I am honoured to again address our cherished members and friends who read the Canada website. With Sister Hallstrom’s (Diane’s) family roots in Canada and the love our children have for Canada, we feel close to you. Dear friends, I pose a question to each of us today. Are we on the Lord’s side? There is a great hymn of the Church that asks the question this way, “Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who? Now is the time to show.” (“Who’s on the Lord’s Side?”, Hymns, No. 260)
The principle of priority is taught with clarity in the experience of Jesus with the Pharisee, who was a lawyer. The Pharisee asked Him: “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-38)
A few years ago, Diane and I stood on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, not far from Tiberias. In my mind, I could see Peter and six other disciples out fishing. The scriptures say they caught nothing all night. In the morning, the resurrected Jesus stood on the shore, but at first the disciples did not recognize him. He asked if they had caught any fish. They said, “no.” Jesus said, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.” They did so and caught so many fish they could not draw in their net. Peter then realized who was on the shore and he jumped into the water and swam to Him. The other disciples came in a small boat dragging the net of fishes. They began to cook the fish and eat them with bread. Then Jesus asked Peter what I believe is one of the most important questions in all scripture. “Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?” Perhaps He was referring to the fish and the bread, or some other earthly circumstance; but what the Saviour was really saying was, “Peter, do you love me more than you love the things of the world?” (See John 21:1-17)
If we are on the Lord’s side—if we love Him more than the world—it will be reflected in our daily living. We will live lives of reverence. Sometimes we speak of reverence as keeping our children quiet in Church meetings. That is not reverence. That is one of the ways we show our reverence. Reverence is to revere—to have a profound love for Deity. Living a reverent life does not mean we live without humour, fun and laughter. These are all wonderful aspects of life when enjoyed at the right time and in the proper setting. It simply means that all we do is reflective of the love we have for Deity. How we think, speak and act are emblematic of that love—that reverence.
President Boyd K. Packer said, “I want to be good. I’m not ashamed to say that—I want to be good. And I’ve found in my life that it has been critically important that this was established between me and the Lord, so that I knew that He knew which way I had committed my agency. I went before Him and in essence said, ‘I’m not neutral, and You can do with me what You want. If You need my vote, it’s there. I don’t care what You do with me, and You don’t have to take anything from me because I give it to You—everything, all I own, all I am’” (That All May Be Edified,  272).
Are we on the Lord’s side?