Wednesday, June 25, 2014

[lessons from Elder Scott]

Some thoughts from an article by Elder Richard G. Scott, taken from the February 2014 Ensign. He offers some wise words on how to live a joyful, peaceful life.

"Strong character is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what goals you have accomplished."

"Men and women are needed who will act nobly and courageously for what the Lord has defined as right - not for what is politically correct or socially acceptable. We need individuals who have the spiritual, righteous influence that will motivate others to live honorably... Above all, we need mothers and fathers who will preserve the sanctity and safety of the home and the integrity of the family..."

Some good rules to follow by:

1. Establish a set of principles by which you will guide every aspect of your life.
2. Don't make exceptions to your standards.
3. Be loyal. 
4. Live so that the Lord can guide you to where He wants you to be and to serve.
5. Serve others.
6. Smile.
"I will tell you a secret of how to wake up in the morning with a smile on your face no matter how you feel: go to bed with a coat hanger in your mouth."
7. Don't complain.
8. Always have a Church assignment. 
"The last two are the most important."
9. Go to the temple. 
10. Use the Savior Jesus Christ as your example for life.

"There have been times when my choice to stand for principle against strong forces implied that there would be significant personal loss by taking the action. But that did not deter me. I was determined to do what was right. The anticipated loss, however, never came. Somehow, doing what was right in time opened far greater and more meaningful opportunities. I testify that you will never go wrong when you trust in the Lord and in His promises, no matter how severe the challenge."

May I share an experience with you? I served in the U.S. Navy with Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, a very demanding individual. When I was called to be a mission president, he tried to dissuade me from going. When I said it was a prophet of God who had called me, he said, “If that’s the way Mormons are, I’m not going to have any of them working in my program.” I knew there were many families in Idaho, USA, depending on work in that program, and I was concerned about it.
As I prayed, a song came to my mind: “Do what is right; let the consequence follow” (“Do What Is Right,” Hymns, no. 237). I did that. I couldn’t see how some of the challenges we faced would be worked out the way I hoped they would be with the individual who would come to replace me, but “do what is right; let the consequence follow.” It all worked out very well.
When Admiral Rickover knew I was going to leave on a mission, he had said he never wanted to see me again and never wanted to talk to me again. On the final day of my working with him, I asked for an appointment. The secretary gasped, expecting that there was going to be an explosion.
I went in, and he said, “Scott, sit down. What do you have? I’ve tried every way I can to change your decision. What is it that you’ve got?”
I handed him a copy of the Book of Mormon and said, “Admiral, I believe in God. And I believe that when we do the best we can, He will help us.”
Then Admiral Rickover said something that I didn’t ever expect to hear. He said, “When you finish your mission, I want you to come back and work with me.”

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