Monday, August 12, 2019

Old Talks, Current Problems

Yesterday, I had reason to look up some General Conference talks from April, 1986. (I don't want you to think I'm trying to claim that I always spend my Sunday afternoons reading 33-year-old conference talks; I spend them stone-cold napping and Facebook creeping on distant relatives in the name of "family history.") Anyway, I was blown away with how timely this bit was:

During the past few years a number of resources have been set in place in the Church to help us. New editions of the scriptures have been published--are we talking advantage of them? More temples are located closer to our people--are we going to the house of the Lord more frequently? The consolidated meeting schedule was set up--are we taking advantage of the increased time with our families? A special home evening manual was provided--are we using it? A new hymnal has just been published--are we singing more songs of the heart? And so the list goes on and on. We have received much help. We don't need changed programs now as much as we need changed people! [Ezra Taft Benson, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel," April 1986 General Conference]
And now, a third of a century later, we are almost in exactly the same position. New essays on gospel topics have been published, more temples are located closer, two-hour church was set up, the new "Come, Follow Me" manual was provided, and a new hymnal is about to be published. President Nelson could just as easily say, "We don't need changed programs now as much as we need changed people!"

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