I wanted to make sure you didn't miss reading a very special, and unprecedented, message that the Church published in the online edition of the LDS Church News, from President Thomas S. Monson; living Prophet of God. Fortunately, a friend was thoughtful enough to think that some of us might have just missed it, and in fact he was right, I did miss it!
Perhaps the Mormon Newsroom have plans to post it there, and we all would have seen it, eventually. I'm not sure. All I know, is that it's a wonderful, and important message, and has given me cause to ponder on some specific things that President Monson said, and perhaps consider why he felt inspired to say them -- as well as increased my feelings of gratitude and love for our prophet, his life of selfless service, and Christlike example to the membership of the Church.
President Monson noted that from the time he was called as a general authority, to now, as President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he has emphasized, "a need for the "rescue" of our brothers and sisters from many different situations which may be depriving them of all the blessings the gospel can provide" and that as President, "felt an increased urgency" for the work.
In his message, President Monson also made special note of the new ages for missionary service, the increase in Church temple building efforts, temple work, and our many opportunities to serve in the Church.
"This year will mark 50 years since I was called to serve in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I was 36 years old when that call came. Last August I celebrated my 85th birthday. Some of the senior members of the Quorum of the Twelve have a few years even on me. Age eventually takes its toll on all of us. However, we join our voices with King Benjamin, who said, as recorded in the second chapter of the book of Mosiah, "I am like as yourselves, subject to all manner of infirmities in body and mind; yet I have been chosen ... and consecrated by my father, ... and have been kept and preserved by his matchless power, to serve you with all the might, mind and strength which the Lord hath granted unto me" (Mosiah 2:11). Despite any health challenges that may come to us, despite any weakness in body or mind, we serve to the best of our ability. I assure you that the Church is in good hands. The system set up for the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve assures that it will always be in good hands and that, come what may, there is no need to worry or to fear. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we follow, whom we worship, and whom we serve, is ever at the helm.
As we now go forward, may we follow His example. He left His footprints in the sands of the seashore, but He left His teaching principles in the hearts and in the lives of all whom He taught. He instructed His disciples, and to us He speaks the same words, "Follow thou me" (John 21:22). May we ever be found doing so."
You can read the entire message on LDS Church News.
As mentioned above, the way in which this message was delivered, online, via the Church News, is unprecedented; at least to those of us who have chatted about it a bit. In our little discussion, we did note that it was published with very little fanfare considering its uniqueness, and could see no reason to make any big speculations about any particular reason it was published -- other than President Monson's desire to do so. There is always a concern, as he mentioned, for his declining health, of which the prayers of the entire Church are continually offered on his behalf. And lastly, of particular interest, might be the listing of above priorities; things to ponder.
Perhaps of greatest comfort, for most, and indeed to me personally, was this closing testimony...
"I assure you that the Church is in good hands. The system set up for the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve assures that it will always be in good hands and that, come what may, there is no need to worry or to fear. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we follow, whom we worship, and whom we serve, is ever at the helm."
Highlights: See Others As They May Become
What are your thoughts about this unique message from President Monson? Had you heard about it? Where and how did hear about it? What were your first thoughts and impressions?
Here are some of the addresses from President Monson on the topic of "rescue; but then again, perhaps he didn't always use that particular word in teaching the principle of saving souls. So, I've topped the list with the latest, and also my new personal favorite.
Thomas S. Monson: See Others As They May Become : )
Thomas S. Monson: To the Rescue
Thomas S. Monson: Believe, Obey, Endure
Thomas S. Monson: Precious Promises of The Book of Mormon
Thomas S. Monson: To Learn, To Do, To Be
Thomas S. Monson: He Is Not Here, But Is Risen
Thomas S. Monson: Come Unto Him in Prayer and Faith
Thomas S. Monson: Standards of Strength
Thomas S. Monson: Search and Rescue
Thomas S. Monson -- The Priesthood: Mighty Army of the Lord
Photo Credit: Mormon Newsroom