An Exhausted and Saturated World: Survival Guide

by | Jan 6, 2023

melancholy girl's face with blonde hair

Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 4)

From his talk Overcome the World and Find Rest

Part of the President Nelson Series

All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).

President Nelson!

Dear brothers and sisters, my message to you today is that because Jesus Christ overcame this fallen world, and because He atoned for each of us, you too can overcome this sin-saturated, self-centered, and often exhausting world.

Overcome does not mean to endure; it means to triumph over and conquer. There seems to be a big difference!

Defy Gravity

First, how do you defy the gravity of self-centeredness and the weight of loneliness?

The quick answer – reach out.

Elder Christofferson makes a keen and seldom-spoken observation:

A second facet of the doctrine of belonging has to do with our own contributions. Although we rarely think about it, much of our belonging comes from our service and the sacrifices we make for others and for the Lord. Excessive focus on our personal needs or our own comfort can frustrate that sense of belonging.

We strive to follow the Savior’s doctrine:

“Whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister. …

“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

“Belonging comes not as we wait for it but as we reach out to help one another.”

This point is a home run; and a much-needed response for any Bishop, Elders Quorum president, or Relief Society president. (Says me.)

Perhaps one of the more ironic complaints I hear is, “no one from the ward visits or talks to me.”

Who is the person most in control of that?

There is always someone who could benefit from our time and attention. Visits and conversations are on each of us, but it may take some humility and graciousness on our part as we broaden our horizons of who we visit with and talk to.

Service is also one of the most wholesome, strengthening, and purifying feelings we can experience. Our gifts of time and efforts on behalf of others defy the somberness and gravity of a fallen, lonely world.

Elder Andersen

How do you beat a sin-saturated world?

Elder Andersen offered us some excellent insight last General Conference. This is a profound quote that might not be obvious at first glance.

“…In this sacred quest, we treasure, protect, defend, and safeguard the gift of the Holy Ghost. [Here is] President Nelson’s prophetic warning that I will repeat again: “It will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.” It is a gift beyond price. We do our very best to protect our daily experiences so the influence of the Holy Ghost remains with us. We are a light to the world, and when necessary, we willingly choose to be different from others. President Dallin H. Oaks recently asked young adults: “Do [you] ‘dare to be different?’ … [Especially] important … are the choices you are making in your personal life. … Are you going forward against the world’s opposition?

  1. “protect daily experiences”
  2. “go forward against the opposition”

Elder Andersen points out that it is necessary to protect our daily experiences, be different and go forward against the world’s opposition to keep the Holy Ghost in our lives. That is is bold, eye-opening statement!

Questions: What does it mean to you to “protect your daily experiences”? Do we have to be more intentional now in navigating through our day? What do we need to avoid to protect the Holy Ghost’s influence in our lives? How have you been “willingly different” (even at Church)? What are some examples of “going forward against the world’s opposition”?

Final Comment

I no longer worry about public or local peer opinion about my ideas, projects, comings, and goings. If the Heavens sanctioned them, that’s good enough. It’s taken a lifetime for me to get to this point. The Spirit teaches us to set down the opinions of others, to not wear them or pick them up. Opposition is automatic – so don’t let it cause you self-doubt or to second-guess yourself. I urge you to do what you know gets you closer to Christ.

The reality now is – the world isn’t going to support you – sometimes, people at church won’t support you. It’s the last days, and for the time being, both the wheat and the tares attend Church. I sincerely hope you will be strong anyway – because, in the end, it’s Christ’s opinion that will matter the most to you.

tares: an injurious weed resembling wheat when young

We have billions of eons of eternity ahead of us. Secure His good opinion and don’t worry about the temporary detractors. In time, their minds will change completely anyway.

May you overcome…and overcome again.

For teaching helps – please see “5 Highlights for “Overcome the World and Find Rest” by President Nelson.

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