Message on label of a humble heart: 'speak; for thy servant heareth'

Speaking of the labels often given to people because of their physical appearance, Elder Thomas S. Monson, then of the Council of the Twelve and now second counselor in the First Presidency, cited a poem during his October 1983 general conference address:

Nobody knows what a boy is worth,We'll have to wait and see.

But every man in a noble place,

A boy once used to be.

"The boy Samuel must have appeared like any lad his age as he ministered unto the Lord before Eli," Elder Monson said. "As Samuel lay down to sleep and heard the voice of the Lord calling him, Samuel mistakenly thought it was aged Eli calling and responded, `Here am I.' (1 Sam. 3:4.)

"However, after Eli had listened to the boy's account and told him it was the Lord, Samuel followed Eli's counsel, and subsequently responded to the Lord's call with the memorable reply, Speak; for thy servant heareth.' (1 Sam. 3:10.) The record then reveals thatSamuel grew, and the Lord was with him. . . .

" `And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord.' " (1 Sam. 3:19-20.)

Further in his conference address, Elder Monson said:

"The word of the Lord to the prophet Samuel at the time David was designated to be a future king of Israel provided a fitting label for the occasion. It certainly was the thought of each faithful member: `Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.' (1 Sam. 16:7.)

"Like a golden thread woven through the tapestry of life is the message on the label of a humble heart. It was true of the boy Samuel. . . . May it ever be the label which identifies each of us: `Lord, here am I.' "

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