Elder Quentin L. Cook: ‘The Eternal Everyday’

Credit: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

The scriptures are clear that while this life is relatively short, it is incredibly significant, said Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Sometimes man’s purpose and very existence are also described in very humble terms. But the scriptures also reveal the importance of all of God’s children, he said during the Saturday afternoon session of general conference on Sept. 30.

“We are all equal before God,” he said. “His doctrine is clear. In the Book of Mormon we read ‘all are alike unto God,’ including ‘black and white, bond and free, male and female.’ Accordingly, all are invited to come to the Lord.”

Anyone who claims superiority under the Father’s plan because of characteristics like race, sex, nationality, language or economic circumstances is morally wrong and does not understand the Lord’s true purpose for all of our Father’s children, he added.

“Unfortunately, in our day in almost every segment of society we see self-importance and arrogance flaunted while humility and accountability to God are denigrated,” he said. “Much of society has lost its moorings and does not understand why we are on this earth. True humility, which is essential to achieve the Lord’s purpose for us, is seldom evident.”

The scriptures exemplify the magnitude of Christ’s humility, righteousness, character and intelligence. It’s foolish to underestimate the necessity of continuously striving for these Christlike qualities and attributes on a day-by-day basis, particularly humility.

The Savior’s example of humility and sacrifice for all mankind is the most profound event in history.

“The Savior, even as a member of the Godhead, was willing to come to earth as a lowly infant and begin an existence that included teaching and healing His brothers and sisters and ultimately suffering indescribable pain in Gethsemane and on the Cross in order to perfect His Atonement,” he said. “This act of love and humility on the part of Christ is known as His Condescension. He did this for every man and woman God has or will create.”

Humility, taught Elder Cook, is essential in helping the Lord establish His Church. The scriptures and the history of the restored Church are rich with examples of people who fulfilled powerful missions even while remaining humble.

“Sometimes humility is accepting callings when we do not feel adequate. Sometimes humility is serving faithfully when we feel capable of a more high-profile assignment. Humble leaders have verbally and by example established that it is not where we serve, but how we faithfully serve. Sometimes humility is overcoming hurt feelings when we feel leaders or other members have mistreated us.”

Latter-day Saints across the world continue to exercise humility even as they serve and build up the Church, observed Elder Cook.

“Members, including the rising generation, give up their time and defer education and employment to serve missions,” he said. “Many senior members leave employment and make other sacrifices in order to serve God in whatever capacity they are called. We do not allow personal issues to distract or divert us from accomplishing His purposes. Church service requires humility. We humbly serve as called with all our might, mind, and strength. At every level of the Church it is important to understand the Christlike attribute of humility.”

Everyday humility is essential in helping prepare individuals to meet God. Submitting to the Lord’s will is not as valued in today’s society as it has been in the past.

“In today’s world, there is an increased emphasis on pride, self-aggrandizement, and so-called ‘authenticity’ which sometimes leads to a lack of true humility,” he said. “Some suggest the moral values for happiness today include ‘be real, be strong, be productive — and most importantly, don’t rely on other people, because your fate is in your own hands’.”

But the scriptures advocate a different approach. “They suggest that we should be true disciples of Jesus Christ. This entails establishing a powerful feeling of accountability to God, and a humble approach to life.”

The Internet creates challenges to avoiding pride. Social media is often defined by self-indulgence — “look at me” — and by online attacks on others.

“The widespread deterioration of civil discourse is also a concern,” he said. “The eternal principle of agency requires that we respect many choices with which we do not agree. Conflict and contention now often breach the boundaries of common decency. We need more modesty and humility.”

Subscribe for free and get daily or weekly updates straight to your inbox
The three things you need to know everyday
Highlights from the last week to keep you informed