Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reading Books, Poetry and Spirituality

By C. LaRene Hall

This past weekend was an uplifting time for me. Our stake was involved in a multi-stake conference session in the Salt Lake area. We started the weekend with a chapel meeting at the Jordan River Temple, where we sang, prayed and listened.

Sunday the members of our stake filled the chapel and cultural hall to listen to the words of our prophet. Those before him spoke about obedience to the prophet’s voice.

I was excited when President Monson spoke of books he has recently read, and told some stories from them. I also loved listening to him as he quoted the popular poem, In Flanders Field.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

— Lt.-Col. John McCrae

Sometimes I find it hard to realize that although President Monson is a prophet, he is also a man, and enjoys reading and doing many of the same things I do.

President Monson also told us to reach out to the aged, the widowed, the sick, the handicapped and the less-active members of our church. He encouraged us to extend to them the hand that helps and the heart that knows compassion. Our prophet told us that reaching out to another would bring joy into our hearts. President Monson doesn’t just tell us to do these things. He leads by example, and I hope that I can do a better job of following in his footsteps.

1 comment:

L.T. Elliot said...

This is one of the things I respect most about the General Authorities and leaders of the church. They are well read men. They are learned men. They're spiritual giants and intellectual giants as well. They're just so humble about it, one can never really know.