Sunday, October 13, 2013

No Other Gods Before Me

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, gave an address last week in the Church’s General Conference. His talk was titled “No Other Gods”. This got me thinking of the things that I do that could possibly considered putting them before the “God that I profess to worship” (quoting Elder Oaks).

In the Doctrine and Covenants Section 59:21 the Lord says:

“And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments.”

I think that this is saying that if we take credit for the things we have or something that we do instead of acknowledging the hand of God in our lives then we are putting ourselves ahead of God and making ourselves God.  At the end of the day when we kneel before the Lord and offer up our prayers of thanksgiving and supplication, do we take the time to express gratitude for all he has done for us that day? I often catch myself when a thought comes to my mind that I need to remember something or that I need to call someone or whatever the thought might be that it is the Holy Ghost that is prompting that thought. It is important to remember that and give thanks for those promptings when they come and as I commune with him at the end of the day.

How often do we begin our day with prayer asking God to guide us through the day, to keep us safe from harm? Then when might be driving and something happens and we are able to avoid what could have ended up as a tragic accident. We think to ourselves: “Wow, I was sure lucky that I was able to avoid that problem” and then we go on with our day without any thought that it was probably and answer to our morning prayer. When a thought comes to our mind that we need to remember to pick up the milk that your wife called about, do you simply think it was lucky you remembered it? I really think the Lord, through the Holy Ghost, is more involved in our lives than we give him credit for. We need to remember to express our gratitude to him for all he does each day.

Elder Oaks in his address continues to explain the many ways we can put other things before God. He says:

“What other priorities are being “served” ahead of God by persons—even religious persons—in our day? Consider these possibilities, all common in our world:
Cultural and family traditions
Political correctness
Career aspirations
Material possessions
Recreational pursuits
Power, prominence, and prestige

“f none of these examples seems to apply to any one of us, we can probably suggest others that do. The principle is more important than individual examples. The principle is not whether we have other priorities. The question posed by the second commandment is “What is our ultimate priority?” Are we serving priorities or gods ahead of the God we profess to worship? “

I know my ultimate priority is to serve God with all my might, mind, and strength (Doctrine and Covenants 20:31). Do I always succeed in putting God first in all things, no I don’t. The point is that I try and the more I try and then remember to give thanks for the things he has done for me throughout the day, then the closer I am to keeping him first in all things.

When I do fall short and things of the world get ahead of my true priorities, then I rely on the atonement of Jesus Christ knowing that I can be forgiven and then try harder to improve in keeping God’s commandments. As I do this, each day I am becoming more perfected in Christ and can know that I am moving in the right direction.

If you did not have the opportunity to hear all of Elder Oaks’ address, I hope you will do so by clicking on the video link above. It was a wake up call to me and I am sure that if you listen with the intent to learn that you too will feel the spirit moving in you and you will come closer to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

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