Living by the scriptures

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father. — Mosiah 3:19.

At our stake conference the stake presidency was reorganized. The new second counselor was our bishop. I was then serving as the bishop's first counselor and, of course, knew immediately that I was released, along with the brother that served as his second counselor. That evening I received a call from my former bishop, asking to meet with my wife and me the next day.

At our meeting, the unexpected happened. I was not called back into the newly organized bishopric. Instead, I was called to be the elders quorum president. I was shocked, but I have never turned down a calling, so I accepted.

I went home and began to pray, asking Heavenly Father to reveal to me the reasoning behind the call, all to no avail. I was hurt. When the next weekend approached and I knew that the new stake president would visit our ward to take care of the ward reorganization, I decided I did not want to be there. I decided to be defiant and not show up. My wife knew something was wrong when I suggested that we travel out of state to visit our daughter and son-in-law and our new grandson. So we traveled to Georgia. On Saturday morning I was sitting in our motel room with my Book of Mormon. As I read this scripture I could almost hear a voice talking to me in my mind. It said, "Brother Thomas, the natural man is filled with pride, and man's way is not the Lord's way. That is one of the reasons he is such an enemy to God."

I turned to my wife, my voice a little shaky, and asked if we could turn around and go back home as I needed to be in Church the next day. That was a real turning point in my testimony. I went on to serve as elders quorum president for the next year-and-a-half and learned more about the gospel than at any other time in my Church tenure. — Robert C. Thomas, Leesburg, Florida.

"Living by the Scriptures" is another in a series of Church News reader response articles. Was there a time when a particular scripture touched you, when it offered comfort, guidance and much-needed support? If so, please describe your experience in 250-300 words, giving the scripture reference and telling how it affected you. Send your submission to Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110. Fax No. (801) 237-2524. Internet E-mail: [email protected]