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Always Look Up, Brother Beau McCraney, November 20th, 2022

Last Wednesday (my birthday), I decided to be a good boy and go to the

temple. I didn’t make reservations, because I was instructed by my

Elders Quorum President that I didn’t need to make reservations, “Just

show up.” So this is all your fault President Barlow! As I drove to the

temple, I was feeling quite good about myself—being all righteous and

stuff. I arrived early hoping that they would fit me into any type of

temple service. As I walked to the entrance I noticed a friend—

Brother Clark (former member of our ward) dressed in all white. The

sun was shining brightly, and he was literally glowing! I saw other

temple workers/angels dressed in white exiting the temple as it was the

end of their shift. I anticipated that the rest of the temple experience

would be just as uplifting! I opened the doors and noticed two temple

workers at the front desk clothed in white taking recommends from a

couple that was ahead of me. Suddenly, one of the workers looked up

and past the couple he was helping and directly at me and declared,

“Hello Sinner!” I was completely taken aback! I didn’t know this man! I

had never seen him before in my life! I thought, “Should I be offended

by this?” “Should I call him out?” “Is it okay to fight in the temple?” “He

must know something about me that I don’t know about myself,” “Do I

need to confess something to the Bishop?” “Perhaps he was inspired to

shame and embarrass me.” “Maybe he thought he knew me and was

making a joke!” I finally concluded that maybe he didn’t say what I

thought he said. He took my recommend and I entered past the front

desk and deeper into the temple. The first thing I noticed was a picture

to the left of me of the Savior holding a little lamb which appeared to

have been lost but was found by the Savior. I thought, “That lamb

could be me.” I looked to the right, and saw the baptismal font and

thought, “That is where sinners go to be washed clean through the

Atonement of Jesus Christ.” I then concluded, “Who am I to expect to

be called anything other than a sinner?” This is my relationship with

the Savior. I am a sinner. This is why I am here! And He is my Savior,

and he is mighty to save me!


In the October 2011 General Conference, Elder Carl B. Cook spoke

about a life changing event that took place in his life stating,

“At the end of a particularly tiring day toward the end of my first

week as a General Authority, my briefcase was overloaded and my

mind was preoccupied with the question “How can I possibly do this?”

I left the office of the Seventy and entered the elevator of the Church

Administration Building. As the elevator descended, my head was

down and I stared blankly at the floor.

The door opened and someone entered, but I didn’t look up. As the

door closed, I heard someone ask, “What are you looking at down

there?” I recognized that voice—it was President Thomas S. Monson.

I quickly looked up and responded, “Oh, nothing.”

But he had seen my subdued countenance and my heavy briefcase.

He smiled and lovingly suggested, while pointing heavenward, “It is

better to look up!” As we traveled down one more level, he

cheerfully explained that he was on his way to the temple. When he

bid me farewell, his parting glance spoke again to my heart, “Now,

remember, it is better to look up.”

Two suggestions from a Prophet of God

1) “Look up!” and

2) “Get to

the temple!”


In the April 2017 General Conference, Elder Yoon Hwan Choi of the

Seventy stated, One day, a few months after my baptism, I heard some members

criticizing each other in church. I was very disappointed. I went home

and told my father that maybe I should not go to church anymore. It

was difficult to see members criticize others like that. After listening,

my father taught me that the gospel had been restored and it is

perfect but members are not yet, neither himself nor me. He firmly

said, “Do not lose your faith because of the people around you, but

build a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t look around, look

up!”

Look up to Jesus Christ—the wise advice of my father—strengthens

my faith whenever I face challenges in life. He taught me how to apply

the teachings of Christ, as in these words: “Look unto me in every

thought; doubt not, fear not.” 4

Don’t look around, look up!


In the October 2020 General Conference, Our Current Prophet Russel

M. Nelson spoke about his granddaughter-in-law stating,

“Not long ago, the wife of one of our grandsons was struggling

spiritually. I will call her “Jill.” Despite fasting, prayer, and priesthood

blessings, Jill’s father was dying. She was gripped with fear that she

would lose both her dad and her testimony.

Late one evening, my wife, Sister Wendy Nelson, told me of Jill’s

situation. The next morning Wendy felt impressed to share with Jill

that my response to her spiritual wrestle was one word! The word

was myopic.


Jill later admitted to Wendy that initially she was devastated by my

response. She said, “I was hoping for Grandfather to promise me a

miracle for my dad. I kept wondering why the word myopic was the

one he felt compelled to say.”

After Jill’s father passed on, the word myopic kept coming to her

mind. She opened her heart to understand even more deeply that

myopic meant “nearsighted.” And her thinking began to shift. Jill

then said, “Myopic caused me to stop, think, and heal. That word

now fills me with peace. It reminds me to expand my perspective and

seek the eternal. It reminds me that there is a divine plan and that

my dad still lives and loves and looks out for me. Myopic has led me

to God.”

Here we have three Godly witnesses encouraging us to change the

focus of our lives, to broaden our lenses to an eternal perspective, and

look up!

Jesus had similar counsel for his disciples who were following him for

the wrong reason.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me,  a not because ye saw the

miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which

endureth unto everlasting life, which the  b Son of man shall give unto

you: for him hath God the Father  c sealed .

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the

works of God?

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that

ye  a believe  on him whom he hath sent.”


I believe King Benjamin gave us an excellent definition of what it means

to have eternal perspective when he said,

“Believe in  a God ; believe that he is, and that he  b created  all things,

both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all  c wisdom , and all

power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth

not  d comprehend  all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

And again, believe that ye must  a repent  of your sins and forsake them,

and humble yourselves before God; and ask in  b sincerity  of heart that

he would  c forgive  you; and now, if you  d believe  all these things see

that ye  e do  them.


How do we do this?


YouTube Video Elder D Todd Christopherson stated, “I think it’s not by

chance God has created us in a way that we have to have daily

physical sustenance. The Children of Israel coming out of Egypt lived

for 40 years approximately on something called Manna. They couldn’t

have lived from hunting and their lifestyle was such that they couldn’t

be planting, so they really didn’t have an alternative. God was in

essence providing their daily sustenance. I think one of his purposes

was to teach them to remember him, to think of him, to look to him,

to have faith in him, that he was the source of their life. He did it in a

way of making it a daily thing. They couldn’t gather up and store

manna. It would only be good for one day. They couldn’t forget who

was the source of their blessings.”

In the comments section there was a comment that I thought applies

perfectly to our day.


“God gave the Israelites manna in the wilderness, but they had to go

collect it every day! We must do the same with our spiritual manna.

We must go get it every day!”


How do we find and gather this Spiritual Manna?


We focus on God and His Beloved Son by…