Tuesday, April 30, 2013

We choose the influence of God or Satan

"When we reject the counsel which comes from God, we do not choose to be independent of outside influence. We choose another influence. We reject the protection of a perfectly loving, all-powerful, all-knowing Father in Heaven, whose whole purpose, as that of His Beloved Son, is to give us eternal life, to give us all that He has, and to bring us home again in families to the arms of His love. In rejecting His counsel, we choose the influence of another power, whose purpose is to make us miserable and whose motive is hatred. We have moral agency as a gift of God. Rather than the right to choose to be free of influence, it is the inalienable right to submit ourselves to whichever of those powers we choose."

- Elder Henry B. Eyring, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Finding Safety in Counsel," General Conference, Apr 1997
"Hardships develop men, communities, and nations; success and ease are the forerunners of decay and failure."

- Heber J. Grant, as quoted in The Testimony of President Heber J. Grant by Gerrit DeJong Jr, p. 43

Latter-day Saints covenant to sustain the kingdom of God

"All Latter-day Saints enter the new and everlasting covenant when they enter this Church. They covenant to cease sustaining, upholding and cherishing the kingdom of the Devil and the kingdoms of this world. They enter the new and everlasting covenant to sustain the Kingdom of God and no other kingdom. They take a vow of the most solemn kind, before the heavens and earth, and that, too, upon the validity of their own salvation, that they will sustain truth and righteousness instead of wickedness and falsehood, and build up the Kingdom of God, instead of the kingdoms of this world."

- Brigham Young, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, (1997), 60–65

Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary

"The world grows increasingly noisy. Clothing and grooming and conduct are looser and sloppier and more disheveled. Raucous music, with obscene lyrics blasted through amplifiers while lights flash psychedelic colors, characterizes the drug culture. Variations of these things are gaining wide acceptance and influence over our youth....

"This trend to more noise, more excitement, more contention, less restraint, less dignity, less formality is not coincidental nor innocent nor harmless.

"The first order issued by a commander mounting a military invasion is the jamming of the channels of communication of those he intends to conquer.

"Irreverence suits the purposes of the adversary by obstructing the delicate channels of revelation in both mind and spirit."

- Boyd K. Packer, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Reverence Invites Revelation," General Conference, Oct 1991

Answers to prayer: yes, no, answer withheld

Heavenly Father "loves us beyond our capacity to understand. He knows what is best for us. He sees the end from the beginning. He wants us to act to gain needed experience:

"When He answers yes, it is to give us confidence.

"When He answers no, it is to prevent error.

"When He withholds an answer, it is to have us grow through faith in Him, obedience to His commandments, and a willingness to act on truth. We are expected to assume accountability by acting on a decision that is consistent with His teachings without prior confirmation. We are not to sit passively waiting or to murmur because the Lord has not spoken. We are to act.

"Most often what we have chosen to do is right. He will confirm the correctness of our choices His way. That confirmation generally comes through packets of help found along the way. We discover them by being spiritually sensitive. They are like notes from a loving Father as evidence of His approval. If, in trust, we begin something which is not right, He will let us know before we have gone too far. We sense that help by recognizing troubled or uneasy feelings."

- Elder Richard G. Scott, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer," General Conference, Oct 1989

If you would be happy, resist temptation

“I wish I could say to every young man in this Church, that if you would be successful, if you would be happy, if you would conserve your strength, intellectual, physical, and spiritual, you will resist temptation to indulge your appetites and your passions.”

- David O. McKay, from The Improvement Era, 48:310, as quoted in "Dandy," New Era, Apr 2003, p. 10

If you cross to the devil's side of the line you cannot think properly

"There is a line of demarcation, well defined, between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s. If you will stay on the Lord’s side of the line, you will be under his influence and will have no desire to do wrong; but if you cross to the devil’s side of the line one inch, you are in the tempter’s power, and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly, because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord.”

- George Albert Smith, as quoted by Elder David B. Haight Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in "Personal Morality," General Conference, Oct 1984

Happiness may depend on birth, marriage, and career

“There are three great epochs in a man’s earthly life, upon which his happiness here and in eternity may depend, [namely], his birth, his marriage, and his choice of vocation.”

