I can identify eight different purposes served by communication from God: (1) to testify; (2) to prophesy; (3) to comfort; (4) to uplift; (5) to inform; (6) to restrain; (7) to confirm; and (8) to impel (Dallin H. Oaks, Speeches, 1981-82).

I had finished a special assignment on a Sunday morning in Salt Lake City and desired to attend a sacrament meeting. I stopped at a convenient ward meetinghouse and slipped unnoticed into the overflow area just as the congregation was beginning to sing the sacred words of the sacrament song ["'Tis Sweet To Sing The Matchless Love."] My heart swelled as we sang this worshipful hymn and contemplated renewing our covenants by partaking of the sacrament. As we sang these words, I glanced around at members of the congregation and was stunned to observe that about a third of them were not singing. How could this be? Were those who did not even mouth the words suggesting that for them it was not "sweet to sing the matchless love" or to "sing hosannas to his name"? What are we saying, what are we thinking, when we fail to join in singing in our worship services? (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 1994, 11).

I have been puzzled that some scriptures command us not to judge and others instruct us that we should judge and even tell us how to do it...The key is to understand that there are two kinds of judging: final judgments, which we are forbidden to make, and intermediate judgments, which we are directed to make, but upon righteous principles...I believe that the scriptural command to "judge not" refers most clearly to this final judgment...we presume to make final judgments whenever we proclaim that any particular person is going to hell (or to heaven) for a particular act or as of a particular time. When we do this—and there is great temptation to do so—we hurt ourselves and the person we pretend to judge...we must refrain from making final judgments on people because we lack the knowledge and the wisdom to do so...In contrast to forbidding mortals to make final judgments, the scriptures require mortals to make what I will call "intermediate judgments." These judgments are essential to the exercise of personal moral agency...We must, of course, make judgments every day in the exercise of our moral agency, but we must be careful that our judgments of people are intermediate and not final (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Aug. 1999, 7-9).

In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to become something...the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become...A parable illustrates this understanding. A wealthy father knew that if he were to bestow his wealth upon a child who had not yet developed the needed wisdom and stature, the inheritance would probably be wasted. The father said to his child: "All that I have I desire to give you—not only my wealth, but also my position and standing among men. That which I have I can easily give you, but that which I am you must obtain for yourself. You will qualify for your inheritance by learning what I have learned and by living as I have lived. I will give you the laws and principles by which I have acquired my wisdom and stature. Follow my example, mastering as I have mastered, and you will become as I am, and all that I have will be yours" (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 2000, 32).

Satan's most strenuous opposition is directed at whatever is most important to the Father's plan. Satan seeks to discredit the Savior and divine authority, to nullify the effects of the Atonement, to counterfeit revelation, to lead people away from the truth, to contradict individual accountability, to confuse gender, to undermine marriage, and to discourage childbearing (especially by parents who will raise children in righteousness)... all things related to procreation are prime targets for the adversary's efforts to thwart the plan of God (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72).

The scriptural terms are "agency" and "free." When we refer to agency, we usually combine the two words and say "free agency." But we sometimes use this term to refer to freedom as well as agency. And the scriptural term "free" sometimes means "free agency" and sometimes means "freedom." When I say "free agency" I refer to what the scripture calls "agency," which means an exercise of the will, the power to choose...When I say "freedom," I mean the power and privilege to carry out our choices...Because "free agency" is a God-given precondition to the purpose of mortal life, no person or organization can take away our free agency in mortality...What can be taken away or reduced by the conditions of mortality is our "freedom," the power to act upon our choices. Free agency is absolute, but...freedom may be...taken away (1) by physical laws, including the physical limitations with which we are born, (2) by our own action, and (3) by the action of others, including governments (Dallin H. Oaks, BYU Symposium on the Book of Mormon, Oct. 11, 1987, 1, 13-14).

In the world, we refer to the up or down of promotions or reductions. But there is no up or down in Church positions. We just move around. A bishop released by proper authority and called to teach in Primary does not move down. He moves forward as he accepts his release with gratitude and fulfills the duties of a new calling—even one far less visible. I saw a memorable example of this a few months ago in the Philippines. I visited a ward in the Pasig stake, near Manila. There I met Augusto Lim, whom I had known in earlier years as a stake president, a mission president, a General Authority, and president of the Manila temple. Now I saw him serving humbly and gratefully in his ward bishopric, second counselor to a man much younger and much less experienced. From temple president to second counselor in a ward bishopric is a beautiful example of the gospel culture in action (Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, Nov. 2003, 38-39).

Even though what is being taught is the truth, it is not of God unless it is being taught in the Lord's way. The great truths of the gospel must not be presented in the wrong setting, given voice by unworthy persons, accompanied by the wrong kind of music, or in other ways cheapened by association with what is not conducive to the spirit by which gospel truths must be taught (Dallin H. Oaks, The Lord's Way, 40).

The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness...is that charity, "the pure love of Christ," is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes. Thus, as Moroni declared, "except men shall have charity they cannot inherit" the place prepared for them in the mansions of the Father (Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become," Ensign, Nov. 2000, 34).

Teachers who are commanded to teach "the principles of [the] gospel" and "the doctrine of the kingdom" (D&C 88:77) should generally forgo teaching specific rules or applications. For example, they would not teach any rules for determining what is a full tithing, and they would not provide a list of dos and don'ts for keeping the Sabbath day holy. Once a teacher has taught the doctrine and the associated principles from the scriptures and the living prophets, such specific applications or rules are generally the responsibility of individuals and families. Well-taught doctrines and principles have a more powerful influence on behavior than rules. When we teach gospel doctrine and principles, we can qualify for the witness and guidance of the Spirit to reinforce our teaching, and we enlist the faith of our students in seeking the guidance of that same Spirit in applying those teachings in their personal lives (Dallin H. Oaks, "Gospel Teaching," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 79-80).

Because we have the truth about the Godhead and our relationship to Them, the purpose of life, and the nature of our eternal destiny, we have the ultimate road map and assurance for our journey through mortality. We know whom we worship and why we worship. We know who we are and what we can become (see D&C 93:19). We know who makes it all possible, and we know what we must do to enjoy the ultimate blessings that come through God's plan of salvation (Dallin H. Oaks, GC, Apr. 2017, "The Godhead and the Plan of Salvation").






"I will never forget calling home that morning in 1977 and having a police lieutenant answer, informing me of my father's suicide...In 1980, I experienced a terrible physical change in myself that gave me some insight into my father's state of mind during the weeks preceding his death. I was diagnosed as having hyperthyroidism. My body went through many of the traumas that Dad experienced. I spent a four-month period without sleep. Sleeping pills gave no relief. If I did fall asleep, I awoke soon after, soaked in perspiration. Many of the symptoms were emotional ones. I was frightened and suffered a deep depression. For a year and a half I received medication, and the disease was finally brought under control. I am thankful that I had a doctor who could help me. Living through my experience helped me to understand my father's death better. I spent hours doing research and found that little data on hyperthyroidism could be found before 1979. Thyroid disease can be hereditary, and since my experience, we have discovered it in two of my cousins on my father's side. I also found an article by a doctor who wondered how many people have been in mental institutions with chemical imbalances that could have been corrected" (M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, Oct. 1987, 9).

Life isn't over for a Latter-day Saint until he or she is safely dead, with their testimony still burning brightly (M Russell Ballard, Ensign, May 1996, 28).

Church members today have been blessed greatly to have some of our financial burdens lifted. Faithful payment of tithes that are administered carefully now provides funds for constructing our buildings, paying for utilities, and meeting many other obligations that formerly necessitated additional contributions. We must realize that decreasing these needs for financial contributions gives birth to enlarged opportunities for us to live a higher law. By this I mean that on our own initiative we can find ways to extend ourselves in helping others and contributing to the building of the Lord's kingdom. The Lord has instructed us that we "should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of [our] own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; For the power is in [us], wherein [we] are agents unto [ourselves]" (M. Russell Ballard, "The Blessings of Sacrifice," Ensign, May 1992, 77).

We tend to think of agency in a personal way. Ask someone to define "moral agency" and they'll probably come up with something like this: "Moral agency means I'm free to make choices for myself." But we forget that agency also offers that same privilege to others, which means that sometimes we are going to be adversely affected by the way other people choose to exercise their agency. Heavenly Father feels so strongly about protecting our moral agency that He will allow all of His children to exercise it—for good and for evil (M. Russell Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 77).

Participation [in a council] is a privilege. With that privilege comes responsibility—responsibility to work within the parameters of the organization, to be prepared, to share, to advocate vigorously the position you believe to be right. But just as important is the responsibility to support and sustain the final decision of the council leader, even if you do not agree fully (M. Russell Ballard, "Strength in Counsel," Ensign, Nov. 1993, 78).

Generally speaking, issues considered by presiding councils should be discussed and evaluated until a course of action is unanimously approved. In the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, for example, decisions that lack unanimity are always held over for further thought, prayer, and discussion. Even though we have a President whom we respect and revere, and we are organized with a clear line of successive authority, we seek consensus in all that we do. As a result, there have been times when an issue has remained under consideration for a period of time while our decision was deliberated and fine-tuned. Eventually, consensus is achieved, and the result of our deliberation is a better and more complete decision. Of course, it isn't always possible to take that kind of time with the decisions that face presidencies and bishoprics. Some issues require a quick response; and sometimes, even after an open discussion during which all ideas and perspectives are given a thorough airing, divergent and disparate views exist. At such times, it is the responsibility of the [leader] to make a final decision based on the feelings and impressions that come...And it is the responsibility of all members of the presiding council to support and sustain the decision of the council leader as if it were a unanimous council decision...Unanimity should always be sought through free and open discussion. When there is a difference of opinion and an immediate decision is not required, it is sometimes helpful to allow some time to pass to give council members a chance to think about the decision and perhaps come to a state of unanimity naturally. But when the time comes that a decision has to be made and a variance of opinion still exists, the council leader has to rely upon the Spirit and make the decision that he or she feels is best. At such times it is particularly important for all council members to support and sustain the decision of the council leader—even if it isn't a decision with which they personally agree—and have faith in the spirit of revelation as it moves upon the [leader]. If we can't find unanimity in the specific decision, we can at least find unanimity in our support of our sustained leader and our desire to see the work of the Lord go forward in a positive, cooperative way. Although we have different viewpoints and opinions, when we emerge from counseling as a council we are one, and we support the final decision of the council as if it were our own, personal decision (M. Russell Ballard, Counseling with our Councils, 60, 63).

Never forget that...council [leaders]...are ultimately responsible for all decisions...The ideal model is straightforward and simple: call good people to serve with you, listen carefully to their counsel and consider their input, and then listen to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as it leads you to make good decisions. Functioning successfully as a council doesn't mean making group decisions. It simply means the council leader draws from the various abilities, insights, experiences, and inspiration of council members to help make good decisions under the influence of the Spirit. While we seek unanimity, the final decision is always up to the council leader (M. Russell Ballard, Counseling with our Councils, 68).

Now we can understand why some Latter-day Saints have tended to focus on Christ's Sonship as opposed to His Godhood. As members of earthly families, we can relate to Him as a child, as a Son, and as a Brother because we know how that feels. We can personalize that relationship because we ourselves are children, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters. For some it may be more difficult to relate to Him as a God. And so in an attempt to draw closer to Christ and to cultivate warm and personal feelings toward Him, some tend to humanize Him, sometimes at the expense of acknowledging His Divinity. So let us be very clear on this point: it is true that Jesus was our Elder Brother in the premortal life, but we believe that in this life it is crucial that we become "born again" as His sons and daughters in the gospel covenant (M. Russell Ballard, "Building Bridges of Understanding," Ensign, Jun 1998, 62).

Occasionally we find some who become so energetic in their Church service that their lives become unbalanced. They start believing that the programs they administer are more important than the people they serve. They complicate their service with needless frills and embellishments that occupy too much time, cost too much money, and sap too much energy...One of the most important things we do through the gospel of Jesus Christ is to build people. Properly serving others requires effort to understand them as individuals—their personalities, their strengths, their concerns, their hopes and dreams—so that the correct help and support can be provided. Frankly, it's much easier to just manage programs than it is to understand and truly serve people...Our goal should always be to use the programs of the Church as a means to lift, encourage, assist, teach, love, and perfect people...Programs are tools. Their management and staffing must not take priority over the needs of the people they are designed to bless and to serve (M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, Nov 2006, 17-18).






And to each of our children, I say, Thank you for being the kind of person I prayed at your birth you would become. It is high privilege indeed when a father's best friends and noblest examples are his own children (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, Nov. 1994, 32).

Katie Lewis is my neighbor. Her father, Randy, is my bishop; her mother, Melanie, is a saint. And her older brother, Jimmie, is battling leukemia. Sister Lewis recently recounted for me the unspeakable fear and grief that came to their family when Jimmie's illness was diagnosed. She spoke of the tears and the waves of sorrow that any mother would experience with a prognosis as grim as Jimmie's was. But like the faithful Latter-day Saints they are, the Lewises turned to God with urgency and with faith and with hope. They fasted and prayed, prayed and fasted. And they went again and again to the temple. One day Sister Lewis came home from a temple session weary and worried, feeling the impact of so many days—and nights—of fear being held at bay only by monumental faith. As she entered her home, four-year-old Katie ran up to her with love in her eyes and a crumpled sheaf of papers in her hand. Holding the papers out to her mother, she said enthusiastically, "Mommy, do you know what these are?" Sister Lewis said frankly her first impulse was to deflect Katie's zeal and say she didn't feel like playing just then. But she thought of her children—all her children—and the possible regret of missed opportunities and little lives that pass too swiftly. So she smiled through her sorrow and said, "No, Katie. I don't know what they are. Please tell me." "They are the scriptures," Katie beamed back, "and do you know what they say?" Sister Lewis stopped smiling, gazed deeply at this little child, knelt down to her level, and said, "Tell me, Katie. What do the scriptures say?" "They say, 'Trust Jesus.'" And then she was gone. Sister Lewis said that as she stood back up, holding a fistful of her four-year-old's scribbling, she felt near-tangible arms of peace encircle her weary soul and a divine stillness calm her troubled heart (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, Nov. 1993, 14-15).

No one has failed who keeps trying and keeps praying (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 1997, 36).

The relationship between Christ and His Father is one of the sweetest and most moving themes running through the Savior's ministry. Jesus' entire being, His complete purpose and delight, were centered in pleasing His Father and obeying His will. Of Him He seemed always to be thinking; to Him He seemed always to be praying. Unlike us, He needed no crisis, no discouraging shift in events to direct His hopes heavenward. He was already instinctively, longingly looking that way (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 1999, 14-15).

Those 28 verses in the third chapter of Ether may well be the single-most remarkable encounter with Christ ever experienced by mortal man in this world. And what a lesson in meekness! That such an unprecedented revelation coming to one of such unparalleled faith does not even give us the name of the prophet to whom it came. What a stunning, silent declaration to a world nearly drowning in a sea of egotism and self-centeredness (Jeffrey R. Holland, "A Standard Unto My People," CES Symposium, Aug. 9, 1994).

When one mocks the Son of Righteousness, one steps into a realm of heat hotter and holier than the noonday sun. You cannot do so and not be burned (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, Nov. 1998, 76).

When we stagger or stumble, He is there to steady and strengthen us. In the end He is there to save us, and for all this He gave His life. However dim our days may seem, they have been a lot darker for the Savior of the world. As a reminder of those days, Jesus has chosen, even in a resurrected, otherwise perfected body, to retain for the benefit of His disciples the wounds in His hands and in His feet and in His side—signs, if you will, that painful things happen even to the pure and the perfect; signs, if you will, that pain in this world is not evidence that God doesn't love you; signs, if you will, that problems pass and happiness can be ours...These wounds are the principal way we are to recognize Him when He comes. He may invite us forward, as He has invited others, to see and to feel those marks. If not before, then surely at that time, we will remember with Isaiah that it was for us that a God was "despised and rejected"...that "he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed" (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, Jan. 2003, 42).

People do not join the Church because of what they know. They join because of what they feel, what they see and want spiritually (Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 2001, 14).

I wish to encourage every one of you today regarding opposition that so often comes after enlightened decisions have been made, after moments of revelation and conviction have given us a peace and an assurance we thought we would never lose...once there has been genuine illumination, beware [of] the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don't give up when the pressure mounts (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence," CES Fireside, 2 March 1999, 2,4).

Thirty years ago last month, a little family set out to cross the United States to attend graduate school—no money, an old car, every earthly possession they owned packed into less than half the space of the smallest U-Haul trailer available. Bidding their apprehensive parents farewell, they drove exactly 34 miles up the highway, at which point their beleaguered car erupted. Pulling off the freeway onto a frontage road, the young father surveyed the steam, matched it with his own, then left his trusting wife and two innocent children—the youngest just three months old—to wait in the car while he walked the three miles or so to the southern Utah metropolis of Kanarraville, population then, I suppose, 65. Some water was secured at the edge of town, and a very kind citizen offered a drive back to the stranded family. The car was attended to and slowly—very slowly—driven back to St. George for inspection—U-Haul trailer and all. After more than two hours of checking and rechecking, no immediate problem could be detected, so once again the journey was begun. In exactly the same amount of elapsed time at exactly the same location on that highway with exactly the same pyrotechnics from under the hood, the car exploded again. It could not have been 15 feet from the earlier collapse, probably not 5 feet from it! Obviously the most precise laws of automotive physics were at work. Now feeling more foolish than angry, the chagrined young father once more left his trusting loved ones and started the long walk for help once again. This time the man providing the water said, "Either you or that fellow who looks just like you ought to get a new radiator for that car." For the second time a kind neighbor offered a lift back to the same automobile and its anxious little occupants. He didn't know whether to laugh or to cry at the plight of this young family. "How far have you come?" he said. "Thirty-four miles," I answered. "How much farther do you have to go?" "Twenty-six hundred miles," I said. "Well, you might make that trip, and your wife and those two little kiddies might make that trip, but none of you are going to make it in that car." He proved to be prophetic on all counts. Just two weeks ago this weekend, I drove by that exact spot where the freeway turnoff leads to a frontage road, just three miles or so west of Kanarraville, Utah. That same beautiful and loyal wife, my dearest friend and greatest supporter for all these years, was curled up asleep in the seat beside me. The two children in the story, and the little brother who later joined them, have long since grown up and served missions, married perfectly, and are now raising children of their own. The automobile we were driving this time was modest but very pleasant and very safe. In fact, except for me and my lovely Pat situated so peacefully at my side, nothing of that moment two weeks ago was even remotely like the distressing circumstances of three decades earlier. Yet in my mind's eye, for just an instant, I thought perhaps I saw on that side road an old car with a devoted young wife and two little children making the best of a bad situation there. Just ahead of them I imagined that I saw a young fellow walking toward Kanarraville, with plenty of distance still ahead of him. His shoulders seemed to be slumping a little, the weight of a young father's fear evident in his pace...In that imaginary instant, I couldn't help calling out to him: "Don't give up, boy. Don't you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—30 years of it now, and still counting. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come" (Jeffrey R. Holland, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come," Ensign, Nov. 1999, 37-38).

