Thursday, October 2, 2008

Helaman 5:12- Overcome the World

Sister Dew is great at stories and analogies, one of the reasons I love reading her talks- this post is some cut and paste from this talk: Sheri L. Dew, “We Are Women of God,” Ensign, Nov 1999, 97- from the General Relief Society Meeting in October 1999.
"Recently a professional assignment required me to travel out of the country. But I felt such a foreboding about the trip that prior to leaving I sought a priesthood blessing. I was warned that the adversary would attempt to thwart my mission and that physical and spiritual danger lay ahead. I was also counseled that this was not to be a sight-seeing or a shopping trip and that if I would focus on my assignments and seek the direction of the Spirit, I would return safely home.
Well, the warning was sobering. But as I proceeded, pleading for direction and protection each step of the way, I realized that my experience wasn’t all that unique. Might not our Father have said to you and to me as we left His presence: “The adversary will attempt to thwart your mission, and you will face spiritual and physical danger. But if you will focus on your assignments, if you will heed my voice, and if you will refuse to reduce mortality to a sight-seeing or a shopping trip, you will return safely home”?"
Later in the same talk she said this:
...He counseled Emma Smith to “lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better” (D&C 25:10). And Christ provided the pattern, declaring prior to Gethsemane, “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33; emphasis added). The only way that we may overcome the world is by coming unto Christ. And coming unto Christ means walking away from the world. It means placing Christ and Christ only at the center of our lives so that the vanities and philosophies of men lose their addictive appeal. Satan is the god of Babylon, or this world. Christ is the God of Israel, and His Atonement gives us power to overcome the world. “If you expect glory, intelligence and endless lives,” said President Joseph F. Smith, “let the world go” ...
We no longer have the luxury of spending our energy on anything that does not lead us and our families to Christ. That is the litmus test for Relief Society, as well as for our lives. In the days ahead, a casual commitment to Christ will not carry us through.
How then do we, as women of God, fill the full measure of our creation? The Lord rewards “them that diligently seek him” (Heb. 11:6). We seek Him not only by studying and searching, by pleading and praying and watching always lest we enter into temptation, but by giving up worldly indulgences that straddle the line between God and mammon. Otherwise we risk being called but not chosen because our “hearts are set so much upon the things of this world” (D&C 121:35).
This summer I had an unforgettable experience in the Holy Land. As I sat on the Mount of Beatitudes overlooking the Sea of Galilee, I saw in the distance a city built on a hill. The visual image of a city that cannot be hid was stunning, and as I pondered the symbolism I had an overwhelming impression that we as women of God are like that city, that if we will leave behind the things of the world and come unto Christ so that the Spirit radiates through our lives and from our eyes, our uniqueness will be a light unto the world. As sisters of Relief Society, we belong to the most significant community of women on this side of the veil. We are a spectacular city on a hill. And the less we look and act like the women of the world, the more they will look to us as a wellspring of hope, peace, virtue, and joy.
Twenty years ago at this very meeting President Kimball made a statement we have quoted ever since: “Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days … will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that [they] are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world” (Ensign, Nov. 1979, 103–4; emphasis added). We can no longer be content to just quote President Kimball. We are the sisters who must and will make his prophecy a reality. But we can do it. I know we can.
Women of God, that includes us. Tonight I invite each of us to identify at least one thing we can do to come out of the world and come closer to Christ. And then next month, another. And then another. Sisters, this is a call to arms, it’s a call to action, a call to arise. A call to arm ourselves with power and with righteousness. A call to rely on the arm of the Lord rather than the arm of flesh. A call to “arise and shine forth, that [our] light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5). A call to live as women of God so that we and our families may return safely home.
We have such cause to rejoice, for the gospel of Jesus Christ is the voice of gladness! It is because the Savior overcame the world that we may overcome. It is because He rose on the third day that we may arise as women of God. May we lay aside the things of this world and seek for the things of a better. May we commit this very hour to come out of the world and to never look back. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

1 comment:

Michal said...

i loved this talk when she gave it, and i loved it today. even though it is nearly 10 years old, the message is timely. with the struggling economy, we may be facing some real economic trials that america has previously avoided. i love the feeling of empowerment that we as women can rise above materialism and the vanities of the world and can and should cling to christ. as we humble ourselves (and try not to whine:), he will show us the way to endure whatever trials may beset us.
i love the quote about women of the church being seen as distinct and different in happy ways. i think i have told you how i often think of this and wonder if i am giving off this impression--and of how i can improve in this area. we must be a beacon in this floundering world.