Cherry And Evergreen Saints

One of the most beautiful sites found in Washington D.C. is the festival of the Cherry Blossom. Each year in March our capital city celebrates the gift of Cherry Trees given to us in 1912 by the Japanese. I have visited Washington many times during the spring months and seen the beauty of the Cherry Tree in full blossom. The pink and white flowers that adorn its branches are truly a magnificent sight. Just this spring, I again, took note of how beautiful it was to drive down a lane lined with them. Soon, however, the blossoms disappear and the beauty of the tree fades into a common look. In fact, without close examination, you wouldn’t even know that they were cherry trees.

Contrary to the Cherry Tree, the Evergreen Tree, stays constant year round. In the middle of a bleak winter day it holds its greenery and stands out among all his other leafless brothers and sisters. It’s not spectacular, but it always looks strong and alive amid seasonal storms.

Over the years I have noted there are a few Cherry Blossoms saints, who shine from time to time, but then, amid the seasons of life, fade into the forest. They have their loves in the gospel. They love music and so when called to serve there, they thrust in all that they have and shine. Some love sports, teaching, administering, Scouting, or serving with the young men or young women. They blossom and you might think that they are the most beautiful of all saints. Once released and called to a different part of the vineyard, they lose their enthusiasm, and fade away like the beauty of the Cherry Tree. Their beauty is based upon what they like to do. Not on what the Lord calls them to do.  Thankfully most of the saints are more like the Evergreen Tree. They are constant amid the seasons and storms. No matter where they are placed, they are strong and though they might not have the visible talents of the Cherry Blossom saint, their shine is found in their willingness to serve wherever and whenever they are called. They make fine Bishops and even better primary workers. They can lead a stake, and humbly work in the cannery. They are committed to the destiny of the restored gospel, not to their legacy. I recall that once President Hinckley was asked what he wanted his legacy to be as President of the Church. He responded with a look of surprise, commenting that he wasn’t concerned about his personal legacy. It was not hard to tell from President Hinckley’s demeanor that the work was not about him, but about the work of the Lord.

“ as a principle of power comes from a consistent pattern of obedient behavior and attitudes. Personal righteousness is a choice. Faith is a gift from God, and one possessed of it can receive enormous spiritual power. ( Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the Seventy, “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 2009, 38–40).

I believe that the true believer is consistent, they serve with all their might, heart and strength.  While it is wonderful to labor in parts of the vineyard we find desirable, we are found more worthy when we serve in places of the vineyard that tax our faith and abilities.  No matter where we labor, let us be found sweating to advance the kingdom. May we be consistent in our faith and be ever found green!

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