Following President Monson

Practically everybody could sense the spirit and the goodness of President Monson when he spoke about taking care of other people in a personal way. Many people felt inspired by him, and I have heard many people try and speak of the same things in local church meetings in the same way. But it doesn’t come out the same.

Because President Monson paid the price.

And there are many I have met who claim they are trying to follow his lead who do so by imitating his attitude, instead of paying the price he paid.

His attitude is not the reason he was the prophet. It was not what made him the man he was. Many people have a kind attitude who would never be called to be the prophet, and many prophets have been very different in their general demeanor than President Monson was. What made President Monson’s words on taking care of others resound with us was the power of the Holy Ghost that accompanies him. And the reason the Holy Ghost accompanied him was that he had paid the price. He paid the dues. He went the distance. His talks were the way they were, and felt the way they did, because of the man he was. If we were the same kind of men, we could speak about taking personal care of others in need and the Holy Ghost would fill us as it did him.

Why did he have so many stories about the Holy Ghost telling him to go help a person he did not know was in need? Because he paid the price, and God knew he could count on him.

That is always the way it works. If you wait for inspiration to start saving you ancestors you will join them in death before you ever do their work. You must simply start paying the price by doing what you can, and then inspiration will follow in time.

If you wait for inspiration to start bringing nonmembers to Christ then you will leave this life without bringing even save it were one soul unto him. You must instead start preaching the gospel and inviting others to repent and come unto Christ. When you have proven you are serious then the Holy Ghost will begin to inspire you. But that follows after you have proven to the Lord that you will keep the commandment.

When we try and adopt President Monson’s outward attitude, and believe we are then following president Monson, and we speak profusely about our duties toward others, our teachings come out tasting like hard stale bread. They lack the Holy Ghost, for the Holy Ghost will not testify for us in hypocrisy.

If you want to follow President Monson, and speak with the power of God about caring for others in need, you will have to pay the price. When God, who sees in secret, knows the price is paid, his spirit will attend you openly when you teach about it. Then others will feel the testimony of the truth of your words as we all did when President Monson spoke about such things.

But lets stop kidding ourselves that we can just adopt his attitude and that God will play along with such rationalizations to ourselves. If you loved President Monson and want to be like him, you must look over his talks and determine to pay his price, including those prices he paid that we know, but take for granted, such as his remarkable decency. I don’t know whether his generation has a more decent man than himself. If it does, they were few.


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John Robertson

I am nothing more than a regular member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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