Elder Ronald A. Rasband: ‘The joyful burden of discipleship’

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In his remarks Saturday morning, Elder Ronald A. Rasband related his experience visiting Oklahoma City just a week after a massive tornado carved a trail of destruction a mile wide and 17 miles long. Before he left on his assignment, Elder Rasband asked President Thomas S. Monson, “What do you want me to do? What do you want me to say?”

President Monson took his hand and replied: “First, tell them I love them. Second, tell them I am praying for them. Third, please thank all those who are helping.”

As a member of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Rasband said he could feel the weight of the words the Lord spoke to Moses when he gathered seventy men of the elders of the Israel that “they shall bear the burden of the people with thee [Moses], that thou bear it not thyself alone” (Numbers 11:16-17).

Although he joyfully feels the responsibility of his calling, Elder Rasband said he and his brethren are not alone in assisting in the work. “As members of the Church, worldwide, we all have the wonderful opportunity of blessing the lives of others,” he said.

Elder Rasband explained that sustaining the Church leaders is not just a formality; it is a privilege, which comes “coupled with a personal responsibility to share their burden, and to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Will we respond with love when an opportunity is before us to make a visit, a phone call, write a note, or spend a day meeting the needs of someone else?” he asked.

The Savior continues to extend the call to “Come and follow me,” Elder Rasband said. “To follow His perfect example is to recognize and honor the Savior who has borne all of our burdens through His sacred and saving Atonement, the ultimate act of service. What He asks of each one of us is to be able and willing to take up the joyful ‘burden’ of discipleship.”

Focusing on serving will guide individuals to make divine decisions in their daily lives and prepare them to love what the Lord loves, Elder Rasband said. “In so doing, we witness by our very lives that we are His disciples. When we are engaged in His work, we feel His spirit with us. We grow in testimony, faith, trust and love.”

In conclusion, Elder Rasband said, “May we all find the joy that comes from the sacred sacrifice of bearing one another’s burdens, even those simple and small.”

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