Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"every world problem may be solved by obedience to the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ."

- David O. McKay, as quoted in, "Helping Others Find Faith in Christ," Ensign, Dec 2014
"prayer is the provider of spiritual strength"

President of the Church, "Be Your Best Self," General Conference, April 2009

Latter-day Saints should be the best parents

"Our family-centered perspective should make Latter-day Saints strive to be the best parents in the world. It should give us enormous respect for our children, who truly are our spiritual siblings, and it should cause us to devote whatever time is necessary to strengthen our families. Indeed, nothing is more critically connected to happiness—both our own and that of our children—than how well we love and support one another within the family."

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest," General Conference, Oct 2005
"The messages portrayed on television, in movies, and in other media are very often in direct opposition to that which we want our children to embrace and hold dear. It is our responsibility not only to teach them to be sound in spirit and doctrine but also to help them stay that way, regardless of the outside forces they may encounter. This will require much time and effort on our part—and in order to help others, we ourselves need the spiritual and moral courage to withstand the evil we see on every side."

- Thomas S. Monson, First Counselor in the First Presidency, "Three Goals to Guide You," General Conference, Oct 2007

Eternal perspective

"If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.
"Is there not wisdom in his giving us trials that we might rise above them, responsibilities that we might achieve, work to harden our muscles, sorrows to try our souls? Are we not exposed to temptations to test our strength, sickness that we might learn patience, death that we might be immortalized and glorified?
"If all the sick for whom we pray were healed, if all the righteous were protected and the wicked destroyed, the whole program of the Father would be annulled and the basic principle of the gospel, free agency, would be ended. No man would have to live by faith.
"If joy and peace and rewards were instantaneously given the doer of good, there could be no evil—all would do good but not because of the rightness of doing good. There would be no test of strength, no development of character, no growth of powers, no free agency, only satanic controls.
"Should all prayers be immediately answered according to our selfish desires and our limited understanding, then there would be little or no suffering, sorrow, disappointment, or even death, and if these were not, there would also be no joy, success, resurrection, nor eternal life and godhood."

FHE helps us withstand temptations

"We cannot afford to neglect this heaven-inspired program [family home evening]. It can bring spiritual growth to each member of the family, helping him or her to withstand the temptations which are everywhere. The lessons learned in the home are those that last the longest."

First Counselor in the First Presidency, "Constant Truths for Changing Times," General Conference, April 2005

FHE blessings

“Regular participation in family home evening will develop increased personal worth, family unity, love for our fellowmen, and trust in our Father in heaven. It is our promise that great blessings will come to all who conscientiously plan and hold weekly family home evenings.”
“Message from the First Presidency,” inFamily Home Evening: Happiness through Faith in Jesus Christ (1976), 3., as quoted in  "Four Tools That Bring Promised Blessings," Ensign, April 2015

FHE blessings

“Families who prayerfully prepare and consistently hold their weekly Home Evenings, and who work together during the week to apply the lessons in their lives, will be blessed. There will be better feelings between husband and wife, between parents and children, and among children. In such homes the Spirit of the Lord will be made manifest.”
President David O. McKay, in Family Home Evening Manual 1967 (1967), iii–iv, as quoted in "Four Tools That Bring Promised Blessings," Ensign, April 2015
“When members of the Church attend the temple regularly, inner peace calms the soul; the Spirit of the Lord permeates the home; love and respect deepen between family members; problems are more clearly defined; solutions are more apparent; emotions are more serene in family relations.”
Elder Royden G. Derrick (1915–2009) of the Presidency of the Seventy, Temples in the Last Days (1987), 156, as quoted in "Four Tools That Bring Promised Blessings," Ensign, April 2015
"Divine covenants help us to filter out of our minds impurities that could harm us. When we choose to deny ourselves of all ungodliness,  we lose nothing of value and gain the glory of eternal life. Covenants do not hold us down; they elevate us beyond the limits of our own power and perspective."

Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, 

"Personal Preparation for Temple Blessings," General Conference, April 2001


Saturday, June 27, 2015

Ten Virgins are the Church

"The parable of the ten virgins is intended to represent the second coming of the Son of man, the coming of the Bridegroom to meet the bride, the church, the Lamb’s wife, in the last days; and I expect that the Saviour was about right when he said, in reference to the members of the church, that five of them were wise and five were foolish; for when the Lord of heaven comes in power and great glory to reward every man according to the deeds done in the body, if he finds one-half of those professing to be members of his church prepared for salvation, it will be as many as can be expected judging by the course that many are pursuing."