President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and himself a master teacher, has a question he often asks when we have made a presentation or given some sort of exhortation to one another in the Twelve. He looks up as if to say, "Are you through?" and then says to the speaker (and, by implication, to the rest of the group), "Therefore, what?" (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Teaching, Preaching, Healing," Ensign, Jan. 2003, 37).

On 28 July 1847, four days after his arrival in that valley, Brigham Young stood upon the spot where now rises the magnificent Salt Lake Temple and exclaimed to his companions: "Here we will build the Temple of our God!" Its grounds would cover an eighth of a square mile, and it would be built to stand through eternity. Who cares about the money or stone or timber or glass or gold they don't have? So what that seeds are not even planted and the Saints are yet without homes? Why worry that crickets will soon be coming—and so will the United States Army? They just marched forth and broke ground for the most massive, permanent, inspiring edifice they could conceive. And they would spend forty years of their lives trying to complete it. The work seemed ill-fated from the start. The excavation for the basement required trenches twenty feet wide and sixteen feet deep, much of it through solid gravel. Just digging for the foundation alone required nine thousand man days of labor. Surely someone must have said, "A temple would be fine, but do we really need one this big?" But they kept on digging. Maybe they believed they were "laying the foundation of a great work." In any case they worked on, "not weary in well-doing"...But then the apparent masochism of all this seemed most evident when not adobes or sandstone but massive granite boulders were selected for the basic construction material. And they were twenty miles away in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Furthermore the precise design and dimensions of every one of the thousands of stones to be used in that massive structure had to be marked out individually in the architect's office and shaped accordingly. This was a suffocatingly slow process. Just to put one layer of the six hundred hand-sketched, individually squared, and precisely cut stones around the building took nearly three years. That progress was so slow that virtually no one walking by the temple block could ever see any progress at all. And, of course, getting the stone from mountain to city center was a nightmare. A canal on which to convey the stone was begun and a great deal of labor and money expended on it, but it was finally aborted. Other means were tried, but oxen proved to be the only viable means of transportation. In the 1860s and '70s always four and often six oxen in a team could be seen almost any working day of the year, toiling and tugging and struggling to pull from the quarry one monstrous block of granite, or at most two of medium size. During that time, as if the United States Army hadn't been enough, the Saints had plenty of other interruptions. The arrival of the railroad pulled almost all of the working force off the temple for nearly three years, and twice grasshopper invasions sent the workers into full-time summer combat with the pests. By mid-1871, fully two decades and untold misery after it had begun, the walls of the temple were barely visible above ground. Far more visible was the teamster's route from Cottonwood, strewn with the wreckage of wagons—and dreams—unable to bear the load placed on them. The journals and histories of these teamsters are filled with accounts of broken axles, mud-mired animals, shattered sprockets, and shattered hopes. I do not have any evidence that these men swore, but surely they might have been seen turning a rather steely eye toward heaven. But they believed and kept pulling...They squared their shoulders and stiffened their backs and went forward with their might. But when President Brigham Young died in 1877, the temple was still scarcely twenty feet above the ground. Ten years later, his successor, President John Taylor, and the temple's original architect, Truman O. Angell, were dead as well. The side walls were just up to the square...But God was with these modern children of Israel, as he always has been and always will be. They did all they could do and left the rest in his hands. And the Red Sea parted before them, and they walked through on firm, dry ground. On 6 April 1892, the Saints as a body were nearly delirious. Now, finally, here in their own valley with their own hands they had cut out of the mountains a granite monument that was to mark, after all they had gone through, the safety of the Saints and the permanence of Christ's true church on earth for this one last dispensation. The central symbol of all that was the completed House of their God (Jeffrey R. Holland, "However Long and Hard the Road," BYU Devotional, 18 January 1983).

"Dad, why did we both feel like Heavenly Father told us to go down the road to the left when it was the wrong road?" "Matty, I've been thinking and silently praying about that same thing all the way home, because I really did feel a very distinct impression to take the road to the left...The Lord has taught us an important lesson today. Because we were prompted to take the road to the left, we quickly discovered which one was the right one. When we turned around and got on the right road, I was able to travel along its many unfamiliar twists and turnoffs perfectly confident I was headed in the right direction. If we had started on the right road, we might have driven for 30 minutes or so, become uneasy with the unfamiliar surroundings, and been tempted to turn back. If we had done that, we would have discovered the dead-end so late that it would have been too dark to find our way back in totally unfamiliar territory" (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Wrong Roads and Revelation," New Era, July 2005, 28).

In times of anxiety we tend to focus pretty much...on the "Latter-day" part of that title [the title of the Church]. But tonight I issue a call to each of you to concentrate on the "Saint" portion of that phrase. That is the element in our Church title that should be demanding our attention (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Terror, Triumph, and a Wedding Feast," CES Fireside, 12 Sept. 2004, 3).

A drugstore psychologist once said that people need three things to be emotionally healthy: someone to love, significant things to do, and something pleasant to look forward to. Brethren, make sure your wife has something pleasant, something genuinely fun, to look forward to regularly (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Our Consuming Mission," An Evening with Jeffrey R. Holland, 5 Feb. 1999).

I have a theory about those earlier dispensations and the leaders, families, and people who lived then...I have thought often about them and the destructive circumstances that confronted them. They faced terribly difficult times and, for the most part, did not succeed in their dispensations. Apostasy and darkness eventually came to every earlier age in human history. Indeed, the whole point of the Restoration of the gospel in these latter days is that it had not been able to survive in earlier times and therefore had to be pursued in one last, triumphant age. We know the challenges Abraham's posterity faced (and still do). We know of Moses's problems with an Israelite people who left Egypt but couldn't quite get Egypt to leave them. Isaiah was the prophet who saw the loss of the 10 Israelite tribes to the north. Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel were all prophets of captivity. Peter, James, John, and Paul, the great figures of the New Testament, all saw apostasy creeping into their world almost before the Savior had departed and certainly while they themselves were still living. Think of the prophets of the Book of Mormon, living in a dispensation ending with such painful communication between Mormon and Moroni about the plight they faced and the nations they loved dissolving into corruption, terror, and chaos. In short, apostasy and destruction of one kind or another was the ultimate fate of every general dispensation we have ever had down through time. But here's my theory. My theory is that those great men and women, the leaders in those ages past, were able to keep going, to keep testifying, to keep trying to do their best, not because they knew that they would succeed but because they knew that you would. I believe they took courage and hope not so much from their own circumstances as from yours—a magnificent congregation of young adults like you tonight gathered by the hundreds of thousands around the world in a determined effort to see the gospel prevail and triumph...One way or another, I think virtually all of the prophets and early apostles had their visionary moments of our time—a view that gave them courage in their own less-successful eras. Those early brethren knew an amazing amount about us. Prophets such as Moses, Nephi, and the brother of Jared saw the latter days in tremendously detailed vision. Some of what they saw wasn't pleasing, but surely all those earlier generations took heart from knowing that there would finally be one dispensation that would not fail. Ours, not theirs, was the day that gave them heavenly and joyful anticipations and caused them to sing and prophesy of victory. Ours is the day, collectively speaking, toward which the prophets have been looking from the beginning of time, and those earlier brethren are over there still cheering us on! In a very real way, their chance to consider themselves fully successful depends on our faithfulness and our victory. I love the idea of going into the battle of the last days representing Alma and Abinadi and what they pled for and representing Peter and Paul and the sacrifices they made. If you can't get excited about that kind of assignment in the drama of history, you can't get excited! (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Terror, Triumph, and a Wedding Feast," CES Fireside, 12 Sept. 2004, 5).

Love is a fragile thing, and some elements in life can try to break it. Much damage can be done if we are not in tender hands, caring hands. To give ourselves totally to another person, as we do in marriage, is the most trusting step we take in any human relationship. It is a real act of faith—faith all of us must be willing to exercise. If we do it right, we end up sharing everything—all our hopes, all our fears, all our dreams, all our weaknesses, and all our joys—with another person. No serious courtship or engagement or marriage is worth the name if we do not fully invest all that we have in it and in so doing trust ourselves totally to the one we love. You cannot succeed in love if you keep one foot out on the bank for safety's sake. The very nature of the endeavor requires that you hold on to each other as tightly as you can and jump in the pool together. In that spirit, and in the spirit of Mormon's plea for pure love, I want to impress upon you the vulnerability and delicacy of your partner's future as it is placed in your hands for safekeeping—male and female, it works both ways. Sister Holland and I have been married for nearly 37 years, just a half-dozen or so years short of twice as long as we have lived without each other. I may not know everything about her, but I know 37 years' worth, and she knows that much of me. I know her likes and dislikes, and she knows mine. I know her tastes and interests, hopes and dreams, and she knows mine. As our love has grown and our relationship has matured, we have been increasingly free with each other about all of that. The result is that I know much more clearly now how to help her, and, if I let myself, I know exactly what will hurt her. In the honesty of our love—love that can't truly be Christlike without such total devotion—surely God will hold me accountable for any pain I cause her by intentionally exploiting or hurting her when she has been so trusting of me, having long since thrown away any self-protection in order that we could be, as the scripture says, "one flesh." To impair or impede her in any way for my gain or vanity or emotional mastery over her should disqualify me on the spot to be her husband. Indeed, it should consign my miserable soul to eternal incarceration in that large and spacious building Lehi says is the prison of those who live by "vain imaginations" and the "pride of the world." No wonder that building is at the opposite end of the field from the tree of life representing the love of God! In all that Christ was, He was not ever envious or inflated, never consumed with His own needs. He did not once, not ever, seek His own advantage at the expense of someone else. He delighted in the happiness of others, the happiness He could bring them. (Jeffrey R. Holland, "How Do I Love Thee?," 15 February 2000, 3-4).

I remember another comparable experience I had in an institute class when a superb teacher, extracting a great lesson from the eighteenth chapter of Matthew, related the parable of the king who took account of his servants and showed great mercy upon the destitute man who owed him ten thousand talents. You all know the story. That servant, who was forgiven a very large debt, then went to his fellow servant who owed him an hundred pence and would not forgive him, but cast him into prison. It is a simple story with a clear message on forgiveness. I, and most of the students around me, thought we understood how unfair this fellow had been and were quite willing to leave it as a fine lesson on the need to be more merciful. But the teacher held our feet to the fire; he was not willing to leave it at that. First of all, he asked how much an hundred pence, was worth? Well no one knew. He asked how much ten thousand talents were worth? None of us knew that. He then asked if he thought we really understood the parable. Suddenly we were quite sure we didn't. He went to the board and in what would now be 1992 terms, he noted that on a gold standard one pence equaled about $50.00, therefore an hundred pence was worth $5,000. That is a significant amount of money, we can see why the unforgiving servant would want it back. On our CES salaries, we would want a person to pay a debt of that size if it were owed to us. But then the teacher noted that one the same 1992 equivalent gold standard one talent was worth $300,000. Therefore 10,000 talents totaled $3,000,000,000! With our youthful eyes bulging over the kind of money now being talked about, this skillful teacher who had done a little homework in "look for" skills and "understanding the unknown" skills, took us into the first really powerful lesson on the Atonement I ever remember hearing. With rapt attention from every single one of us he noted that the "100 pence forgiveness" that we were expected to give one another, and acknowledged as a pretty fair amount of money, was now preciously little to ask in light of the "10,000 talent forgiveness" Christ had extended to us. That latter debt, our debt, was an astronomical number, he reminded us, almost incapable of comprehension. But that, he said, was exactly the Savior's point in this teaching, an essential part of the parable. Jesus had intended that his hearers sense just a little of the eternal scope and profound gift of His mercy, His forgiveness, His atonement. The teacher had us in the palm of his hand. For the first time in my life I remember feeling something of the magnitude of Christ's sacrifice for me, a gift bordering to this day on incomprehensibility, but a gift that made me for the first time seriously consider my need to forgive other people and to be unfailingly generous regarding their feelings and their needs and their circumstances. But the teacher was not through. He went on. He said such an astounding figure was used because it was never intended that there be any hope of escape, any light at the end of that dark and debt-ridden tunnel without the redeeming Light of Christ's Atonement. It was never intended in this parable that this could be a sum a man could possibly work himself out of. How would a working man pay a $3,000,000,000 debt? "Have patience with me," the servant kept pleading. I guess have "patience!" If, in 1992 terms, that man had paid on his account at the rate of $1,000 a day, that's $365,000 a year, it would have taken him exactly 8,219 years, 2 months, and 4 days to repay that debt. In other words, if this unforgiving fellow had started paying $1,000 a day on the afternoon that Adam and Eve walked out of the Garden of Eden, and if he had paid on it every single day since, he would still-today-owe somewhere in the neighborhood of $813,000,000. And of course we haven't billed him yet a cent of interest. No wonder this chap seems a little distracted and anxious as he sits down by you in Faculty Meeting. He's in a little deeper than having bought just a bit too much furniture for the living room. A sofa, two chairs, and a dining table, that's the 100 pence kind of debt that even we CES folks can understand. But 10,000 talents? Is it any wonder we sing "I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me, Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me...Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me." I had a remarkable experience in that classroom that day and I've been eternally grateful ever since that a teacher paused long enough to look for and understand for himself, and then to make clear for us, some scriptural insights I otherwise simply would not have gained. Like the Ethiopian riding back to Africa, I probably could have read that page a dozen times, and maybe I had, and even with the spirit of the Lord attending me, I don't think I would have had the same remarkable experience of heart and mind without such a Philip to guide me. Now, as you develop these skills, these "look for" and "understanding the unknown" skills, please encourage your students to develop them as well-invite them to read more slowly and more carefully and with more questions in mind. Help them to ponder, to examine every word, every scriptural gem. Teach them to hold it up to the light and turn it, look and see what is reflected and refracted there. For some student on a given day with a given need, such an examination may unearth a treasure hidden in a field, a pearl of great price, a pearl beyond price (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Students Need Teachers to Guide Them," CES Videoconference, 20 Jun 1992, 3-4).

In discussing preparation, may I also encourage you to avoid a temptation that faces almost every teacher in the Church; at least it has certainly been my experience. That is the temptation to cover too much material, the temptation to stuff more into the hour—or more into the students—than they can possibly hold! Remember two things in this regard: first of all, we are teaching people, not subject matter per se; and second, every lesson outline that I have ever seen will inevitably have more in it than we can possibly cover in the allotted time. So stop worrying about that. It's better to take just a few good ideas and get good discussion—and good learning—than to be frenzied, trying to teach every word in the manual . . . An unrushed atmosphere is absolutely essential if you are to have the Spirit of the Lord present in your class. Please don't ever forget that. Too many of us rush. We rush right past the Spirit of the Lord trying to beat the clock in some absolutely unnecessary footrace (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Principles of Teaching and Learning," Ensign, June 2007, 91).

If those [students] are unresponsive, maybe you can't teach them yet, but you can love them. And if you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Principles of Teaching and Learning," Ensign, June 2007, 102).

Avoid self-serving performance and vanity. Don't try to dazzle everyone with how brilliant you are. Dazzle them with how brilliant the gospel is. Don't worry about the location of the lost tribes or the Three Nephites. Worry a little more about the location of your student, what's going on in his heart, what's going on in her soul, the hunger, sometimes the near-desperate spiritual needs of our people. Teach them. And, above all, testify to them. Love them. Bear your witness from the depths of your soul. It will be the most important thing you say to them in the entire hour, and it may save someone's spiritual life (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Principles of Teaching and Learning," Ensign, June 2007, 104).

The Lord has probably spoken enough...comforting words to supply the whole universe, it would seem, and yet we see all around us unhappy Latter-day Saints, worried Latter-day Saints, and gloomy Latter-day Saints into whose troubled hearts not one of these innumerable consoling words seems to be allowed to enter. In fact, I think some of us must have that remnant of Puritan heritage still with us that says it is somehow wrong to be comforted or helped, that we are supposed to be miserable about something. Consider, for example, the Savior's benediction upon his disciples even as he moved toward the pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary. On that very night, the night of the greatest suffering that has ever taken place in the world or that ever will take place, the Savior said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you...Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27). I submit to you, that may be one of the Savior's commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed; and yet I wonder whether our resistance to this invitation could be any more grievous to the Lord's merciful heart. I can tell you this as a parent: as concerned as I would be if somewhere in their lives one of my children were seriously troubled or unhappy or disobedient, nevertheless I would be infinitely more devastated if I felt that at such a time that child could not trust me to help or thought his or her interest was unimportant to me or unsafe in my care. In that same spirit, I am convinced that none of us can appreciate how deeply it wounds the loving heart of the Savior of the world when he finds that his people do not feel confident in his care or secure in his hands or trust in his commandments. Just because God is God, just because Christ is Christ, they cannot do other than care for us and bless us and help us if we will but come unto them, approaching their throne of grace in meekness and lowliness of heart. They can't help but bless us. They have to. It is their nature...There is not a single loophole or curveball or open trench to fall into for the man or woman who walks the path that Christ walks. When he says, "Come, follow me," he means that he knows where the quicksand is and where the thorns are and the best way to handle the slippery slope near the summit of our personal mountains. He knows it all, and he knows the way. He is the way (Jeffrey R. Holland, "'Come unto Me'," Ensign, Apr 1998, 19).

