Elder Michael John U. Teh: For where your treasure is

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Elder Michael John U. Teh of the Seventy taught of the importance of seeking for heavenly treasures rather than earthly treasures.

Courtesy Mormon Newsroom
Elder Michael John U. Teh speaks at the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference on April 6, 2014. (Photo courtesy Mormon Newsroom)

He began his talk by recounting an experience he and his wife had visiting the Philippines after a recent major earthquake and tsunami in the area.

“In times of calamity or tragedy, the Lord has a way of refocusing us and our priorities,” he said. “All of a sudden, all the material things we worked so hard to acquire do not matter. All that matters is our family and our relationships with others.”

He said although the people had lost almost everything, they were full of gratitude and good spirits.

In his work with members over the years, Elder Teh said, he has observed a pattern of abundant spiritual strength coupled with a lack of material possessions.

“There is no end to what the world has to offer, so it is critical that we learn to recognize when we have enough,” he said. “If we are not careful, we will begin to chase after the temporal more than the spiritual.”

He quoted the Savior’s words, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” and advised us to follow Jacob’s counsel to not spend money or labor for that which is of no real worth.

However, he noted the tendency in the world to work for the latest and most sophisticated goods and forget those of real worth.

“Why, then, do we devote so much of our time and energy to things that are so fleeting, so inconsequential, and so superficial?” he asked. “Do we refuse to see the folly in the pursuit of the trivial and transient?”

He listed a few heavenly treasures we can lay up for ourselves: the Christlike attributes of faith, hope, humility and charity, quality time with family, service to others and understanding the doctrine of Christ to build our testimonies. He said these are things that will bring real joy and satisfaction.

“I bear testimony that our priorities, tendencies, inclinations, desires, appetites and passions will have a direct bearing on our next estate,” he said in closing.

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