Monday, January 2, 2017

To Be Like Oliver Granger

I want to be like Oliver Granger.

I'm sure most people reading this have no idea who he is or who he was. According to President Boyd K Packer, "Oliver Granger was a very ordinary man. He was mostly blind having “lost his sight by cold and exposure” (History of the Church, 4:408). The First Presidency described him as “a man of the most strict integrity and moral virtue; and in fine, to be a man of God” (History of the Church, 3:350)."

While those attributes alone (besides the being blind part) are qualities I would wish to possess, one phrase in the Doctrine and Covenants: "when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord."

This is why I want to be like him. The Lord knew Oliver Granger. He knew that when Oliver made a mistake, when he fell, he would immediately rise again. Perfection is the ultimate goal, but none of us are there right now. We should each become like Oliver Granger, and rise again quickly, so we do not lose time bumming around Babylon.

Sure, we may not feel that we are doing a lot in Zion, but by sacrificing our summer homes in Babylon, and going to the eternal city, it is enough. The sacrifices we make of our time and our desires are more pleasing that what we actually contribute sometimes. Maybe you didn't help a sister you home taught with flooding because she never had an issue; maybe you never felt you contributed that much because you were called as the sacrament greeter; maybe you couldn't serve as an ordinance worker but you faithfully attended the Temple regularly. In each of these situations, you may not have done anything glamorous, you may not have any miraculous story come from the experience, but you still sacrificed, and these small sacrifices, mostly invisible, are what carry the church.

Yes, we are a church that needs apostles and prophets, bishops and patriarchs, relief society presidents and young women's leaders, but the church is also built on nursery leaders, faithful home teachers, and men and women who compassionately serve God's children without needing an official calling. And as we serve in seemingly unremarkable ways, we help bear off the kingdom triumphantly, and carefully prepare this earth for the return of our God.

You may not be a Nephi, but you can be a Sam. You may not be a Helaman, but you can be a Shiblon. You may not be a Joseph Smith, but you can be an Oliver Granger.