Friday, January 12, 2018

A Giant of a Man

January 12, 2018
Today in President Monson’s funeral, President Nelson used these words of the Book of Mormon to describe our beloved prophet’s life: “Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.  And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever” (Helaman 10:4-5).  I can’t think of a more fitting word than unwearyingness (which actually isn’t in the dictionary, though its meaning is obvious) to describe President Monson’s decades of service.  His daughter told in the funeral how even in his final months he still went out and visited those in need.  He simply never stopped loving and caring and trying to help others.  What a truly marvelous example he was for us to follow!

               There are several related scriptures which encourage us also to not be weary in the Lord’s service.  The apostle Paul taught to the Thessalonians, “But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing,” and to the Galatians, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (2 Thessalonians 3:13, Galatians 6:9).  The Lord seemed to have been quoting those verses in our dispensation when He counseled us, “Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of small things proceedeth that which is great” (D&C 64:33).  In the Book of Mormon, Alma taught, “Teach them to never be weary of good works, but to be meek and lowly in heart; for such shall find rest to their souls” (Alma 37:34).  His words suggest another gospel paradox; if we continue laboring in the work of the Lord such that we do not weary of good works, then we will indeed find rest.  As I once heard a member of the Seventy say, when we serve in the kingdom we don’t get burned out; we get fired up.  That certainly feels like what happened to President Monson as he never quit serving and giving his whole soul to the Lord’s work until the very end.  He received the promise found in the oath and covenant of the Priesthood: “Whoso is faithful unto the obtaining these two priesthoods of which I have spoken, and the magnifying their calling, are sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies” (D&C 84:33).  He was indeed faithful to the priesthood that he held, and he magnified his calling as a special witness of Christ, and so the Lord did indeed sanctify and “renew” his body.  He was given the strength he needed to carry out the momentous work in which he was involved. 
               As I sat down in the conference center today and pondered his life before the services began, the overwhelming impression I got was that President Monson was a giant of a man.  He had such marvelous abilities that impacted so many lives, and he was indeed the greatest among us because he was our servant.  God be thanked for sending us President Monson to love and lead and guide us in these latter days!

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