Friday, June 4, 2010
Do Your Duty
Families are strengthened when parents know and perform their duty and teach their children to do likewise. You may ask, what is my duty? The answer is found in Ecclesiastes 12:13, "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Many people are trying to live good lives and to help other people. It is often difficult to choose the most important thing to do when all the choices area good. We have the example of the Savior who spent his life going about and doing good. His counsel was always, "Come follow me" (Luke 18:22). President Thomas S. Monson counseled, "If we are to walk with head held high, we must make our contribution to life. If we are to fulfill our destiny and return to live with our Father in Heaven, we must keep His commandments and pattern our lives after the Savior. By so doing, we will not only achieve our goal of eternal life, but we will also leave the world richer and better than it would have been had we not lived and performed our duties." A duty is what we are expected to do. Keith B. McMullin said, "It is a moral imperative summoning forth from individuals and communities that which is right, true, and honorable. Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligence. It is not simply what is legal; it is what is virtuous. It is not reserved to the mighty or high in station but instead rests on a foundation of personal responsibility, integrity, and courage. Doing one's duty is a manifestation of one's faith." The first duty of each individual is to make sure that his or her life is acceptable to God. Our duty is to obey God's commandments. President Joseph F. Smith said, "All that we have comes from [God]…. In and of ourselves we are but a lifeless lump of clay. Life, intelligence, wisdom, judgment, power to reason, all are the gifts of God to the children of men. He gives us our physical strength as well as our mental powers…. We should honor God with our intelligence, with our strength, with our understanding, with our wisdom, and with all the power that we possess. We should seek to do good in the world. This is our duty." It is important for us to realize that when we do our duty to God, we are also doing our duty to Jesus Christ. They are individual beings with bodies of flesh and bones, but They work together to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:30). When we show love and respect to one of them, we show it to the other. It also happens that when we do our duty to God, we naturally want to do good to our fellowmen. We do what we can to make the world a better place for everyone. Doing our duty will strengthen our homes and families. Imagine what America would be like if every parent was doing his or her duty and teaching the children to do likewise. Our nation would become much stronger! Ideas and quotes for this post came from a talk by Keith B. McMullin, Ensign, May 2010, pp 13-15.