- David O. McKay, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, (2011), xvi
"Do something every day that you don't want to do; this is the golden rule for acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain."

- Mark Twain

The Savior will give the minimal punishment & the maximum reward

“I feel that [the Savior] will give that punishment which is the very least that our transgression will justify. I believe that he will bring into his justice all of the infinite love and blessing and mercy and kindness and understanding which he has. …

“And on the other hand, I believe that when it comes to making the rewards for our good conduct, he will give us the maximum that it is possible to give, having in mind the offense which we have committed.”

- Pres. J. Reuben Clark Jr., as quoted by Pres. James E. Faust in "The Atonement: Our Greatest Hope," General Conference, Oct 2001

If we do not choose to move toward Him, we will find that we have moved away

"I must add to my pleading a warning. You have the right and the obligation to choose for yourselves. You can search the scriptures or not. You can choose to work hard enough, to ponder, and to obey His commandments so that the Holy Ghost can be your companion. Then you will come to know the Savior better and better and your heart will swell with love for Him. Or you can choose to delay. You can choose to drift, deciding past efforts will be enough.

"My warning is a simple matter of cause and effect. Jesus Christ is the light and the life of the world. If we do not choose to move toward Him, we will find that we have moved away."

- Elder Henry B. Eyring, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Always," Ensign, Oct 1999
"If one wants to get close to God, he can do it by reading the Book of Mormon."

- Harold B. Lee, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, (2000), p. 62

Help from Heavenly Father in response to faith and obedience

"When we receive help from our Father in Heaven, it is in response to faith, obedience, and the proper use of agency."

- Elder Richard G. Scott, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Learning to Recognize Answers to Prayer," Ensign, Nov 1989, p. 30

You won't make major mistakes unless you consciously ignore guidance

"It is not surprising that in the face of tremendous evil and temptation the Lord does not leave us to find our way on our own. In fact, there is more than enough guidance available to each of us if we will listen. You have received the gift of the Holy Ghost to direct and inspire you. You have the scriptures, parents, Church leaders and teachers. You also have the words of the prophets, seers, and revelators who live in our day. There is so much guidance and direction available that you won’t make major mistakes in your life unless you consciously ignore the guidance you receive."

- Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy, "The Blessings of General Conference," Ensign, Nov 2005, p. 51

Happiness is the object and design of our existence

“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.”

- Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 5:134–35, as quoted by Elder Benjamin De Hoyos, of the Seventy in "True Happiness: A Conscious Decision," Ensign, Nov 2005, p. 32

Great and spacious makeup kit

"One would truly need a great and spacious makeup kit to compete with beauty as portrayed in media all around us."

- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "To Young Women," Ensign, Nov 2005, p. 29

Appropriate church clothing

"I make a special appeal regarding how young women might dress for Church services and Sabbath worship. We used to speak of “best dress” or “Sunday dress,” and maybe we should do so again. In any case, from ancient times to modern we have always been invited to present our best selves inside and out when entering the house of the Lord—and a dedicated LDS chapel is a “house of the Lord.” Our clothing or footwear need never be expensive, indeed should not be expensive, but neither should it appear that we are on our way to the beach. When we come to worship the God and Father of us all and to partake of the sacrament symbolizing the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we should be as comely and respectful, as dignified and appropriate as we can be. We should be recognizable in appearance as well as in behavior that we truly are disciples of Christ, that in a spirit of worship we are meek and lowly of heart, that we truly desire the Savior’s Spirit to be with us always."

- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "To Young Women," Ensign, Nov 2005, p. 29

No creation more beautiful than a righteous woman

"Of all the creations of the Almighty, there is none more beautiful, none more inspiring than a lovely daughter of God who walks in virtue with an understanding of why she should do so, who honors and respects her body as a thing sacred and divine, who cultivates her mind and constantly enlarges the horizon of her understanding, who nurtures her spirit with everlasting truth."

- Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, "Our Responsibility to Our Young Women," Ensign, Sep 1988
"Strength and resiliency come by righteous living."

- Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, "Be Prepared … Be Ye Strong from Henceforth," Ensign, Nov 2005, p. 10
"Temple service is the end product of all of our teaching and activity."

- Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church, "Opening Remarks," Ensign, Nov 2005, p. 4

Mary - the most worthy and spiritually talented spirit daughter

 “As the Father chose the most noble and righteous of all his spirit sons to come into mortality as his Only Begotten in the flesh, so we may confidently conclude that he selected the most worthy and spiritually talented of all his spirit daughters to be the mortal mother of his Eternal Son.”

- Elder Bruce R. McConkie, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Doctrinal New TEstament Commentary, vol 1, p. 85, as quoted by Kimberly Webb in "Images of That Holy Night," New Era, Dec 2003, p. 20

Apostasy a consequence of bad choices

"Now, I need to be very clear about these historically reoccurring periods of apostasy and spiritual darkness. Our Heavenly Father loves all of His children, and He wants them all to have the blessings of the gospel in their lives. Spiritual light is not lost because God turns His back on His children. Rather, spiritual darkness results when His children turn their collective backs on Him. It is a natural consequence of bad choices made by individuals, communities, countries, and entire civilizations. This has been proven again and again throughout the course of time. One of the great lessons of this historical pattern is that our choices, both individually and collectively, do result in spiritual consequences for ourselves and for our posterity."

- M. Russell Ballard, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Learning the Lessons of the Past," General Conference, Apr 2009

The Holy Ghost has over time been expanding our intellect

"The process of discerning between our will and God’s will becomes less and less of a concern as time goes by and as we strive to rid ourselves of worldliness—and thereby cultivate the spirit of revelation in our lives. That is, as we mature spiritually, we begin to develop sound judgment, a refined and educated conscience, and a heart and mind filled with wisdom. It is not just that we have grown older, nor have we simply become smarter and had more experiences on which to draw, as important as those experiences are. Rather, the Holy Ghost has over time been expanding our intellect, forming our feelings, sharpening and elevating our perspective, such that we increasingly think and feel and act as the Lord would under similar circumstances. In short, we have made steady progress in obtaining “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16)."

- Elder David A. Bednar, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "'Line upon Line, Precept upon Precept' (2Nephi 28:30)," New Era, Sep 2010

But I never have yet Felt a tinge of regret For being a little too kind

I have wept in the night
For the shortness of sight
That to somebody’s need made me blind;
But I never have yet
Felt a tinge of regret
For being a little too kind.

- As quoted by Pres. Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, "Treasured Gifts," Ensign, Dec 2006, p. 9

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Restoration led to technological advances

“I maintain that had there been no restoration of the gospel, and no organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there would have been no radio; there would have been no airplane, and there would not have been the wonderful discoveries in medicine, chemistry, electricity, and the many other things wherein the world has been benefited by such discoveries. Under such conditions these blessings would have been withheld, for they belong to the Dispensation of the Fulness of Times of which the restoration of the gospel and the organization of the Church constitute the central point, from which radiates the Spirit of the Lord throughout the world. The inspiration of the Lord has gone out and takes hold of the minds of men, though they know it not, and they are directed by the Lord. In this manner he brings them into his service that his purposes and his righteousness, in due time, may be supreme on the earth.

“Now let me say briefly that I do not believe for one moment that these discoveries have come by chance, or that they have come because of superior intelligence possessed by men today over those who lived in ages that are past. They have come and are coming because the time is ripe, because the Lord has willed it, and because he has poured out his Spirit on all flesh.”

- Elder Joseph Fielding Smith, in Conference Report, Oct. 1926, p. 117, as quoted at http://www.lds.org/manual/church-history-in-the-fulness-of-times-teacher-manual/meeting-the-needs-of-a-worldwide-church?lang=eng

Home is the center from which woman rules the world

"It is the mother who inculcates in the lives of children a nobility of soul that leads them instinctively to love the beautiful, the genuine, the virtuous, and, as instinctively, to turn from the ugly, the spurious, and the vile. Home is the center from which woman rules the world. It is there she teaches her child self-restraint, develops in him the confidence and strength that spring from self-control. It is there the child learns respect for the rights of others. It is in a well-directed home that men and women first develop a consciousness that true happiness lies in conforming one's life to the laws of nature and to the rules of social conduct."

- David O. McKay, Instructor, May 1966, p. 162-163

Held in reserve for 6,000 years

"For nearly six thousand years, God has held you in reserve to make your appearance in the final days before the Second Coming of the Lord. Every previous gospel dispensation has drifted into apostasy, but ours will not. True, there will be some individuals who will fall away; but the kingdom of God will remain intact to welcome the return of its head—even Jesus Christ. While our generation will be comparable in wickedness to the days of Noah, when the Lord cleansed the earth by flood, there is a major difference this time. It is that God has saved for the final inning some of his strongest children, who will help bear off the Kingdom triumphantly. And that is where you come in, for you are the generation that must be prepared to meet your God.

"All through the ages the prophets have looked down through the corridors of time to our day. Billions of the deceased and those yet to be born have their eyes on us. Make no mistake about it—you are a marked generation. There has never been more expected of the faithful in such a short period of time as there is of us. Never before on the face of this earth have the forces of evil and the forces of good been as well organized. Now is the great day of the devil’s power, with the greatest mass murderers of all time living among us. But now is also the great day of the Lord’s power, with the greatest number ever of priesthood holders on the earth. And the showdown is fast approaching.

"Each day the forces of evil and the forces of good pick up new recruits. Each day we personally make many decisions that show where our support will go. The final outcome is certain—the forces of righteousness will finally win. What remains to be seen is where each of us personally, now and in the future, will stand in this fight—and how tall we will stand. Will we be true to our last-days, foreordained mission?"

- Ezra Taft Benson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "In His Steps," fireside address  given at Brigham Young University on 4 March 1979

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Lord measures us by how well we care for the poor

"Throughout history, the Lord has measured societies and individuals by how well they cared for the poor."

- Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Come to Zion," General Conference, Oct 2008

The effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood

When “the Holy Ghost falls upon one of the literal seed of Abraham, it is calm and serene; … while the effect of the Holy Ghost upon a Gentile, is to purge out the old blood, and make him actually of the seed of Abraham. That man that has none of the blood of Abraham (naturally) must have a new creation by the Holy Ghost.” 

- Joseph Smith, as quoted by Pres. James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, in "Your Patriarchal Blessing," New Era, Nov 2005, p. 7

If we want to control our actions, we must control our thinking

“Every action is preceded by a thought. If we want to control our actions, we must control our thinking.”

- Pres. David O. McKay, as quoted by Thomas S. Monson, President of the Church, in "Preparation Brings Blessings," General Conference, Apr 2010

God uses your faith to mold your character

"You must understand and use the power of the interaction of faith and character. God uses your faith to mold your character. Character is woven patiently from threads of doctrine, principle, and obedience. Character is the manifestation of what you are becoming. Your character will be the yardstick that God will use to determine how well you have met your mortal probation. Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life. Such choices are made with trust in things that are believed and, when acted upon, will be confirmed as true."

- Elder Richard G. Scott, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Living Right," Ensign, Jan 2007, p. 11-12

Habits developed in the routine of life

“Good habits are developed in the workshop of our daily lives. It is not in the great moments of test and trial that character is built. That is only when it is displayed. The habits that direct our lives and form our character are fashioned in the often uneventful, commonplace routine of life. They are acquired by practice.”

- Elder Delbert L. Stapley, Of the Council of the Twelve, “Good Habits Develop Good Character,” Ensign, Nov 1974

Consider who it is you are refusing or neglecting to serve

“My brothers and sisters, if you are delinquent in commitment, please consider who it is you are refusing or neglecting to serve when you decline a calling or when you accept, promise, and fail to fulfill.”

- Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” General Conference, Oct 2002

God will hold you responsible for those you might have saved

“If you do not magnify your calling, God will hold you responsible for those you might have saved, had you done your duty.”

- Pres. John Taylor, as quoted by Pres. Thomas S. Monson, Second Counselor in the First Presidency in “The Call of Duty,” General Conference, Apr 1986

You are called to represent the Savior

“You are called to represent the Savior. Your voice to testify becomes the same as His voice, your hands to lift the same as His hands. His work is to bless His Father’s spirit children with the opportunity to choose eternal life. So, your calling is to bless lives. That will be true even in the most ordinary tasks you are assigned and in moments when you might be doing something not apparently connected to your call. Just the way you smile or the way you offer to help someone can build their faith. And should you forget who you are, just the way you speak and the way you behave can destroy faith.

“Your call has eternal consequences for others and for you. In the world to come, thousands may call your name blessed, even more than the people you serve here. They will be the ancestors and the descendants of those who chose eternal life because of something you said or did, or even what you were. If someone rejects the Savior’s invitation because you did not do all you could have done, their sorrow will be yours. You see, there are no small callings to represent the Lord.”

- Elder Henry B. Eyring, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Rise to Your Call,” General Conference, Oct 2002, p. 76

On the Lord’s errand, entitled to the Lord’s help

“Remember that this work is not yours and mine alone. It is the Lord’s work, and when we are on the Lord’s errand, we are entitled to the Lord’s help. Remember that whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”

- Pres. Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, “Duty Calls,” General Conference, Apr 1996

It is not where you serve but how

“In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, one takes the place to which one is duly called, which place one neither seeks nor declines.”

- Pres. J. Reuben Clark Jr, from Conference Report, Apr. 1951, 154, as quoted by Pres. Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in “The Weak and the Simple of the Church,” General Conference, Oct 2007

Covenants keep us spiritually safe

“[I]f we will keep our covenants, the covenants will keep us spiritually safe.”

- Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Overcome … Even As I Also Overcame,” General Conference, Apr 1987

Covenants are protective and enabling

“A covenant made with God should be regarded not as restrictive but as protective. Covenants with Him protect us from danger. ...

“When we choose to deny ourselves of all ungodliness, we lose nothing of value and gain glory known only to those who obtain eternal life. Keeping a temple covenant is not constraining but enabling. It elevates us beyond limits of our own perspective and power.”

- Elder Russell M. Nelson, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Prepare for Blessings of the Temple,” Ensign, Mar 2002,

Those with testimonies do their duty

“When there throbs in the heart of an individual Latter-day Saint a great and vital testimony of the truth of this work, he will be found doing his duty in the Church. He will be found in his sacrament meetings. He will be found in his priesthood meetings. He will be found paying his honest tithes and offerings. He will be doing his home teaching. He will be found in attendance at the temple as frequently as his circumstances will permit. He will have within him a great desire to share the gospel with others. He will be found strengthening and lifting his brethren and sisters. It is conversion that makes the difference.”

- Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, as quoted in “Missionary Service, Activation, Temple Work Emphasized in Conference Leadership Meetings,” Ensign, May 1984

“The intensity of our desire to share the gospel is a great indicator of the extent of our personal conversion.”

- Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles,” “Sharing the Gospel,” General Conference, Oct 2001

Conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience

“Stated simply, true conversion is the fruit of faith, repentance, and consistent obedience.”

- Elder Richard G. Scott, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Full Conversion Brings Happiness,” General Conference, Apr 2002

The beginning of conversion

“[W]hen we truly become converted to Jesus Christ, committed to Him, an interesting thing happens: our attention turns to the welfare of our fellowman, and the way we treat others becomes increasingly filled with patience, kindness, a gentle acceptance, and a desire to play a positive role in their lives. This is the beginning of true conversion.”

- Elder Marvin J. Ashton, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Tongue Can Be a Sharp Sword,” General Conference, Apr 1992

Conversion is to do and to become

“Testimony is to know and to feel, conversion is to do and to become.”

- Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, as quoted by Elder Kenneth Johnson of the Seventy in “Coming to Know for Ourselves,” Ensign, Jul 2008

“When there is contention, the Spirit of the Lord will depart, regardless of who is at fault.”

- James E. Faust, “What I Want My Son to Know before He Leaves on His Mission,” General Conference, Apr 1996

Consequences protect us

“Consequences, even painful ones, protect us. So simple a thing as a child’s cry of pain when his finger touches fire can teach us that. Except for the pain, the child might be consumed.”

- Boyd K. Packer, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Atonement, Agency, Accountability,” General Conference, Apr 1988

Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory

“Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory. It brings release from the raucous, overpopulated cell block of selfishness and emancipation from the dark prison of pride.”

- Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Settle This in Your Hearts,” General Conference, Oct. 1992

Conscience is a defense mechanism

“There is a defense mechanism to discern between good and evil. It is called conscience. It is our spirit’s natural response to the pain of sin, just like pain in our flesh is our body’s natural response to a wound—even a small sliver. Conscience strengthens through use. ... A sensitive conscience is a sign of a healthy spirit.”

- James E. Faust, “A Crown of Thorns, a Crown of Glory,” General Conference, Apr 1991

If we are obedient, God will open a way

“I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way.”

- Gordon B. Hinckley, “If Ye Be Willing and Obedient,” General Conference, Oct. 1971

Commandments given to make us happy

“When you understand that Heavenly Father gives us commandments so we can be happy, you will learn to obey because you want to, not because you feel you have to.”

- Elder H. Bryan Richards, Of the Seventy, serving as Asia Area President at the time of this article, “Friend to Friend: ‘Follow the Prophet,’” Friend, Nov. 2001

A small amount of pain now protects from possible future suffering

“I ask a question to you mothers: ‘Would you ever do something that would cause pain and bring tears to your children when they have done nothing wrong?’ Of course you would! When mothers take young children to the doctor to receive immunizations, almost every child leaves the doctor’s office in tears. Why do you do that? Because you know that a small amount of pain now will protect them from possible pain and suffering in the future. Our Father in Heaven knows the end from the beginning. We need to follow the example of the Savior and trust in Him.”

- Elder James B. Martino, Of the Seventy, “All Things Work Together for Good,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 102

Mother's love most like God's

“[T]he love of a true mother comes nearer being like the love of God than any other kind of love.”

- Pres. Joseph F. Smith, “Love of Mother and Father,” Ensign, Aug 2004

God’s greatest creation is womanhood

“I affirm my profound belief that God’s greatest creation is womanhood. I also believe that there is no greater good in all the world than motherhood. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.”

- Pres. James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Fathers, Mothers, Marriage,” Ensign, Aug. 2004, p.3

Temple & family history work refine the living

“While temple and family history work has the power to bless those beyond the veil, it has an equal power to bless the living. It has a refining influence on those who are engaged in it. They are literally helping to exalt their families.”

- Elder Russell M. Nelson, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Generations Linked in Love,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 93

Greatest responsibility is family history

“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.”

- Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2011), 475

“[H]ow we disagree is a real measure of who we are and whether we truly follow the Savior.”

- Elder Quentin L. Cook Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “We Follow Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 84

“Sacrament meeting is the most sacred and holy of all the meetings in the Church.”

- Elder Quentin L. Cook Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “We Follow Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 84

Patience is more than waiting

“[P]atience [is]far more than simply waiting for something to happen—patience require[s] actively working toward worthwhile goals and not getting discouraged when results [don’t] appear instantly or without effort.

“There is an important concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can—working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hearts are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!

“Impatience, on the other hand, is a symptom of selfishness. It is a trait of the self-absorbed.”

- Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Continue in Patience,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 57

Women's love and talents have greatest significance in nurturing children

“Teach your daughters to find joy in nurturing children. This is where their love and talents can have the greatest eternal significance. “

- Elder M. Russell Ballard, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Mothers and Daughters,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 20

“Doing one’s duty is a manifestation of one’s faith.”

- Bishop Keith B. McMullin, Second Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, “Our Path of Duty,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 14

Single most important skill

“The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.”

- Julie B. Beck, Relief Society General President, “And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 11

The purpose of Church activity is eternal happiness

“The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children might be happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood.”

