This post is part of the General Conference Odyssey.
In this session of conference, we get to catch up with probably one of the most well-known talks ever given: Spiritual Crocodiles. Likely, you or your children saw this video many times in Seminary. It is well-known, and always worth spending some time talking about why its message is so important.
Incidentally, in this talk, Boyd K. Packer wasn’t kidding when he said he knew about the many birds of our world. He was an exceptional artist and he specialized in bird carvings.
And with this extra knowledge, he admitted to still being skeptical, at the time, of those who knew additional knowledge concerning life and death.
Likening this knowledge to the prophet, who is most concerned about our spiritual safety and salvation is easy, and easily ignored. Sometimes, the best teacher is Hindsight. Unfortunately, we are in a spiritual life and death battle and Hindsight can be a whirlpool we may never escape from.
We’ve been told so many times that:
- Jesus Christ is coming and we must prepare ourselves in righteousness.
- Satan is real and is desperately snatching at all opportunities to destroy us.
- We are fighting a war that has been going on since the Spirit World and there will be many casualties.
This is not news to us, yet Satan (the crocodile) is faster than we ever suspected. He literally does lie in wait to snatch us from light and truth. And he is fearless, strong, and patient. We understand that Satan is the source of all misery, yet we still allow him to overwhelm us.
For example, the suicide rate is rising. People are trying to figure out why but the only possible reason for it is sin. We are surrounded by the sins of others, which affects us all. Satan wants us to be depressed, envious, angry, weak, and helpless. He thrives when we think we can control our environment, especially when we are cocky enough to walk on the precipice.
Elder Packer said some beautiful words that must always be remembered to grant us hope:
“All of the training and activity in the Church has as its central purpose a desire to see you, our young people, free and independent and secure, both spiritually and temporally.”
In other words, stay active in the church. Drag yourself to all church meetings if you have to. Keep yourself connected to a good group of friends. Doing this will invite the Holy Ghost to stay with us for those times we need him most. And, besides that, the Holy Ghost simply makes us feel happy. Elder Packer also said:
“Learn how to pray and how to receive answers to your prayers. … Once you really determine to follow that guide, your testimony will grow and you will find provisions set out along the way in unexpected places, as evidence that someone knew that you would be traveling that way.”
Not only are Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost watching out for us, there are heavenly and earthly angels sent to be with us to strengthen us. Know that these angels are our parents, church leaders, friends, great-great grandparents including a heavenly host of all our ancestors. So many people want us to succeed in joy. And this final thought from him fills me with hope and faith:
“There is spiritual first aid for those who have been bitten … [to be] completely healed.”
This talk is for the ages. If you watch the video, pay close attention to the African guide. The look on his face shows me that every life matters. We care for one another. And when we understand the Plan of Salvation, we care for the salvation of one another. There is always love, hope, and help for each and every one of us.
Additional General Conference Odyssey posts:
The Savior of those who Straggle Daniel Ortner
Little universes in the Savior’s care Marilyn Nielson