by Steve Farrell
Modern Prophets Speak
Volume I, Day 3, Perry
In these challenging political and economic times too often we hear of it all being summed up as “scary.”
Though I am no Pollyanna, I don’t like that word. As individuals and as a nation, we’ve seen hard times before, and we’ve overcome them.
In his October 2008 address to the saints, Elder L. Tom Perry counseled:
Those of us who have been around a while—and Elder Wirthlin and I have been around for a long time—have recognized certain patterns in life’s test. There are cycles of good and bad times, ups and downs, periods of joy and sadness, and times of plenty as well as scarcity. When our lives turn in an unanticipated and undesirable direction, sometimes we experience stress and anxiety. One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us—to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic. Perhaps when difficulties and challenges strike, we should have these hopeful words of Robert Browning etched in our minds: “The best is yet to be” (“Rabbi Ben Ezra,” in Charles W. Eliot, ed., The Harvard Classics, 50 vols. [1909–10], 42:1103). We can’t predict all the struggles and storms in life, not even the ones just around the next corner, but as persons of faith and hope, we know beyond the shadow of any doubt that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and the best is yet to come.
Elder Perry then proceeded to counsel us – contrary to the advice of some who would have us “spend our way out of debt” – to simplifying our lives and our needs down to the basics, sticking only to those things that truly matter. He said:
As Elder William R. Bradford taught at this pulpit: “In righteousness there is great simplicity. In every case that confronts us in life there is either a right way or a wrong way to proceed. If we choose the right way, we are sustained in our actions by the principles of righteousness, in the which there is power from the heavens. If we choose the wrong way and act on that choice, there is no such heavenly promise or power, and we are alone and are destined to fail” (“Righteousness,” Liahona, Jan. 2000, 103; Ensign, Nov. 1999, 85).
Provident living, keeping the commandments of God, choosing the right in every choice placed before us, moving forward with faith instead of fear; it all makes sense to me. It is the voice of a modern revelation through the Lord’s appointed prophets, seers, and revelators in our time.
Steve Farrell is the president of The Latter-day Center for Moral LiModern Prophets Speak is a daily feature from The Latter-day Center for Moral Liberalism.