Jeff's online journal, ramblings, whatever.

The Greater Speaker

(How come they don’t have an emoticon for “contemplative” or “thoughtful?”)

So I went to church today(I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, AKA the LDS Church or the Mormon Church, for those who might not know) to the singles’ ward I attend, when the bishop announces that the special guest speaker for that day would be. . .President Boyd K. Packer! As in President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles! As in, the person who originally said that quote I have a few posts down. We were all really excited, until it was revealed that he was actually speaking in the other ward that meets in the same building two hours later, when our ward is in priesthood meetings. So we didn’t attend the meeting he was at, although we got out ten minutes before they did, and I eavesdropped at the door. All I could hear was a story about “Roman murals” for some reason, and then his closing remarks urging the members of the ward and Church to live worthily. Then I walked behind his entourage as he went to his car at the conclusion of the meeting, no more than six or seven feet away.

It’s funny the thoughts I have whenever I see apostles or prophets or other high-ranking Church leaders in person. In the Church sometimes they become almost mythical beings, much as the world thinks of the prophets of old. But whenever I see one in person(especially from six feet away) it strikes me how much they are just people, like the rest of us. Just people, who have the same feelings, drives, or problems as the rest of us. The only difference is the calling that has been placed upon their shoulders by God. Without that mantle, Boyd K. Packer would just be another old grandfather who likes carving wood and painting. When he spoke to people in the hall or getting in the car, it was Boyd K. Packer speaking. When he spoke in front of the congregation, however, he was an Apostle of the Lord, bearing his testimony of Christ and speaking for Him. There is a clear difference, a nearly physical difference, at least for those who are attuned to it.

Now here comes the interesting part. During our sacrament meeting, we had a talk, not by the president of the Twelve Apostles, but by a sister whose name escapes me, from in the ward, like we normally have. Her talk, however, was very inspiring as well, as it was obvious to me that she had prepared it under the inspiration of the Lord as well. It talked about “waging an offensive war” against Satan, dealing with how, instead of just waiting for Satan to tempt us and toughing it out, that we should be constantly preparing ourselves by careful study, prayer, and service, to beat Satan and even regain ground we had previously lost through repentance. I won’t detail the entire talk here, but it was very good. What was interesting, though, at least to me, is that Heavenly Father used this sister as a mouthpiece to our ward just as much as he used President Packer to the other ward. His words were no more inspiring than hers, since (at least I believe) they both prepared their talks seeking the Holy Spirit to guide them. As it says in Doctrine and Covenants 1:38, “What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken. . .whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.” Both speakers were mouthpieces of the Lord, whether the president of the Twelve or simply an assistant Relief Society pianist(or whatever her calling was), because they were both speaking under the influence of the Holy Ghost. The source was the same.


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