Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Where Much is Given, Much is Required

(Inspired by a talk given by Boyd K. Packer)

Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn't easy.  Converting to the Church is much harder.   You are asked to give up a lot of things, including habits and lifestyles.   Many converts that I know of had to give up a lot of habits, including smoking, drinking, gambling, drugs, watching inappropriate movies/television, listening to inappropriate music, etc.  To make a habit of something for a long time, then you have to forsake that habit(s) to join the Church is very very difficult.   Here is one person who had doubts of joining the Church because of commitment:
Two missionaries were teaching a fine family, and they had expressed a desire to be baptized, and then they suddenly cooled off. The father had learned about tithing and canceled all further meetings with the missionaries.  The branch president, hearing this persuaded the missionaries to join him in another visit to the home.  The branch president talked with the father and the following conversation occurred
"I understand that you have decided not to join the church," the branch president told the father.

"That is correct."

"The elders tell me that you are disturbed about tithing."

"Yes," said the father.  "They had not told us about it, and when I learned of it, I said, 'now that's too much to ask.  Our church  has never asked anything like that.' We think that it is too much for us, and we will not join."

"Did they tell you about fast offerings?"

"No, whats that?"

"In the Church we fast for two meals at the beginning of each month, and we give the value of the meals for the help of the poor."

"They did not tell us that."

"Did they mention the building fund?"

"No, what's that."

"In the Church we all contribute towards building chapels.  If you joined the Church, you would want to participate in labor and money.  In fact, we are building a new chapel here."

"They didn't mention that."

"Did they also tell you that we have no professional clergy?  All of us contribute our time, money, and energy to help the work, and we are not paid for it in money.

"They didn't tell us any of that," said the father.

"Well," said the branch president, "If you are turned away by a little thing like tithing, it is obvious you're not ready to join this church.  "Maybe you've made the right decision and you should not join."

As the branch president and elders departed, the branch president turned and said, ""have you ever wondered why people will do all of these things willingly?  I have never received a bill for tithing.  No one has ever called to collect it, but we pay it, and all of the rest, and count it a great privilege.  If you could discover why, you would be within reach of the pearl of great price, which the Lord said the merchant man was willing to sell everything he had to obtain the Pearl."  "But, it is your decision.  I only hope you will pray about it."

A few days later the father appeared at the branch president’s home. No, he did not want to reschedule the missionaries. That would not be necessary. He wanted to schedule the baptism of his family. They had been praying, fervently praying, and received an answer to their prayers.  

It is difficult to be in the Church, but the blessings are overwhelmingly greater than the sacrifices.

1 comment:

  1. Its important that you love what you are doing, not that you are just following it because said so, follow be them because your heart say so.


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