Monday, September 6, 2010

Timetable of the Lord

Dallin H. Oaks was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this devotional

address was given at Brigham Young University on 29 January 2002.

© Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

I watched and listened to the rebroadcast of Elder Dallin H Oaks' devotional address
on BYUTV yesterday morning and was deeply touched with his following personal story:

"If we have faith in God and if we are committed to the fundamentals of keeping His commandments and putting Him first in our lives, we do not need to plan every single event--even every important event--and we should not feel rejected or depressed if some things--even some very important things--do not happen at the time we had planned or hoped or prayed.

Walking with Jesus
Commit yourself to put the Lord first in your life, keep His commandments, and do what the Lord's servants ask you to do. Then your feet are on the pathway to eternal life.

Then it does not matter whether you are called to be a bishop or a Relief Society president, whether you are married or single, or whether you die tomorrow. You do not know what will happen. Do your best on what is fundamental and personal and then trust in the Lord and His timing.

Life has some strange turns. I will share some personal experiences that illustrate this.

When I was a young man I thought I would serve a mission. I graduated from high school in June 1950. Thousands of miles away, one week after that high school graduation, a North Korean army crossed the 38th parallel, and our country was at war. I was 17 years old, but as a member of the Utah National Guard I was soon under orders to prepare for mobilization and active service. Suddenly, for me and for many other young men of my generation, the full-time mission we had planned or assumed was not to be.

Another example: After I served as president of BYU for nine years, I was released. A few months later the governor of the state of Utah appointed me to a 10-year term on the supreme court of this state. I was then 48 years old. My wife June and I tried to plan the rest of our lives. We wanted to serve the full-time mission neither of us had been privileged to serve. We planned that I would serve 20 years on the state supreme court. Then, at the end of two 10-year terms, when I would be nearly 69 years old, I would retire from the supreme court and we would submit our missionary papers and serve a mission as a couple.

I had my 69th birthday last summer and was vividly reminded of that important plan. If things had gone as we planned, I would now be submitting papers to serve a mission with my wife June.

Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Four years after we made that plan I was called to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles--something we never dreamed would happen.

 Realizing then that the Lord had different plans and different timing than we had assumed, I resigned as a justice of the supreme court. But this was not the end of the important differences. When I was 66, my wife June died of cancer. Two years later--a year and a half ago--I married Kristen McMain, the eternal companion who now stands at my side.

How fundamentally different my life is than I had sought to plan! My professional life has changed. My personal life has changed. But the commitment I made to the Lord--to put Him first in my life and to be ready for whatever He would have me do--has carried me through these changes of eternal importance.

Faith and trust in the Lord give us the strength to accept and persist, whatever happens in our lives. I did not know why I received a "no" answer to my prayers for the recovery of my wife of many years, but the Lord gave me a witness that this was His will, and He gave me the strength to accept it. Two years after her death, I met this wonderful woman who is now my wife for eternity. And I know that this also was the will of the Lord.

Jesus Is Our Pilot
I return to the subject with which I began. Do not rely on planning every event of your life--even every important event. Stand ready to accept the Lord's planning and the agency of others in matters that inevitably affect you. Plan, of course, but fix your planning on personal commitments that will carry you through no matter what happens.

Anchor your life to eternal principles, and act upon those principles whatever the circumstances and whatever the actions of others. Then you can await the Lord's timing and be sure of the outcome in eternity."


Veda said...

What a great talk and message. Thanks for sharing!

bevanmission said...

Thank-you for letting me know that you liked this!

Post a Comment

Please leave us a message and let us know what you think! We hope you enjoyed your visit!