As I put Jane to bed on Saturday after General Conference, we talked about how exciting it was to see three new Apostles called that day.
Jane always loves raising her hand for the sustaining vote, but usually we do that when a person is presented for a new calling in our ward at church. That day we watched General Conference from home and Jane was very concerned that no one saw us raise our hands. As I left her room she asked,
"Mom, how will they know that we raised our hands if we were just at our house?"
What an insightful question! I've been pondering it since.
How will the Prophet and Apostles know that I sustain them?
I cannot imagine the overwhelming emotions Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Renlund must be feeling--along with their wives and families--knowing that for the rest of their lives they are called to be special witnesses of Jesus Christ throughout the world, literally wearing out their lives in His service. What a marvelous, but heavy responsibility.
So what can I do to sustain them?
1. to strengthen or support
2. cause to continue or be prolonged without interruption
3. bear the weight of an object without breaking or falling
4. uphold, affirm or confirm the validity of
- How can my actions and attitudes give them physical, mental and spiritual support?
- What can I do to help them continue their service, without interruptions or breaks for the rest of their lives?
- How can I bear a small part of the weight of their service without breaking or falling?
- What can I say, do, or be that will affirm the validity of their sacred call?
Synonyms of "sustain" include: comfort, help, encourage, support, carry, cheer up, validate and uphold.
How will they know that I raised my hand? How will they feel carried, validated, and encouraged by me?
My answer to Jane Saturday night was that we can pray for them, stand up for them, and be obedient to the things they tell us to do.
As I continued to ponder this question, I realized that the divine call of the Apostles is the testify of Jesus Christ and to bring people to Him. If I come unto Christ in word, deed, testimony and faithful service in the Church, they are successful.
It should be obvious to anyone who observes me in any situation that I sustain the Prophet and Apostles. The thoughts I post on social media, the clothes I wear, the activities I participate in, the things I say, the service I render and the person I am should all attest to the reality of my sustaining vote.
In ways that others will never see, it should be obvious to me that I truly sustain them. The sincerity of my prayers, the depth of my scripture study, the strength of my testimony, the scope of my humility and the sweetness of my relationship with the Savior should all be evidence that I meant it when I raised my hand.
In short, a true sustaining vote means living the gospel in every sense and every situation. For that will truly cheer, support and validate their work.
I hope the Prophet and Apostles will always know that I raised my hand because I'm committing my life to the cause for which they are wearing out theirs.