It was Elder Spencer W. Kimball, the newest member of the Twelve out on one of his very first assignments. His manner was kindly, his testimony so sure, but he expressed concern that such a high calling should come to one such as he. Then with renewed confidence, he said in effect: “Brothers and Sisters: I don’t know exactly why the Lord has called me, but I do have one talent to offer. My father taught me how to work; and if the Lord can use a worker, I’m available.” Yes, the Lord could use a worker! In fact, he needed a hard worker that might possibly be ready to assume prime responsibility at a most significant time. . . Such is the schedule of a man who has challenged a people to “lengthen their stride.” Such is the schedule of a man who declares not only, “Do as I say,” but more importantly, “Do as I do.” It is so much easier to respond when the trump gives us that certain sound of example. Prominently displayed on President Kimball’s desk is a slogan which reads simply, “DO IT.” With this inspired leader, personal convenience comes second. Everything is done to meet the Lords convenience. His example for work has become legend and establishes an example for us all to follow. . . Now is that time, and a prophet who knows how to work is leading the way. But one fact is certain—this latter-day work requires thousands of us who are willing to match stride with the prophet. A prophet who walks alone can do little more than mark time. Every dispensation has had the crying need for hard-working, qualified disciples. President Kimball is calling for the greatest army of hard workers in the history of the Church on earth. May we consider together these three objectives as a starting point in our preparation to match stride with the prophet: First, we must be better informed about the doctrine; second, we must be more willing to just DO IT; and third, we must be more readily available to the gifts of the Spirit.
He learned the truth of the Law of the Harvest: As a Man Sows, So Shall He Reap. . . If you deprive a man of his right to fail in the righteous use of his property, you also deprive him of his right to succeed. If you remove from a man his right to “go to hell,” you likewise remove his free agency to go to heaven. Satan’s entire philosphy is based on a “something for nothing” philosophy: salvation without effort – a free gift. This counterfeit doctrine was rejected by God our Father. Our Elder Brother, Jesus Christ, accepted our Father’s plan and agreed to pay the infinite price to become our Savior and Redeemer and to show us the way back to the Father. The way is often the hard way. It is the Law of the Harvest. It is the same basic law in the spiritual realm which the farmer must obey in the physical realm. He plants in the spring and cultivates, waters, weeds, and nourishes the ground and its new life and then harvests in the fall.
We are here on earth to work—to work long, hard, arduous hours, to work until our backs ache and our tired muscles knot, to work all our days. This mortal probation is one in which we are to eat our bread in the sweat of our faces until we return to the dust from whence we came. Work is the law of life; it is the ruling principle in the lives of the Saints. We cannot, while physically able, voluntarily shift the burden of our own support to others. Doles abound in evils. Industry, thrift, and self-respect are essential to salvation. We must maintain our own health, sow our own gardens, store our own food, educate and train ourselves to handle the daily affairs of life. No one else can work out our salvation for us, either temporally or spiritually.
How I admire men, women, and children who know how to work! How the Lord loves the laborer! He said, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,” and “The laborer is worthy of his hire.” He also gave a promise: “Thrust in your sickle with all your soul, and your sins are forgiven you.” Those who are unafraid to roll up their sleeves and lose themselves in the pursuit of worthwhile goals are a blessing to their families, communities, nations, and to the Church. The Lord doesn’t expect us to work harder than we are able. He doesn’t (nor should we) compare our efforts to those of others. Our Heavenly Father asks only that we do the best we can—that we work according to our full capacity, however great or small that may be. Work is an antidote for anxiety, an ointment for sorrow, and a doorway to possibility. Whatever our circumstances in life, my dear brethren, let us do the best we can and cultivate a reputation for excellence in all that we do. Let us set our minds and bodies to the glorious opportunity for work that each new day presents. When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration. President Thomas S. Monson put it this way: “It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we’ll make the effort. … It’s in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals. If we constantly put our goals off, we will never see them fulfilled.” Work can be ennobling and fulfilling, but remember Jacob’s warning not to “spend … your labor for that which cannot satisfy.” If we devote ourselves to the pursuit of worldly wealth and the glitter of public recognition at the expense of our families and our spiritual growth, we will discover soon enough that we have made a fool’s bargain. The righteous work we do within the walls of our homes is most sacred; its benefits are eternal in nature. It cannot be delegated. It is the foundation of our work as priesthood holders.