When you face "depletion depression," make the requisite adjustments. Fatigue is the common enemy of us all--so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill. Physicians promise us that if we do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Like a Broken Vessel," CR Oct. 2013).

In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited...When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes...When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your "unbelief." That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! (Jeffrey R. Holland, GC Apr. 2013, "Lord, I Believe")

A few years ago a young friend of mine--a returned missionary--was on one of the college basketball teams in Utah. He was a great young man and a very good ballplayer, but he wasn't playing as much as he hoped he would. His particular talents and skills weren't exactly what that team needed at that stage of its development or his. That happens in athletics. So, with the full support and best wishes of his coaches and his teammates, my young friend transferred to another school where he hoped he might contribute a little more. As fate would have it, things clicked at the new school, and my friend soon became a starter. And wouldn't you know it--the schedule (determined years before these events transpired) had this young man returning to play against his former team in Salt Lake City's then-named Delta Center. What happened in that game has bothered me to this day, and I am seizing this unusual moment to get it off my chest. The vitriolic abuse that poured out of the stands on this young man's head that night--a Latter-day Saint, returned missionary, newlywed who paid his tithing, served in the elder's quorum, gave charitable service to the youth in his community, and waited excitedly for a new baby coming to him and his wife--what was said and done and showered upon him that night, and on his wife and their families, should not have been experienced by any human being anywhere anytime, whatever his sport, whatever his university, or whatever his personal decisions had been about either of them. But here is the worst part. The coach of this visiting team, something of a legend in the profession, turned to him after a spectacular game and said: "What is going on here? You are the hometown boy who has made good. These are your people. These are your friends." But worst of all, he then said in total bewilderment, "Aren't most of these people members of your church?"...The day after that game, when there was some public reckoning and a call to repentance over the incident, one young man said, in effect: "Listen. We are talking about basketball here, not Sunday School. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. We pay good money to see these games. We can act the way we want. We check our religion at the door." "We check our religion at the door"? Lesson number one for the establishment of Zion in the 21st century: You never "check your religion at the door." Not ever. My young friends, that kind of discipleship cannot be--it is not discipleship at all. As the prophet Alma has taught the young women of the Church to declare every week in their Young Women theme, we are "to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in," not just some of the time, in a few places, or when our team has a big lead (Jeffrey R. Holland, "Israel, Israel, God Is Calling," CES Fireside, Sept. 2012).

Surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don't expect it and often feel they don't deserve it. (Jeffrey R. Holland, CG, Apr. 2012, "The Laborers in the Vineyard").






At some moment in the world to come, everyone you will ever meet will know what you know now. They will know that the only way to live forever in association with our families and in the presence of our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, was to choose to enter into the gate by baptism at the hands of those with authority from God. They will know that the only way families can be together forever is to accept and keep sacred covenants offered in the temples of God on this earth. And they will know that you knew. And they will remember whether you offered them what someone had offered you (Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, Nov. 1998, 33).

First, you must...search the scriptures...Searching them...as enjoined by Jesus is a far cry from hunting through them for the purpose of finding passages which can be pressed into service to support a predetermined conclusion. Go to the scriptures like a child, willing to be taught, and you will be. Go like a wise man or woman, and you won't come away any the wiser. Second, you will be taught more easily as you approach the scriptures if you search with a question and with a determination to act on the answer (Henry B. Eyring, "Studying and Teaching the Old Testament," Ensign, Jan. 2002, 32).

To receive the words of prophets we must obey them. It will not be enough for us to know that the words are true or even to understand them plainly. We must obey, or the conviction of truth will fade and the meaning will become obscure (Henry B. Eyring, Ensign, Jan 2002, 33).

Faith is not to hope. Faith is not simply to know God could do something. Faith is to know He will (Henry B. Eyring, "We Must Raise Our Sights," CES Conference, 14 August 2001, 6).

Most of us have had some experience with self-improvement efforts. My experience has taught me this about how people and organizations improve: the best place to look is for small changes we could make in things we do often. There is power in steadiness and repetition. And if we can be led by inspiration to choose the right small things to change, consistent obedience will bring great improvement (Henry B. Eyring, "The Lord Will Multiply the Harvest," [An Evening with Elder Henry B. Eyring, 6 Feb. 1998], 3)

Many years ago, I was first counselor to a district president in the eastern United States. More than once, as we were driving to our little branches, he said to me, "Hal, when you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time." Not only was he right, but I have learned over the years that he was too low in his estimate. (Henry B. Eyring, GC, Oct. 2018, "Try, Try, Try).

There is a difference in knowing the scriptures so that you can prove points of doctrine as opposed to knowing the scriptures so you can help people find eternal life. Now it may be about doctrine but it seems to me it is a different thing — a capacity to use the scriptures to solve problems. Now some of us have had the blessing of working with people...who could do that. I think it is quite rare in the Church. I've served under and with some great men and not very many of them were very good at it. They would use the scriptures from time to time to make a nice little point, but the number of men that I have ever known who would sit with you and problem solve with the scriptures, even of the great servants in the Church, is less than it should be (Henry B. Eyring, "A 10/10 Teacher," Address to Religious Educators, 1985, 7).

I know a few of the reasons why the Lord requires us to listen to mortal servants. One of the reasons is that you and I need a check on our own inspiration occasionally. We can be mistaken. At times, even with real intent and with faith and with careful prayer, we may come to wrong conclusions. Listening to others can provide correction. It can promote more careful consideration. I hope you will always remember that there is safety in counsel (Henry B. Eyring, To Draw Closer to God, 11).

Never, never underestimate the spiritual value of doing temporal things well for those whom you serve...When we do temporal tasks well, God will bless us spiritually (Henry B. Eyring, "The Book of Mormon Will Change Your Life," CES Symposium on the Book of Mormon, 17 Aug. 1990, 7).

When our children were very small, I started to write down a few things about what happened every day. Let me tell you how that got started. I came home late from a Church assignment. It was after dark. My father-in-law, who lived near us, surprised me as I walked toward the front door of my house. He was carrying a load of pipes over his shoulder, walking very fast and dressed in his work clothes. I knew that he had been building a system to pump water from a stream below us up to our property. He smiled, spoke softly, and then rushed past me into the darkness to go on with his work. I took a few steps toward the house, thinking of what he was doing for us, and just as I got to the door, I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: "I'm not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down." I went inside. I didn't go to bed. Although I was tired, I took out some paper and began to write. And as I did, I understood the message I had heard in my mind. I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family. Grandpa didn't have to do what he was doing for us. He could have had someone else do it or not have done it at all. But he was serving us, his family, in the way covenant disciples of Jesus Christ always do. I knew that was true. And so I wrote it down, so that my children could have the memory someday when they would need it. I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: "Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?" As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done (Henry B. Eyring, "O Remember, Remember," Ensign, Nov 2007, 66-67).

Once, as a bishop of a ward, I worked with a young man not much older than many of you. He'd made great mistakes and had been moved by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ to make long and painful repentance. We were down to the weeks before he was to be married in the temple. I had long before forgiven him in the name of the Church and had given him his temple recommend. Yet he remembered that I had said, "The Lord will forgive you in his own time and in his own way." But now he was deeply concerned. He came to my office and he said: "You told me that the Lord would someday let me know that I was forgiven. But I am going to the temple to marry a wonderful girl. I want to be the best I can be for her. I need to know that I am forgiven. And I need to know now. Tell me how to find out." I said I would try. He gave me a deadline. My memory is that it was within less than two weeks. Fortunately, I already had a trip scheduled. During that period of time I went to Salt Lake City, and there I found myself seeing Elder Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, at a social function. It was crowded, and yet he somehow found me. He walked up to me in that crowd and said, "Hal, I understand that you are now a bishop. Do you have anything you would like to ask me?" I said that I did...I outlined the concerns and the question of this young man in my ward. Then I asked Elder Kimball, "How can he get that revelation? How can he know whether his sins are remitted?" I thought Elder Kimball would talk to me about fasting or prayer or listening for the still small voice. But he surprised me. Instead he said, "Tell me something about the young man." I said, "What would you like to know?" And then he began a series of the most simple questions. Some of the ones I remember were: "Does he come to his priesthood meetings?" I said, after a moment of thought, "Yes." "Does he come early?" "Yes." "Does he sit down front?" I thought for a moment and then realized, to my amazement, that he did. "Does he home teach?" "Yes." "Does he go early in the month?" "Yes, he does." "Does he go more than once?" "Yes." I can't remember the other questions. But they were all like that--little things, simple acts of obedience, of submission. And for each question I was surprised that my answer was always yes. Yes, he wasn't just at all his meetings: he was early; he was smiling; he was there not only with his whole heart, but with the broken heart of a little child, as he was every time the Lord asked anything of him. And after I had said yes to each of his questions, Elder Kimball looked at me, paused, and then very quietly said, "There is your revelation" (Henry B. Eyring, "Come Unto Christ," BYU Devotional, 29 Oct 1989).






Satan will try to make us believe that our sins are not forgiven because we can remember them. Satan is a liar; he tries to blur our vision and lead us away from the path of repentance and forgiveness. God did not promise that we would not remember our sins. Remembering will help us avoid making the same mistakes again. But if we stay true and faithful, the memory of our sins will be softened over time. This will be part of the needed healing and sanctification process. Alma testified that after he cried out to Jesus for mercy, he could still remember his sins, but the memory of his sins no longer distressed and tortured him, because he knew he had been forgiven (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Point of Safe Return," Ensign, May 2007, 101).

When I was 11 years old, my family had to leave East Germany and begin a new life in West Germany overnight. Until my father could get back into his original profession as a government employee, my parents operated a small laundry business in our little town. I became the laundry delivery boy. To be able to do that effectively, I needed a bicycle to pull the heavy laundry cart. I had always dreamed of owning a nice, sleek, shiny, sporty red bicycle. But there had never been enough money to fulfill this dream. What I got instead was a heavy, ugly, black, sturdy workhorse of a bicycle. I delivered laundry on that bike before and after school for quite a few years. Most of the time, I was not overly excited about the bike, the cart, or my job. Sometimes the cart seemed so heavy and the work so tiring that I thought my lungs would burst, and I often had to stop to catch my breath. Nevertheless, I did my part because I knew we desperately needed the income as a family, and it was my way to contribute...Many years later, when I was about to be drafted into the military, I decided to volunteer instead and join the Air Force to become a pilot. I loved flying and thought being a pilot would be my thing. To be accepted for the program I had to pass a number of tests, including a strict physical exam. The doctors were slightly concerned by the results and did some additional medical tests. Then they announced, "You have scars on your lung which are an indication of a lung disease in your early teenage years, but obviously you are fine now." The doctors wondered what kind of treatment I had gone through to heal the disease. Until the day of that examination I had never known that I had any kind of lung disease. Then it became clear to me that my regular exercise in fresh air as a laundry boy had been a key factor in my healing from this illness. Without the extra effort of pedaling that heavy bicycle day in and day out, pulling the laundry cart up and down the streets of our town, I might never have become a jet fighter pilot and later a 747 airline captain (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "See the End from the Beginning," Ensign, May 2006, 42).

Work is an antidote for anxiety, an ointment for sorrow, and a doorway to possibility...When our wagon gets stuck in the mud, God is much more likely to assist the man who gets out to push than the man who merely raises his voice in prayer—no matter how eloquent the oration (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Two Principles for Any Economy," Ensign, Nov 2009, 56-57).

In the 1960s, a professor at Stanford University began a modest experiment testing the willpower of four-year-old children. He placed before them a large marshmallow and then told them they could eat it right away or, if they waited for 15 minutes, they could have two marshmallows. He then left the children alone and watched what happened behind a two-way mirror. Some of the children ate the marshmallow immediately; some could wait only a few minutes before giving in to temptation. Only 30 percent were able to wait. It was a mildly interesting experiment, and the professor moved on to other areas of research, for, in his own words, "there are only so many things you can do with kids trying not to eat marshmallows." But as time went on, he kept track of the children and began to notice an interesting correlation: the children who could not wait struggled later in life and had more behavioral problems, while those who waited tended to be more positive and better motivated, have higher grades and incomes, and have healthier relationships. What started as a simple experiment with children and marshmallows became a landmark study suggesting that the ability to wait—to be patient—was a key character trait that might predict later success in life (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Continue in Patience," Ensign, May 2010, 56).

True love requires action. We can speak of love all day long—we can write notes or poems that proclaim it, sing songs that praise it, and preach sermons that encourage it—but until we manifest that love in action, our words are nothing but "sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "You Are My Hands," Ensign, May 2010).

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Happiness, Your Heritage," Ensign, Nov. 2008).

I want to tell you something that I hope you will take in the right way: God is fully aware that you and I are not perfect. Let me add: God is also fully aware that the people you think are perfect are not. And yet we spend so much time and energy comparing ourselves to otherso-usually comparing our weaknesses to their strengths. This drives us to create expectations for ourselves that are impossible to meet. As a result, we never celebrate our good efforts because they seem to be less than what someone else does (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Forget Me Not," Oct. 2011)

In the last couple of days, I have seen countless comments on social media and have heard many questions regarding how I feel now that I am no longer a counselor in the First Presidency. I appreciate your concern for my welfare, but I assure you, I'm just fine. I love and support the First Presidency, and I am thrilled to again more closely associate with the other members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Just after being called to the First Presidency in 2008, I delivered a talk in general conference titled "Lift Where You Stand." During that address, I discussed the importance of seeing every calling we receive -- no matter what it is -- as an opportunity to strengthen and bless others and become what Heavenly Father wants us to become. I could give that talk again today and the words I shared would be just as relevant...My friends, let us work together on the task at hand, to help all of God's children know that He has a plan for them and to let them know they can find true joy in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that God is in charge. HE is at the helm. HE wants us to serve wherever we are in this beautiful worldwide Church. No matter where we are on this planet and to whichever calling we are assigned, let us do our best to serve God and our fellowman. (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Facebook post, Jan. 17, 2018).






Nephi is an example of one who knew and understood and relied upon the enabling power of the Savior. In 1 Nephi 7 we recall that the sons of Lehi had returned to Jerusalem to enlist Ishmael and his household in their cause. Laman and others in the party traveling with Nephi from Jerusalem back to the wilderness rebelled, and Nephi exhorted his brethren to have faith in the Lord. It was at this point in their trip that Nephi's brothers bound him with cords and planned his destruction. Now please note Nephi's prayer in verse 17: "O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound." Brothers and sisters, do you know what I likely would have prayed for if I had been tied up by my brothers? My prayer would have included a request for something bad to happen to my brothers and ended with the phrase "wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren" or, in other words, "Please get me out of this mess, now!" It is especially interesting to me that Nephi did not pray, as I probably would have prayed, to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. And may I suggest that he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew and understood and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement of the Savior. I personally do not believe the bands with which Nephi was bound just magically fell from his hands and wrists. Rather, I suspect that he was blessed with both persistence and personal strength beyond his natural capacity, that he then in the strength of the Lord worked and twisted and tugged on the cords and ultimately and literally was enabled to break the bands. Brothers and sisters, the implication of this episode for each of us is quite straight straightforward. As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed (David A. Bednar, "In the Strength of the Lord," BYU Devotional, 23 Oct 2001).

We must be careful to remember in our service that we are conduits and channels; we are not the light...It is never about me and it is never about you. In fact, anything you or I do as an instructor that knowingly and intentionally draws attention to self—in the messages we present, in the methods we use, or in our personal demeanor—is a form of priestcraft that inhibits the teaching effectiveness of the Holy Ghost (David A. Bednar, "Seek Learning by Faith," Address to CES Religious Educators, 3 Feb. 2006, 4).

An answer given by another person usually is not remembered for very long, if remembered at all. But an answer we discover or obtain through the exercise of faith, typically, is retained for a lifetime. The most important learnings of life are caught—not taught (David A. Bednar, "Seek Learning by Faith," Address to CES Religious Educators, 3 Feb. 2006, 5).

During the years I served as a stake president, I often would contact one of the bishops and invite him to prayerfully identify individuals or families we could visit together...I made hundreds and hundreds of such visits. Each individual, each family, each home, and each answer was different. Over the years, however, I detected a common theme in many of the answers to my questions. Frequently responses like these were given: "Several years ago a man said something in Sunday School that offended me, and I have not been back since." "No one in this branch greeted or reached out to me. I felt like an outsider. I was hurt by the unfriendliness of this branch." "I did not agree with the counsel the bishop gave me. I will not step foot in that building again as long as he is serving in that position." Many other causes of offense were cited—from doctrinal differences among adults to taunting, teasing, and excluding by youth. But the recurring theme was: "I was offended by..." The bishop and I would listen intently and sincerely. One of us might next ask about their conversion to and testimony of the restored gospel. As we talked, eyes often were moist with tears as these good people recalled the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost and described their prior spiritual experiences. Most of the "less-active" people I have ever visited had a discernible and tender testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. However, they were not presently participating in Church activities and meetings. And then I would say something like this. "Let me make sure I understand what has happened to you. Because someone at church offended you, you have not been blessed by the ordinance of the sacrament. You have withdrawn yourself from the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Because someone at church offended you, you have cut yourself off from priesthood ordinances and the holy temple. You have discontinued your opportunity to serve others and to learn and grow. And you are leaving barriers that will impede the spiritual progress of your children, your children's children, and the generations that will follow." Many times people would think for a moment and then respond: "I have never thought about it that way." The bishop and I would then extend an invitation: "Dear friend, we are here today to counsel you that the time to stop being offended is now. Not only do we need you, but you need the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Please come back—now" (David A. Bednar, "And Nothing Shall Offend Them," Ensign, Nov 2006, 89??).

Even with faith, commitment, and the word of God, this group was lost—perhaps because they only periodically read or studied or searched the scriptures. Clinging to the rod of iron suggests to me only occasional "bursts" of study or irregular dipping rather than consistent, ongoing immersion in the word of God (David A. Bednar, "A Reservoir of Living Water," CES Fireside, 4 Feb. 2007, 8).

