The Lord promised that His covenant people would be a peculiar people.
When we hear the word peculiar, we might think “strange”, “weird” or “unusual”. Deuteronomy 14: 2 says “The Lord hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself.” The term peculiar in this verse means separate, set apart or chosen. But we may still seem a little peculiar to those around us and by peculiar, I mean different.
The members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have been an influence for good in many aspects around the world, many of which have been witnessed in business practices.
An example was recently given by Elder Gary E. Stevenson in a conference address. He’d attended an event where President Russell M. Nelson was honored as a pioneer in heart surgery. There he heard an account from one of President Nelson’s former medical students. Elder Stevenson quoted the student saying, “He shared that the operating room environment under certain faculty surgeons was chaotic, competitive, pressure filled, and even ego driven. This man described it as a difficult environment, sometimes even demeaning. As a result, resident surgeons even felt their careers were often on the line.
He then explained the unique environment found in President Nelson’s operating room. It was peaceful, calm, and dignified. Residents were treated with deep respect. However, following the demonstration of a procedure, Dr. Nelson expected the highest standard of performance from each of the residents. This man further described how the best patient outcomes and the best surgeons came out of Dr. Nelson’s operating room.” 1
President Nelson was recognized as different in the way he practiced, and his methods brought blessings to students and patients alike and the effects of his work continue to ripple down through time.
There are some specific practices that set us apart. The payment of a full tithe and keeping the Sabbath day holy are just two of those. By honoring the Lord’s commandments first, we make ourselves eligible for greater blessings. In 3rd Nephi 13:33, we are counseled, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.”
There are also personal values that make a difference in professional settings. My oldest son is currently in golf lessons. In his classes, they learn about nine core values that are important to apply in all aspects of daily life. You can apply honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgement to any workplace or professional environment. 2 Each of these qualities will set us apart in our personal business dealings.
Treating others with dignity, kindness and being concerned for the welfare of those within our stewardship will also make a name those who employ these attributes.
There are examples of righteous people in the scriptures who embraced these values and because of their influence, were able to share the gospel with many others. We share the gospel by living according to true principles, obeying the commandments and holding ourselves to the highest standards. This righteous influence is another way in which we will build the kingdom of God upon the earth.
- “The Heart of a Prophet”, Elder Gary E. Stevenson, April 2018 General Conference