Thursday, October 08, 2009

Every Day (Ultimatum)

Faith is Every Day

Elder Oaks gave a talk in 2005 titled "The Dedication of a Lifetime". While this talk is notoriously referenced as the call-out talk for dating (The three p's of a dating qualifier came from this talk: Planned, Paired Off, and Paid For). While this certainly was an interesting portion of the talk, it wasn't the primary focus. The theme for his talk came from a presidential candidate. I now quote from Elder Oak's Talk (accessible here).

I have titled my talk “The Dedication of a Lifetime.” I borrowed this title from something said by Governor Adlai E. Stevenson of Illinois, who was the Democratic Party candidate for president of the United States in 1952 and 1956. He was a fine man and would have been president if he had not been running against a very popular opponent, Dwight D. Eisenhower. [editor's note: Elder Oaks looks like Dwight. That should count for something. And no, it's not just the audacious baldness.]

In speaking to an American Legion Convention, Stevenson gave a wise statement about patriotism. He said that what we need “is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime” (speech given Aug. 27, 1952, quoted in John Bartlett, comp., Familiar Quotations, 13th ed. [1955], 986). I like that—“not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.” I will use this description of patriotism as a formula for how we should live the gospel.
Elder Oaks continued to state that gospel extremism isn't appropriate. I would like to take the discussion a different direction, related more to my theme. Another quote, this time by President Harold B. Lee: “Testimony isn’t something you have today, and you are going to have always. A testimony is fragile. It is as hard to hold as a moonbeam. It is something you have to recapture every day of your life” (“President Harold B. Lee Directs Church; Led By The Spirit,” Church News, 15 July 1972, 4).

In my last post I talked about the cost of maintenance. I think that it's applicable here as well. Especially considering my favorite Elder Maxwell quote, given when he spoke at the institute: "Be a high yield, low maintenance member of the church, we have ample supply of the other kind." Here, the cost of maintenance is again a daily dedication (recapture every day). If we don't pay the maintenance costs now, the consequences will me much more expensive to repair.

So faith is every day. It doesn't come in spurts, although it can be more concentrated at moments. And it isn't an intense celestial elation to accompany every moment. It's fighting every day, even when you don't need to.

1 comment:

Brittany said...

Great thoughts. I especially love this line: "It's fighting every day, even when you don't need to."