General Conference, October 2018 – Sunday Afternoon Session – “Taking Upon Ourselves the Name of Jesus Christ” by Elder Robert C. Gay, Of the Presidency of the Seventy
In his talk, Elder Gay shared three ways we can take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ as He would have us do–“by seeing as He sees, by serving as He served, and by trusting that His grace is sufficient.”
Seeing as He sees. Oh Brothers and Sisters, how guilty I am of seeing others not as the Lord sees, of “judging and condemning the other without mercy.” I recall one Sunday years ago when a dear sister in my ward mentioned that she sometimes breaks the Word of Wisdom in a specific way. I am ashamed to admit that I thought to myself “Oh no! How embarrassing! If I [did that] I certainly wouldn’t admit it out loud at Church!” I didn’t realize it at the time, but there was another layer to my reaction–I’m sure you can see where this is going; that other layer was a mental pat on the back to myself for being “better” than this dear sister because I don’t [do that]. Ugh, that’s not “seeing as He sees” at all!
In his talk, Elder Gay asks “Can you imagine the Lord letting you and your burdens go unnoticed by Him?” I would like to turn this question around and ask myself, can I imagine the Lord letting this dear sister and her burdens go unnoticed by Him? NO! She is a child of God with divine potential! The Lord has a marvelous work and a plan for her! This sister is dear to the Lord and “His love [for her] is unfathomable!” How lacking in mercy of me to think otherwise, even for a moment.
Serving as He served. Elder Gay quotes the Savior from the Sermon on the Mount
46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Matthew 5:46)
Years ago I had a difficult boss. Outwardly we had much in common and we seemed like two people who should have gotten along well, but we didn’t. I felt so left out at work seeing my boss have positive work relationships with my colleagues but knowing that any politeness between us covered up the real truth: animosity on both sides.
I reminded myself that my boss was a beloved child of God. I prayed for my boss. I learned about struggles my boss was having outside of work and prayed for my boss with more specific details. I never learned the outcome of the trials and struggles my boss was having, but over time, my heart was softened and I was able to continue coming to work every day without feeling animosity.
I believe that serving as the Lord served benefits both parties, not only the person receiving the service, but the person who has the opportunity to serve another child of God, as well.
Trusting that His grace is sufficient. Elder Gay begins the final section of his talk by quoting the Savior when He said
11 But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return. (3 Nephi 27:11)
For a time, I lived a very worldly life and I had the type of “fun” as the world understands it. The feeling of “fun” very quickly revealed itself to be void of any real, lasting happiness. The “fun” was momentary, temporal pleasure and nothing more. It wasn’t until I turned away from worldly living and turned back to my Savior, Jesus Christ, that my life began to have happiness that was lasting and real and that didn’t carry with it burdens of guilt or shame.
Elder Gay finishes his talk with these words
In any of life’s travels, why would you ever turn away from the only Savior who has all power to heal and deliver you? Whatever the price you must pay to trust Him is worth it. My brothers and sisters, let us choose to increase our faith in Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ.