Fireside notes

March 2, 2007 | 8 comments

What does an apostle, who himself had spent a long time away from his young family for military service, who has himself experienced grief and loss, say to a congregation of American servicemen and -women and their families in a distant country, many of whom have been to Iraq or have lost friends there or will soon be in Iraq for an unknowable duration, and who have traveled in many cases for hours to hear an apostle speak? What Elder Ballard said last night was:

The prophet and the apostles are mindful of you and send their love. Strengthen your testimony. Read the scriptures and pray and hold Family Home Evening. Share the gospel and reach out to those who are less active. Repent.

That was all. There was no time for the trivial.

8 Responses to Fireside notes

  1. Frank McIntyre on March 2, 2007 at 10:25 am

    That pretty much covers the bases. I think it is amazing how the mysteries of the Gospel are so well hidden by putting them right in front of us where they are easy to ignore. Moroni tells us to read the scriptures to know of “greater things” and then says that he “would make all things known unto [us]“, implying that such knowledge is from the scriptures.

  2. Geoff B on March 2, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Hmm. It seems like the simple things are the most important. Perhaps all of the rhetoric that adds and analyzes and parses is nothing more than “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal?”

  3. CS Eric on March 2, 2007 at 1:05 pm

    This reminds me of my favorite Joseph Fielding Smith story.

    He was speaking at one of the stakes in southern Utah, and asked what topics they would like him to address. They told him they wanted him to discuss the mysteries.

    He titled his talk “Faith, Repentance, and Baptism.”

  4. Nehringk on March 2, 2007 at 4:21 pm

    This reminds me of the Institute class we had on 3 Nephi a couple of nights ago. Over and over, the message taught by the Savior boiled down to come unto me, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, keep the commandments, and endure to the end. He emphasized that same theme over and over again. Sounds as though Elder Ballard is truly acting as a witness of Christ!

  5. Lamonte on March 2, 2007 at 4:23 pm

    It also reminds me of the letter President Hinckley received from his father after he had written him from the mission field complaining about the work. His father replied simply, “Forget yourself and go to work.” You can’t argue with that. I’m not sure Elder Ballard could have said anything else than what he said to comfort those he spoke to.

  6. Alison Moore Smith on March 2, 2007 at 8:13 pm

    Straight to the point.

  7. Christian on March 2, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    Don’t mistake concise for simple. “Read the scriptures” refers us out to a fairly large body of text filled with cross-references. Share the gospel includes sharing appropriate knowledge and insights from the scriptures. Repent means apply that large body of information to our lives.

  8. Jonathan Green on March 3, 2007 at 3:33 am

    Right, Christian, Elder Ballard had quite a bit to say about each topic, much of it directed to the specific situation of his audience, and there were personal stories to communicate his understanding and appreciation for their stage in life, and to make clear the urgency he felt about his message.


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