Elder Dallin H. Oaks teaches that the best way to live the gospel is through consistent, dedicated effort.
In 1952, Illinois governor Adlai E. Stevenson gave a speech in which he said patriotism “is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles applies Stevenson’s words to living the gospel in his 2005 CES Fireside titled “The Dedication of a Lifetime.”
Elder Oaks says we should live the gospel completely and steadfastly. It might be difficult to live a balanced life when so many worldly things call for our attention. However, according to Elder Oaks, we should diligently focus on what is most important and have faith in the Lord’s plan.
“So what does it mean to obey the commandments, to keep our covenants, and to serve the Lord with ‘the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime’?” Elder Oaks asks. “It means to be a 100 percent Latter-day Saint, 100 percent of the time.”
Elder Oaks warns against extremism in religious practice, such as focusing too much on one facet of the gospel or sacrificing so much that we have nothing left to give. When our worship becomes frantic or unbalanced, he says, we miss out on important experiences and blessings, and we don’t progress in the way the Lord would want.
Above all, Elder Oaks asks us to dedicate our lives to the Lord by deliberately moving forward and becoming better. “Don’t wait for happiness to be thrust upon you. Seek it out in service and learning. Make a life for yourself. And trust in the Lord.”
Read or watch Elder Oaks’ CES Devotional address, “The Dedication of a Lifetime.”
—Jennifer Johnson, Mormon Insights
Photo courtesy of www.morguefile.com.
I think that this article speaks about something really important. Sometimes we might feel like that if we are not going through loops to accomplish something, than we are not doing enough. But the best way to serve and the best way to follow the gospel is to balance things out. It’s important to give our all, but not in a way that we are doing more than we can do, but in a way that we can be 100 percent faithful but also balanced in what we do.
This counsel is really important during times when things just don’t seem to be clicking in the Gospel. There have been times in my life where I felt burnt out in the Gospel. It is so true that the most important thing during those times is to just keep doing 100%. You will eventually come out of it; Heavenly Father will open the heavens to you once more.
This is so good to hear. It’s easy to feel like we have to be frenzied or busy to be doing something worthwhile. But it’s nice to have some permission to just relax and simplify–focus on the good and keep the gospel a source of peace for us, not just some other thing we need to do.
It’s the things we do consistently that have the biggest impact on our lives and change who we are. I think this is a big part of why living the gospel primarily consists of small, daily acts. Those are the things that have the power to change us.