Living Beneath Our Privileges

-Brigham Young says how he could weep like a whipped child when he thinks of how far the saints fell short of their possibilities and opportunities. (see Hugh Nibley BofM/PoGP lectures for source)

-“If we are to build that Zion of which the prophets have spoken and of which the Lord has given mighty promise, we must set aside our consuming selfishness. We must rise above our love for comfort and ease, and in the very process of effort and struggle, even in our extremity, we shall become better acquainted with our God.

Let us never forget that we have a marvelous heritage received from great and courageous people who endured unimaginable suffering and demonstrated unbelievable courage for the cause they loved. You and I know what we should do. God help us to do it when it needs to be done, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” ( President Hinckley, Conf. Report Oct. 1991 Our Mission of Saving)

-we are commanded to rest on the Sabbath all throughout scripture. Working on the Sabbath is living beneath your privileges! You could have the day off, and God would take care of you if you only trusted him!

-when it becomes evening time, it’s time to stop worrying about money and be satisfied with the provisions we have and be involved in non-financial ordeals, of which there are many of import. Psalms 104:23
23 Man goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening.

-The laborer is worthy of his hire: we can have according to our needs if we’re only willing to work!

-“… God hath not revealed anything to Joseph, but what he will make known unto the Twelve, and even the least Saint may know all things as fast as he is able to bear them. …” (Teachings of Joseph Smith, p. 149.)

-“We are not yet caught up to the ancients in spiritual matters. They had higher spiritual knowledge than we do. “We have yet to gain that full knowledge and understanding of the doctrines of salvation and the mysteries of the kingdom that were possessed by many of the ancient Saints. O that we knew what Enoch and his people knew! Or that we had the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon, as did certain of the Jaredites and Nephites! How can we ever gain these added truths until we believe in full what the Lord has already given us in the Book of Mormon, in the Doctrine and Covenants, and in the inspired changes made by Joseph Smith in the Bible? Will the Lord give us the full and revealed account of the creation as long as we believe in the theories of evolution? Will he give us more guidance in governmental affairs as long as we choose socialistic ways which lead to the overthrow of freedom?

We have yet to attain that degree of obedience and personal righteousness which will give us faith like the ancients: faith to multiply miracles, move mountains, and put at defiance the armies of nations; faith to quench the violence of fire, divide seas and stop the mouths of lions; faith to break every band and to stand in the presence of God. Faith comes in degrees. Until we gain faith to heal the sick, how can we ever expect to move mountains and divide seas?

We have yet to receive such an outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord in our lives that we shall all see eye to eye in all things, that every man will esteem his brother as himself, that there will be no poor among us, and that all men seeing our good works will be led to glorify our Father who is in heaven. Until we live the law of tithing how can we expect to live the law of consecration? As long as we disagree as to the simple and easy doctrines of salvation, how can we ever have unity on the complex and endless truths yet to be revealed?

We have yet to perfect our souls, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel, and to walk in the light as God is in the light, so that if this were a day of translation we would be prepared to join Enoch and his city in heavenly realms. How many among us are now prepared to entertain angels, to see the face of the Lord, to go where God and Christ are and be like them? . . .

Our time, talents, and wealth must be made available for the building up of his kingdom. Should we be called upon to sacrifice all things, even our lives, it would be of slight moment when weighed against the eternal riches reserved for those who are true and faithful in all things.

(Ensign, Apr. 1980, 25 Bruce R. McConkie)“

-Joseph Smith said he could have taught the people much more than he did about the Kingdom of Heaven, but they weren’t prepared to receive it.

-Video from President Uchdorf on the subject:

-“We all know that the priesthood is much more than just a name or title. The Prophet Joseph taught that “the Priesthood is an everlasting principle, and existed with God from eternity … to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years.”1 It holds “even the key of the knowledge of God.”2 In fact, through the priesthood the very “power of godliness is manifest.”3

The blessings of the priesthood transcend our ability to comprehend. Faithful Melchizedek Priesthood holders can “become … the elect of God.” 4 They are “sanctified by the Spirit unto the renewing of their bodies”5 and can ultimately receive “all that [the] Father hath.”6 This may be hard to comprehend, but it is beautiful, and I testify that it is true.

The fact that our Heavenly Father would entrust this power and responsibility to man is evidence of His great love for us and a foreshadowing of our potential as sons of God in the hereafter.

Nevertheless, too often our actions suggest that we live far beneath this potential. When asked about the priesthood, many of us can recite a correct definition, but in our daily lives, there may be little evidence that our understanding goes beyond the level of a rehearsed script.

Brethren, we are faced with a choice. We can be satisfied with a diminished experience as priesthood bearers and settle for experiences far below our privileges. Or we can partake of an abundant feast of spiritual opportunity and universal priesthood blessings.

As you read the scriptures and listen to the words of the prophets with all your heart and mind, the Lord will tell you how to live up to your priesthood privileges. Don’t let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the Spirit….

