Sunday, April 29, 2012

I See... Prophet Standard Time

In linguistic labels time is relative.  Adjectives make time relative. Hence, not only do we have Eastern Standard Time, we also have ruthlessly accurate descriptors such as Mormon Standard Time- its better to get the kids to church late and happy rather than on time and grouchy.  I propose to add a new label to the stable of terms we use around time- “Prophet Standard Time.” 

What is “Prophet Standard Time?’  It is the speed at which great men get holy things done.  Under President Hinckley’s direction, temples were built at the speed of prophets; under President Kimball’s stewardship, investigators were baptized on Prophet Standard Time; President Benson had members moving massive mountain of Books of Mormon,  also at the speed of prophets.

What about President Monson? After reading his biography, I am convinced that he rescues souls on Prophet Standard Time.  The truths about his lifetime of selfless service approach aspirations of legend; Bishop at age 22; visiting 88 widows in his ward every year until they passed away, then speaking at all their funerals; his years behind the Iron Curtain promising East German Saints the fullness of temple blessings; his countless visits to sick and the afflicted; circling the world as a special witness of Christ for up to 40 days at a time with a home-cooked meal.  Serving at the speed of prophet, he gets more good work done in a week than most of us do in a lifetime.

How does he do it? After all, he is just a man, formed out of the dust of the earth like the rest of us.  He has a family and a house and a lawn to take care of.  He has hobbies (raising pigeons) and blows off steam fishing and duck hunting and relaxing at a summer cabin. He seems to be a pretty regular guy until you realize how he lives most of minutes of his day meeting the spiritual and temporal needs of anybody but himself. 
I believe the secret lies in not what he does, but what he doesn’t do.  In the hundreds of thousands of words written about him in his biography, only one line addresses what the average guy spends several hours doing daily; watching television.  Apparently the prophet’s favorite television show is “Perry Mason.”  That’s it.  I suspect that the relative unimportance of the flatscreen  in his life unlocks enough time in his schedule to tirelessly serve others according to Prophet Standard Time.

It makes me wonder…. How many of us could selflessly bless others at the speed of prophets through our love and service if we spent less time selfishly serving ourselves with heaping helpings of video entertainment?  I’d like to discuss this further, but the DVR just ran out of room recording my favorite Nickelodeon reruns, and…


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  2. Prophet Standard Time. I like it. Some of the examples cited also show that a significant number of church members respond well when a prophet outlines a priority. It gets really hard, though, when it comes down to choosing to do those 'pure religion' things without being assigned to do so.