Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Crescendos and Floods

Hello Everyone!  Great to be back online, albeit a little late this week.

I normally email home, including this blog post, on Monday.  Sadly this wasn't the case this week.  We got hit by well over a foot of snow on Sunday night and Monday, so all the libraries were closed and we weren't able to drive to the church to use their computers.  So rather than email yesterday I shoveled snow forever.  But I'm able to email now, so that's a blessing.  

While browsing LDS.org this week looking for a specific talk my eyes flitted to a talk given by Neal A Maxwell back in 1985 during General Conference.  Previous to this I had heard people quote him and had heard things about what his talks were like, but I had never actually listened to one.  A few months back when someone mentioned Neal A. Maxwell they spoke of how his speaking was one of a man with great eloquence and a deep understanding of literature and the gospel.  I had heard him described as a 'Modern-Day Isaiah'.  My curiosity took me to click on the link to his talk, but I had to leave the computer so I merely downloaded the .mp3 on to my USB and told myself I would read it later.  I wound up listening to it yesterday during lunch and I was floored by the man's power in speaking and how deep his knowledge is, both in secular and spiritual matters.  The talk I listened to is titled 'Premortality, a Glorious Reality' from the October 1985 General Conference.  

Right now I want to talk a quick aside to talk a little bit about musical theory.  I want to talk for a moment about what a crescendo is.  A crescendo is a gradual increase from a softer volume to a louder volume.  The crucial part of a crescendo is that it happens over time, it is not an immediate change.  This terminology will be used in tandem with some other ideas later in this post.  

Back to Elder Maxwell's talk.

The talk as a whole is inspirational and is now one of my favorites that I currently have, but I want to speak merely on the first line of the talk:

"In case you hadn't noticed it, in the last days, discipleship is to be lived in crescendo."

This first line, which to me seemed almost out of place in his talk, gives us all a wake up call from the past.  But I wish to compare it with a well known verse from Section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants:

"Behold, I will hasten my work in its time." (D&C 88:73)

Many of us, my pre-mission self included, often view the 'hastening of the work' as simply increasing missionary work.  We think that the hastening will only involve an increase number of missionaries, areas, and countries that are open to hear the gospel.  There things are consequences of the true hastening that is currently taking place and must continue to take place.  The true hastening in these last days will come when members begin to, as Elder Maxwell tells us, live discipleship in crescendo.  The hastening of the work that the Lord speaks of will begin, as it already has, in the hearts of the individual.  I'm sure that there are many out there who wonder how they can hasten the work without wearing a missionary name tag.  

Since we have already taken advice from a past apostle on the importance of living discipleship in crescendo, let's turn to a modern apostle for a tip on how we can go about doing that.  I would like to turn your attention to a devotional given in August, 2014 by Elder David A. Bednar.  His entire devotional is how we can use the benefits of modern technology to spread the gospel faster and farther than ever before.  I encourage you all to watch his devotional, it is powerful and informative.  

There are many parts you can pull out of this devotional, and I encourage you all to use social media to the best of your ability to spread the gospel.  In the words of Elder Bednar "May our many small, individual efforts produce a steady rainfall of righteousness and truth that gradually swells a multitude of streams and rivers—and ultimately becomes a flood that sweeps the earth."

Begin to post uplifting messages that have inspired you or touched your hearts.  Your efforts will influence others to see the good in this life.  Share that goodness and touch a life.  As you share your testimony and uplift others, you will begin to feel the desire to be a greater disciple, and you will feel your testimony and the love of your Heavenly Father and Savior grow within you.  I promise you that though the growth will be slow at first it will continue to grow bit by bit like a crescendo until it is unshakable by the forces of the world.  

I love you all, and can't wait to write again next week. 

Love, Elder Gailey

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