- Pres. Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Power of the Priesthood,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 9

The true spirit of Christmas

“Giving of self; giving of substance; giving of heart and mind and strength in assisting those in need and in spreading the cause of His eternal truth—these are of the very essence of the true spirit of Christmas.”

- Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “What Shall I Do Then with Jesus Which Is Called Christ?,” Ensign, Dec 1983, 3

The Savior is in our midst

“The Savior is in our midst, sometimes personally, frequently through his servants, and always by his Spirit.” 

- As quoted in Elder L. Lionel Kendrick, Of the Seventy, “Strength During Struggles,” Ensign, Oct 2001. From Elder Dallin H. Oaks, The Lord’s Way [1991], 14.

The world would see Christ as a failure

“The life of Jesus Christ, born in a stable, cradled in a manger and put to death between two thieves, was one of the greatest of all failures from man’s point of view, but our Lord and Master came to the earth not to do His own will but that of His Father, and He successfully fulfilled His mission. He has triumphed over death, hell and the grave and has earned the reward of a throne at the right hand of His Father.”

- Heber J. Grant, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, (2011), p. 224

“It is by giving our whole hearts to the Master and keeping His commandments that we come to know Him.”

- Elder Henry B. Eyring, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Rise to Your Call,” Ensign, Nov 2002, p. 75

Our attempt to be like Him makes us better

“Even though we could never in this life measure up completely to His standard of excellence, our attempt to do so will lead us to do far better than otherwise.”

- Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony,” General Conference, Oct 1992

At no time will we be more Christlike than when we are a friend

“At no time will we be more Christlike than when we are a friend.”

- Elder Marlin K. Jensen Of the Presidency of the Seventy, “Friendship: A Gospel Principle,” Ensign, May 1999, p. 65 http://www.lds.org/ensign/1999/05/friendship-a-gospel-principle?lang=eng

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jesus Christ the literal Son of God

"Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. He was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father!"

- Pres. Ezra Taft Benson of the Quorum of the Twelve, "Five Marks of the Divinity of Jesus Christ," New Era, Dec 1980

What you think of Christ determines what you are

"What you sincerely in your heart think of Christ will determine what you are, will largely determine what your acts will be. No person can study this divine personality, can accept his teachings without becoming conscious of an uplifting and refining influence within himself.

"By choosing him as our ideal, we create within ourselves a desire to be like him, to have fellowship with him. We perceive life as it should be and as it may be."

- David O. McKay, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, (2011), xxx–9

Your generation is better and stronger than was ours

"It is my conviction that your generation is better and stronger than was ours—better in many ways! I have faith that you young men and young women can meet the world on its own terms and conquer it!"

- Elder Boyd K. Packer, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "To Young Women and Men," Ensign, May 1989

God knows you can fearlessly build the kingdom

"You are the mothers, fathers, and leaders who were reserved for this unprecedented time because our Father knows you, and He knows you have what it takes to face the world and to be fearless in building the kingdom."

- Sheri L. Dew, Second Counselor in the Relief Society General Presidency, "It Is Not Good for Man or Woman to Be Alone," General Conference, Oct 2001

Not by chance that you are here at this time

"You are a part of this special generation. It is not by chance that you are here at this important time in the history of the Lord’s work. It is your opportunity to declare this message of the Restoration with greater force and effect than any of the previous generations. You have been preserved and prepared for your time on earth to be a part of this great army, to make this the most exciting period in the history of mankind in declaring the gospel of our Lord and Savior to our Father in Heaven’s children. You are better educated and trained for this responsibility than any of the other generations which have inherited the earth."

- Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Quorum of the Twelve, "Accept the Challenge," New Era, Sep 1997

Divine compliment to be placed here and now

"I salute you for what your generation represents and the divine compliment God has given you by placing you here—now."

- Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "These Are Your Days," Ensign, Oct 2004, p. 31

You are a royal generation

"My dear friends, you are a royal generation. You were preserved to come to the earth in this time for a special purpose. Not just a few of you, but all of you. There are things for each of you to do that no one else can do as well as you."