I invite the young people of the Church to learn about and experience the Spirit of Elijah. I encourage you to study, to search out your ancestors, and to prepare yourselves to perform proxy baptisms in the house of the Lord for your kindred dead...As you respond in faith to this invitation, your hearts shall turn to the fathers. The promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be implanted in your hearts...Your love and gratitude for your ancestors will increase. Your testimony of and conversion to the Savior will become deep and abiding. And I promise you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary. As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives (David A. Bednar, "The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn," Ensign, Nov. 2011).

We should not disclose or describe the special symbols associated with the covenants we receive in sacred temple ceremonies. Neither should we discuss the holy information that we specifically promise in the temple not to reveal...We may discuss the basic purposes of and the doctrine and principles associated with temple ordinances and covenants (David A. Bednar, "Prepared to Obtain Every Needful Thing," GC April 2019).






For the gospel to be written in your heart, you need to know what it is and grow to understand it more fully. That means you will study it. When I say "study," I mean something more than reading. It is a good thing sometimes to read a book of scripture within a set period of time to get an overall sense of its message, but for conversion, you should care more about the amount of time you spend in the scriptures than about the amount you read in that time. I see you sometimes reading a few verses, stopping to ponder them, carefully reading the verses again, and as you think about what they mean, praying for understanding, asking questions in your mind, waiting for spiritual impressions, and writing down the impressions and insights that come so you can remember and learn more. Studying in this way, you may not read a lot of chapters or verses in a half hour, but you will be giving place in your heart for the word of God, and He will be speaking to you. (D. Todd Christofferson, GC, April 2004, "When Thou Art Converted").

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is uniquely empowered and commissioned to accomplish the necessary preparations for the Lord's Second Coming; indeed, it was restored for that purpose. (D. Todd Christofferson, GC, Apr. 2019, "Preparing for the Lord's Return").






On one occasion some years before my call as a General Authority, I conducted a meeting presided over by one of the Apostles. After the meeting, I asked him about his stake conference talks. "Do you prepare something specific for each stake conference?" I asked. He replied that he generally did not, but relied upon promptings received just prior to and during the conference. But then he added, "But my general conference talk is very different. I will normally go through twelve to fifteen drafts to be certain that it is what the Lord would have me say." Many times since then I have asked myself, "If an Apostle will go through twelve to fifteen drafts, is it pleasing to the Lord if I listen to or read his message one or two times?" I don't think so. (Neil L. Andersen, "Teaching Our Children to Love the Prophets," Ensign, Apr. 1996, 44).

There is an important principle that governs the doctrine of the Church. The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk. True principles are taught frequently and by many. Our doctrine is not difficult to find (Neil L. Andersen, "Trial of Your Faith," Oct 2012).






A beautiful little blind girl was sitting on the lap of her father in a crowded compartment in a train. A friend seated nearby said to the father, "Let me give you a little rest," and he reached over and took the little girl on his lap. A few moments later the father said to her, "Do you know who is holding you?" "No," she replied, "but you do." Our trust and our relationship with our Heavenly Father should be one similar to that of the little blind girl and her earthly father. When sorrow, tragedy, and heartbreaks occur in our lives, wouldn't it be comforting if when the whisperings of God say, "Do you know why this has happened to you?" we could have the peace of mind to answer "No, but you do" (Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, Nov. 1985, 69).

Perhaps we all live under some misconceptions when we look at each other on Sundays as we attend our meetings. Everyone is neatly dressed and greets each other with a smile. It is natural to assume that everyone else has his life under control and doesn't have to deal with dark little weaknesses and imperfections. There is a natural, probably a mortal, tendency to compare ourselves with others. Unfortunately, when we make these comparisons, we tend to compare our weakest attributes with someone else's strongest. For example, a woman who feels unschooled in the gospel may take particular note of a woman in her ward who teaches the Gospel Doctrine class and seems to have every scripture at her fingertips. Obviously these kinds of comparisons are destructive and only reinforce the fear that somehow we don't measure up and therefore we must not be as worthy as the next person (Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, May 1989, 20).

There never has been a time when it is more important for us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to take a stand, remain firm in our convictions, and conduct ourselves wisely under all circumstances. We must not be manipulated or enraged by those who subtly foster contention over issues of the day. When issues are in contradiction to the laws of God, the Church must take a stand and state its position. We have done this in the past and will continue to do so in the future when basic moral principles are attacked. There are those in our society who would promote misconduct and immoral programs for financial gain and popularity. When others disagree with our stand we should not argue, retaliate in kind, or contend with them. We can maintain proper relationships and avoid the frustrations of strife if we wisely apply our time and energies. Ours is to conscientiously avoid being abrasive in our presentations and declarations. We need constantly to remind ourselves that when we are unable to change the conduct of others, we will go about the task of properly governing ourselves. Certain people and organizations are trying to provoke us into contention with slander, innuendos, and improper classifications. How unwise we are in today's society to allow ourselves to become irritated, dismayed, or offended because others seem to enjoy the role of misstating our position or involvement. Our principles or standards will not be less than they are because of the statements of the contentious. Ours is to explain our position through reason, friendly persuasion, and accurate facts. Ours is to stand firm and unyielding on the moral issues of the day and the eternal principles of the gospel, but to contend with no man or organization. Contention builds walls and puts up barriers. Love opens doors. Ours is to be heard and teach. Ours is not only to avoid contention, but to see that such things are done away (Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, May 1978, 7-8).

Following a recent discussion on the subject of adversity, a young man who was greatly concerned about the burdens being carried by his wonderful mother asked the question, "If God is omnipotent and knows all, why does He put my mother through the agony of continual sufferings when He already knows what the outcome will be?" Our response was, "Your mother's trials are not tests so the Lord can measure her. They are tests and trials so that your mother can measure herself. It is most important that she know her strengths in adversity and grow from the experiences." (Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, Nov. 1980, 60).

Let me mention a few gifts that are not always evident or noteworthy but that are very important. Among these may be your gifts—gifts not so evident but nevertheless real and valuable...: the gift of asking; the gift of listening; the gift of hearing and using a still, small voice; the gift of being able to weep; the gift of avoiding contention; the gift of being agreeable; the gift of avoiding vain repetition; the gift of seeking that which is righteous; the gift of not passing judgment; the gift of looking to God for guidance; the gift of being a disciple; the gift of caring for others; the gift of being able to ponder; the gift of offering prayer; the gift of bearing a mighty testimony; and the gift of receiving the Holy Ghost (Marvin J. Ashton, "There Are Many Gifts," Ensign, Nov. 1987, 20).






Why is it that sometimes only one of a city or household receives the Gospel? It was made know to me that it is because of the righteous dead who had received the Gospel in the spirit world exercising themselves, and in answer to their prayers elders of the Church were sent to the homes of their posterity that the Gospel might be taught to them and through their righteousness they might be privileged to have a descendant in the flesh do the work for their dead kindred. I want to say to you that it is with greater intensity that the hearts of the fathers and mothers in the spirit world are turned to their children than that our hearts are turned to them (Melvin J. Ballard, Melvin J. Ballard—Crusader for Righteousness, 219).

It is written in the scriptures that God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son to die for the world, that whosoever believes on him...and keeps his commandments, shall be saved...While we give nothing, perhaps, for this atonement and this sacrifice, nevertheless, it has cost someone something, and I love to contemplate what it cost our Father in heaven to give us the gift of his Beloved Son...I think as I read the story of Abraham's sacrifice of his son Isaac that our Father is trying to tell us what it cost him to give his Son as a gift to the world...Our Father in Heaven went through all that and more, for in his case the hand was not stayed. He loved his Son, Jesus Christ, better than Abraham ever loved Isaac, for our Father had with him his Son, our Redeemer, in the eternal worlds, faithful and true for ages, standing in a place of trust and honor, and the Father loved him dearly, and yet he allowed this well-beloved Son to descend from his place of glory and honor, where millions did him homage, down to the earth, a condescension that is not within the power of man to conceive...God heard the cry of his Son in that moment of great grief and agony, in the garden when, it is said, the pores of his body opened and drops of blood stood upon him, and he cried out: "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me." I ask you, what father and mother could stand by and listen to the cry of their children in distress, in this world, and not render aid and assistance?...We cannot stand by and listen to those cries without its touching our hearts...His Father looked on with great grief and agony over his Beloved Son, until there seems to have come a moment when even our Savior cried out in despair: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles until even he could not endure it any longer; and, like the mother who bids farewell to her dying child, has to be taken out of the room, so as not to look upon the last struggles, so he bowed his head, and hid in some part of his universe, his great heart almost breaking for the love that he had for his Son. Oh, in that moment when he might have saved his Son, I thank him and praise him that he did not fail us, for he had not only the love of his Son in mind, but he also had love for us. I rejoice that he did not interfere, and that his love for us made it possible for him to endure to look upon the sufferings of his Son and give him finally to us, our Savior and our Redeemer (Melvin J. Ballard, "The Sacramental Covenant," The New Era, Jan. 1976, 9-10).

I know, as I know that I live, that this is God's work and that you are His servants...I remember one testimony, among the many testimonies which I have received...Two years ago, about this time, I had been on the Fort Peck Reservation for several days with the brethren, solving the problems connected with our work among the Lamanites. Many questions arose that we had to settle. There was no precedent for us to follow, and we just had to go to the Lord and tell Him our troubles, and get inspiration and help from Him. On this occasion I had sought the Lord, under such circumstances, and that night I received a wonderful manifestation and impression which has never left me. I was carried to this place—into this room. I saw myself here with you. I was told there was another privilege that was to be mine; and I was led into a room where I was informed I was to meet someone. As I entered the room I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious being I have ever conceived of, and was taken forward to be introduced to Him. As I approached He smiled, called my name, and stretched out His hands towards me. If I live to be a million years old I shall never forget that smile. He put His arms around me and kissed me, as He took me into His bosom, and He blessed me until my whole being was thrilled. As He finished I fell at His feet, and there saw the marks of the nails; and as I kissed them, with deep joy swelling through my whole being, I felt that I was in heaven indeed. The feeling that came to my heart then was: Oh! If I could live worthy, though it would require four-score years, so that in the end when I have finished I could go into His presence and receive the feeling that I then had in His presence, I would give everything that I am or ever hope to be! (Melvin J. Ballard, Melvin J. Ballard—Crusader for Righteousness, 65-66; Quoted by M Russell Ballard, "The Blessings of Sacrifice," Ensign, May 1992, 76; See also, New Era, Jan. 1976, 11).






Any immodesty inducing impure thoughts is a desecration of the body—that temple in which the Holy Spirit may dwell (The Abundant Life, 65).

I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants. I was raised on a fruit farm in Salt Lake before we went to Canada, and I knew what ought to happen to that currant bush. So I got some pruning shears and went after it, and I cut it down, and pruned it, and clipped it back until there was nothing left but a little clump of stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying. I was kind of simpleminded (and I haven't entirely gotten over it), and I looked at it, and smiled, and said, "What are you crying about?" You know, I thought I heard that currant bush talk. And I thought I heard it say this: "How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me, because I didn't make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here." That's what I thought I heard the currant bush say, and I thought it so much that I answered. I said, "Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn't intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and some day, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, 'Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down, for caring enough about me to hurt me. Thank you, Mr. Gardener.'" Time passed. Years passed, and I found myself in England. I was in command of a cavalry unit in the Canadian Army. I had made rather rapid progress as far as promotions are concerned, and I held the rank of field officer in the British Canadian Army. And I was proud of my position. And there was an opportunity for me to become a general. I had taken all the examinations. I had the seniority. There was just one man between me and that which for ten years I had hoped to get, the office of general in the British Army. I swelled up with pride. And this one man became a casualty, and I received a telegram from London. It said: "Be in my office tomorrow morning at 10:00," signed by General Turner in charge of all Canadian forces. I called in my valet, my personal servant. I told him to polish my buttons, to brush my hat and my boots, and to make me look like a general because that is what I was going to be. He did the best he could with what he had to work on, and I went up to London. I walked smartly into the office of the General, and I saluted him smartly, and he gave me the same kind of a salute a senior officer usually gives—a sort of "Get out of the way, worm!" He said, "Sit down, Brown." Then he said, "I'm sorry I cannot make the appointment. You are entitled to it. You have passed all the examinations. You have the seniority. You've been a good officer, but I can't make the appointment. You are to return to Canada and become a training officer and a transport officer. Someone else will be made a general." That for which I had been hoping and praying for ten years suddenly slipped out of my fingers. Then he went into the other room to answer the telephone, and I took a soldier's privilege of looking on his desk. I saw my personal history sheet. Right across the bottom of it in bold, block-type letters was written, "THIS MAN IS A MORMON." We were not very well liked in those days. When I saw that, I knew why I had not been appointed. I already held the highest rank of any Mormon in the British Army. He came back and said, "That's all, Brown." I saluted him again, but not quite as smartly. I saluted out of duty and went out. I got on the train and started back to my town, 120 miles away, with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. And every click of the wheels on the rails seemed to say, "You are a failure. You will be called a coward when you get home. You raised all those Mormon boys to join the army, then you sneak off home." I knew what I was going to get, and when I got to my tent, I was so bitter that I threw my cap and my saddle brown belt on the cot. I clinched my fists and I shook them at heaven. I said, "How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven't done. How could you do this to me?" I was as bitter as gall. And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, "I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do." The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness and my bitterness. While kneeling there I heard a song being sung in an adjoining tent. A number of Mormon boys met regularly every Tuesday night. I usually met with them. We would sit on the floor and have a Mutual Improvement Association. As I was kneeling there, praying for forgiveness, I heard their voices singing:
"It may not be on the mountain height Or over the stormy sea;
It may not be at the battle's front My Lord will have need of me;
But if, by a still, small voice he calls To paths that I do not know,
I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine: I'll go where you want me to go."
I arose from my knees a humble man. And now, almost fifty years later, I look up to him and say, "Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me." I see now that it was wise that I should not become a general at that time, because if I had I would have been senior officer of all western Canada, with a lifelong, handsome salary, a place to live, and a pension when I'm no good any longer, but I would have raised my six daughters and two sons in army barracks. They would no doubt have married out of the Church, and I think I would not have amounted to anything. I haven't amounted to very much as it is, but I have done better than I would have done if the Lord had let me go the way I wanted to go (Hugh B. Brown, New Era, Jan. 1973, 14-15).

While very little was written originally on the details of the creation of the world and man's advent upon it, it should be observed that God is the author of two accounts of the creation, one is written in the Bible and amplified by modern revelation and the other in the strata of the earth. Each has at times been wrongly interpreted and misunderstood and they sometimes seemed to be contradictory or at variance. If you will remember that these two records have the same Divine author, you will know they cannot be fundamentally opposed, though man's interpretation of either or both may be seriously at fault. (Hugh B. Brown, "What is Man and What He May Become," BYU Speeches of the Year, 25 Mar. 1958, 6).






I believe that our endowments are too easily obtained. Men and women go to the Temple who do not understand or value the precious blessings that are bestowed upon them...These blessings become so common that many people do not value them or know how to use them. When the Prophet Joseph first communicated that the Lord had revealed to him the keys of the endowments, I can remember the great desire there was on every hand to understand something about them. When the Prophet would speak about his desire to complete the Temple in order that he might impart unto his fellow servants that which God had delivered to him, a thrill went through the congregation and a great desire for this filled their hearts...The...people were moved with desire to complete the Temple, in order that they might receive these great blessings therein. They were valued beyond price. A man that could go in and get his endowments was looked upon as though he had received some extraordinary blessing—something akin to that which the angels received—and it was estimated and valued in that way. How is it now? There is a complete indifference, it may be said, in relation to it. Young people go there stupid, with no particular desire only to get married or go on a mission, without realizing the character of the obligations that they take upon themselves, or the covenants that they make, and the promises involved in the taking of these covenants. The result is, hundreds among us go to the House of the Lord and receive these blessings and come away without having any particular impression made upon them. I think that this is deplorable. When men have gifts and blessings bestowed upon them and they do not value them, they become a cause of condemnation rather than blessing (George Q. Cannon, Collected Discourses, 4:13, Jan. 14, 1894).

No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, He will never desert us. He never has, and He never will. He cannot do it. It is not His character...He will stand by us. We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments (George Q. Cannon, Collected Discourses, 2:185).






In living our lives let us never forget that the deeds of our fathers and mothers are theirs, not ours; that their works cannot be counted to our glory; that we can claim no excellence and no place, because of what they did, that we must rise by our own labor, and that labor failing we shall fail. We may claim no honor, no reward, no respect, nor special position or recognition, no credit because of what our fathers were or what they wrought. We stand upon our own feet in our own shoes (J. Reuben Clark, Improvement Era, Nov. 1947, 748).

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. I pledge to President McKay and to President Richards the full loyal devoted service to the tasks that may come to me to the full measure of my strength and my abilities, and so far as they will enable me to perform them, however inadequate I may be (J. Reuben Clark, Improvement Era, Jun. 1951, 412).

Our Gospel comes in one package. We may not choose the particular thing that we like and ignore everything else, nor submerge nor subdue it. Everything that the Lord has revealed except those things which have been fulfilled by his own life and mission and those things which in his wisdom he has relieved or absolved us from doing, such as the carrying on of the United Order, the building of the temple in Missouri, and like things—everything else is part and parcel of the Gospel. We may not, I repeat, say to ourselves, nor to one another, that this is the important thing or that is the important thing, the others being non-essential or unessential. We have no right to draw distinctions and differences among the commandments of the Lord. The Lord has given us nothing that is useless or unnecessary. He has filled the Scriptures with the things which we should do in order that we may gain salvation. When we partake of the Sacrament we covenant to obey and keep his commandments. There are no exceptions. There are no distinctions, no differences...I repeat, speaking in the language of today, the Gospel is "one package" (Clark, J. Reuben, CR, Apr. 1955, 10-11).