As bearers of the priesthood, let us never become hardened to the wonder and awe of what the Lord has entrusted to us….

My dear brethren, may we diligently seek to learn the doctrine of the holy priesthood, may we strengthen our testimonies line upon line by receiving the revelations of the Spirit, and may we find true joy in daily priesthood service. As we do these things, we will begin to live up to our potential and privileges as priesthood holders, and we will be able to “do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us].” (Philippians 4:13.)” (President Uchdorf, Your Potential, Your Privilege, Conf. Report Apr. 2011

-“We live beneath our privileges when we allow worldly anchors to keep us away from the abundant joy that comes from faithful and dedicated priesthood service, especially within the walls of our own homes. We live beneath our privileges when we fail to partake of the feast of happiness, peace, and joy that God grants so bountifully to faithful priesthood servants.” (President Uchdorf, Your Potential, Your Privilege, Conf. Report Apr. 2011

–Elder Maxwell reiterated President Brigham Young’s assertion that “we live far beneath our privileges” in terms of receiving revelation from God for guidance (see Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe [1954], 32). Elder Maxwell counseled: “To the degree that we cease to live beneath our privileges, we can lift the Church.” (Apr. 2003 News of the Church

-“We don’t have the luxury of living beneath ourselves or being casual about seeking the gifts of the Spirit.

But we are up to the challenge.“ (Jan. 1999 Liahona We Are Not Alone Sheri L. Dew Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency;

-“ in 1870, Eliza R. Snow asked thousands of women a question that I’d like to repeat today: “Do you know of any place on the face of the earth, where [a] woman has more liberty, and where she enjoys such high and glorious privileges as she does here, as a Latter-day Saint?” 1 I bear witness that the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do enjoy grand and glorious privileges.” ( Gratitude: A Path to Happiness: Bonnie D. Parkin

Recently Released General Relief Society President; Apr. 2007 Conf. Report

-“…All of this is to try to tell you how your Father in Heaven feels about you and what He has designed for you to become. And if for a time any of you are less visionary than this or seem bent on living beneath your privilege, then we express even greater love for you and plead with you to make your teenage years a triumph, not a tragedy. Fathers and mothers, prophets and apostles have no motive except to bless your life and to spare you every possible heartache we can spare you.” (To Young Women

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Nov. 2005 Conf. Report)

-“There is no doubt, if a person lives according to the revelations given to God’s people, he may have the Spirit of the Lord to signify to him His will, and to guide and to direct him in the discharge of his duties, in his temporal as well as his spiritual exercises. I am satisfied, however, that in this respect, we live far beneath our privileges.” ( Brigham Young, JD 12:104)

–Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once shared a story from his personal experience that illustrates President Young’s observation. Several years after Elder Ballard had returned from serving as a mission president, one of his former missionaries came to see him in his office at Church headquarters.

“President,” this missionary said, “I think I’m losing my testimony.”

Elder Ballard was surprised because this missionary had been one of his most faithful elders.

The young man continued, “For the first time, I have read some anti-Mormon literature [and] I have some questions, and nobody will answer them for me.”

Though the questions were what Elder Ballard described as “the standard anti-Church issues,” he explained to the young man that he would like some time to collect the appropriate materials to ensure that he could provide some meaningful answers. The elder agreed, and they set an appointment to meet again in 10 days.

As the former missionary left the office, Elder Ballard stopped him and said, “Elder, you’ve asked me several questions here today. . . . Now I have one for you.”

Elder Ballard then asked, “How long has it been since you read from the Book of Mormon?”

The missionary admitted that it had been a long time.

“All right,” Elder Ballard responded. “You have given me my assignment. It’s only fair that I give you yours. I want you to promise me that you will read in the Book of Mormon for at least one hour every day between now and our next appointment.”

The missionary reluctantly agreed. Elder Ballard’s own words describe what happened next:

Ten days later he returned to my office, and I was ready. I pulled out my papers to start answering his questions. But he stopped me.

“President,” he said, “that isn’t going to be necessary.” Then he explained: “I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.”

“Well, that’s great,” I said, “but you’re going to get answers to your questions anyway. I worked a long time on this, so you just sit there and listen.”

I answered all of those questions and then asked, “Elder, what have you learned from this?”

And he said, “Give the Lord equal time.” ( M. Russell Ballard, When Thou Art Converted: Continuing Our Search for Happiness (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2001), 51–52.) ( “A Wonderful Flood of Light” Daniel K. Judd Dec. 7 2004, BYU Speeches)

-“Phinehas (Young) visited a young woman dying of consumption, he was prompted to “lay hands on the sufferer and rebuke the disease.” He did so, and the woman was healed. He wrote, “I had never seen anything of the kind in my life, but had always believed the people were living far beneath their privileges.”” (Maxfield, pp. 1–2.) (By Leonard J. Arrington and JoAnn Jolley Ensign AUGUST 1980 THE FAITHFUL YOUNG FAMILY: THE PARENTS, BROTHERS AND SISTERS OF BRIGHAM)

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