Last January, Elder Michael John U. Teh of the Seventy and his wife, Grace, were assigned to visit Latter-day Saints in the Philippines following a devastating earthquake and super typhoon. “The people did not have much to begin with and what little they had was swept away,” Elder Teh said during his Sunday afternoon conference address.
Despite the mud and debris and difficult circumstances, the people were full of gratitude for the help they received and were in good spirits. “Home after home, tent after tent, Sister Teh and I were being taught by these faithful Saints,” he said.
"In times of calamity or tragedy, the Lord has a way of refocusing our priorities. All of a sudden, all the material things we worked so hard to acquire do not matter. All that matters is our family and our relationships with others.”
It is necessary to be involved in earning money to sustain families, he said. However, he added, “If we are not careful, we will begin to chase after the temporal more than the spiritual.”
Elder Teh asked, “How do we make sure that we are not drawn down this path?” In answer, he shared direction the Savior gave to the Jews and Nephites found in Matthew 6:19-21 and in 3 Nephi 13:19-21: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
Elder Teh gave four “treasures in heaven that we can lay up for ourselves.”
The first treasure to acquire includes the Christlike attributes of faith, hope, humility and charity. “We have been counseled repeatedly to ‘[put] off the natural man and [become] as a child’" (Mosiah 3:19).
“Second, we need to put more quality time and effort in strengthening family relationships. ”
The third treasure involves serving others as a hallmark of a true follower of Christ. “[Jesus] said, ‘Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me,’" (Matthew 25:40).
“Fourth, understanding the doctrine of Christ and strengthening our testimony is a labor that will bring real joy and satisfaction.”
Concluding, Elder Teh said, “I bear testimony that our priorities, tendencies, inclination, desires, appetites and passions will have a direct hearing on our next estate. Let us always remember the words of the Savior: ‘For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.’”
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