Gift-Giving? What Gifts Last? by Gil Camporazo
"Life is God's gift to man. What we do with our life is our gift to God."
- President Harold B. Lee (1899-1973)
President Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has written about "Treasured
Gifts"(Liahona, December 2006, Pp. 3 – 8).
Addressing the LDS, he directed their thoughts to "God-given gifts that
endure." He delimited these gifts into four: the gift of birth,
the gift of peace, the gift of love, and the gift of life eternal.
On the first gift – the gift of birth. It is the "divine privilege"
of everybody to leave his "heavenly home" to "tabernacle in the flesh"
and to return to Heavenly Father, to a precious loved ones, and to a kingdom
called celestial after living worthily. This is the job of everyone's mother
and father, who have been bestowed of this "marvelous gift."
On the second gift – the gift of peace. In the world we live today is full of
problems that "cause headache, inflict pain and sap our strength to cope."
In a certain verse of unknown author, Monson cited, that says "There
is never a life without sadness, There is never a heart free from pain; If one
seeks in this world for true solace, He seeks it forever in vain."
He also cited John 14:27 – "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto
you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled,
neither let it be afraid." He further qualified that the Lord has made "His
gospel of good tidings and salutation of peace" through the missionaries all
over the world.
It is noteworthy to mention when he wrote "The passport to peace is the
practice of prayer. It is the feelings of the heart, humbly expressed rather
than a mere recitation of words, provide the peace we seek."
On the third gift – the gift of love. This is appropriately illustrated in a
true meaning of love. Love is love "'til you give it away" as what a few
lines from the favorite musical The Sound of Music:
is no bell 'til you ring it, A song is no song 'til you sing it, And love in
your heart wasn't put there to stay– Love isn't love 'til you give it away."
The Book of Mormon teaches that "charity is the pure love of Christ" (Moroni 7:47).
Another worth mentioning on this gift is a sincere concern with the elderlies.
Monson cited a line from the article of Elder Richard L. Evans (1906-71) of the
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles some years ago. This tells on how we could treat
our olds especially on their state of loneliness "back the morning hours
of their youth... by our thoughtfulness, by our provision, and by our active
and unfeigned love."
And on the fourth gift – the gift of life – even immortality. It is pointed out
here that our heavenly Father’s plan contains the ultimate expression of true
love. All that we hold dear, even our families, our friends, our joy, our
knowledge, our testimonies would vanish were it not for our Father and His Son,
the Lord Jesus Christ. More importantly, let us consider the “divine statement
of truth” as Monson put it as it is written in the John 3:16 of the Bible. "For
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
As also mentioned, a prophet from the Book of Mormon, Nephi tells on what to do
to gain an eternal life.
"Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in
Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all
men... If ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure
to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."
"And now, behold,.... this is the way; and there is none other way nor
name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the God."