shrink from our duty because of a minor discomfort or inconvenience? (Michael John U. Teh, “Confidence in the Presence of God,” Ensign, Jan 2009, 28–30)

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