Ponder that thought for a moment. What would you say is the most important responsibility of a member of the Church of Jesus Christ?
Ladder On the Wrong Building
When I was a kid, the following parable was taught at church. Perhaps it was even preached in General Conference. It goes like this:
- Life is like climbing a ladder. First, we choose what building to lean our ladder against. Then…every day…every month…every year, we advance upward. One rung at a time. At the end of our life, we will have climbed high up on the building that we have selected. But…what if? Just what if…we picked the wrong building? How sad that would be! An entire lifetime of climbing, only to arrive at the top of a worthless building.
I have now learned that my building of choice is highly flawed. Fortunately, at 64, I still have a few years to scurry down my ladder and move it to the building of highest worth.
My New Perspective
Today, during the joint Relief Society/priesthood lesson, Joseph Smith was quoted:
“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to….”
How would you complete that sentence? You’ll probably get it right. I didn’t. And haven’t my entire life.
Could my greatest responsibility be…..
- To follow the teachings and example of Jesus? That would have been my first guess. But, nope, I was wrong.
- To love others as I love myself? Another great guess…but wrong.
- To love God above all else? Nope. Oh man!
- To obey the commandments? Nope. What? And, here I thought that was the first law of heaven.
- To love my wife more than anyone else? Nope.
- To nurture and take care of my children? Darn it. Another nope.
- Provide for my family? Nope
- Clothe the naked, feed the hungry, visit the sick? Nope, nope & nope.
- Be the Good Samaritan? Nope.
- Welcome back the prodigal? Nope
- Care for the least of these? Nope.
- Everything else I can think of? Nope
Obviously, I’m in big trouble. For 64 years, I did not know what my greatest responsibility was. Thank heavens, it’s finally been lodged firmly in my brain.
A video was shown about the coming Trek activity for our youth. Elder David R. Bednar was the apostolic speaker. He shared the Joseph Smith quote. To drive the point home, the citation was passed out in written form. And then someone was asked to read it out loud. Then we discussed. I tell ya, after all that, I’ve got.
Here’s the quintessential quote from the very first prophet of the restoration.
“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to…..seek after our dead.”
Now, if your proverbial ladder is leaning on the wrong building, let’s both of us get ’em moved, pronto.