In 1920, Brother Marion G. Romney attended a Fremont Stake conference in the Rexburg Tabernacle. My grandfather, Elder Melvin J. Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was the presiding authority. Because Brother Romney was 23 years of age and the financial circumstances of his family were very difficult, he had not contemplated serving a full-time mission.
Years later, on 15 October 1963, Elder Romney, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained his experience: “At the time I graduated, I planned to go in the fall to the University of Idaho. It was my intention to play basketball and football and prepare to be a coach. In late August, I attended a stake conference [and] sat on the front row at the east end of the choir seats directly north of the pulpit. As I listened intently with my eyes fixed on [Elder Ballard’s] profile, there came to me by the power of the Spirit an irresistible urgency to go on a mission. There and then I abandoned my plans for a coaching career. In November I left for a mission to Australia” (address given at a Ricks College devotional, 15 October 1963).
Elder Romney, en route to Australia, came to Salt Lake City, where my grandfather set him apart as a missionary. Grandfather gave Elder Romney counsel and said, among other things, “One never gives a crust to the Lord without receiving a loaf in return.”
M. Russell Ballard, “Anchored by Faith and Commitment,” Ensign, Jul 1995, 12
Quoted in F. Burton Howard, Marion G. Romney: His Life and Faith , 66).
Here are three quotes about giving ourselves to God, and receiving in return His blessings.
“If you give anything for the building up of the Kingdom of God, give the best you have. What is the best thing you have to devote to the Kingdom of God? It is the talents God has given you. … Let us devote every qualification we are in possession of to the building up of God’s kingdom, and you will accomplish the whole of it.”
Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, 445.
“Yes, men and women who turn their lives over to God will find out that he can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. Whoever will lose his life to God will find he has eternal life….
“Give God your best, and his best will come back to you.”
Ezra Taft Benson, “Jesus Christ–Gifts and Expectations,” BYU Devotional, 10 December 1974
“Christ says, ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half-measures are any good. I don’t want to cut off a branch here and a branch there. I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop I, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked – the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: my own will shall become yours.'”
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, p. 167.