When the Rebellion was forced to make a run at the Death Star, they had one of the smallest targets possible, designed to exploit a tiny little weakness on a space station the size of a planet. It was like trying to thread a needle with a spear whilst riding a motorcycle at the same time, in space, with enemies shooting at you.
“Stay on target! Stay on target!” is the pop culture opposite of “looking beyond the mark,” a phrase we read in the scriptures. When we look “beyond the mark,” we are in the act of missing the point of an exercise, a principle, or a commandment.
Consider President Oaks’ talk earlier this month during the Saturday Morning session of Conference. Concerning the subjects of the spirit world, the afterlife, and postmortal marriage, he has fielded a lot of questions over the years, and he was quite plain about the fact that many details haven’t been revealed yet.
Nevertheless, he stressed one simple point, which applies no matter what we seek to understand in the Gospel: Trust in the Lord.
It is, of course, important to seek out understanding about subjects like the eternal family. But if we run up against something that hasn’t been revealed (like the nature of marriage in the Celestial Kingdom), yet we know we’re commanded to do something (such as get married and not be alone), then we have to trust in the Lord and know we will be blessed and judged for our obedience.
We can spend as much time as we want being distracted by outside influences, getting hung up on unanswered questions, or chasing doctrinal tangents into the weeds, or we can keep our eyes on the ultimate target: Exaltation and Eternal Life in the Kingdom of God. That is a matter of keeping the commandments, having faith, and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Perhaps the simple and plain truth of President Oaks’ message is what has earned him the ire of so many detractors. That ought to tell us what we need to know in any course of action: if a called, ordained Apostle says to trust Christ, and the world tells us not to listen, well…
…maybe someone is trying to get us off target. And that might be all we need to know.
Trust in the Lord. Don’t look beyond the goal. Focus on the short list of “do’s” rather than the long list of “what ifs.” Have faith that obedience will bring you His promised blessings.
Stay on target.
- “Trust in the Lord” -President Dallin H. Oaks, October 2019
- “Trust in the Lord” – Elder Richard G. Scott, October 1995
- “Exceeding Great and Precious Promises” -Elder David A. Bednar, October 2017