“Share Living Water, Presiding Bishop Urges,” Ensign, Apr. 2000, 80
“We as His agents are not only to declare His word but also to deliver the living water unto the least of His brethren, just as He Himself would do if He were here,” Bishop H. David Burton, Presiding Bishop of the Church, told those attending a Church Educational System fireside broadcast from Brigham Young University on 9 January.
Our loving Father in Heaven and His Son most often minister to the needs of others “through the efforts of typical, garden-variety people like you and me,” he said.
Bishop Burton told of reading various forecasts for the future of the new century and the new millennium, forecasts that primarily highlighted present needs. What the world truly needs, he said, is Jesus Christ. “Certainly if we allow the gospel of our Savior and Redeemer to penetrate our souls, there will be no need to be concerned with forecasts of further declines in morals and values.”
Bishop Burton reviewed the biblical account of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well in Samaria (see John 4:4–14), noting that the Lord offered her living water. “It is this living water, freely offered by Jesus Christ, that we all seek to quench our own spiritual thirst and that is critically needed to end the gospel drought that continues to plague mankind. As His disciples, we are the primary distribution system for delivering the living water from its everlasting source to His cherished children in need,” Bishop Burton said. “It is only the living water of Jesus Christ that can and will bring a happy, successful, and everlasting life to the children of men.”
Briefly reviewing some of the parables the Savior used in teaching eternal truths, Bishop Burton said that the principles taught in those parables, if learned and practiced well, can “help us to be dispensers of the living water of Jesus Christ.” He quoted President Gordon B. Hinckley on our role to dispense the living water: “Given what we have and what we know, we ought to be a better people than we are. We ought to be more Christlike, more forgiving, more helpful and considerate to all around us” (“At the Summit of the Ages,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 74).
Bishop Burton pointed out that many who need the living water do not even realize it. “This is a season of a thousand opportunities” for each of us. “May we enthusiastically respond to the needs of the downtrodden, rejoice in the repentant soul, magnify and use our talents to bless lives, identify with the hungry, and bring peace to the sinner. May we be worthy vessels to represent Him in doing unto the least of our brothers and sisters that which He Himself would do were He here now.”