Savior's example teaches courage in hearkening

Find a way, not excuses

Hearken to counsel- Avoid pride

After recounting events surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior, Bishop H. David Burton, first counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, declared Sunday morning: "Jesus Christ is the magnificent example of courage in hearkening to the will of the Father."

He then told about a young man named Jay "who had the courage to hearken."

Jay suffered from muscular atrophy, but with the help of family and friends he exemplified inspiration and courage. As a deacon he passed the sacrament and gathered fast offerings.

He attended seminary regularly and spoke at seminary graduation. He attended dances and enjoyed singing.

Though his ailment prevented him from serving a regular mission at 19, he prepared more than 150 copies of the Book of Mormon with his testimony and picture and distributed them to missionary friends. He attended college and was an excellent student.

"Jay passed away three years ago, but his splendid example of one who courageously hearkened lives on," Bishop Burton said.

"Someone once said that the courageous man finds a way, and the ordinary man finds an excuse."

He related how youth in the Boise Idaho North Stake hearkened to the counsel of their stake president "and courageously destroyed their tapes, discs and videos which were not `virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.' " (See 13th Article of Faith.)

Then he exhorted: "Young people, please don't listen to music that contains ideas that contradict principles of the gospel. . . .

"Some may feel they are too intelligent or sophisticated to be influenced by the craftiness of Satan. What a tragic miscalculation. Nephi warns us of the perils of this misjudgment when he said: `O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God. . . . But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.' " (2 Ne. 9:28-29.)

Vain ambition and pride may be the biggest obstacle to being able to hearken courageously, according to Bishop Burton. "It seems the proud find it burdensome to hear and accept the instructions of God. We are told in Proverbs that "pride goeth before destruction.' (Prov. 16:18.) The proud are more anxious about man's judgment than they are of God's judgment."

After reading lines from Edgar A. Guest's poem "Equipment," Bishop Burton said, "May we all get a hold of ourselves,' as Edgar Guest so beautifully suggests; and say,I can be courageous in hearkening to the invitation of the Lord.' "

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