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“God has important work for each of us,” Elder John C. Pingree Jr. said during the Saturday morning session of general conference on Sept. 30.
“Our Heavenly Father has specific and significant things for you and me to accomplish,” said Elder Pingree, a General Authority Seventy. “These divine assignments are not reserved for a privileged few but are for all of us — regardless of gender, race, nationality, income level, social status, or Church calling. Every one of us has a meaningful role to play in furthering God’s work.”
Some people question whether Heavenly Father can use them to make important contributions. To them, Elder Pingree said, “He has always used ordinary people to accomplish extraordinary things.”
Elder Pingree shared four principles to help an individual come to understand and perform the work God intends him or her to do.
1. Focus on others.
Remembering when he had returned home from a full-time mission, Elder Pingree spoke of how he missed the “daily purpose” he had enjoyed. After pondering for several months, Elder Pingree felt that he needed to bless others and “do much good.”
“We can approach decision points in our lives — like what to study, what to do for work, or where to live — in the context of helping others,” he said.
2. Discover and develop spiritual gifts.
“Heavenly Father gave us these gifts to help us identify, perform and enjoy the work He has for us. … While some spiritual gifts may not be prominent by the world’s standards, they are essential to God and His work,” he taught.
3. Make use of adversity.
“Our trials help us discover and prepare for the work Heavenly Father has for us. … Like the Savior, whose atoning sacrifice enables Him to succor us, we can use knowledge gained from difficult experiences to lift, strengthen and bless others,” he said.
4. Rely on God.
“When we ask Him in faith with real intent, He will reveal our divine assignments to us,” he said. “Once discovered, He will help us fulfill those assignments.”
Just as God helps fulfill divine assignments, the adversary works to distract and dissuade people from a life of meaning, Elder Pingree warned.
It is through looking to the Savior as the perfect example and yielding unto God as an instrument of righteousness that individuals are able to accomplish the assignments they receive from God.
“Yielding involves letting Him know we want to be of use, seeking His direction and accessing His strength,” Elder Pingree said.
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