Keep traditions in harmony with God's plan

Study scriptures, words of prophets

Evaluate life- Make adjustments

Every person was born into specific lineage from which they received their inheritance of race, culture and traditions, Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve explained Sunday afternoon.

And that tradition provides a rich heritage and great reasons to rejoice. "Yet," he told his listeners, "you have the responsibility to determine if there is any part of that heritage that must be discarded because it works against the Lord's plan of happiness."

Elder Scott continued: "Increasingly the world is being divided into groups of individuals who seek earnestly to preserve their ethnic, cultural or national heritage. These efforts are generally motivated by sincere appreciation for what forebears have done, often under the most extenuating circumstances. Appreciation for ethnic, cultural or national heritage can be very wholesome and beneficial, but it can also perpetuate patterns of life that should be set aside by a devoted Latter-day Saint."

He explained that anyone being baptized and confirmed a member of the Church takes upon him or herself the name of Christ. "You made a commitment to be obedient to His teachings and to make whatever changes in your life that were required by those teachings. No one who truly understands the significance of Church membership has any hesitancy in making these adjustments to receive the blessings of worthy fellowship in His kingdom."

Elder Scott said that the Lord's teachings are the perfect handbook to happiness. "The Savior is your Redeemer. His sacrifice entitles Him to judge you and to ultimately give you the greatest blessings for obedience to His commandments."

Determining when a tradition is in conflict with the Lord's teachings is not easily done, he said. He counseled those listening to study the scriptures and the counsel of the prophets, then evaluate each part of their lives and make any adjustments needed.

"I encourage you who have already made correct cultural choices to help others to recognize the long-term blessings, peace and happiness that come from a decision to place Father in Heaven, His plan and His Son at the center of their priorities."

Elder Scott listed some traditions which need to be set aside, including the husband exerting a domineering, authoritarian role in the home, violating the Word of Wisdom, forcing others to comply by power of station, encouraging the establishment of caste systems and breeding conflicts with other cultures.

"When the Lord's kingdom and His teachings are paramount above all else and you are united in love of the Savior and of our Father in Heaven then the beautiful nuances, the uniqueness of your cultural heritage can flower and produce a rich harvest of blessings."

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