Emily Belle Freeman



How to Act

D&C 42:77 - D&C 45:33

"And now, behold, I give unto you a commandment, that when ye are assembled together ye shall instruct and edify each other, that ye may know how to act and direct my church, how to act upon the points of my law and commandments, which I have given.

And thus ye shall become instructed in the law of my church, and be sanctified by that which ye have received, and ye shall bind yourselves to act in all holiness before me––"  (D&C 43:8-9)

It was the fourth of July this year.

It was the night the fir tree caught on fire next to the living room window, the night the house almost burned down.

My neighbor reminded us of that story this evening as he sat on our couch next to the man whose house almost caught on fire.


I had not heard the story from his point of view before.  How, just before the fireworks began, he had scolded his four-year-old grandson for spraying the neighbors with the hose and asked him repeatedly to turn it off.

How, without him realizing, the grandson had set down the hose after the scolding without turning the water off.

But no one knew, because there was a spray nozzle attached to the end of the hose.

So he sat there on his lawn chair watching. And then, in the middle of the firework display one tube tipped over and shot a flaming ariel right into the fir tree.

Instantly, it went up in flames, the whole tree engulfed immediately ––fire licking at the eves.

Instinctively this man reached for the hose.

The hose that hadn't been rolled up and put away.  The one that hadn't been turned off.

In that instant he was prepared to act.

He saved that man's home.

In that instant.

Sometimes I wonder if we realize how important our actions really are.

What could we do if we were ready and willing to act in the very instant we hear the prompting come?

Could we save a home?  That boy down the street?  A marriage?

Could we strengthen a testimony?  Lift up the hands that hang down?  Mend a broken heart?

Could we offer relief?  Provide rescue?  Lead someone back?

If we just knew how to act...

So He commands us to assemble together, so we can instruct and edify each other, that we might know how to act.  Within that gathering we read holy words on guilded pages, verses describing the actions of The Master, and we are taught.  We are reminded how important it is to have the Holy Ghost with us, how to recognize promptings that will motivate us to action, and we are taught.  We partake of emblems to remind us that we are a covenant people who are willing to mourn, and bear burdens, and offer comfort.

We become instructed.  We are sanctified by what we receive.

Within that moment we bind ourselves to act in all holiness before Him.

To act.

In that instant.

To save.

For just a moment think of the last time you assembled together.  What did you learn?  How could that knowledge prompt you to act today?

Emily Freeman