[Regarding the charge, "For virtually denying the faith by declaring that he would not be governed by any ecclesiastical authority nor revelation whatever in his temporal affairs."] If I were to be controlled by other than my own judgment, in a compulsory manner, in my temporal interests, of course, could not buy or sell without the consent of some real or supposed authority...The three great principles of English liberty, as laid down in the books, are "the right of personal security, the right of personal liberty, and the right of private property." My venerable ancestor was among the little band, who landed on the rocks of Plymouth in 1620—with him he brought those maxims, and a body of those laws which were the result and experience of many centuries, on the basis of which now stands our great and happy government; and they are so interwoven in my nature, have so long been inculcated into my mind by a liberal and intelligent ancestry that I am wholly unwilling to exchange them for anything less liberal, less benevolent, or less free. The very principle of which I conceive to be couched in an attempt to set up a kind of petty government, controlled and dictated by ecclesiastical influence, in the midst of this national and state government. You will, no doubt, say this is not correct; but the bare notice of these charges, over which you assume a right to decide, is, in my opinion, a direct attempt to make the secular power subservient to Church direction—to the correctness of which I cannot in conscience subscribe—I believe that principle never did fail to produce anarchy and confusion. This attempt to control me in my temporal interests, I conceive to be a disposition to take from me a portion of my Constitutional privileges and inherent right—I only, respectfully, ask leave, therefore, to withdraw from a society assuming they have such right (Oliver Cowdery, HC 3:18).

Upon carefully inquiring as to his long absence from the body of the Church, he stated that he had never met the Prophet Joseph, after his expulsion from the Church, while he lived, apparently feeling that the Prophet could, with equal propriety, inquire after him, as for him to visit the Prophet, and as his pride would seemingly not allow him to become a suppliant without that, it was never made; while he felt quite sure that had he ever met the Prophet there would have been no difficulty in effecting a reconciliation, as a feeling of jealousy towards him, on the part of his accusers, had entered largely into their purpose of having him removed, which he thought Joseph must have discovered after going to Missouri. In what had now transpired with him he felt to acknowledge the hand of God, in that he had been preserved; for if he had been with the Church he would have undoubtedly been with Joseph in his days of trial and shared a like fate with him; but being spared, he now desired to go to the nations and bear a testimony of this work which no other living man could bear (Samuel W. Richards, IE, Dec. 1898, 94; also Preston Nibley, The Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, 53-54. Oliver stayed with Samuel on his way to visit David Whitmer in Missouri).

Brethren, for a number of years I have been separated from you. I now desire to come back. I wish to come humbly and to be one in your midst. I seek no station. I only wish to be identified with you. I am out of the Church. I am not a member of the Church, but I wish to become a member of it. I wish to come in at the door. I know the door. I have not come here to seek precedence. I come humbly and throw myself upon the decisions of this body, knowing, as I do, that its decisions are right, and should be obeyed (Oliver Cowdery in Andrew Jenson, LDS Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:250).

Here was a struggle indeed; for when he calmly reflected upon his errand, he knew that if God did not give, he could not obtain; and again, with the thought or hope of obtaining, his mind would be carried back to its former reflection of poverty, abuse, wealth, grandeur and ease, until before arriving at the place described, this wholly occupied his desire...And to use his own words it seemed as though two invisible powers were influencing, or striving to influence his mind one with the reflection that if he obtained the object of his pursuit, it would be through the mercy and condescension of the Lord, and that every act or performance in relation to it, must be in strict accordance with the instruction of that personage who communicated the intelligence to him first; and the other with the thoughts and reflections like those previously mentioned—contrasting his former and present circumstances in life with those to come. That precious instructions recorded on the sacred page—pray always—which was expressly impressed upon him, was at length entirely forgotten, and as I previously remarked, a fixed determination to obtain and aggrandize himself, occupied his mind when he arrived at the place where the record was found (Oliver Cowdery, "Letter VII," Messenger and Advocate, Jul 1835, 157-158; Times and Seasons, 2:377-378).

You [may wonder], perhaps, [why] the mind of our brother should be so occupied with the thoughts of the good of this world, at the time of arriving at Cumorah...after having been rapt in the visions of heaven during the night...but the mind of man is easily turned, if it is not held by the power of God through the prayer of faith, and you will remember that I have said that two invisible powers were operating upon his mind during his walk from his residence to Cumorah, and that the one urging the certainly of wealth and ease in this life, had so powerfully wrought upon him, that the great object so carefully and impressively named by the angel, had entirely gone from his recollection that only a fixed determination to obtain now urged him forward. In this...do not understand me to attach blame to our brother: he was young, and his mind easily turned from correct principles, unless he could be favored with a certain round of experience (Oliver Cowdery, "Letter VIII," Messenger and Advocate, Oct 1835, 197; Times and Seasons, 2:392).






God bless us that we may have peace of mind and peace in our hearts. Now you can't have peace of mind and be in want materially. You can't have the spirit of the gospel in your hearts with an empty stomach, and so in the plan of the Master there is provision not only for the salvation of the spirit of man, but also for his physical being (Matthew Cowley, Matthew Cowley Speaks, 300).






Some of the ponderable problems, the unanswered questions, the seeming injustices and discrepancies and uncertainties...which we often have a difficult time in reconciling, will find answer and solution and satisfaction if we are patient and prayerful and willing to wait. Part of them are the price we pay for our free agency. We pay a great price for free agency in this world, but it is worth the price we pay. So long as men have their free agency, there will be temporary injustices and discrepancies and some seemingly inexplicable things, which ultimately in our Father's own time and purpose will be reconciled and made right (Richard L. Evans, Improvement Era, Jun. 1952, 435).






Over a lifetime of observation, it is clear to me that the farmer who observes the Sabbath day seems to get more done on his farm than he would if he worked seven days. The mechanic will be able to turn out more and better products in six days than in seven. The doctor, the lawyer, the dentist, the scientist will accomplish more by trying to rest on the Sabbath than if he tries to utilize every day of the week for his professional work. I would counsel all students, if they can, to arrange their schedules so that they do not study on the Sabbath. If students and others will do this, their minds will be quickened and the Spirit will lead them to the truths they wish to learn (James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 34).

What, then, might be "just cause" for breaking the covenants of marriage? Over a lifetime of dealing with human problems, I have struggled to understand what might be considered "just cause" for breaking of covenants. I confess I do not claim the wisdom or authority to definitively state what is "just cause." Only the parties to the marriage can determine this. They must bear the responsibility for the train of consequences which inevitably follow if these covenants are not honored. In my opinion, "just cause" should be nothing less serious than a prolonged and apparently irredeemable relationship which is destructive of a person's dignity as a human being. At the same time, I have strong feelings about what is not provocation for breaking the sacred covenants of marriage. Surely it is not simply "mental distress," nor "personality differences," nor having "grown apart," nor having "fallen out of love" (James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1993, 36-37).

Some reasons people give when the fire of their faith flickers and dies include: human frailties and the imperfections of others; something in the history of the Church they cannot understand; changes in procedures resulting from growth and continuous revelation; indifference; or transgression (James E. Faust, Ensign, Nov. 2003, 21).

There are so many kinds of voices in the world...that compete with the voice of the Spirit. We have come here to hear just one voice. I have humbly prayed that I will speak by the power of the Holy Ghost so that my message may be carried into your hearts by that same power...Imagine, however, what would happen if all of a sudden a heckler in the back of this hall started to yell obscenities; another on my left began to contend with him; another on my right began to debate with his neighbor; someone in the center turned on a recording of some loud music. Soon a chorus of raucous, rival voices would smother my voice, and it would be difficult, if not impossible, to deliver a spiritual message to you. Such is the situation in the world. The Spirit's voice is ever-present, but it is calm...The Adversary tries to smother this voice with a multitude of loud, persistent, persuasive, and appealing voices: Murmuring voices that conjure up perceived injustices. Whining voices that abhor challenge and work. Seductive voices offering sensual enticements. Soothing voices that lull us into carnal security. Intellectual voices that profess sophistication and superiority. Proud voices that rely on the arm of flesh. Flattering voices that puff us up with pride. Cynical voices that destroy hope. Entertaining voices that promote pleasure-seeking. Commercial voices that tempt us to "spend money for that which is of no worth" and our "labor for that which cannot satisfy"...Delirious voices that spawn the desire for a "high" (James E. Faust, "The Voice of the Spirit," CES Fireside, 5 Sep 1993, 1-2).

It is important to know what the Book of Mormon is not. It is not primarily a history, although much of what it contains is historical...George Q. Cannon stated that "the Book of Mormon is not a geographical primer. It was not written to teach geographical truths. What is told us of the situation of the various lands or cities ... is usually simply an incidental remark connected with the doctrinal or historical portions of the work...The test for understanding this sacred book is preeminently spiritual. An obsession with secular knowledge rather than spiritual understanding will make its pages difficult to unlock." (James E. Faust, "The Keystone of Our Religion," Ensign, Nov. 1983, 10).

An article in U.S. News & World Report entitled "10 Billion for Dinner, Please" states that the earth is capable of producing food for a population of at least eighty billion, eight times the ten billion expected to inhabit the earth by the year 2050. One study estimates that with improved scientific methods the earth could feed as many as one thousand billion people...The Lord said, "For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare." That settles the issue for me. It should settle the issue for all of us. The Lord has spoken (James E. Faust, "Serving the Lord and Resisting the Devil," Ensign, Sept. 1995, 5).

A year or so ago I sat in an elders quorum meeting. The members of the presidency were fine, capable young men; but when they got around to sharing the quorum responsibilities and getting the work done, they limited it to those who were present and who would volunteer. Not one assignment was given. One of the first principles we must keep in mind is that the work of the Lord goes forward through assignments. Leaders receive and give assignments. This is an important part of the necessary principle of delegating. No one appreciates a willing volunteer more than I, but the total work cannot be done as the Lord wants it done merely by those doing the work who may be present at meetings. I have often wondered what the earth would look like if the Lord in the Creation had left the work to be done only by volunteers. If we look upon fulfilling of assignments as building the kingdom of God and as being an opportunity as well as a privilege and an honor, then assignments and challenges should certainly be given to every member of the quorum. Such involvement should include, with appropriate wisdom and discretion, those who perhaps need them the most—the inactive and the partially active brethren. Assignments always should be given with the greatest love, consideration, and kindness. Those asked to respond should be treated with respect and appreciation (James E. Faust, "These I Will Make My Leaders," Ensign, Nov. 1980, 34).

The self-esteem that I speak of...is not blind, arrogant, vain, self-love but rather a self-esteem that is self-respecting, honest, and without conceit. It is born of inner peace and strength... said President Harold B. Lee...not an abnormally developed self-esteem that becomes haughtiness, conceit, or arrogance, but a righteous self-respect that might be defined as "belief in one's own worth, worth to God, and worth to man" (James E. Faust, "The Value of Self-Esteem," CES Fireside for Young Adults, May 6, 2007).

I believe and accept the comforting statement of Elder Orson F. Whitney: "The Prophet Joseph Smith declared--and he never taught more comforting doctrine--that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father's heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God." A principle in this statement that is often overlooked is that they must fully repent and "suffer for their sins" and "pay their debt to justice." I recognize that now is the time "to prepare to meet God." If the repentance of the wayward children does not happen in this life, is it still possible for the cords of the sealing to be strong enough for them yet to work out their repentance? In the Doctrine and Covenants we are told, "The dead who repent will be redeemed, through obedience to the ordinances of the house of God, And after they have paid the penalty of their transgressions, and are washed clean, shall receive a reward according to their works, for they are heirs of salvation." We remember that the prodigal son wasted his inheritance, and when it was all gone he came back to his father's house. There he was welcomed back into the family, but his inheritance was spent. Mercy will not rob justice, and the sealing power of faithful parents will only claim wayward children upon the condition of their repentance and Christ's Atonement. Repentant wayward children will enjoy salvation and all the blessings that go with it, but exaltation is much more. It must be fully earned. The question as to who will be exalted must be left to the Lord in His mercy. There are very few whose rebellion and evil deeds are so great that they have "sinned away the power to repent." That judgment must also be left up to the Lord. He tells us, "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." Perhaps in this life we are not given to fully understand how enduring the sealing cords of righteous parents are to their children. It may very well be that there are more helpful sources at work than we know. I believe there is a strong familial pull as the influence of beloved ancestors continues with us from the other side of the veil (James R Faust, April 2003, Dear Are the Sheep That Have Wandered).






The...angel of God that appeared unto Joseph Smith...revealed to him the history of the early inhabitants of this country...This same angel presides over the destinies of America, and feels a lively interest in all our doings. He was in the camp of Washington; and, by an invisible hand, led on our fathers to conquest and victory; and all this to open and prepare the way for the Church and kingdom of God to be established on the western hemisphere, for the redemption of Israel and the salvation of the world. This same angel was with Columbus, and gave him deep impressions, by dreams and by visions, respecting this New World. Trammelled by poverty and by an unpopular cause, yet his persevering and unyielding heart would not allow an obstacle in his way too great for him to overcome; and the angel of God helped him—was with him on the stormy deep, calmed the troubled elements, and guided his frail vessel to the desired haven. Under the guardianship of this same angel, or Prince of America, have the United States grown, increased, and flourished, like the sturdy oak by the rivers of water (Orson Hyde, JD, 6:368; Given July 4, 1854).






We must be careful in the conclusions that we reach. The Book of Mormon teaches the history of three distinct peoples, or two peoples and three different colonies of people, who came from the old world to this continent. It does not tell us that there was no one here before them. It does not tell us that people did not come after. And so if discoveries are made which suggest differences in race origins, it can very easily be accounted for, and reasonably, for we do believe that other people came to this continent. A thousand years had elapsed from the time the Book of Mormon closed until the discovery of America, and we know that other people came to America during that period (Anthony W. Ivins, of the First Presidency, Conference Report, April 1929, 15).






I want to say to you, my brethren, the time is coming when we will be mixed up in these now peaceful valleys to that extent that it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then, brethren, look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall; for I say unto you there is a test, a Test, a TEST coming, and who will be able to stand? (Heber C. Kimball, Life of Heber C. Kimball, 446).






I do not know that I can make all this vast congregation hear and understand me. My voice never was very strong, but it has been very much weakened of late years by the afflicting rod of Jehovah. He loved me too much to let me go without whipping. I have seen the hand of the Lord in the chastisement which I have received. I have seen and known that it has proved he loved me; for if he had not cared anything about me, he would not have taken me by the arm and given me such a shaking. If there are any among this people who should ever apostatize and do as I have done, prepare your backs for a good whipping, if you are such as the Lord loves. But if you will take my advice, you will stand by the authorities; but if you go away and the Lord loves you as much as he did me, he will whip you back again (Thomas B. Marsh JD 5:207).

I have frequently wanted to know how my apostacy began, and I have come to the conclusion that I must have lost the Spirit of the Lord out of my heart. The next question is, "How and when did you lose the Spirit?" I became jealous of the Prophet, and then I saw double, and overlooked everything that was right, and spent all my time in looking for the evil; and then, when the Devil began to lead me, it was easy for the carnal mind to rise up, which is anger, jealousy, and wrath. I could feel it within me; I felt angry and wrathful; and the Spirit of the Lord being gone...I was blinded, and I thought I saw a beam in brother Joseph's eye, but it was nothing but a mote, and my own eye was filled with the beam; but I thought I saw a beam in his, and I wanted to get it out; and, as brother Heber says, I got mad, and I wanted everybody else to be mad. I talked with Brother Brigham and Brother Heber, and I wanted them to be mad like myself; and I saw they were not mad, and I got madder still because they were not...Well, this is about the amount of my hypocrisy (Thomas B. Marsh JD 5:208).






Because Jesus was brilliant beyond our comprehension, he knew even premortally, though intellectually, what he was volunteering to do. Yet he had to experience it all personally—especially the awful agony of Gethsemane and Calvary...The full weight fell upon him when he entered the garden...where he fell on the ground...The keenest of all intellects to ever grace this planet endured sufferings that were worse than even he, with his unexcelled brilliance, had ever imagined (Neal A. Maxwell, "In Him All Things Hold Together," Speeches, 1990-91, 109).

Brothers and sisters, my verbal moment is not for sermons but for appreciation, not for doctrine but for testimony. Appreciation for your sustaining vote which was not vindication but an invitation—an invitation for me to be and to do better (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1974, 112).

Could it be that Father has customized chores for us to do in the eternities and therefore chooses to give us now a growth experience we do not seem to need—but that he knows we need? (Neal A. Maxwell, Things As They Really Are, 36-37).

I testify that He is utterly incomparable in what He is, what He knows, what He has accomplished, and what He has experienced...We can trust, worship, and even adore Him without any reservation! As the only Perfect Person to sojourn on this planet, there is none like Him! In intelligence and performance, He far surpasses the individual and the composite capacities and achievements of all who have lived, live now, and will yet live! He rejoices in our genuine goodness and achievement, but any assessment of where we stand in relation to Him tells us that we do not stand at all! We kneel! Can we, even in the depths of disease, tell Him anything at all about suffering? In ways we cannot comprehend, our sicknesses and infirmities were borne by Him even before these were borne by us...We have never been, nor will we be, in depths such as He has known. Thus His atonement made His empathy and His capacity to succor us perfect, for which we can be everlastingly grateful as He tutors us in our trials...Can we really counsel Him about being misrepresented, misunderstood, or betrayed? Or what it is like when even friends falter or "go a fishing"? Can we educate Him regarding injustice or compare failures of judicial systems with the Giver of the Law, who, in divine dignity, endured its substantive and procedural perversion? And when we feel so alone, can we presume to teach Him who trod "the wine-press alone" anything at all about feeling forsaken?...Do we presume to instruct Him in either compassion or mercy? Even at the apogee of His agony upon the cross, He, nevertheless, consoled a thief beside Him...Can we excuse our compromises because of the powerful temptations of status seeking? It was He who displayed incredible integrity as the adversary made Him an offer which could not be refused...But He refused! Can we lecture Him on liberty, He who sets us free from our last enemies—sin and death? Can those who revere human freedom yet complain about human suffering ever achieve real reconciliation except through His gospel? Can those concerned with nourishing the poor advise Him concerning feeding the multitudes? Can those who are concerned with medicine instruct Him about healing the sick? Or can we inform the Atoner about feeling the sting of ingratitude when one's service goes unappreciated or unnoticed? Only one leper in ten thanked Jesus, who asked searchingly, "But where are the nine?" Should those concerned with lengthening the lifespan offer to enlighten the Resurrector of all mankind? Can scientists, whose discipline brings the discovery of the interweavings in the tapestry of truth, instruct the Tapestry Maker? Should we seek to counsel Him in courage? Should we rush forth eagerly to show Him our mortal medals—our scratches and bruises—He who bears His five special wounds? Indeed, we cannot teach Him anything! But we can listen to Him. We can love Him, we can honor Him, we can worship Him! We can keep His commandments, and we can feast upon His scriptures! Yes, we who are so forgetful and even rebellious are never forgotten by Him! We are His "work" and His "glory," and He is never distracted! (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Nov. 1981, 8-9).

