How God’s Ministers Gain His Approval
3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;
6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,
7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,
8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;
9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed;
10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:
“Christ’s ministers must be Christlike. He is the Prototype; He set the perfect example. To the degree His ambassadors are like Him, they succeed as He did; wherein they do not measure up to His standard of excellence, they fall short of perfection in their ministry. ‘What manner of men ought ye to be?’ He asked His Nephite disciples, and then answered, ‘Verily I say unto you, even as I am’ (3 Ne. 27:27).
“As to the devotion and godly attributes needed by ministers of Christ, the revealed word commands: ‘O ye that embark in the service of God, see that ye serve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day. . . . And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence’ (D&C 4:2, 5–6).
“Those called to serve in God’s earthly kingdom are expected to magnify their callings. This they do by performing in the approved manner whatever service is involved. ‘Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence. He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand’ (D&C 107:99– 100).”
(Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 2:425.)