Write Down a Date: The Ballard Challenge
Our writer makes a formal invitation to our readers:
One of my favorite features of the Gospel Library app is the ability to sort General Conference talks by topic or speaker. I’ve used both to great effect; of late, I have been choosing one speaker at a time and listening to each of his talks, from oldest to newest, in order. Doing so has had some surprising benefits — in addition to inviting the Spirit into my day and getting some gospel learnin’ done, I also get to know each of the general authorities I’ve focused on a little better. President Oaks, for instance, has great insights on the priesthood and is really good at breaking things down and defining them; Elder Holland has a remarkable ability to see right through to the heart of the matter (but we already knew that); President Eyring is masterful at likening both scriptures and gospel principles unto ourselves.
President Eyring’s talks are currently freshest in my mind, as it was his talks that I just recently finished binging (for lack of a better term). I had planned to look in on President Packer next, but felt moved in another direction; instead, I tapped on Elder M. Russell Ballard’s name and scrolled down.
Elder Ballard’s talks so far seem to trend toward the shorter side, so I was breezing through them at a pretty quick pace — that is, until I got to his October 1984 address, entitled, “Write Down a Date.” Somehow, this talk, originally given when I was was but a wee toddler, has managed to stick in my spiritual craw.
I’ll give you a minute to go read/listen to it, if you’re not familiar with it.
Go on, I can wait.
“Why is this stuck in your spiritual craw, Angela? I don’t see anything wrong with it.” You are correct, sir or madame: there is nothing at all wrong with the talk or its premise. I believe its current sticky status has everything to do with the Lord wanting me to take this 35-year-old challenge, and my alarmed reticence to do any such thing. So, because I am roughly a Piglet on the Pooh’s Scale of Courage (this is a thing now), I am asking for your help.
Will you do this with me? Will you also write down a date and pray over it?
Help a sister out here.
“Write Down a Date” – Elder M. Russell Ballard, October 1984
“The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work” – Elder M. Russell Ballard, April 2003
“Following Up” – Elder M. Russell Ballard, April 2014
You can follow Angela on Twitter @angelaisms.