Sister Bonnie H. Cordon: ‘Trust in the Lord and Lean Not’

Sister Bonnie H. Cordon, second counselor in the Primary general presidency, spoke on trusting in the Lord as she addressed the women’s session of general conference on Saturday, March 25.

Her remarks focused on the counsel found in Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths.”

First, she spoke on the warning, “lean not unto thine own understanding.”

“When we physically lean toward one side or another, we move off center, we are off balance, and we tip,” Sister Cordon said. “When we spiritually lean to our own understanding, we lean away from our Savior. If we lean, we are not centered; we are not balanced; and we are not focused on Christ.”

Sister Cordon then suggested three ways to stay spiritually centered and follow the two admonitions, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart,” and, “in all thy ways acknowledge him.”

“First, we can come to know the Lord and trust Him as we ‘feast upon the words of Christ’ for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do’” (2 Nephi 32:3). Scriptures, she said, “enlighten our minds, nourish our spirits, answer our questions, increase our trust in the Lord, and help us center our lives on Him.”

“Second, we can come to know the Lord and trust Him through prayer,” Sister Cordon said.

She shared a memory of a prayer she treasures. Before leaving to travel hundreds of miles from Idaho to Texas for a job over summer break during college, her mother asked to say a prayer with her before she left.

“The peace that came from that prayer gave me the courage to trust in the Lord and lean not to my own understanding. The Lord directed my path in many decisions I made that summer,” Sister Cordon said.

“Third, we can come to know the Lord and trust Him as we serve others.”

Sister Cordon shared the story of Amy Wright who was diagnosed with cancer in 2015. Her chemotherapy treatments were so difficult that she wanted to stop them altogether. Her husband suggested that they needed to find someone to serve.

Amy wrote to Sister Cordon: “My symptoms gradually worsened to where I generally had one or two ‘OK’ days a month [where] I could somewhat function as a living, breathing human being. It was those days when our family would find ways to serve.”

“On one of those days, Amy’s family distributed chemo comfort kits to other patients, kits filled with items to cheer and to help relieve symptoms. When Amy couldn’t sleep, she would think of ways to brighten someone else’s day,” Sister Cordon said.

Service saved Amy’s life, Sister Cordon said. She ultimately found strength to keep moving forward in the happiness she discovered in trying to relieve the suffering of those around her.

“Amy came to trust in the Lord as she came to know Him. If she had leaned even a little to her own understanding, she might have rejected the idea that she serve. Service enabled her to withstand her pain and afflictions and to live this scripture: ‘When you are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God’ ” (Mosiah 2:17).

In closing, Sister Cordon testified, “If we trust in Heavenly Father and in our Savior and lean not to our own understanding, They will direct our paths and will extend the arm of mercy toward us.”

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