- Wilford Woodruff, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, (2011), 250–59, Chapter 24:

Preparing for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ


Ten Virgins represent Church; obtaining oil

“I believe that the Ten Virgins represent the people of the Church of Jesus Christ and not the rank and file of the world. All of the virgins, wise and foolish, had accepted the invitation to the wedding supper; they had knowledge of the program and had been warned of the important day to come. They were not the gentiles or the heathens or the pagans, nor were they necessarily corrupt and reprobate, but they were knowing people who were foolishly unprepared for the vital happenings that were to affect their eternal lives.
“They had the saving, exalting gospel, but it had not been made the center of their lives. They knew the way but gave only a small measure of loyalty and devotion. I ask you: What value is a car without an engine, a cup without water, a table without food, a lamp without oil?
“Rushing for their lamps to light their way through the blackness, half of them found them empty. They had cheated themselves. They were fools, these five unprepared virgins. Apparently, the bridegroom had tarried for reasons that were sufficient and good. Time had passed, and he had not come. They had heard of his coming for so long, so many times, that the statement seemingly became meaningless to them. Would he ever come? So long had it been since they began expecting him that they were rationalizing that he would never appear. Perhaps it was a myth.
“Hundreds of thousands of us today are in this position. Confidence has been dulled and patience worn thin. It is so hard to wait and be prepared always. But we cannot allow ourselves to slumber. The Lord has given us this parable as a special warning.
“At midnight, the vital cry was made, ‘Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.’ …
“At midnight! Precisely at the darkest hour, when least expected, the bridegroom came. When the world is full of tribulation and help is needed, but it seems the time must be past and hope is vain, then Christ will come. The midnights of life are the times when heaven comes to offer its joy for man’s weariness. But when the cry sounds, there is no time for preparation. The lamps then make patterns of joy on the hillside, and the procession moves on toward the house of banqueting, and those without lamps or oil are left in darkness. When they have belatedly sought to fulfill the requirements and finally reach the hall, the door is shut. In the daytime, wise and unwise seemed alike; midnight is the time of test and judgment—and of offered gladness. …
“The foolish asked the others to share their oil, but spiritual preparedness cannot be shared in an instant. The wise had to go, else the bridegroom would have gone unwelcomed. They needed all their oil for themselves; they could not save the foolish. The responsibility was each for himself.
“This was not selfishness or unkindness. The kind of oil that is needed to illuminate the way and light up the darkness is not shareable. How can one share obedience to the principle of tithing; a mind at peace from righteous living; an accumulation of knowledge? How can one share faith or testimony? How can one share attitudes or chastity, or the experience of a mission? How can one share temple privileges? Each must obtain that kind of oil for himself.
“The foolish virgins were not averse to buying oil. They knew they should have oil. They merely procrastinated, not knowing when the bridegroom would come.
“In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market. In our lives the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures—each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity—these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps.
“Midnight is so late for those who have procrastinated.”
- Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle,pp. 253–56.), as quoted in Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, (2002), 91–98

Section 45 "Looking Forth for the Great Day of the Lord"

Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and familyresponsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence. The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.

"The men and women who made epic sacrifices to combat evil regimes in the past were shaped by values that are disappearing from our public teaching. The good, the true, and the beautiful are being replaced by the no-good, the “whatever,” and the valueless fodder of personal whim. Not surprisingly, many of our youth and adults are caught up in pornography, pagan piercing of body parts, self-serving pleasure pursuits, dishonest behavior, revealing attire, foul language, and degrading sexual indulgence."

- Dallin H. Oaks, "Preparatory for the Second Coming," Ensign, May 2004


Ten Virgins represent the Church

"The arithmetic of this parable is chilling. The ten virgins obviously represent members of Christ’s Church, for all were invited to the wedding feast and all knew what was required to be admitted when the bridegroom came. But only half were ready when he came."

- Dallin H. Oaks, "Preparatory for the Second Coming," Ensign, May 2004


There are only a few places where our influence is irreplaceable

"On a Monday evening not long ago, I was walking past a playground where a young family was choosing up sides for a game. I overheard one of the children call out, “Mom, choose me.” As I walked on, these words rang in my ears. Life in today’s world places a multitude of demands on a woman’s resources of time and energy. We can choose to apply our talents in more arenas than ever before, but there are only a few of those places in which our influence is irreplaceable. I can imagine children the world over saying, “When you decide where to spend the time and the gifts that God has given you, Mom, choose me.” "

- Virginia U. Jensen, "Creating Places of Security," General Conference, Oct 1997


Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Service lessens temptation's power

"Fill your life with service to others. As you lose your life in the service of Father in Heaven’s children, Satan’s temptations lose power in your life."

- Richard G. Scott, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Personal Strength through the Atonement of Jesus Christ," General Conference, Oct 2013


"There is no other relationship quite like that which can and should exist between a boy and his dad."

- M. Russell Ballard, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship," General Conference, Oct 2009