Lives of abundance

Heavenly Father can create a masterpiece of your life

In the Sunday afternoon session, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin of the Quorum of the Twelve related the account of a gray gelding purchased for $80 in 1956 by Harry de Leyer. Snowman, as Harry's children named the horse, bore scars that were evidence of the hard life he had led.

Eventually, Harry sold Snowman to a neighbor, but when the horse kept jumping a fence to return to Harry's family, Harry bought back the horse and decided to see how well it jumped. Snowman ended up a champion, was named "Horse of the Year" in 1958 and 1959, and was inducted into the show jumping hall of fame. A buyer offered $100,000 for Snowman, which Harry refused.

"For many, Snowman was much more than a horse. He became an example of the hidden, untapped potential that lies within each of us," Elder Wirthlin said.

Then, referring to the "many wonderful people" he has known throughout his life, Elder Wirthlin spoke of the "many who live lives of abundance. . . . Today, I want to list a few of the characteristics the happiest people I know have in common. They are qualities that can transform ordinary existence into a life of excitement and abundance:

  • “First, they drink deeply of living waters.” Referring to John 4:13-14 in which the Savior speaks of “water springing up into everlasting life,” Elder Wirthlin said: “Too many sit at the banquet table of the gospel of Jesus Christ and merely nibble at the feast placed before them. They go through the motions — attending their meetings, glancing at scriptures, repeating familiar prayers — but their hearts are far away. . . .

    "Do you wish to partake of this living water and experience that divine well springing up within you to everlasting life? Then be not afraid. Believe with all your hearts. Develop an unshakable faith in the Son of God and let your hearts reach out in earnest prayer. Fill your minds with knowledge of Him. Forsake your weaknesses. Walk in holiness and harmony with the commandments. . . .

  • “The second quality of those who live abundant lives is that they fill their hearts with love. Love is the essence of the gospel and the greatest of all the commandments. The Savior taught that every other commandment and prophetic teaching hang upon it. . . .
  • “The third quality of those who live abundant lives is that with the help of our Heavenly Father they create a masterpiece of their lives.
  • No matter our age, circumstances, or abilities, each one of us can create something remarkable of his life.

    "David saw himself as a shepherd, but the Lord saw him as a king of Israel. Joseph of Egypt served as a slave, but the Lord saw him as a seer. Mormon wore the armor of a soldier, but the Lord saw him as a prophet."

    Elder Wirthlin admonished: "Love the Lord with all your heart, might, mind and strength. Enlist in a noble cause. Create of your homes sanctuaries of holiness and strength. Magnify your callings in the Church. Fill your minds with learning. Strengthen your testimonies. Reach out to others."

    The abundant life, Elder Wirthlin added, "does not come to us packaged and ready-made. . . . It comes through faith, hope and charity.