MacKenzie Ostler created this study guide to accompany our study of Elder Renlund’s talk from April 2020 Conference. CLICK HERE to access that talk. Thank you Mackenzie!
The first sentence of Elder Renlund’s talk blew my socks off, and I knew the rest of
the talk would do the same. Read this carefully:
“Throughout time, even and especially during difficult times, prophets have encouraged us to
remember the greatness of God and to consider what He has done for
us as individuals, as families, and as a people. ”
Even and ESPECIALLY during difficult times.
Are you in the habit of considering the goodness and greatness of God,
ESPECIALLY during difficult times?
He emphasizes that “by reflecting on Their compassion”, we become
Who doesn’t need more of these things in our lives?
The story of Tom and Donna is heartbreakingly beautiful. Be sure to
“Much like Tom, each of us has received gifts that we could not provide
for ourselves, gifts from our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son,
including redemption through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. 5 We
have received life in this world; we will receive physical life in the
hereafter, and eternal salvation and exaltation—if we choose it—all
because of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
“Every time we use, benefit from, or even think of these gifts, we ought
to consider the sacrifice, generosity, and compassion of the givers.
Reverence for the givers does more than just make us grateful.
Reflecting on Their gifts CAN and SHOULD transform us.”
He talks about Alma’s beautiful transformation and then he says, “our
transformation can be equally profound.”
He will give us a new heart and a new spirit. Only because of Christ.
He asks, “What does it take for YOU to be drawn to the Savior?”
Ask yourself that question? What draws you to the Savior? He makes
a few suggestions:
-Christ’s submission to His Father’s will
-His victory over death
-His taking upon Himself your sins and mistakes
-His receiving power from the Father to make intercession for you
-His ultimate redemption of you
“Are these things not sufficient to draw you to Him? They are for me.
Jesus Christ “stands with open arms, hoping and willing to heal, forgive,
cleanse, strengthen, purify, and sanctify [you and me]. These truths
should give us a new heart and prompt us to choose to follow Him.”
Are you prone to wander? Elder Renlund gives us some suggestions to
fight these tendencies:
- Reflect EVERY DAY on the gifts we have received AND what they
- King Benjamin invited us to remember the greatness of God and
His goodness and long-suffering towards you.
I challenge you to take a few minutes EVERY DAY to reflect on the gifts
you are given and WHAT those gifts are. In the beginning, it may be
hard to think of things outside of the “typical” answers. As you continue
doing it, I promise you that you will begin to see new miracles and
blessings every day and you will consider them as such. And God will
open the heavens to bless you even more.
“When we remember the greatness of our Heavenly Father and Jesus
Christ and what They have done for us, we will not take Them for
granted… In the exuberance of knowing that we can be saved and
exalted, we need to remember that salvation and exaltation came at a
great cost. “
I love that he says, “We can be reverently joyful..” about our blessings
from our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.
The last few paragraphs are powerful, so I will let Elder Renlund’s voice
“When we consider the goodness of our Heavenly Father and Jesus
Christ, our trust in Them increases. Our prayers change because we
know God is our Father and we are His children. We seek not to change
His will but to align our will with His and secure for ourselves blessings
that He wants to grant, conditioned on our asking for them. We yearn
to be more meek, more pure, more steadfast, more Christlike. These
changes qualify us for additional heavenly blessings.
By acknowledging that every good thing comes from Jesus Christ, we
will 1: communicate our faith more effectively to others. We will 2: have
courage when confronted with seemingly impossible tasks and
circumstances. We will 3: strengthen our resolve to keep the covenants
we have made to follow the Savior. We will 4: be filled with the love of
God, 5: want to help those in need without being judgmental, 6: love our
children and raise them in righteousness, 7: retain a remission of our
sins, and 8: always rejoice. These are the remarkable fruits of
remembering God’s goodness and mercy.”
And lastly, this is so powerful:
“As you act on those words and listen to Him, remember, joyfully and
reverently, that the Savior loves to restore what you cannot restore; He
loves to heal wounds you cannot heal; He loves to fix what has been
irreparably broken; He compensates for any unfairness inflicted on
you; and He loves to permanently mend even shattered hearts. ”
Who hasn’t had a shattered heart? Who has never felt that they were
irreparably broken? Who has never felt that life is unfair? He LOVES to
heal wounds we cannot heal. He is the only one Who can. I love Him
and I am so grateful to Him for it. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.