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Elder Rafael E. Pino: 'The Eternal Perspective'

“Latter-day revelations show that our Heavenly Father created a great plan of happiness for all His children, a very special plan so that we can return to live with Him,” said Elder Rafael E. Pino during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference.

“Understanding this plan of happiness provides us with an eternal perspective and helps us to truly value the commandments, the ordinances, the covenants and the trials and tribulations,” he said.

“The eternal perspective of the gospel leads us to understand the place that we occupy in God’s plan, to accept difficulties and progress through them, to make decisions, and to center our lives on our divine potential,” said Elder Pino. “Perspective is the way we see things when we look at them from a certain distance, and it allows us to appreciate their true value.”

Illustrating the concept of perspective, Elder Pino said, “I once visited the Amazon Jungle in Leticia, Colombia, near the borders of Brazil and Peru. I was not able to appreciate its magnitude until I flew over it and gained perspective.”

He added, “It is extremely important that we do not make decisions of eternal value from the perspective of mortality. For decisions that affect eternity, having a gospel perspective is essential.”

Using an example from the scriptures, Elder Pino said, “The Book of Mormon mentions the attitude that Nephi took and the attitude of Laman and Lemuel. They had all suffered numerous afflictions and much difficulty; however, their attitudes toward them were very different. Nephi said, ‘And so great were the blessings of the Lord upon us, that while we did live upon raw meat in the wilderness, our women did give plenty of suck for their children, and were strong, yea, even like unto the men.”

Elder Pino then said, “Not having an eternal perspective, or losing it, can lead us to have an earthly perspective as our personal standard and to make decisions that are not in harmony with the will of God.”

Quoting President Spencer W. Kimball, Elder Pino said, “'If we looked at mortality as the whole existence, then pain, sorrow, failure and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be in proper perspective.’”