GCBC Week 5: “Doing the Right Thing…” by Elder José L. Alonso



What I remember the most from this talk was the story about losing their son in Mexico City.  I’ve lost my son Clark before at Disney World, the Minnesota Zoo, and Mall of America, so I could understand their panic, and their desperate reliance on prayer.  This is a great talk to go back and read again. What most stood out to me was the concept of acting quickly to do what we know we should do.  I also was struck by the importance of reaching out to others in rescue.

Doing the Right Thing at the Right Time, without Delay by Elder José L. Alonso

“I know that our Heavenly Father is loving, understanding, and patient. His Son, Jesus Christ, likewise loves us. They render help to us through Their prophets. I have learned that there is great safety in following the prophets. “The rescue” is still going on. President Monson said: ‘The Lord expects our thinking. He expects our action. He expects our labors. He expects our testimonies. He expects our devotion.’”

What stood out to you in this talk?  Please share your insights in the comments.

To anyone who is checking out GCBC for the first time, the goal is to read one General Conference talk a week and discuss it together as an on-line “book club.”  If you want to learn more, go here, and join the discussion.

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22 thoughts on “GCBC Week 5: “Doing the Right Thing…” by Elder José L. Alonso

  1. - He is the perfect example. Whenever we’re wondering what to do, all we have to do is study His life and His example.
    - Service is our way to rescue others.
    - I need to serve others as quickly as I would look for a lost child. Because maybe they ARE lost, waiting for me to find them.
    - Simply ACT.
    - He blessed them one by one. We’re asked to do the same.
    - Do the right thing at the right time WITHOUT DELAY.

  2. It made me want to spend less time planning or thinking about service, etc. and more time doing – more picking up the phone and calling right now because someone came to my mind rather than waiting and later wishing I had called.
    - more dropping something by or doing something for someone when I see a need rather than deliberating on what to do or how to do it.

    I liked the way he put the four blessings that come from service:
    1-we help those who are in need
    2-In the process we may find solutions to our own difficulties
    3-we show our love to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ
    4-we become more like Them

    Love this line: “We also learned that our son never even realized that he was lost.” I see this clearly in women I visit teach and others. People that I rarely see at church, and yet as I visit with them I can see that they don’t consider themselves less active. And yet I can see with sadness what they are missing out on – the chance to renew their covenants through the Sacrament, the strength that comes from fellowshipping with the Saints, and the opportunity to teach their children.

    Most of all, loved the example of Christ ministering to the people in the Americas one by one.

  3. I loved the part where he told the story about loosing his oldest son in Mexico City, how they frantically looked for him but when they found him he didn’t even know that he was lost. He discussed how they rejoiced at finding him, I think the Lord probably feels the same way. When one if his children are “found” again if you will he rejoices. I also like how this talk reminds us to do what we can and to do it now, to help others and not to wait to be directed to do so, don’t wait for it to be scheduled or whatever, very profound. It seems so simple, I have been trying to live this way recently more than I ever have before. To basically do what I feel is right in the moment and go with my feelings, to let the spirit guide me. This has lead to some epic nuclear messes lately which caused me to rethink things. After reading this talk I am more determined to follow the spirit and listen to my heart, if it results in an epic familial mess then maybe that is what needed to happen to get everyone to move forward. I know that sounds weird but it makes perfect sense to me. What a wonderful talk!

  4. I enjoyed this talk as well. I also remembered the story of the lost boy. I agree with the other post that some people don’t know that they are lost, but there are others who are completely aware and just don’t know how to fix it. But service and following the commandments of prayer and scripture reading will always help. There are so many that need our help, yet our Heavenly Father has told us how precious just one soul is to him. I also love the ideas of less meetings! :)

  5. “We learned that in order to go to our son’s rescue, we did not need planning meetings. We simply acted, going out in search of the one who had been lost.”

    My husband is a good example to me of doing this. When he thinks about someone, he often will just drop by their house. I used to try to persuade him to call ahead of time (our front room is usually messy so I like people to call ahead of time=)) but I don’t try to persuade him anymore, because he has helped a lot of people by acting immediately. Over the last many months, I have started dropping by one of the sisters who I visit teach who was hard to reach on the phone. We just talk on the front step while my kids wait in the car, and these quick check-ins have been wonderful. Like Elder Alonso said, I don’t need a planning meeting to help the sister I visit teach – I just need to act.

    I love the example of Jesus among the Nephites. He responded to the need immediately instead of sending them home.

    • What a good example your husband is to all of us! I wonder sometimes if men are better at serving that way because they aren’t as worried with how clean the front room is as maybe we women are :) When someone comes over unannounced I freak out and run like a crazy person trying to straighten up before I open the door 8-o

      Thanks for sharing your husband’s example.

