Tuesday, September 9, 2008

good lesson

my brother in law is a bishop in california. he's the one who got me thinking about the proposition 8 debate going on there. i guess he went to a church leadership meeting last week. he reported a little exchange that i thought contains a powerful lesson about obedience, so i wanted to share it with you:

"Near the end, Elder Clayton spent some time talking about our Proposition 8 (constitutional amendment properly defining marriage). One bishop expressed some reluctance he felt from ward members to participate in campaign activities because they feel there is no way the proposition will pass. The bishop then asked how likely they, the GAs, feel it is to pass. Elder Ballard stood and said we need not worry about that because we are standing for the Lord, Jesus Christ. I didn't get the sense he was guaranteeing it would pass, but rather that we needn't fret about the outcome so long as we are on the Lord's side. Good encouragement, which I duly passed on to the ward today."

personally i find all kinds of applications for this lesson. my life is full of commandments that i hope will result in specific outcomes. it's hard to keep up the hope when part of me thinks that despite my obedience and hard work, i'll have unwanted outcomes. it's not so much about the physical tangible outcome - it's more about the spirit and what happens to that when you are obedient. i'm sure you can have better/deeper thoughts on this than i'm able to express.


ewesa said...

I love it. There's another quote somewhere that God doesn't even care if we're moving forward, as long as we're standing on the Lord's side. This probably directly contradicts other quotes about having to constantly move forward so you don't move backward, but those quotes always make me feel tired, so I'm sticking with this one. Go Elder Ballard!

plainoldsarah said...

that sounds like a decent quote and very suited for you.

Marie said...

You see this over and over in Church History. Zion's Camp, for instance. Failure almost any way you slice it, but almost all of the next great wave of leaders (for the Utah era) were part of Zion's Camp's grand failure. They both obeyed and then didn't falter when their obedience resulted in failure. And that is what made them spiritually successful.