`DEEP ASSURANCE' IS PRODUCT OF TESTIMONY NOT BOASTFUL PRIDE
COMES FROM BEING
`DOERS OF THE WORD'
BRINGS HUMILITYThe "deep assurance" that many members of the Church have in their lives stems not from pride, as some feel, but from firm testimonies of the truth.
So explained Elder Angel Abrea of the First Quorum of the Seventy Saturday afternoon.
Elder Abrea first told an anecdote of a farmer who didn't plant any crops because he feared insect or weather damage. "I'd rather be safe than sorry," the farmer explained.
This demonstrated, he said, a "false security arising from fear," and added that "this is one of the evils which afflicts this generation the security of not doing, the security of not being."
Jesus Christ, he continued, referred to the same evil in His parables the unprofitable servant, the fig tree that didn't bear fruit, the light that didn't shine or the salt that had lost its savor.
Because members of the Church are "filled with a deep assurance that comes from a testimony of the gospel, a sure knowledge of the divinity of the work in which we have embarked," some mistake this for pride and a lack of humility.
"But it is not that way," Elder Abrea continued. "To confuse pride with safety and vanity with testimony shows a lack of understanding by those who have not allowed the tempering of the Spirit to enter their hearts."
Elder Abrea cited the example of Joseph Smith's own testimony, where he stated, "For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it . . ." (Joseph Smith-History 1:25.)
"Is this pride?" Elder Abrea asked. "Definitely not. This is assurance that comes from knowing. . . . This is the assurance found in the lives of faithful Latter-day Saints, coming from a change brought about by the power of the Spirit. . . ."
This assurance also comes from being "doers of the word, and not hearers only." (James 1:22.) "It is," Elder Abrea emphasized, "the result of striving to `live by every word which proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.' (D&C 84:44.)
Elder Abrea cautioned that this assurance of the truth must not lead to boastfulness, and that the scriptures repeatedly remind all to be humble.
Another key, he emphasized, is not just possessing the truth, but making good use of it. "We can pass through this mortal existence listening attentively and patiently to the best of instructions, or we can be spectators watching the expounding of great and profound principles without improvement, unless we allow these principles to crystallize within us, through application in daily living."
The mere accumulation of facts does not lead to a "deep assurance." Wisdom does. ". . . It is to be sought, to be treasured; we need to pray for it and then express it by living a worthy life, according to the knowledge obtained.
"Change and the development of talents and hidden qualities in each of us are produced by putting into practice the knowledge obtained. What is most important, then, is what we do with our lives."
Elder Abrea concluded by quoting from the New Testament: "If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." (John 7:17.)
"It is from this principle, Elder Abrea said, that Latter-day Saints receive the strength of their testimonies, the assurance of their convictions, as they practice what they preach in their daily lives."