Viewpoint: Know What the Lord Expects
Contributed By the Church News
- Studying the scriptures and the words of the prophets will reveal the many commitments and actions expected of members of the Church of Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a Church of great expectations. Since the earliest days of the Church, much has been expected of its people, declared President Gordon B. Hinckley in an address he delivered in Madison Square Garden in New York City on April 26, 1988.
He said the gospel of Jesus Christ has touched the lives of the learned and the affluent as well as those in humble circumstances and “it expects very much of everyone who becomes a part of it.” He then gave a reminder about what the Church expects of every member:
“It expects that every person will have in his or her heart a solid and quiet and certain faith in the God of heaven and a desire to do His will.”
He quoted Matthew 22:35–38, which tells of Jesus, in answering a lawyer’s question, who declared, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
President Hinckley said it is every member’s responsibility, obligation, and opportunity to “carry in our hearts a firm and solid conviction concerning the fatherhood of God.”
President Hinckley then quoted Matthew 22:39, in which Jesus declared, “Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Of this second great commandment, President Hinckley said, “We cannot live only unto ourselves with the knowledge that we are sons and daughters of God with an obligation to our neighbors.”
He said that in carrying out this commandment the Church operates a tremendous welfare program in order to take care of the unfortunate and also reaches out across the world to extend humanitarian aid to those in distress in many nations. “Politics are not a consideration,” he said. “The hunger, the suffering, the impoverishment of the people are our concern. …
“It all comes of love of God and His children, so many of whom suffer so seriously throughout the world.”
“We expect every Latter-day Saint will carry in his or her heart a firm and unbending conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the living Son of the living God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world through whose Atonement has come the blessing of forgiveness and eternal life.”
We expect every Latter-day Saint will have in his or her heart a living conviction of the mission of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
“[It] is expected that we are a people who will pray to the God of heaven in the name of Jesus Christ” not only in private prayer but also as families.
“The Lord expects us to learn. He Himself has placed a mandate upon us. In words of revelation He has said, ‘And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith’ (D&C 88:118).”
“The Church expects each of us to do our part in moving forward its work across the world. We believe in the law of the tithe as it was practiced anciently, as set forth in the Old Testament, and as it has been reiterated in modern revelation.
“We have [another] financial offering. … [It] is expected that each of us will fast … and give the equivalent value of those meals to the bishop to be used in taking care of the poor. …
“I am satisfied that if everyone in the United States were to observe this simple law, the welfare needs of the nation could be taken care of without raising a single dollar of taxes for this purpose. Those who will would be blessed, and those who receive would be blessed.”
“It is expected that every member of the Church will observe the Word of Wisdom. … Our people generally have observed this law and have derived the great blessings that flow therefrom. It carries with it a promise from the Lord that we shall run and not be weary and walk and not faint, and that the destroying angel shall pass us by as the children of Israel and not slay us.”
“What does the Church expect of us as families? The family is an institution of God. It was designed for His eternal purposes, to bring happiness into the lives of His children. Fatherhood and motherhood are blessings without peer. How precious are children. Together we constitute a family who look to one another, who support and sustain one another, who strengthen one another, who are taught by one another.”
“The Church expects that each of us will carry a share of the burden of leadership. … As people serve, they grow in capacity. The time and effort is not a sacrifice because there is returned more than is given.”
President Hinckley acknowledged that more is expected of Latter-day Saints. Studying the scriptures and the words of the prophets will reveal the many commitments and actions expected of members of the Church of Christ.
“Our objective is to show forth the praises of Him who has led us out of darkness into His glorious light.”