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Being on the Lord’s team

I love watching the Olympics.

Each night we have tuned in to see highlights of athletes competing individually and as teams at the top of their abilities.

Speaking recently of the Olympics, Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, encouraged us all to “reflect personally on what we can do to eliminate contention from our own lives as we embrace the Olympic ideals of excellence, friendship and respect.”

The “Olympic ideals” point to a sense of teamwork and shared purpose. In a gospel sense, we are part of many different teams.

First, we are part of a team of Christian believers, also known as the “body of Christ” (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-31). Just as the eye and foot are important to the body’s functions, each member is vital to building God’s kingdom.

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, each member is given an assignment or “calling.” Callings include such contributions as teaching a Sunday school class, cleaning the church building, or leading youth, women’s, or men’s organizations. Even the leaders of our congregations, bishops or branch presidents, volunteer to serve in these leadership positions.

Through faithfully serving others, we each have opportunities to participate in God’s work of ministering to his children.

Next, another core gospel team is our families. It is difficult to imagine being able to navigate the difficulties of life without the support and love of my family.

Church leaders have long taught that “the family is central to the creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of his children.”

In “The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” leaders declared that while family structures may be different due to individual circumstances, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work and wholesome recreational activities.”

These are key ingredients to making any team successful.

The most important team, where we each hope to find ourselves on the right side, is God’s team. Our heavenly father and his son, Jesus Christ, expect us to choose righteousness through our daily actions and to participate with them in the work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of God’s children.

We know that we may have setbacks and challenges in life, but that in the end we will emerge victorious. As Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught, “We do not know when this game will end, and we do not know the final score, but we do know that when the game finally ends, our team wins.”

Let us each choose daily to be on the Lord’s team so we can answer in confidence the question from the hymn:

“Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?

Now is the time to show.

We ask it fearlessly:

Who’s on the Lord’s side? Who?”

DR. BRENT ROBERTS is the Elders Quorum President in the Sandy River Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also Dean of Greenwood Library at Longwood University. He can be reached at brentsroberts@hotmail.com.