I have a connection to the 10th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I was born on his birthday, July 19th (a mere 88 years after his 1876 birth). I am excited to study his teachings this year in Relief Society. As I was perusing the first lesson in the new manual for our 2014 course of study, I read the following the words:
Taken from the manual, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith, “President Joseph Fielding Smith ‘used three words that I can never forget, ‘ recalled President Gordon B. Hinckley. Those words were “true and faithful.’ President Hinckley said, “In his public addresses, in his private conversation, in his prayers to the Lord, he pleaded that we might be true and faithful.” President Thomas S. Monson shared a similar memory: “Even in his advanced years, [he] always prayed, ‘May we be true and faithful to the end.'”
My initial reaction was, “huh, that’s not what I was expecting”. Then it hit me! President Smith had been born into a family that had experienced many dramatic events in the history of the church. His grandfather, Hyrum Smith, was martryed alongside his brother Joseph Smith (the founder) of the Mormon church. His father, Joseph F. Smith, was only 5 years old when his father was martyred and helped his family migrate to Salt Lake City across the plains. His mother, Julina Smith, came from pioneer stock as well. His heritage was rich indeed. Therefore, being “true and faithful” was a magnanimous task yet so pertinent and straightforward to the heart of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I began to ponder how my life could be changed for the better if I were to put those 3 words to the test. I desire to be “true and faithful” to the end. I decided to make these 3 words part of my New Year. May we all be found striving to be “true and faithful”.