My life is so often a whirlwind of chaos. Between my family, my church calling, a home business and a part-time job, I often feel like I am caught in a time tornado. Perhaps that is why I love the concept of order so much.
One of my favorite scriptures—and one that is often the basis for some of my writing—is Doctrine & Covenants 88:119
Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;
I am always striving for more order in my life and well, more wisdom would come in handy as well. When my children were small and all still at home and I so frequently felt overwhelmed by the all the demands and expectations I placed on myself, I often found myself returning to the fourth chapter of Mosiah and especially verse 27 to remind my perfectionist self that I really didn’t have to do it all—and do it now.
And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
It is from this verse that the title of Apostle Boyd K. Packer’s newest book, an anthology of instruction from various talks and addresses he has given over the years, is derived.
In Wisdom & Order includes 28 chapters of inspired instruction given at various times during the last 25 years of Elder Packer’s service as an apostle of the Lord. It’s not a history or a retrospective and the book is arranged topically rather than chronologically, which I really like. I love that I can turn to a specific subject. Interestingly, the first chapter I read was “To Stake Presidents, Shepherds of the Flock.” I don’t remember why I chose it first, but as it turns out, it was exactly the counsel I needed to hear that day. I had been pondering on how I was teaaching my children and feeling frustrated that perhaps my efforts weren’t effective enough. And there, right in that chapter was my answer. I am always impressed at how the Lord directs us right where we need to go when we are paying attention.
I’ve since read through several other chapters (and no, not in numeric order—is that sort of contrary to the title?) and found them equally inspiring for me. I admit to being a Boyd K. Packer fan. I think we all have our “favorite” apostles and he is one of mine. He has been an apostle since a bit before I was old enough to be baptized (which was quite a long time ago) and so it seems to me that he has just always been there.
Several years ago, when I was living in New Mexico, he came and visited our stake conference. At the time we were suffering from a severe drought; it had been months since we had any rain at all. Area churches (including ours) held special fasts and prayer services for rain. At the close of his remarks, he said, “I understand that you have been experiencing some drought. I don’t think you’ll need to worry about that anymore.” A couple of days later it rained. We got nearly 10 inches of rain that month and several more the following month. It kind of cemented in my mind that what Elder Packer says just IS–and I should listen well.
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