If the Lord were to show His power as some expect power to be used—which is virtually unthinkable—mortals would experience, among other things, prompt punishment rather than divine long-suffering. God would then stop all human suffering and silence all opposition to His work. In countless ways He would control the adverse effects of agency merely to prove that He was all-powerful. But He would not be all-loving for in effect He would have derailed His plan of happiness! The enforced cooperation would not produce illuminated individuality but an indistinguishable "compound in one." We would then be back to that proposal of enforced "salvation" rejected so long ago (Neal A. Maxwell, Not My Will, But Thine, 91).

If, on occasion, you notice the strange encapsulation we call time, you'll understand it's not our natural dimension. The birds are at home in the air. They don't think about how to fly. Fish are at home in the water. They don't think about how to swim. It's natural. But you and I are cocooned, as it were, in this dimension called time. And it's not our natural dimension. So it is, we're always wishing we could hasten the passage of time or to hold back the dawn. And we can't do either. We're uncomfortable with time because we belong to eternity. If we were comfortable with time, we wouldn't have clocks on the wall and have calendars and wristwatches. It is not our natural dimension, so time will whisper to you that you're a stranger here (Neal A. Maxwell, "Such as is Common to Man," Oct. 5, 1980, at the SL Institute).

Let all gospel instruction in the home or classroom be a genuine experience in learning—not merely doctrinal Ping-Pong (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Nov. 1980, 15).

Many in the world hold back from making the "leap of faith" because they have already jumped to some other conclusions (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Apr. 1993, 71).

Mercy rejoices in every step toward righteousness and is not offended by being pleasantly surprised (Neal A. Maxwell, Even As I Am, 51).

Only by searching the scriptures, not using them occasionally as quote books, can we begin to understand the implications as well as the declarations of the gospel (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1986, 34).

Part of what may be lacking, at times, in the decent teacher is a freshening personal excitement over the gospel which could prove highly contagious. Since we can only speak the smallest part of what we feel, we should not let that smallest part shrink in its size (Neal A. Maxwell, "Teaching by the Spirit—The Language of Inspiration," CES Symposium, Aug. 13, 1991).

Real, personal sacrifice never was placing an animal on the altar. Instead, it is a willingness to put the animal in us upon the altar and letting it be consumed! (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1995, 68).

So here we are in Eden, an Eden become Babylon! Perhaps we have grown too accustomed to the place. Even if we decide to leave Babylon, some of us endeavor to keep a second residence there, or we commute on weekends. Some go on trying to serve the Lord without offending the devil (Neal A. Maxwell, A Wonderful Flood of Light, 47-48).

The Church has done many difficult things, and from these achievements one would not wish to detract. But all the easy things the Church has had to do have been done. From now on it is high adventure! (Neal A. Maxwell, Wherefore Ye Must Press Forward, 84).

The more hesitation, the less inspiration (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1985, 71)

The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's altar. The many other things we "give," brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God's will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give! (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 24).

Therefore, though we have rightly applauded our ancestors for their spiritual achievements (and do not and must not discount them now), those of us who prevail today will have done no small thing. The special spirits who have been reserved to live in this time of challenges and who overcome will one day be praised for their stamina by those who pulled handcarts (Neal A. Maxwell, Notwithstanding My Weakness, p.18

When reminded about the premortal shouting for joy as this life's plan was unfolded, we can perhaps be pardoned if, in some moments, we wonder what all the shouting was about (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1985, 72).

When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1978, 10-11).

You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today's world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1978, 10).

Your lives, your dates, your courtships, your marriages, your families, your peers...your institute classes currently constitute the sample of humanity which God has given you. We are each other's clinical material, and we make a mistake when we disregard that sober fact (Neal A. Maxwell, "Jesus, The Perfect Mentor," CES Fireside, Feb. 6, 2000, 4).

Each of us might well ask, "In what ways am I shrinking or holding back?" Meek introspection may yield some bold insights! For example, we can tell much by what we have already willingly discarded along the pathway of discipleship. It is the only pathway where littering is permissible, even encouraged. In the early stages, the debris left behind includes the grosser sins of commission. Later debris differs; things begin to be discarded which have caused the misuse or underuse of our time and talent (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 24).

Sometimes [God] clearly directs; other times it seems He merely permits some things to happen. Therefore, we will not always understand the role of God's hand, but we know enough of his heart and mind to be submissive. Thus when we are perplexed and stressed, explanatory help is not always immediately forthcoming, but compensatory help will be (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 24).

Laman and Lemuel also displayed little lasting spiritual curiosity. Once, true, they asked straightforward questions about the meaning of a vision of the tree, the river, and the rod of iron. Yet their questions were really more like trying to connect doctrinal dots rather than connecting themselves with God and His purposes for them (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, Nov. 1999, 8).

The Atonement, then, was infinite in the divineness of the one sacrificed, in the comprehensiveness of its coverage, and in the intensiveness —incomprehensible to us— of the Savior's suffering (Neal A. Maxwell, Not My Will, But Thine, 51).

Endless appreciation to my Father in heaven whose blessings depend upon our obedience, but whose ratio of blessings to obedience makes him a generous God! (Neal A. Maxwell, "Response to a Call," Ensign, May 1974, 112).

All knowledge is not of equal significance. There is no democracy of facts! They are not of equal importance. Something might be factual, but not be important. For instance, today I wear a dark blue suit. That is true, but it is unimportant. As, more and more, we brush against truth, we sense that it has a hierarchy of importance. Some truths are salvationally significant and others are not (Neal A. Maxwell, "The Inexhaustible Gospel," Ensign, Apr. 1993, 69).

God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability! (Neal A. Maxwell, "It's Service, Not Status, That Counts," Ensign, July 1975, 7).

Indeed, evil is not only erotic; it is erratic, since it must entice so many in such a multitude of ways. Thus, persuade a man possessed of one truth that he has all truth. Convince another that there is no truth whatsoever. Let another believe that all truths are of equal importance to man. Notice...that the result is the same in all cases: the searching for truth stops. Allow one person to think that no matter what he does, it is not wrong. Tell another that he has done wrong, but it is not serious. Persuade another that he has erred so gravely that there is no hope for him. Again, the result is the same: The sinning continues. The devil...is a liar and a cheat (Neal A. Maxwell, The Enoch Letters, 32-33).

In the arithmetic of heaven, several commendables do not cancel out one inexcusable! (Neal A. Maxwell, "'Answer Me'," Ensign, Nov 1988, 31).

Concerning the relevancy of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the facts are that there is no human circumstance to which the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ cannot bring either remedy or reassurance. There is no human challenge to which the gospel cannot respond specifically and effectively if applied. There is no life which it cannot ennoble and enrich and enlighten. There is no mortal uncertainty that its light will not clarify, and no darkness it cannot dispel (Neam A. Maxwell, "Those Seedling Saints Who Sit before You," CES Symposium on the Old Testament, 19 August 1983).

Orthodoxy ensures balance between the gospel's powerful and correct principles. In the body of gospel doctrine, not only are justice and mercy "fitly joined together [for] effectual working," but so is everything else! (Ephesians 4:16). But the gospel's principles do require synchronization. When pulled apart from each other or isolated, men's interpretations and implementations of these doctrines may be wild...Thus, the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ is greater than any of its parts and larger than any of its programs or principles! (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1993, 78-79).

On the other side of the veil, there are perhaps seventy billion people. They need the same gospel, and releases occur here to aid the Lord's work there. Each release of a righteous individual from this life is also a call to new labors. Those who have true hope understand this. Therefore, though we miss the departed righteous so much here, hundreds may feel their touch there. One day, those hundreds will thank the bereaved for gracefully forgoing the extended association with choice individuals here, in order that they could help hundreds there. In Gods ecology, talent and love are never wasted. The hopeful understand this, too. (Neal A. Maxwell, Notwithstanding My Weakness, 55.)

Thus the Book of Mormon...is like a vast mansion with gardens, towers, courtyards, and wings. There are rooms yet to be entered, with flaming fireplaces waiting to warm us....Yet we as Church members sometimes behave like hurried tourists, scarcely venturing beyond the entry hall (Neal A. Maxwell, "Not My Will, But Thine," 33).

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a collection of principles woven together in the fabric of immutable law; this is the romance and the high adventure of orthodoxy: these principles, bound together, not only give us salvation, but they also give us balance, depth, and happiness in our lives. The doctrines of Jesus Christ are so powerful that any one of these doctrines, having been broken away from the rest, goes wild and mad...Any doctrine, unless it is woven into the fabric of orthodoxy, goes wild. The doctrines of the kingdom need each other just as the people of the kingdom need each other (Neal A. Maxwell, "Spiritual Ecology," New Era, Feb. 1975).

There are those who chronically misunderstand the Church because they are busy trying to explain the Church from the outside. They are so busy believing what they want to believe about the Church that they will not take the time to learn what they need to learn about the Church. They prefer any explanation to the real explanation. Some prefer to believe the worst rather than to know the truth. Still others are afraid to part the smokescreen of allegations for fear of what they will see. Yet one cannot see the Louvre by remaining in it lobby. One cannot understand the Church by remaining outside...Some insist upon studying the Church only through the eyes of its defectors--like interviewing Judas to understand Jesus. Defectors always tell us more about themselves than about that from which they have departed. Some others patiently feed their pet peeve about the Church without realizing that such a pet will not only bite the hands of him who feeds it, but it will swallow his whole soul. Of course we are a very imperfect people! Remember, however, that while it is possible to have an imperfect people possessed of perfect doctrines (indeed, such is necessary to change their imperfections), you will never, never see the reverse: a perfect people with imperfect doctrines (Neal A. Maxwell, "All Hell Is Moved," Speeches, 8 Nov. 1977).

Our gospel teaching must underscore, as never before, the verity, the relevancy, and the urgency of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This triad of teaching objectives is keenly important because their force will hasten full conversion. (Neal A. Maxwell, "Those Seedling Saints Who Sit before You" [CES symposium on the Old Testament, Aug. 19, 1983], 2)

We must be careful...not to canonize these models as we have some pioneers and past Church leaders--not to dry all the human sweat off them, not to put ceaseless smiles on their faces, when they really struggled and experienced agony. Real people who believe and prevail are ultimately more faith-promoting and impressive than saccharine saints with tinsel traits (Neal A. Maxwell, A More Excellent Way, Ch. 10, Using the Home).






All progression, all perfection, all salvation, all godliness, all that is right and just and true, all good things come to those who live the laws of Him who is Eternal. There is nothing in all eternity more important than to keep the commandments of God (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, 126).

As to the Fall itself we are told that the Lord planted "the tree of knowledge of good and evil" in the midst of the garden. Again the account is speaking figuratively. What is meant by partaking of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil is that our first parents complied with whatever laws were involved so that their bodies would change from their state of paradisiacal immortality to a state of natural mortality (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Jun. 1982, 15).

The scriptures themselves present the gospel in the way that the Lord wants it presented to us in our day. I do not say that it is always presented to men in the same way...But for our day and our time and our hour, the time of our mortal probation, we are to teach in the way things are recorded in the standard works that we have. And if you want to know what emphasis should be given to gospel principles, you simply teach the whole standard works and, automatically, in the process, you will have given the Lord's emphasis to every doctrine and every principle (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Foolishness of Teaching," Address to CES Religious Educators, 18 Sept. 1981, 6-7).

But the doctrinal reality is that aside from the fact that a merciful and gracious Father created us and placed us here on earth to undergo a mortal probation; aside from the fact that "he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matt. 5:45); aside from certain mortal blessings which come to the righteous and the wicked as a necessary part of mortality—aside from the fact that a merciful God provides immortality for all his children as a free gift—aside from such things as these, there is no such thing as mercy except for those who love the Lord and signify such by keeping his commandments. In other words, mercy is reserved for the faithful members of the Church and kingdom of God on earth, and for none else, except little children or others who have not arrived at the years of accountability (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, 243-244).

Few men on earth, either in or out of the Church, have caught the vision of what the Book of Mormon is all about. Few are they among men who know the part it has played and will yet play in preparing the way for the coming of Him of whom it is a new witness. Few are they who believe its truths and abide by its precepts to such a degree that they would qualify to read the sealed portion of the plates and learn the full account of what the Lord has in store for the people of the world (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, 159).

I have no power to create a doctrine. I have no power to manufacture a theory or a philosophy or choose a way in which we must go or a thing we must believe to gain eternal life in our Father's kingdom. I am an agent, a servant, a representative, an ambassador if you will. I have been called of God to preach what? To preach his gospel, not mine. It doesn't matter what I think. The only commission I have is to proclaim his word. And if I proclaim his word by the power of the Spirit, then everyone involved is bound. People are bound to accept it, or if they reject it, it is at their peril (Bruce R. McConkie, The Foolishness of Teaching).

If being a Christian means believing in Christ and accepting him as the Son of God in the full and complete sense; if it means having the true gospel in its everlasting fullness; if it means believing what Peter and Paul believed and finding fellowship in the same Church to which they belonged; if it means feeding the hungry, and clothing the naked, and loving our fellowmen, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world—where else shall we find true Christians except among the Latter-day Saints? (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Nov. 1981, 47).

If we had sufficient insight, we would see in every gospel ordinance, in every rite that is part of revealed religion, in every performance commanded of God, in all things Deity gives his people, something that typifies the eternal ministry of the Eternal Christ... It is wholesome and proper to look for similitudes of Christ everywhere and to use them repeatedly in keeping him and his laws uppermost in our minds (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, 377, 453).

Not all prayers are the same; some are thoughtless chants filled with ritualistic mockery; others are the repetitious and meaningless cries of the heathen. Some consist of memorized phrases learned in youth or of scriptures learned in days past; others—albeit they are few in number—are the heart-stirring pleas of the righteous, poured forth with all the energy and power and faith that their whole souls can possess (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 3:186-7).

Sacrifice pertains to mortality; in the eternal sense there is none. Sacrifice involves giving up the things of this world because of the promises of blessings to be gained in a better world. In the eternal perspective there is no sacrifice in giving up all things—even including the laying down of one's life—if eternal life is gained through such a course (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 664).

Scriptural understanding and great insight relative to the doctrines of salvation are valuable only insofar as they change and perfect the lives of men, only insofar as they live in the hearts of those who know them (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Oct. 1973, 83).

Sins are remitted not in the waters of baptism, as we say in speaking figuratively, but when we receive the Holy Ghost. It is the Holy Spirit of God that erases carnality and brings us into a state of righteousness. We become clean when we actually receive the fellowship and companionship of the Holy Ghost (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 290).

Spiritual gifts are endless in number and infinite in variety. Those listed in the revealed word are simply illustrations of the boundless outpouring of divine grace that a gracious God gives those who love and serve him (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 371).

There are those who believe that the doctrine of salvation for the dead offers men a second chance for salvation. This is false, false, false. I knew a man, now deceased, not a member of the Church, who was a degenerate old reprobate who found pleasure in living after the manner of the world. A cigarette dangled from his lips, alcohol stenched his breath, and profane and bawdy stories defiled his lips. His moral status left much to be desired. His wife was a member of the Church, as faithful as she could be under the circumstances. One day she said to him, "You know the Church is true; why won't you be baptized?" He replied, "Of course I know the Church is true, but I have no intention of changing my habits in order to join it. I prefer to live the way I do. But that doesn't worry me in the slightest. I know that as soon as I die, you will have someone go to the temple and do the work for me and everything will come out all right in the end anyway." He died and she had the work done in the temple, and it was a complete waste of time. We do not sit in judgment and deny vicarious ordinances to people. But what will it profit him? There is no such thing as a second chance to gain salvation. This life is the time and day of our probation. For those who do not have an opportunity to believe and obey the holy word in this life, the first chance to gain salvation will come in the spirit world (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Seven Deadly Heresies", Speeches, 1980, 77).

There is no greater issue ever to confront mankind in modern times than this: Is the Book of Mormon the mind and will and voice of God to all men? For if it is, then Joseph Smith was a prophet, the testimony of Jesus he gave is true, and the plan of salvation of the Great God is in full operation (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, 179-180).

There is no price too high, no labor too onerous, no struggle too severe, no sacrifice too great, if out of it all we receive and enjoy the gift of the Holy Ghost (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 253).

They are one and dwell in each other, meaning: They have the same mind one with another; they think the same thoughts, speak the same words, and perform the same acts—so much so that any thought, word, or act of one is the thought, word, or act of the other. They possess the same character, enjoy the same perfections, and manifest the same attributes, each one possessing all of these in their eternal and godly fulness. Their unity in all things, their perfect oneness in mind, power, and perfections, marks the course and charts the way for faithful mortals, whose chief goal in life is to unite together and become one with them, thereby gaining eternal life for themselves (Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, 120).

We are a kingdom of brethren, a congregation of equals, all of whom are entitled to receive all of the blessings of the priesthood. There are no blessings reserved for apostles that are not freely available to all the elders of the kingdom; blessings come because of obedience and personal righteousness, not because of administrative positions (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Nov. 1977, 33).

