Act on Your Inspiration: Keynote Speaker Elder Matthew Holland

By Katrinka Blunt

Mar 31, 2023 | 11:48 AM

We believe in miracles, but in so doing, we must not attend inspirational meetings and follow it up with unneighborly work. Elder Matthew S. Holland, General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke in his keynote address at the Annual Conference of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society about actions we should take to be good neighbors.

Drawing from Luke 10:25-37, the theme of the conference, Elder Holland discussed the Good Samaritan and the other passersby in the biblical passage. If this story was the answer to the Lawyer’s question, “Who is my neighbor?” Elder Holland explained that there are historical, spiritual, and social aspects to consider. In all of these ways, the Samaritans were “foe-ish” to the Israelites and yet none of these conflicts stood in the way of seeing the man in need as anything other than a neighbor.

Elder Holland pointed out that we have a spiritual obligation to make life better for those around
us if we are to fully live both the commandment to love God and, the second, to love our neighbors. He noted the recent coming together of Church leaders and the NAACP as well as leaders of LGBTQ organizations in finding common ground and common goals for making life
better in our communities. This theme continued throughout the breakout sessions and other plenary sessions of the Annual Conference, which was hosted in Atlanta, Georgia.

There is a seeming paradox in loving God and loving our neighbors, but Elder Holland noted that only by living the first commandment fully can we live both. He encouraged attendees to embrace the paradox, and that disciples of Christ cannot pull too far in either direction. Loving
God, he said, is not just obeying rules. Likewise, loving our neighbors is not approving of anything people want to do. We must find a way of living both laws that is in line with God’s commandments and eases life’s burdens for all in our communities.

Elder Holland reminded Law Society members to be open to inspiration and note impressions they receive as they attend the future sessions of the Annual Conference. The glories of eternal life only come to those who actively obey commandments and endure. Being inspired by discussions and stories needs to be followed by action.

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