Thursday, September 3, 2009

We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

We Are Doing a Great Work and Cannot Come Down, by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Second Counselor in the First Presidency

I was thinking of President Uchtdorf's address from the previous conference, "Lift Where You Stand" (talk, blog) last night as I helped a family unload a moving truck. We were a group of eight-or-so men with one last item to unload: the piano! We tried President Uchtdorf's advice to practice and it worked!

I hope I don't wait six months to find opportunity to apply this last conference's message!

I spoke recently of how having Brother Boone as a home teacher changed my life. I was reminded of our service together as I reviewed this talk. On a few occasions, I heard Brother Boone say, "The true judge of who you are is not how you act when you're around others, but how you act when you are all alone."

I've thought of this truth many times since. It's difficult (and embarrassing) to imagine doing/thinking certain things in front of an audience—and I'm not talking of the innocent, appropriate things that should be done in private!

President Uchtdorf invited us to participate in some well-needed (in my case) introspection:

Our weakness is in failing to align our actions with our conscience.

Pause for a moment and check where your own heart and thoughts are. Are you focused on the things that matter most? How you spend your quiet time may provide a valuable clue. Where do your thoughts go when the pressure of deadlines is gone? Are your thoughts and heart focused on those short-lived fleeting things that matter only in the moment, or on things that matter most?

I know that I need to be better and do better things, even when I'm all alone and I'm not working under any deadlines. I loved the example from scripture that was illustrated. The story of Nehemiah inspires me to do two things:

  1. Find an internal place of safety by being my best self at all times, and
  2. Resist all temptation to leave it for any reason; be able to say, as did Nehemiah: "I'm doing a great work, so that I cannot come down" (Neh. 6:3).

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