We are not always called upon to live the whole law of consecration and give all of our time, talents, and means to the building up of the Lord's earthly kingdom. Few of us are called upon to sacrifice much of what we possess, and at the moment there is only an occasional martyr in the cause of revealed religion. But what the scriptural account means is that to gain celestial salvation we must be able to live these laws to the full if we are called upon to do so. Implicit in this is the reality that we must in fact live them to the extent we are called upon so to do (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, May 1975, 50).

We are so wound up in programs and statistics and trends, in properties, lands and mammon, and in achieving goals that will highlight the excellence of our work, that we have 'omitted the weightier matters of the law.'...However talented men may be in administrative matters; however eloquent they may be in expressing their views; however learned they may be in the worldly things—they will be denied the sweet whisperings of the Spirit that might have been theirs unless they pay the price of studying, pondering, and praying about the scriptures (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, May 1986, 81).

We do not create the doctrines of the gospel. People who ask questions about the gospel, a good portion of the time, are looking for an answer that sustains a view they have expressed. They want to justify a conclusion that they have reached instead of looking for the ultimate truth in the field. The only thing I ought to be concerned with is learning what the Lord thinks about a doctrine. If I ask a question of someone to learn something, I ought not to be seeking for a confirmation of a view that I have expressed. I ought to be seeking knowledge and wisdom. My sole interest and my sole concern would be to find our what the Lord thinks on the subject (Bruce R. McConkie, The Foolishness of Teaching).

We do not work out our salvation in a moment; it doesn't come to us in an instant, suddenly. Gaining salvation is a process...We have to become perfect to be saved in the celestial kingdom of God. But nobody becomes perfect in this life. Only the Lord Jesus attained that state, and he had an advantage that none of us has. He was the Son of God. No other mortal—not the greatest prophet nor the mightiest Apostle nor any of the righteous Saints of any of the ages—has ever been perfect, but we must become perfect to gain a celestial inheritance. Becoming perfect in Christ is a process. We begin to keep the commandments today, and we keep more of them tomorrow, and we go from grace to grace, up the steps of the ladder, and we thus improve and perfect our souls. As members of the Church, if we chart a course leading to eternal life; and degree by degree are going in that direction; and if we chart a course of becoming perfect and, step by step and phase by phase, are perfecting our souls by overcoming the world, then it is absolutely guaranteed—there is no question whatever about it—we shall gain eternal life. Even though we have spiritual rebirth ahead of us, perfection ahead of us, the full degree of sanctification ahead of us, if we chart a course and follow it to the best of our ability in this life, then when we go out of this life we'll continue in exactly that same course. We will no longer be subject to the passions and the appetites of the flesh. We will have passed successfully the tests of this mortal probation and in due course we'll get the fullness of our Father's kingdom—and that means eternal life in his everlasting presence (Bruce R. McConkie, "Jesus Christ and Him Crucified," Speeches, 1976, 398-401; DR, 52-54).

We don't need to get a complex or get a feeling that you have to be perfect to be saved. You don't. There's only been one perfect person, and that's the Lord Jesus, but in order to be saved in the Kingdom of God and in order to pass the test of mortality, what you have to do is get on the straight and narrow path—thus charting a course leading to eternal life—and then, being on that path, pass out of this life in full fellowship. I'm not saying that you don't have to keep the commandments. I'm saying you don't have to be perfect to be saved. If you did, no one would be saved. The way it operates is this: you get on the path that's named the "straight and narrow." The straight and narrow path leads a very great distance, to a reward that's called eternal life. If you're on that path and pressing forward, and you die, you'll never get off the path. There is no such thing as falling off the straight and narrow path in the life to come. If you're working zealously in this life—though you haven't fully overcome the world and you haven't done all you hoped you might do—you're still going to be saved. You don't have to have an excessive zeal that becomes fanatical and becomes unbalancing. What you have to do is stay in the mainstream of the Church and live as upright and decent people live in the Church—keeping the commandments, paying your tithing, serving in the organizations of the Church, loving the Lord, staying on the straight and narrow path. If you're on that path when death comes you'll never fall off from it, and, for all practical purposes, your calling and election is made sure (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Probationary Test of Mortality," Jan 10, 1982, at the SL Institute).

We have the power—and it is our privilege—so to live, that becoming pure in heart, we shall see the face of God while we yet dwell as mortals in a world of sin and sorrow (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Nov. 1977, 34).

We repeat that no one is able to make a harmony of the Gospels or to list chronologically the events of Jesus' life. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John did not do it, and the accounts they have left us do not agree among themselves. Every reputable scholar who has made an independent study of the issues involved has found himself at loggerheads, in large or small part, with every other analyst....The chronology of President J. Reuben Clark, Jr....often disagrees with Elder James E. Talmage, just as Edersheim does with Farrar, or as Mark does with Luke, or as every independent analyst does with some or all of his fellows. Choices must be made; every writer must make his own, and it is doubtful if any author—nay, it is a surety that no author—has made right choices in all cases (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 2:64-65).

We say that a man has to be born again, meaning that he has to die as pertaining to the unrighteous things in the world...and live...as pertaining to the things of the Spirit. But that doesn't happen in an instant, suddenly. That is a process. Being born again is a gradual thing, except in a few isolated instances that are so miraculous they get written up in the scriptures. As far as the generality of the members of the Church are concerned, we are born again by degrees, and we are born again to added light and added knowledge and added desires for righteousness as we keep the commandments (Bruce R. McConkie, "Jesus Christ and Him Crucified," Speeches, 1976, 399; DR, 52-53).

When I was a mission president in Australia, I once said to those of my missionaries in Tasmania: "Tomorrow we shall climb Mt. Wellington and hold our missionary meeting on the top." We made the climb, and while on top of the peak we visited a television broadcasting station. A bright young man explained to us in words I had never heard, and using principles I could not and do not understand, how the sounds and scenes of television were broadcast into the valley below. That night, back in the city of Hobart, my two young sons and I sat before a television set that was tuned to the proper wave band, and we saw and heard and experienced what had been described to us in words. Now I think this illustrates perfectly what is involved in the receipt of revelation and the seeing of visions. We can read about visions and revelations in the records of the past, we can study the inspired writings of people who had the fullness of the gospel in their day, but we cannot comprehend what is involved until we see and hear and experience for ourselves. This Tabernacle is now full of words and music. Handel's Messiah is being sung, and the world's statesmen are propagandizing their people. But we do not hear any of it. This Tabernacle is full of scenes from Vietnam and Washington. There is even a picture of men walking on the surface of the moon. But we are not seeing these things. The minute, however, in which we tune a radio to the proper wave band and tune a television receiving set on the proper channel, we begin to hear and see and experience what otherwise remains completely unknown to us. And so it is with the revelations and visions of eternity. They are around us all the time. This Tabernacle is full of the same things which are recorded in the scriptures and much more. The vision of the degrees of glory is being broadcast before us, but we do not hear or see or experience because we have not tuned our souls to the wave band on which the Holy Ghost is broadcasting (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Jun. 1971, 77).

Would it surprise you if I suggested that there is more knowledge in the four gospels, more revealed truth relative to the nature and kind of being that God the Father is, than in all the rest of holy writ combined?...God was, in Christ, manifesting to the world the nature and kind of being that he is. We know the Father by coming to an understanding of the Son (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Apr. 1975, 70-71).

It should be clear that bishops and other church officers, when confessions are made to them, do not forgive sins except in the sense that they forgive them as far as the Church is concerned; they remit any penalty which the Church on earth might impose; they [judge] that repentant persons are worthy of full fellowship in the earthly kingdom (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.294).

True and perfect worship consists in following in the steps of the Son of God; it consists in keeping the commandments and obeying the will of the Father to that degree that we advance from grace to grace until we are glorified in Christ as he is in his Father. It is far more than prayer and sermon and song. It is living and doing and obeying. It is emulating the life of the great Exemplar. With this principle before us, may I now illustrate some of the specifics of that divine worship which is pleasing to him whose we are? To worship the Lord is to follow after him, to seek his face, to believe his doctrine, and to think his thoughts. It is to walk in his paths, to be baptized as Christ was, to preach that gospel of the kingdom which fell from his lips, and to heal the sick and raise the dead as he did. To worship the Lord is to put first in our lives the things of his kingdom, to live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God, to center our whole hearts upon Christ and that salvation which comes because of him. It is to walk in the light as he is in the light, to do the things that he wants done, to do what he would do under similar circumstances, to be as he is. To worship the Lord is to walk in the Spirit, to rise above carnal things, to bridle our passions, and to overcome the world. It is to pay our tithes and offerings, to act as wise stewards in caring for those things which have been entrusted to our care, and to use our talents and means for the spreading of truth and the building up of his kingdom. To worship the Lord is to be married in the temple, to have children, to teach them the gospel, and to bring them up in light and truth. It is to perfect the family unit, to honor our father and our mother; it is for a man to love his wife with all his heart and to cleave unto her and none else. To worship the Lord is to visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. It is to work on a welfare project, to administer to the sick, to go on a mission, to go home teaching, and to hold family home evening. To worship the Lord is to study the gospel, to treasure up light and truth, to ponder in our hearts the things of his kingdom, and to make them part of our lives. It is to pray with all the energy of our souls, to preach by the power of the Spirit, to sing songs of praise and thanksgiving. To worship is to work, to be actively engaged in a good cause, to be about our Father's business, to love and serve our fellowmen. It is to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to comfort those that mourn, and to hold up the hands that hang down and to strengthen the feeble knees. To worship the Lord is to stand valiantly in the cause of truth and righteousness, to let our influence for good be felt in civic, cultural, educational, and governmental fields, and to support those laws and principles which further the Lord's interests on earth. To worship the Lord is to be of good cheer, to be courageous, to be valiant, to have the courage of our God-given convictions, and to keep the faith. It is ten thousand times ten thousand things. It is keeping the commandments of God. It is living the whole law of the whole gospel. To worship the Lord is to be like Christ until we receive from him the blessed assurance: "Ye shall be even as I am." (Bruce R. McConkie, Ensign, Dec. 1971, 130).

I think that people who study the scriptures get a dimension to their life that nobody else gets and that can't be gained in any way except by studying the scriptures. There's an increase in faith and a desire to do what's right and a feeling of inspiration and understanding that comes to people who study the gospel—meaning particularly the Standard Works—and who ponder the principles, that can't come in any other way (Bruce R. McConkie, Church News, Jan. 24, 1976, 4).

We now come to the least known and least understood thing connected with the Second Coming. It might well be termed the best-kept secret set forth in the revealed word. It is something about which the world knows nothing; it is a doctrine that has scarcely dawned on most of the Latter-day Saints themselves; and yet it is set forth in holy writ and in the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith with substantially the same clarity as any of the doctrines of the kingdom. It behooves us to make a needed brief commentary about it. Before the Lord Jesus descends openly and publicly in the clouds of glory, attended by all the hosts of heaven; before the great and dreadful day of the Lord sends terror and destruction from one end of the earth to the other; before he stands on Mount Zion, or sets his feet on Olivet, or utters his voice from an American Zion or a Jewish Jerusalem; before all flesh shall see him together; before any of his appearances, which taken together comprise the second coming of the Son of God—before all these, there is to be a secret appearance to selected members of his Church. He will come in private to his prophet and to the apostles then living. Those who have held keys and powers and authorities in all ages from Adam to the present will also be present. And further, all the faithful members of the Church then living and all the faithful saints of all the ages past will be present. It will be the greatest congregation of faithful saints ever assembled on planet earth. It will be a sacrament meeting. It will be a day of judgment for the faithful of all the ages. And it will take place in Davies County, Missouri, at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, 578-579).

Being subject to law, and having their agency, all the spirits of men, while yet in the Eternal Presence, developed aptitudes, talents, capacities, and abilities of every sort, kind, and degree. During the long expanse of life which then was, an infinite variety of talents and abilities came into being. As the ages rolled, no two spirits remained alike. Mozart became a musician; Einstein centered his interest in mathematics: Michelangelo turned his attention to painting. Cain was a liar, a schemer, a rebel who maintained a close affinity to Lucifer. Abraham and Moses and all of the prophets sought and obtained the talent for spirituality. Mary and Eve were two of the greatest of all the spirit daughters of the Father. The whole house of Israel, known and segregated out from their fellows, was inclined toward spiritual things. And so it went through all the hosts of heaven, each individual developing such talents and abilities as his soul desired. The Lord endowed us all with agency; he gave us laws that would enable us to advance and progress and become like him; and he counseled and exhorted us to pursue the course leading to glory and exaltation. He himself was the embodiment and personification of all good things. Every desirable characteristic and trait dwelt in him in its eternal fulness. All of his obedient children started to become like him in one way or another. There was as great a variety and degree of talent and ability among us there as there is among us here. Some excelled in one way, others in another. The Firstborn excelled all of us in all things...When we pass from preexistence to mortality, we bring with us the traits and talents there developed. True, we forget what went before because we are here being tested, but the capacities and abilities that then were ours are yet resident within us. Mozart is still a musician; Einstein retains his mathematical abilities; Michelangelo his artistic talent; Abraham Moses, and the prophets their spiritual talents and abilities. Cain still lies and schemes. And all men with their infinitely varied talents and personalities pick up the course of progression where they left it off when they left the heavenly realms (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 1:23, 25).

Those in all sects, parties, and denominations find it easy to put aside their differences when the seeming need arises to unite on the one point that Joseph Smith is a false prophet. It seems that men may believe any doctrine and follow any practice—except one and still be in good standing in the Christian community. Everything is acceptable except to believe in the divine mission of Joseph Smith (Bruce R. McConkie, A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, 8).

There is no salvation in worshiping a false god. It does not matter one particle how sincerely someone may believe that God is a golden calf, or that he is an immaterial, uncreated power that is in all things; the worship of such a being or concept has no saving power. Men may believe with all their souls that images or powers or laws are God, but no amount of devotion to these concepts will ever give the power that leads to immortality and eternal life. If a man worships a cow or a crocodile, he can gain any reward that cows and crocodiles happen to be passing out this season. If he worships the laws of the universe or the forces of nature, no doubt the earth will continue to spin, the sun to shine, and the rains to fall on the just and on the unjust. But if he worships the true and living God, in spirit and in truth, then God Almighty will pour out his Spirit upon him, and he will have power to raise the dead, move mountains, entertain angels, and walk in celestial streets (Bruce R. McConkie, "How to Worship," Ensign, Dec. 1971, 129).

Millennial man will live in a state akin to translation. His body will be changed so that it is no longer subject to disease or death as we know it, although he will be changed in the twinkling of an eye to full immortality when he is a hundred years of age. He will, however, have children, and mortal life of a millennial kind will continue (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, 644).

If our eternal salvation depends upon our ability to understand the writings of Isaiah as fully and truly as Nephi understood them—and who shall say such is not the case!—how shall we fare in that great day when with Nephi we shall stand before the pleasing bar of Him who said: "Great are the words of Isaiah"? (Bruce R. McConkie, "Ten Keys to Understanding Isaiah," Ensign, Oct. 1973, 78).

By comparison to what then occurred [in a grove of trees near Palmyra, New York, on a beautiful, clear day early in the spring of 1820], the command of the man Moriancumer unto the mountain Zerin, "Remove," and it was removed; or the decree of the man Moses to the Red Sea, "Divide," and the waters were divided, congealing on the right hand and on the left; or the command of the man Joshua, "Sun, stand thou still, and thou moon likewise," and it was so—by comparison to what happened in that grove of trees in western New York on that spring morning, such things as these fade into an obscure insignificance (Bruce R. McConkie, "Once or Twice in a Thousand Years," Ensign, Nov. 1975, 15-16

The Church is like a great caravan—organized, prepared, following an appointed course, with its captains of tens and captains of hundreds all in place. What does it matter if a few barking dogs snap at the heels of the weary travelers? Or that predators claim those few who fall by the way? The caravan moves on. Is there a ravine to cross, a miry mud hole to pull through, a steep grade to climb? So be it. The oxen are strong and the teamsters wise. The caravan moves on. Are there storms that rage along the way, floods that wash away the bridges, deserts to cross, and rivers to ford? Such is life in this fallen sphere. The caravan moves on. Ahead is the celestial city, the eternal Zion of our God, where all who maintain their position in the caravan shall find food and drink and rest. Thank God that the caravan moves on! (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Caravan Moves On," Ensign, Nov. 1984, 85).

I do not think I overstate the matter when I say that next to Isaiah himself—who is the prototype, pattern, and model for all the prophets-there was not a greater prophet in all Israel than Zenos. And our knowledge of his inspired writings is limited to the quotations and paraphrasing summaries found in the Book of Mormon (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Doctrinal Restoration," The Joseph Smith Translation, ed. Nyman and Millet, 17).

I suggest that the greatest truth in all eternity, bar none, is that there is a God in heaven who is a personal being, in whose image man is made, and that we are his spirit children. We must build on that rock foundation before any progression ever begins in the spiritual realm. We first believe in God our Heavenly Father (Bruce R. McConkie, "Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified," 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year [1977], 393-394).

I have spent many hours poring over and pondering the scriptures. In seeking to learn the doctrines of salvation, I have studied, weighed, and compared what the various prophets have said about the same subjects. Time and again, after much praying and pondering about a given point, new and added concepts have burst upon me showing deep and hidden truths that I had never before known. It can be so with all of us if we will read, ponder, and pray about the holy word (Bruce R. McConkie, "Come: Hear the Voice of the Lord," Ensign, Dec. 1985, 59).

My brethren of the priesthood: To all of you, to all holders of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthoods, I issue this challenge: Come, learn the doctrine of the priesthood; come, live as befits one who is a servant of the Lord. This doctrine, this doctrine of the priesthood—unknown in the world and but little known even in the Church—cannot be learned out of the scriptures alone. It is not set forth in the sermons and teachings of the prophets and Apostles, except in small measure. The doctrine of the priesthood is known only by personal revelation. It comes, line upon line and precept upon precept, by the power of the Holy Ghost to those who love and serve God with all their heart, might, mind, and strength (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Doctrine of the Priesthood," Ensign, May 1982, 32).

