Friday, September 30, 2011

An Ensign to the Nations

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

An Ensign to the Nations, by Jeffrey R. Holland
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

As I mowed the lawn last Saturday, I had an interesting chain of thoughts. I saw a little utilities marking flag on the border of our property and was reminded of seeing similar flags on the hillside at BYU marking sprinkler head locations (or something). I thought it was great that a simple little plastic flag had the BYU Y on it. My thoughts then wandered to the idea of either erecting a flagpole or affixing a flag holder to the side of our house. With such, we could raise a national flag on patriotic holidays, as well as a BYU flag on game days!

As I thought about these flags, I actually pictured a flag waving on a hill, similar to the ensign to the nations described by Elder Holland in his talk. I wondered if others seeing flags on our house would be stirred in any way—either with national pride or BYU appreciation. But then I wondered if my life is serving as a sort of flag—or ensign—letting others know what I believe by my actions.

Am I an ensign?

Speaking of general conference, Elder Holland said:

We testify to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people that God not only lives but also that He speaks, that for our time and in our day the counsel you have heard is, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, “the will of the Lord, … the word of the Lord, … the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation.”

I still haven't decided if we'll do anything to display flags at our house, but I have decided that I want my life to serve as an ensign to the nations. Yesterday I told my wife that it's my personal mission to change the culture of South Florida's customer service industry—cashier's aren't usually visibly happy here. I told her that each time I check out, I'm going to go out of my way to be happy, friendly, and nice to try to brighten their day and see if it spreads. Similarly, I want my life to stand as a witness of what I believe and know.

At all times. Not just at the checkout stand.

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