Friday, February 6, 2009

The Test

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

The Test, by President Boyd K. Packer
President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

When I was fairly young, I always wanted to watch the old television series, Law & Order. It seems that my parents watched it, but I was too young, and it came on too late. Nevertheless, I still had the desire. There's something alluring to me about the solving of mysteries, and the acts of civil justice. On a related note, in the past year, I read or re-read all of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes works. I was thrilled by the tales of observation and knowledge (wisdom) saving the day, without the aid of advanced gadgets.

Some time ago, I had a thought while riding to work. "If I were put on trial for being Christian (or LDS), would there be enough evidence to convict me?"

While most are looking to not be convicted of things, I found a guidebook for LDS conviction in President Packer's words. I used my Sherlock Holmes-like observation skills to find these nuggets threaded in the tapestry of historical faith stories.

Well, not really. I actually felt that there was much in his historical talk that was important to me, Sherlock Holmes had nothing to do with it.

After a fascinating detailed account of nineteenth-century patriotism among exiles, President Packer said:

If you can understand a people so long-suffering, so tolerant, so forgiving, so Christian after what they had suffered, you will have unlocked the key to what a Latter-day Saint is.

What was the key? He continued:

Rather than being consumed with revenge, they were anchored to revelation. Their course was set by the teachings still found today in the Old and the New Testaments, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

I hope that I can still be "anchored to revelation" in the midst of adversity and trial.

What other "keys" can we find in his address?

If we are to be safe individually, as families, and secure as a church, it will be through "obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel" (Articles of Faith 1:3).

While there were many other points and themes of his address that touched me, I enjoyed the summary of these points found in President Packer's conclusion:

We will stay on course. We will anchor ourselves as families and as a church to these principles and ordinances. Whatever tests lie ahead, and they will be many, we must remain faithful and true. ... "The standard of truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing."

Again we find the word "anchor." If my family and I are to weather life's storms, we need to be firm, steadfast, and true to the principles and ordinances of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we do this, I'm confident that there will be more than enough evidence against us to convict us of being Christ-like LDS Christians. I can hear it now:

We, the jury, find the Siler Family guilty of multiple counts of Christ-like living. They were, indeed, "so long-suffering, so tolerant, so forgiving, so Christian;" they remain "faithful and true." They are to be remanded to the custody of Christ.

0 thoughts