Friday, October 17, 2008

October 2008 General Conference: Let Him Do It with Simplicity

Elder L. Tom Perry gives counsel concerning how to faithfully endure a challenging life. He asserts that he and Elder Wirthlin have been around for a very long time.

Following the example of Henry David Thoreau, Elder Perry tells of how to simplify our lives to supply basic needs and simplify our requirements.

The first requirement is food. As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we possess sacred knowledge from revealed truth about the relationship between the body and the spirit. Doctrine and Covenants 88:15 states, “The spirit and the body are the soul of man.” To bless us both physically and spiritually, the Lord also revealed to us a law of health, telling us which foods and substances are good for the body and which are not

The Word of Wisdom also offers us blessings for obedience that cannot be obtained any other way.

Another of the basic necessities Elder Perry considers is our clothing.

A simplified life that brings spiritual blessings requires the wearing of simple and modest clothing. Our dress and grooming send a message to others about who we are, and they also affect the way we act around others. When we are modestly dressed, we also invite the Spirit of the Lord to be a shield and a protection to us.

Elder Perry discusses Thoreau's third requirement of shelter.

Newspapers are filled with reports of the current housing crisis. We have been encouraged at almost every general conference of the Church I can remember not to live beyond our means. Our income should determine the kind of housing we can afford, not the neighbor’s big home across the street.

Thoreau’s final necessity was fuel.

We have been hearing a lot about fuel and energy—about their high cost and limited supply, our unsafe and unpredictable dependence on their suppliers, and the need for new and sustainable sources of energy. I leave the discussion of these complicated issues to leaders of government and industry. The fuel I want to discuss is spiritual fuel.

Elder Perry suggests that we can insure our supply of spiritual fuel.

The Lord has given us a beautiful plan about how we can return to Him, but the completion of our mortal journey requires spiritual fuel. We want to emulate the five wise virgins, who had stored sufficient fuel to accompany the bridegroom when he came (see Matthew 25:6–10). What is required to maintain a sufficient store of spiritual fuel? We must acquire knowledge of God’s eternal plan and our role in it, and then by living righteously, surrendering our will to the will of the Lord, we receive the promised blessings.

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