LDS Official Says “Be Agents of Action” in Developing Countries

By Elder Robert C. Gay, First Quorum of the Seventy [1]

Years ago some of my associates and I began partnerships that extended loans to impoverished people in India.  One of the first women we loaned money to built a small, successful business.  We asked her what she was going to do with her new found profits.  She told us, “I’m going to buy my son back from slavery.”

I have never forgotten her words.  Out of desperation for food, her family had sold their son into indentured servitude.  The harsh reality of our world is that many people live without what many of us take for granted:  electricity, education, employment, clean water, sufficient food–let alone the liberating truths of the restored gospel.

Robert and Lynette Gay Have Devoted Much of Their Lives in Serving Others through Humanitarian Efforts

Robert and Lynette Gay Have Devoted Much of Their Lives in Serving Others through Humanitarian Efforts

A fundamental question you should consider is this:  “What am I going to do with the blessings that have been bestowed upon me?”  Will you engage or be content on the sidelines?  Will you lift others or think only of yourself?

God invites us to be agents of action and be anxiously engaged in good causes.  It is easy to limit the impact of our love, our influence, and our blessings to only close friends, loved ones, and those of our own choosing.  But the Savior asks more of us.  “If ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?” (Matthew 5:56).  Paul added this exclamation point:  “[Without] charity, I am nothing.”  Charity, he added, “seeketh not her own” (1 Corinthians 13:2, 5).  We are to leave our comfort zones and bless those around us, and even those who despise us.

Some of you will say, “Who am I?  I am no genius.  I have no unique talent.  I am nobody special.  I just feel fortunate to get through each day.”

To each of you, no matter your fears or uncertainties, I say, “Never sell yourself short!”  Today you and I live in a world where good and evil share the stage, but the Lord tells the faithful, “Nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20).


[1] From a commencement address, “Continuing Your Life’s Journey,” given at Brigham Young University-Idaho on July 23, 2013.

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