Tag Archives: Quentin L Cook

Spotty Shower Glass and Foggy Testimony: Daily Attention Cures Both

The other morning, after showering, I had a conversation with my husband about a cleaning product that I use that has changed my life. It went like this:

Him: Why are you spraying down the glass? It’s clean.

Me: Because, if I use this every day, crud won’t build up, and it won’t get all spotty, and I won’t have to scrub all this glass to get it clean.

Him: But it’s not dirty at all.

Me: (holding up the bottle and shaking it in the air) It’s not dirty at all because I use this every day!

It’s true. If I use this product as directed – each day after I shower – my glass stays relatively clear. Though not perfectly streak-free, believe me, it looks great, and holy cow – it saves me a ton of time scrubbing hard water spots off. It’s a beautiful thing!

After my exchange with my husband, I immediately saw a spiritual object lesson.

How quickly things can change.

Alma, the head of the government and high priest over the church, described his people, the Nephites, who had suffered many afflictions, like this:

“they were awakened to a remembrance of their duty. And they began to establish the church more fully; yea and many were baptized … and were joined to the church of God…and there was continual peace in all that time.” [1]

But just one short year later things were turning in a different direction within the church. Alma records that pride had taken hold of the hearts of the Nephites and they began to…

“set their hearts on the riches and upon the vain things of the world, that they began to be scornful…to persecute those that did not believe…there began to be great contentions among the people of the church; yea, there were envyings, and strife, and malice, and persecutions, and pride…and thus the church began to fail in it’s progress.” [2]

This heartbreaking situation causes him to leave his governmental responsibilities and focus solely on the problems within the membership of church.

“Can ye feel so now?”

Alma travels to the cities and villages throughout the land hoping to rekindle and reawaken the testimonies of his people. He reminds them of the miraculous things God has done for them, how they felt in the past as the spirit burned within them, and how their hearts, and the hearts of others, had been changed. Then he asks this penetrating question:

“if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” [3]

With love, but with boldness, Alma then teaches and encourages them in the things they must repent of and the practices they must return to, in order to once again have their hearts softened and their testimonies burn brightly.

Are we them?

Elder Quentin L. Cook, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, likened the Nephite’s situation and Alma’s teachings to us in our day in this way:

“It is not surprising that some in the Church believe they can’t answer Alma’s question with a resounding yes. They do not “feel so now.” They feel they are in a spiritual drought. Others are angry, hurt, or disillusioned. If these descriptions apply to you, it is important to evaluate why you cannot “feel so now.”

Many who are in a spiritual drought and lack commitment have not necessarily been involved in major sins or transgressions, but they have made unwise choices. Some are casual in their observance of sacred covenants. Others spend most of their time giving first-class devotion to lesser causes. Some allow intense cultural or political views to weaken their allegiance to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some have immersed themselves in Internet materials that magnify, exaggerate, and, in some cases, invent shortcomings of early Church leaders. Then they draw incorrect conclusions that can affect testimony. Any who have made these choices can repent and be spiritually renewed.” [4]

A Little Effort Each Day.

Courtseyof Echotech Glass

Courtesy of Echotech Glass

It doesn’t take me much time at all to spray down the glass after each time I shower, and those couple of extra minutes are time well spent. If I neglect to do so, I’m looking at a good chunk of time spent scrubbing in the future when the hard water spots have really built up.

So, it is with our testimonies. Things can build up quicker than we think and before too long we are in a place of complacency or even doubt. A little time spent on them each day will save us a whole lot of difficult time, and pain, trying to restore their brilliance in the future.

Here are some suggestions of things you can do in just a few quick minutes daily that will help keep your testimony from dulling:

  • Read your scriptures.
  • Say your prayers.
  • Read something from the Ensign or other Church magazines.
  • Repent.
  • Listen to a General Conference address (as you clean your shower 😊)
  • Share something gospel related on your social media site.
  • Read your patriarchal blessing.
  • Write a paragraph on a gospel principle.
  • Keep a journal of how you see the Lord’s hand in your life each day.
  • Fill your home with beautiful gospel music.

The possibilities are endless. You can probably come up with ten more lickety-split!

Foggy Testimony?

If your testimony has begun to fog over – if spiritual things aren’t as clear for you as they used to be, if negative feelings come up easily towards Church leaders, standards, or doctrines, and honest questions have become doubt – then more time and effort will be needed to restore your faith to it’s former brilliance. But it can be done. It has been done by others, many others. And, if you’re really willing to scrub too, you won’t be the exception. The road may be long. Repentance may be needed. But, the Lord promises those with “real intent” that “by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” [5]

The Nephites, us, and shower glass.

Just like my shower glass, if we do not take care of our testimony each day, things can get pretty cloudy pretty quickly. We are just as prone to the trappings of pride as the Nephites were, and perhaps even more so due to the luxury, abundance, and vast amount of worldly knowledge we enjoy in our day.  With daily care, though we won’t be totally streak free, our testimonies will remain strong and bright, and we won’t be easily deceived by the philosophies of men or societal pressures.

 

 

[1] Alma 4:3-5

[2] Alma 4:8-10

[3] Alma 5:26

[4] “Can Ye Feel So Now?”, Oct 2012 General Conference

[5] Moroni 10:4-5

 

 

 

Quentin L. Cook: Moderation, Balance, and Wisdom

Elder Cook MemeRecently, MWS Co-Founder, Angela Fallentine, challenged us all to prepare ourselves to get a question answered during the October 2014 General Conference. Her wording was interesting to me. She didn’t challenge us to prepare a question, but to prepare ourselves. Pray and study the scriptures and ponder the question, and then open our hearts to receive the Lord’s answer through His servants in conference.

I knew I needed to do exactly what she suggested, but preparing to hear an answer during conference is a tricky thing. On the one hand, I sincerely wanted the answer to my question. On the other hand, I was the tiniest bit nervous about what sacrifice that answer was going to demand. And, yes, I mean sacrifice. Giving up something good for something far, far greater.

When I found out that I’d have the opportunity to cover Elder Quentin L. Cook’s talk in conference, I didn’t know that he would be speaking in the Priesthood Session, nor did I expect his talk to provide me with my answer. In fact, his wonderful talk simply reinforced the answer I received earlier that same day when Elder L. Tom Perry shared the story about a harried mother canning fruit and telling her sons to say their prayers without her. The question the son asked his mother struck me. “Which is more important,” the child said, “prayers or fruit?” That’s when I knew the Lord was answering my question.

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