Life's true success based on faithfulness

Be committed to the gospel

Serve fellowmen- Keep the commandments

The true meaning of success is not in obtaining "material possessions, comfort and a life of ease" but in being "a servant of God, serving our fellowmen, being truly committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and keeping the commandments of God."

Elder Claudio R. M. Costa of the Seventy said in his Saturday afternoon session that he didn't understand the true meaning of success until after he was baptized.

He explained that he had grown up in a poor family with few material belongings and that his early understanding of success was centered on having many possessions.

"When I was 12 years old I had to go to evening school because I worked 10 hours during the day," he said. "Many times on the way to school I would sleep on the bus or train. However, upon arriving home late at night, I would always find my loving parents waiting for me."

In his experience as president of the Brazil Manaus Mission, he saw many examples of spiritual success among the faithful members.

He described one convert, who lived in a tiny town in the middle of the Amazon basin. "After being baptized with his family he could hardly wait . . . so he could take his wife and children to the temple." The trip to the temple however, was expensive and required long travel each way.

"When the time came to go to the temple, he sold all his furniture and appliances - even his electric saw and his only means of transportation - a motorcycle. It required eight days of travel to reach Sao Paulo. After spending four glorious days in the temple doing the work of the Lord, this family had to travel seven more days to return to their home. But they went back home happy, feeling their difficulties and struggles were nothing compared to the great happiness and blessings they had experienced in the House of the Lord."

Elder Costa recalled meeting an older faithful member who was weeping. "He told me the reason he was sad is because at the age of 70 he saw himself as a failure for never having been able to give his family the material comforts he felt they deserved.

Elder Costa learned that all four of his children had been married in the temple and were faithful members.

"Then, moved by the Spirit, I told him what success he had achieved in his life was one of the greatest success stories I had ever heard," said Elder Costa.

"I am grateful to the Lord for having touched my heart and for helping me to choose the better part - that which, so long as I strive for worthiness, cannot be taken from me. Being faithful to God as worthy members of His Church, learning about Him and how to truly follow and worship Him, is more priceless than gold, silver or diamonds."

He said, "Only when we keep the commandments of the Lord and do His will can we feel totally safe."

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