Sunday, September 11, 2016

"Reproving ... adult family members should be rare indeed"

"What seems to distinguish a successful family is that the members of the family continue to care. They don’t give up. They never quit. They hang together through hardships and death and other problems.
"I know of a close-knit family that is wonderfully successful in keeping everyone together. When the parents feel they are losing influence with teenagers, the help of cousins is enlisted to exert some counter peer pressure.
"I would urge members of extended families—grandparents, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, cousins—to reach out in concern, to succor. Mostly what is needed from grandparents, aunts, and uncles is unreserved love manifest as interest and concern. It builds confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth. Reproving and chastening adult family members should be rare indeed. We are told that it should happen only when a person is moved upon by the Holy Ghost. But I have been grateful for those in my family who have loved me enough to give me both the gentle and strong reproof on occasion as needed. We read in Proverbs: “He that refuseth reproof erreth” (Proverbs 10:17)."
James E. Faust, second counselor in the First Presidency, "Where Is the Church?," BYU Devotional, 1 March 2005

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Rest from our labors

"The Lord has instructed us to rest from our labors on this day. I am sure this means that a hay baler stands idle in the field on the Sabbath. The family business has a Closed sign facing a potential customer on Sunday. The cash register does not ring to record one of our purchases on His special day. It is truly a day to rest from our labors."

- L. Tom Perry, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "“And Why Call Ye Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not the Things Which I Say?”," General Conference, October 1984

Example of a Sabbath miracle

"A more recent miracle occurred at the Wells Stake Welfare Tannery some years ago where hides of animals were tanned into leather. On regular workdays, the hides were removed from the vats and fresh lime placed in the vats, after which the hides were returned to the lime solution. If the hides were not turned on holidays, they would spoil. But the change was never made on Sunday, and there were no spoiled hides on Monday. Explained J. Lowell Fox, the supervisor of the tannery at the time:

" “This brought a strange fact to our minds: holidays are determined by man, and on these days just as on every week day, the hides need to have special care every twelve hours. Sunday is the day set aside by the Lord as a day of rest, and He makes it possible for us to rest from our labors as He has commanded. The hides at the tannery never spoil on Sundays. This is a modern-day miracle, a miracle that happens every weekend!” (Handbook for Guide Patrol Leaders, Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1964, p. 37.)"

- Elder James E. Faust, "The Lord’s Day," General Conference, October 1991

"stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight"

"Criticism, faultfinding, evil speaking—these are of the spirit of our day. From many directions we are told that nowhere is there a man of integrity holding political office. Businessmen are crooks. Utilities are out to rob you. Everywhere is heard the snide remark, the sarcastic gibe, the cutting down of associates. Sadly, these are too often the essence of our conversation. In our homes, wives weep and children finally give up under the barrage of criticism leveled by husbands and fathers. Criticism is the forerunner of divorce, the cultivator of rebellion, sometimes a catalyst that leads to failure. In the Church it sows the seed of inactivity and finally apostasy.

"I am asking that we stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we “accentuate the positive.” I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort. I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise is the man who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change his course.

"What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears. When I was a young man and was prone to speak critically, my father would say: “Cynics do not contribute, skeptics do not create, doubters do not achieve.” "

- President Gordon B. Hinckley, First Counselor in the First Presidency, "The Continuing Pursuit of Truth," Ensign, April 1986. "This is an edited version of a talk President Hinckley delivered 18 June 1983 at the BYU—Hawaii commencement exercises."

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Sabbath observance will keep us free from materialism

"In this day of increasing access to and preoccupation with materialism, there is a sure protection for ourselves and our children against the plagues of our day. The key to that sure protection surprisingly can be found in Sabbath observance: “And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day.” (D&C 59:9.)

"Who can question but that sincere Sabbath observance will help keep ourselves unspotted from the world?"

- Elder James E. Faust, "The Lord’s Day," General Conference, October 1991

Male ambition intended to make faithful providers, gaming is a false ideal

"Another insidious tactic the adversary employs in this generation is to channel men’s natural ambition to work and achieve into virtual dead ends. God placed in young men the desire to compete and achieve, with the intent that they use this ambition to become faithful providers for a family. In our youth, this ambition can be channeled into academic, athletic, or other pursuits that help to teach persistence, discipline, and work. Satan, however, would subtly intercept that ambition and channel it into a virtual world of video games that eat up time and ambition and lead to addiction.

"No matter how hard you play a video game, virtual work can never bring you the satisfaction that accompanies real work. Real work is the effort, persistence, patience, and discipline to achieve worthwhile knowledge, perform a needed labor, or accomplish a challenging goal."

- Elder Paul B. Pieper of the Seventy, "Revealed Realities of Mortality," Ensign, January 2016, p. 20

Focus on the gospel, not the filthiness surrounding us

" 1 Nephi 15. Nephi is explaining Lehi’s vision of the tree of life to Laman and Lemuel when they ask the meaning of the river of water. Nephi answers in verse 27: “And I said unto them that the water which my father saw was filthiness; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water” (emphasis added). Lehi’s mind was focused on the tree of life and getting his family to it to partake of its fruit! He didn’t even see the filthiness because of this focus.

"That was the answer! Keeping inappropriate media out of our home was a start, but a more direct and conscious effort to teach our children the gospel is what would ultimately be their best defense against anything that could lead them away.

"Because of this experience with the scriptures, my husband and I decided to redouble our efforts in teaching our children and thus keep our eyes on the love of God instead of the filthiness in the world."

- Kerry Hanson Jensen, "Our Best Defense against Pornography," Ensign, January 2016, p. 12-13.

Attending Sacrament meeting each week preserves us from falling away

"No man goes away from this Church and becomes an apostate in a week or in a month. It is a slow process. The one thing that would make for the safety of every man and woman would be to appear at the sacrament table every Sabbath day. We would not get very far away in one week—not so far away that, by the process of self-investigation, we could not rectify the wrongs we may have done."

- Elder Melvin J. Ballard, of the Council of the Twelve from 1919 to 1939, "Classic Discourses from the General Authorities: The Sacramental Covenant," New Era, January 1976