- Bishop H. Burke Peterson, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric, "Your Life Has a Purpose," New Era, May 1979

Mother working places eternal family at risk

"Our understanding of priorities might be aided through examining a tragic situation commonplace in American society. While purchasing the “stuff” that people in a modern society seem almost obligated to accumulate, couples sometimes find themselves overextended and faced with the need for the wife to work in order to meet obligations. Although the couple may never have intended that this occur, the mother now finds herself outside the home when the children desperately need the nurture that no other individual can provide. If parents are not there, they cannot teach. The opportunity to provide the spiritual nourishment that has just been discussed can be permanently lost, replaced with whatever substitute peers, teachers, or the television may offer.

"Both national statistics and experience within our society are proof of the disastrous effects this decision can have on long-term family objectives and happiness. The Lord is aware of the instances where a mother with young children in the home may truly have to work to provide for their needs, and He will sustain her whether it be for an hour or a lifetime. However, when couples opt to take the mother out of the home while little ones are in need of her tender care, choosing instead to buy too much home, too much car, or too many toys, they put at great risk their eternal family and the never-ending happiness described by King Benjamin." [Mosiah 4:14-15 and Mosiah 2:41 are referenced earlier in the talk]

- Elder John B. Dickson, Of the Seventy, "Lead Me, Guide Me," Ensign, Sep 2003

God has reserved spirits for this dispensation

“God has reserved spirits for this dispensation who have the courage and determination to face the world, and all the powers of the evil one, visible and invisible, to proclaim the gospel and maintain the truth and establish and build up the Zion of our God fearless of all consequences. He has sent these spirits in this generation to lay the foundation of Zion never more to be overthrown, and to raise up a seed that will be righteous, and that will honor God, and honor Him supremely, and be obedient to Him under all circumstances.”

- Pres. George Q. Cannon, First Counselor in the First Presidency, as quoted by Elder David A. Bednar Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Things as They Really Are," Ensign Jun 2010, p. 23

This generation has a great capacity for obedience

“The youth of this generation have a greater capacity for obedience than any previous generation.”

- Elder Neal A. Maxwell, as quoted by Elder David A. Bednar Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Things as They Really Are," Ensign, Jun 2010, p. 24

Choicest spirits ever placed on earth

"I speak to you as one who stands on the edge of eternity. From that perspective, I see you as the choicest spirits ever placed on the earth. The promises in your generation’s patriarchal blessings, if you are faithful, seem to exceed the promises in mine."

- Pres. James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, "We Believe in You," New Era, Oct 2006, p. 3

Choice generation

"What a choice generation you are—the best, I think, in the history of the world. What a marvelous source of strength and power and capacity! God bless you each one that your lives may be happy and productive, that you may realize the desires of your hearts, that you may walk in faith and faithfulness."

- Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, "Keep the Faith," Ensign, Sep 1985

Daily choices dictate whether we rise

"Whether a man remains satisfied within what we designate the animal world, satisfied with what the animal world will give him, yielding without effort to the whim of his appetites and passions and slipping farther and farther into the realm of indulgence, or whether, through self-mastery, he rises toward intellectual, moral, and spiritual enjoyments depends upon the kind of choice he makes every day, nay, every hour of his life."

- David O. McKay, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay, (2011), p. 15

To sin, we first resist the Spirit

"It is helpful to remember that when we are faced with a wrong choice, the Holy Ghost will prompt us to do right. To partake of sin, we must first resist the Spirit."

- Elder Harold C. Brown, Area Authority Seventy, "The Marvelous Gift of Choice," Ensign, Dec 2001

Today's choices influence future opportunities

"The choices you make today will directly influence the number and kinds of opportunities you will have in the future."

- Elder Robert D. Hales, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Fulfilling Our Duty to God," General Conference, Oct 2001

Your decisions affect posterity

"Your early, resolute decisions will form a pattern that will shape not only your eternal lives, but also those of living and unborn loved ones who draw, or will draw, support from you."

- Elder Ralph W. Hardy Jr., Area Authority Seventy North America East Area, "Decide to Decide," New Era, Apr 2002