  6. Like many others have said, I was impressed by his counsel to act without delay. I know I often have thoughts of things I could do or people I’m concerned about, but I tend to get bogged down in worrying about the best way to go about things instead of just doing something. I think I need to get out of my head and learn to act more with my heart.

  7. This was one of the talks I needed to hear, even if I didn’t particularly want to hear it. Like others, I was most impressed with the thought that maybe other people don’t even know they are lost, yet, just as we would if we noticed our child missing, we should drop everything and go to their rescue; we don’t need planning meetings to serve others. I also loved his quotes from President Monson; our prophet is the perfect example of “doing the right thing at the right time, without delay.”

    More thoughts here – http://neverboredwhispers.blogspot.com/2011/10/gcbc-elder-alonso.html

  8. “Think of the many people who have a difficult time obtaining a job or who are ill, who feel lonely, who even think that they have lost everything. What can you do to help?” My parents are in an assisted living center. Their only family – and visitors – are my husband and I and on occasion our older daughters. I think because older people are tucked away in these centers and their immediate needs cared for that they get forgotten. They get so lonesome! I cannot tell you how much joy would occur if each of us took 5 minutes in our day – just once a week – to either phone or visit someone living in these centers. They don’t expect much time – a few minutes on the phone with a cheery hello or a smiling face to visit with them for a few minutes is all they require. How better to serve the Savior than to do as He would do if He were here. That is doing the right thing.

  9. I was really feeling the love of our Father in Heaven and our brother Jesus Christ from this talk. When he gave the story of his lost child, I felt the love our Father in Heaven has for each of his children, and how he is sad when they do things that make them stray from the path of returning to live with him. And when he read the scriptures about Christ having such compassion on the people and wanting to heal their sick, I could feel such love then too. Lastly I really enjoy listening to the General Authorities bear their strong testimonies at the end of their talks. It fills me with the spirit and makes my own testimony stronger. Another great talk. :)

  10. I loved his call to action! The “do it now” of Spencer W Kimball was echoing in my ears! I cringed thinking about how many times we “seek permission” instead of just jumping in and doing something. So many times people don’t realize they are lost AND they can’t put into words what they need. We can rely on the Holy Ghost to prompt us with things we can do to find and rescue the lost ones. That something may be as simple as a phone call. I just keep thinking about “we didn’t have a planning meeting”! I laughed at that during his talk, but it is so true. We get bogged down in the planning and not the DOING.

    I think “Do the right thing, at the right time, without delay” would be a great goal for the week, month, or year!

  11. “Each day we have the opportunity to give help and service—doing the right thing at the right time, without delay.”

    What am I doing to help? Am I even noticing those in need or am I to busy with my own problems to notice and help those in need. What a time to pray for our eyes and heart to be opened and notice those around us!

    • You make an excellent point, that we should pray to have our hearts and minds open. We receive so many blessings when we do service for others. I think that this all goes both ways in that we should be open to others offering us assistance as well as being willing to give it where it is needed. I know how hard it is to ask for help, my husband is disabled and when he gets really sick he can’t go to church. The bishop came and offered to bring him the sacrament at our house during those times. This is a wonderful thing for us as I can’t go either when he gets really sick, we never thought to ask about this it just didn’t occur to us with everything else that we were dealing with. It is nice that he was so in tine as to think of this and offer, and to follow through.

  12. I know I need to do more and this was a great reminder. What really hit me in his talk was:
    “The Lord needs us to help them. Let us do the right thing at the right time, without delay.” (That should really be enough motivation for me)

    We are invited to be instruments in His hands–and when we consider that He “needs us to help them”, WOW.

    It’s so easy to get caught up in our own challenges, but we are always blessed when we “lose ourselves in service to others”.

  13. Pingback: A brief testimonial. | Diapers and Divinity

  14. I love the idea of just serving those who are lost, because by serving them they can feel Christ’s love for them. We bring Him to them, and then He will do the rest.

    Acting without delay is so scary. I always feel so awkward and stupid when I do so, but I have never regretted it afterward. But whenever I put off acting the opportunity slips away and then all I am filled with is sad regret.

    This has been on my mind a lot lately, there are opportunities to serve all around, don’t let them pass by!

  15. I really liked the parts 1) not having to have a planning meeting and 2) not needing to create new programs. I liked being reminded that when we are prompted or asked to serve that we are to do it without delay!

  16. I am teaching this talk tomorrow in RS and am inspired by all of your comments. As I was walking through Target this week and thinking on the talk I was inspired to pick up mento’s (the candy). So often in life we delay when we are inspired to serve or reach out to another. I want to remind the sisters to stop letting the MEANT-TO’s pile up and to do the right thing….without delay. The Lord wants to bless us so badly and by following his example he will pour out his blessings upon us!

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