Elder David A. Bednar‘s October 2018 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints talk is awesome as his usually are. The title is “Gather Together in One All Things in Christ”
I don’t know if Elder Bednar’s profession was teaching, but he is an outstanding teacher. I love his talks because they always give ways to apply the gospel to my live to increase my conversion and strengthen my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior!
He starts out talking about the strength of a rope. Then. . .
Just as a rope obtains its strength from many intertwined individual strands, so the gospel of Jesus Christ provides the greatest perspective of truth and offers the richest blessings as we heed the admonition of Paul to “gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.”Importantly, this vital gathering of truth is centered in and focused upon the Lord Jesus Christ because He is “the way, the truth, and the life.”
He then speaks on the “revelatory season” that we have recently been having in the church.
Much like the braided strands of a rope produce a powerful and durable tool, all of these interrelated actions are part of a unified effort to better align the focus, resources, and work of the Savior’s restored Church with its fundamental mission: to assist God in His work to bring to pass the salvation and exaltation of His children. Please do not focus primarily upon the logistical aspects of what has been announced. We must not allow procedural details to obscure the overarching spiritual reasons these changes now are being made.
And then he tells us not to “segment” and “seperate” things.
Sometimes as members of the Church we segment, separate, and apply the gospel in our lives by creating lengthy checklists of individual topics to study and tasks to accomplish. But such an approach potentially can constrain our understanding and vision. We must be careful because pharisaical focus upon checklists can divert us from drawing closer to the Lord.
I know that the above admonition is at least partly for me. I am one of those that loves check lists. I love to make them, I love to keep them close and I love to “check it off” when I am finished with something. Now though, I can see what he is saying and realize that I have to be careful in not getting “caught up” in the check list itself. The check list is not the point, my Savior is the point!
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a magnificent tapestry of truth “fitly framed” and woven together. As we learn and link together revealed gospel truths, we are blessed to receive precious perspective and increased spiritual capacity through eyes that can see the Lord’s influence in our lives and ears that can hear His voice. And the principle of gathering together in one—even in Him—can assist us in changing the traditional checklists into a unified, integrated, and complete whole. Let me provide both a doctrinal and a Church example of what I am suggesting.
See, and here he is going to begin teaching me how to focus more on the Savior and less on my actual check list!
He explains how the 4th Article of Faith is a great example of this principle.
True faith is focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ—in Him as the divine and Only Begotten Son of the Father and on Him and the redemptive mission He fulfilled. “For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men.” Exercising faith in Christ is trusting and placing our confidence in Him as our Savior, on His name, and in His promises.
The fourth article of faith does not simply identify the fundamental principles and ordinances of the restored gospel. Rather, this inspired statement of beliefs gathers together in one all things in Christ: trusting in and on Him, relying upon Him, following Him, and pressing forward with Him—even in Him.
Elder Bednar then talked about a few of the church programs over the years, how they have changed and grown into what we have today.
I believe that the sequence and timing of these actions over many decades can help us to see one united and comprehensive work and not just a series of independent and discrete initiatives. “God has revealed a pattern of spiritual progress for individuals and families through ordinances, teaching, programs, and activities that are home centered and Church supported. Church organizations and programs exist to bless individuals and families and are not ends in themselves.”
I love that last sentance, and am glad that he said it. I sometimes can get caught up as the Pharaisees use too. I can get caught up in the doing of the thing being why I am doing it. But I have to remember, and I love that the Brethren help me remember, the Who and Why I am doing the things!
Elder Bednar then gives a promise and closes with his testimony.
I began my message by highlighting the strength that is created as individual strands of material are twisted or braided together into a rope. In a similar way, I promise that increased perspective, purpose, and power will be evident in our learning and living of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ as we strive to gather together in one all things in Christ—even in Him.
All opportunities and blessings of eternal consequence originate in, are possible and have purpose because of, and endure through the Lord Jesus Christ. As Alma testified: “There is no other way or means whereby man can be saved, only in and through Christ. Behold, he is the life and the light of the world.”
I joyfully declare my witness of the divinity and living reality of the Eternal Father and of His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. In our Savior we find joy. And in Him we find the assurance of “peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” I so testify in the sacred name of the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.
I have been in a Stake Conference where Elder Bednar was speaking and when he said, “I love you” and ‘God loves you”, I felt the love poured out in the stake center and wash over and through me!! I could literally feel the love. It was anamazing experience that I will never forget. I know that Elder David A Bednar is an Apostle of our Savior Jesus Christ. The spirit has borne witness of this to me!
I add to this talk my testimony of Heavenly Father and of Jesus Christ my Savior. I know that they live! I know that they love you and me! I know that Jesus Christ leads this church! I feel the love of my Savior daily as I study and try to learn more of His character so that I can attempt to follow in His footsteps. I believe that the church’s new programs are helping me do just that. I absolutely love the new Come Follow Me Curriculum. I leave all of these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
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I also listened to “Ready Player One” and it was read by Will Wheaton. Will did a great job, it was an excellent listen. Of course, I think it was better that the movie, but aren’t most books.