Elder Sterling W. Sill spoke about an unusual topic during the April 1975 conference – birth. He talked about the blessings of being alive on this Earth, and also abut the opportunity to be born again. What stood out to me, however, was his focus on how desperately we longed for life on this earth.
“Henry David Thoreau, an early American philosopher, once said that we should thank God every day of our lives for the privilege of having been born. And then he went on to speculate on the rather unique supposition of what it might have been like if we had not been born. Just suppose that you had never been born or that your parents or your brothers and sisters or your children or your friends had never been born. Just think of all the excitement and blessings that we would have missed as a consequence. But what Mr. Thoreau may not have known was that one-third of all the children of God never were born and never can be born because they failed to pass the requirements of their first estate.
We remember the unembodied spirits who appeared to Jesus in his day who preferred the bodies of swine rather than to have no bodies at all. (See Matt. 8:28–32; Mark 5:11–13.) And I am very sure that if we could go today while we walk by faith and stand where we once stood when we walked by sight that we would be willing to crawl on our hands and knees through life for this tremendous opportunity which we presently enjoy.”
Sometimes, we become bitter about our circumstances. We think that our trials are beyond what we can bear. But Elder Sill points out that the very opportunity to live is an unparalleled blessing.
It also seems to me that remembering how we got here will help us to love and have faith in everyone. By being born, we have all showed great faith to Christ in the premortal life. We have fought against Satan. We have a divine DNA as spiritual warriors. And that means that each of us has a divine spark waiting to be reawakened.
Elder Sill underscored this point in a pretty unique way:
“The greatest accomplishment of my life is that I was successful in getting myself born, and I am just awfully pleased about that. There just isn’t anything that I would rather have had happen to me than to have been born.”
I concur and am so grateful to be living on this earth at this time. There is nothing I’d rather be doing than being alive today.