Now let me pick up that last again and give you the antecedent of the pronoun. It said, "If it be by some other way it is not of God" (D&C 50:18). What is the antecedent of it? It is the word of truth. That is to say, if you teach the word of truth—now note, you're saying what is true, every thing you say is accurate and right—by some other way than the Spirit, it is not of God. Now what is the other way to teach than by the Spirit? Well, obviously, it is by the power of the intellect.Suppose I came here tonight and delivered a great message on teaching, and I did it by the power of the intellect without any of the Spirit of God attending. Suppose that every word that I said was true, no error whatever, but it was an intellectual presentation. This revelation says: "If it be by some other way it is not of God" (D&C 50:18). That is, God did not present the message through me because I used the power of the intellect instead of the power of the Spirit. Intellectual things—reason and logic—can do some good, and they can prepare the way, and they can get the mind ready to receive the Spirit under certain circumstances. But conversion comes and the truth sinks into the hearts of people only when it is taught by the power of the Spirit (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Foolishness of Teaching," An Evening with Elder Bruce R. McConkie, 18 Sept 1981, 9).

No man of whom I know has written so consistently and so well—in such shining English prose—about the dramatic and miraculous happenings in the life of our Lord as has Canon Farrar, whose words I have freely quoted from time to time in this work. It is my observation that when either I, or Elder Talmage, or Edersheim, or other authors—and all of us have done it—when any of us put the thoughts of Farrar in our own words, however excellent our expression may be, it loses much of the incisive and pungent appeal found in the language of our British friend from the Church of England. With this realization in mind, and because it seems a shame not to preserve the best literary craftsmanship available, to portray the greatest events in the most wondrous life ever lived, I shall feel free in this and the remaining chapters of this work to draw more heavily than otherwise upon the genius of Farrar...By way of addendum may I express the hope—nay, offer the prayer—that both Farrar and Edersheim, and others who had faith and believed in the Messiah, according to the best light and knowledge they had, now that they are in the world of spirits where Elder Talmage continues his apostolic ministry, may have received added light and knowledge and will have pursued that strait and narrow course that will make them inheritors of the fulness of our Father's kingdom. Truly they were Eliases of a greater day and harbingers of a greater light (Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, 4:180-181, note 1).

The Bible contains only a sliver, a twig, a leaf, no more than a small branch at the most, from the great redwood of revelation that God has given in ages past. There has been given ten thousand times ten thousand more revelation than has been preserved for us in our present Bible. It contains a bucket, a small pail, a few draughts, no more than a small stream at most, out of the great ocean of revealed truth that has come to men in ages more spiritually enlightened than ours (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Bible—A Sealed Book," 17 Aug 1984, 2-3).

The Book of Mormon came forth and was translated by the gift and power of God. The scholarship and learning of wise men were not involved. It was not brought forth by intellectual giants who had been trained in all the linguistic wisdom of the world. It came forth by the power of the Holy Ghost. The translator said, "I am not learned." The Lord replied, "The learned shall not read" the account on the plates. There is a great key in this. The Book of Mormon is translated correctly because an unlearned man did it by the gift and power of God. It took him less than sixty translating days. The Bible abounds in errors and mistranslations, in spite of the fact that the most learned scholars and translators of the ages labored years on end over the manuscripts of antiquity to bring it forth. The key to an understanding of Holy Writ lies not in the wisdom of men, not in cloistered halls, not in academic degrees, not in a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew—though special intellectual insights may result from all of these—but the things of God are known and understood only by the power of the Spirit of God...Of course we should learn all we can in every field; we should sit with Paul at the feet of Gamaliel; we should gain a knowledge of kingdoms and countries and languages. "To be learned is good," Jacob tells us, if we "hearken unto the counsels of God." But above all this-more important than all of it combined, more important than all the wisdom ever gained by the power of the intellect by all the wise men of all the ages-above it all is the need for the guidance of the Spirit in our study and in our teaching. The way the Book of Mormon came forth—by the power of God, who used an unlearned man—sets the tone for all of us in all our work in the kingdom (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Bible—A Sealed Book," 17 Aug 1984, 2).

In the real and true sense of the word, the only way to understand the Bible is first to gain a knowledge of God's dealings with men through latter-day revelation. We could be saved without the Bible, but we cannot be saved without latter-day revelation. Ours is a restored kingdom. The doctrines, laws, ordinances, and powers were all restored. God and angels gave them anew. We believe what we believe, and have the truths we possess, and exercise the keys and powers in us vested, because they have come by the opening of the heavens in our day. We do not look back to a dead day or a past people for salvation. As it happens-it could not be otherwise with an unchangeable God-what we have conforms to what the ancient Saints had. Any agreeing truths and practices they had stand as a second and supplemental witness of gospel verities. But our knowledge and powers come directly from heaven. Hence, the imperfect and partial accounts of the Lord's dealings with his ancient Saints, as found in the Bible, must conform to and be read in harmony with what we have received. It is time we learned, not that the Book of Mormon is true because the Bible is true, but just the reverse. The Bible is true, insofar as it is, because the Book of Mormon is true. The everlasting gospel; the eternal priesthood; the identical ordinances of salvation and exaltation; the never-varying doctrines of salvation; the same Church and kingdom; the keys of the kingdom, which alone can seal men up unto eternal life—all these have always been the same in all ages; and it shall be so everlastingly on this earth and all earths to all eternity. These things we know by latter-day revelation. Once we know these things, the door is open to an understanding of the fragmentary slivers of information in the Bible. By combining the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, we have at least a thousand passages that let us know what prevailed among the Lord's people in the Old World (Bruce R. McConkie, "The Bible—A Sealed Book," 17 Aug 1984, 8-9).

Suicide consists in the voluntary and intentional taking of one's own life, particularly where the person involved is accountable and has a sound mind...Persons subject to great stresses may lose control of themselves and become mentally clouded to the point that they are no longer accountable for their acts. Such are not to be condemned for taking their own lives. It should also be remembered that judgment is the Lord's; he knows the thoughts, intents, and abilities of men; and he in his infinite wisdom will make all things right in due course (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 771).






I have a conviction deep down in my heart that we are exactly what we should be, each one of us...I have convinced myself that we all have those peculiar attributes, characteristics, and abilities which are essential for us to possess in order that we may fulfil the full purpose of our creation here upon this earth. Once again, that allotment which has come to us from God is a sacred allotment. It is something of which we should be proud, each one of us in our own right, and not wish that we had somebody else's allotment. Our greatest success comes from being ourselves. I think that we can console ourselves best by believing that whatever is our allotment in life, whatever is our call in the priesthood, the Lord has been wise and just, and I might add, merciful, in giving to us that which we need to accomplish the particular purpose of our call (Henry D. Moyle, Conference Report, Oct. 1952).






As an Apostle I listen now to the same inspiration, coming from the same source, in the same way, that I listened to as a boy. The signal is much clearer now (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 21).

Be ever on guard lest you be deceived by inspiration from an unworthy source. You can be given false spiritual messages. [1] There are counterfeit spirits just as there are counterfeit angels. Be careful lest you be deceived, for the devil may come disguised as an angel of light. [2] The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that it is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Jan. 1983, 56).

I differentiate between saying prayers and praying. I would like to draw an example...We have a cow. I had not been home in daylight hours for three weeks. One day I was catching a later plane and went out to see the cow. She was in trouble. I called the vet and he looked at her, tested her, and said, "She has swallowed a wire and it has punctured her heart. She will be dead before the day is over." The next day the calf was to come, and the cow was important to our economy. Also, she kind of "belongs"—you know how that gets to be. I asked him if he could do anything, and he said he could but it would likely be useless, money down the drain. I said, "Well, what will it cost me?" He told me—and it did. I told him to go ahead. The next morning the calf was there but the cow was lying down gasping. I called the vet again, thinking the calf might need some attention. He looked the cow over and said she would be dead within an hour or so. I went in to the telephone directory, copied down the number of the animal by-products company, put it on the nail by the phone, and told my wife to call them to come and get the cow later in the day. We had our family prayer before I left to...catch the plane...Our little boy was praying. It was to be his calf, you see. In the middle of saying his prayers, after he said all that he usually says, asking Heavenly Father to "bless Daddy that he won't get hurt in his travels," "bless us at school," and so on, he started to pray. There is a difference...He then said, "Heavenly Father, please bless Bossy so that she will get to be all right."...When I got home Sunday night Bossy had "got to be all right." She still is (Boyd K. Packer, "The Ideal Teacher," Address to Religious Educators, Jun. 28, 1962).

I have come to know, in interviewing people who have made mistakes in their lives, that a very convincing evidence of repentance is that they are willing to do whatever is required of them. Occasionally, when a bishop is hesitant to issue a temple recommend, a member will resist the bishop and perhaps argue with him. That very attitude is a signal that the bishop may well need to consider very, very carefully whether or not someone with that spirit should be given the privilege of entering the house of the Lord. It indicates that member may not be quite ready (Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple, 54-55).

I wish we could promise you that the world will be safer and easier for you than for us. But we cannot make that promise, for just the opposite is true. There are temptations beckoning to you that were not there when we were teenagers. AIDS had not been invented when we were young, and drugs were something a doctor prescribed. We knew about opium from reading mysteries, but steroids, pills, and crack and all the rest belonged to future imaginations. Modesty was not mocked then. Morality and courtesy were fostered in books and films as much as their opposites are today. Perversion was not talked about, much less endorsed as a life-style. What was shunned then as pornographic, you see now on prime-time television. Your challenge is much greater than was ours. Few of us would trade places with you. Frankly, we are quite relieved that we are not back where you are. Few of us would be equal to it. But, oh, what a wonderful time to be young! You have knowledge of many more things than we needed to have. 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! (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1989, 54).

In this life we are constantly confronted with a spirit of competition. Teams contest one against another in an adversary relationship in order that one will be chosen a winner. We come to believe that wherever there is a winner there must also be a loser. To believe that is to be mislead. In the eyes of the Lord, everyone may be a winner. Now it is true that we must earn it; but if there is competition in His work, it is not with another soul—it's with our own former selves (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1975, 105-6).

It is the misapprehension of most people that if you are good, really good, at what you do, you will eventually be both widely known and well compensated. It is the understanding of almost everyone that success, to be complete, must include a generous portion of both fame and fortune as essential ingredients. The world seems to work on that premise. The premise is false. It is not true. The Lord taught otherwise...You need not be either rich or hold high position to be completely successful and truly happy. In fact, if these things come to you, and they may, true success must be achieved in spite of them, not because of them...The choice of life is not between fame and obscurity, nor is the choice between wealth and poverty. The choice is between good and evil, and that is a very different matter indeed. When we finally understand this lesson, thereafter our happiness will not be determined by material things. We may be happy without them or successful in spite of them (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1980, 21)

No work is more of a protection to this Church than temple work...No work is more spiritually refining. No work we do gives us more power. No work requires a higher standard of righteousness. Our labors in the temple cover us with a shield and a protection, both individually and as a people (Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple, 265).

One may ask, "Aside from the influence He has had on society, what effect can He have on me individually?" To answer that question I ask, have you ever been hard-pressed financially? Have you ever been confronted with an unexpected expense, a mortgage coming due with really no idea how to pay it? Such an experience, however unpleasant, can be, in the eternal scheme of things, very, very useful. If you miss that lesson you may have to make it up before you are spiritually mature, like a course that was missed or a test that was failed. Those who have faced a foreclosure know that one looks helplessly around, hoping for someone, anyone, to come to the rescue. This lesson is so valuable because there is a spiritual account, with a balance kept and a settlement due, that no one of us will escape (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1977, 54).

Our Father's plan requires that the shield of faith is to be made and fitted in the family. No two can be exactly alike. Each must be hand-crafted to individual specifications. The plan designed by the Father contemplates that man and woman, husband and wife, working together, fit each child individually with a shield of faith made to buckle on so firmly that is can neither be pulled off not penetrated by those fiery darts. It takes the steady strength of a father to hammer out the metal of it and the tender hands of a mother to polish and fit it on. In the Church we can teach about the materials from which a shield of faith is made: reverence, courage, chastity, repentance, forgiveness, compassion. In church we can learn how to assemble and fit them together. But the actual making of and fitting on of the shield of faith belongs in the family circle. Otherwise it may loosen and come off in a crisis (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1995, 8).

Restoring what you cannot restore, healing the wound you cannot heal, fixing that which you broke and you cannot fix is the very purpose of the atonement of Christ (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1995, 19-20).

Some are tested by poor health, some by a body that is deformed or homely. Others are tested by handsome and healthy bodies; some by the passion of youth; others by the erosions of age. Some suffer disappointment in marriage, family problems; others live in poverty and obscurity. Some (perhaps this is the hardest test) find ease and luxury. All are part of the test, and there is more equality in this testing than sometimes we suspect (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1980, 21)

The center core of the Church is not the stake house; it is not the chapel; that is not the center of Mormonism. And, strangely enough, the most sacred place on earth may not be the temple, necessarily. The chapel, the stake house, and the temple are sacred as they contribute to the building of the most sacred institution in the Church—the home— and to the blessing of the most sacred relationship in the Church, the family (Boyd K. Packer, "Family Togetherness—The Core of the Church," BYU Devotional, June 13, 1963, 10).

The measure of our success as parents, however, will not rest solely on how our children turn out. That judgment would be just only if we could raise our families in a perfectly moral environment, and that now is not possible. It is not uncommon for responsible parents to lose one of their children, for a time, to influences over which they have no control. They agonize over rebellious sons or daughters. They are puzzled over why they are so helpless when they have tried so hard to do what they should. It is my conviction that those wicked influences one day will be overruled....The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught a more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father's heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1992, 68; also Orson F. Whitney, CR, Apr. 1929, 110).

The Spirit and testimony of Christ will come to you for the most part when, and remain with you only if, you share it. In that process is the very essence of the gospel. Is not this a perfect demonstration of Christianity? You cannot find it, nor keep it, nor enlarge it unless and until you are willing to share it. It is by giving it away freely that it becomes yours (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Jan. 1983, 55).

The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting or shaking us with a heavy hand. Rather it whispers. It caresses so gently that if we are preoccupied we may not feel it at all. Occasionally it will press just firmly enough for us to pay heed. But most of the time, if we do not heed the gentle feeling, the Spirit will withdraw and wait until we come seeking and listening (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Jan. 1983, 53).

There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn, that spring will come, that growth will take place. It is the kind of faith that relates us with confidence to that which is scheduled to happen...There is another kind of faith, rare indeed. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding, and it calls forth things that otherwise would not be. It is the kind of faith that moves things. Few men posses it. It comes by gradual growth. It is a marvelous, even a transcendent, power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity. Directed and channeled, it has great effect (Boyd K. Packer, Faith, 42-43).

Things of the Spirit need not—indeed, should not—require our uninterrupted time and attention. Ordinary work-a-day things occupy most of our attention. And that is as it should be. We are mortal beings living in this physical world (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1989, 14).

True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17).

We do not have the words (even the scriptures do not have words) which perfectly describe the Spirit. The scriptures generally use the word voice, which does not exactly fit. These delicate, refined spiritual communications are not seen with our eyes, nor heard with our ears. And even though it is described as a voice, it is a voice that one feels, more that one hears (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Jan. 1983, 52).

What I shall say I could say much better if we were alone, just the two of us. It would be easier also if we had come to know one another, and had that kind of trust which makes it possible to talk of serious, even sacred things. If we were that close, because of the nature of what I shall say, I would study you carefully as I spoke. If there should be the slightest disinterest or distraction, the subject would quickly be changed to more ordinary things. I have not, to my knowledge, in my ministry said anything more important. I intend to talk about the Lord, Jesus Christ, about what He really did—and why it matters now (Boyd K. Packer, "The Mediator," Ensign, May 1977, 54).

Whenever I'm in South America, and that seems to be very often, I'm always looking for someone. I saw him first fourteen years ago. Brother Tuttle and I were in Cuzco at a meeting of the branch. The meeting was held in a little room, and a door opened onto the street. At Cuzco, at an elevation of thirteen thousand feet, it is bitterly cold at night. The room was packed and the door was open to let a little air in. Brother Tuttle was speaking...Against the wall was a little sacrament table. As Brother Tuttle was speaking, I saw a little...boy, perhaps six years old, come in the back door, perhaps for the warmth. He had on a ragged shirt and that was all. His little feet were so calloused that it was hard to tell that he had toes that were separated from one another. Then he saw the sacrament table and the bread. He was inching along the wall and was almost to the sacrament table when a...woman, sitting in about the third row, saw him from the corner of her eye. Without saying a word, but with just a look, and a shake of her head, she conveyed the message: "Get out of here! You don't belong here!" That little fellow turned and ran out into the night. Before Brother Tuttle had finished, the little boy appeared again at the door, and again, I suppose driven by that same hunger, he edged along the wall. He was almost to the place where that...woman would see him again. He was studying us very carefully. I held out my arms to him, and he came willingly. I picked him up and held him. And then, to teach our Lamanite members in Cuzco a lesson, I sat him in the chair that had been reserved for Brother Tuttle. When the meeting closed, the little boy darted out into the night before I could talk to him or do anything for him. So every time I'm in South America I am looking for him. He's old enough now, I'm sure, to be married. When I am in a missionary meeting I look for him and wonder, could it be, could this elder be that boy, or could that one? I watch for him in the market place as we travel. I look for him in the streets. And some say that it is a futile search, that I will never find him. But in this Church we will find him, if we have to sift through every soul in South America. Some will say, "Perhaps he has died; you will never find him." To them we say, "We will find him. We will gather the names of every soul who ever lived and bring them to the temple. Perhaps his son will bring his name. We will find him." Others will say, "Perhaps no record was kept." In that case we will depend on revelation. We're looking for him with all the resources we can find. We send tens of missionaries, and hundreds of missionaries, and thousands of missionaries to find him. You must look for him (Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple, 219-220.

You can't have the image of the world and the Spirit of the Lord. To the degree you are successful in the image of the world, you forfeit the right to the Spirit (Boyd K. Packer, Missionary Conference, Well's Road Chapel, Bristle, England, 1970).

I want to be good. I'm not ashamed to say that—I want to be good. And I've found in my life that it has been critically important that this was established between me and the Lord so that I knew that He knew which way I had committed my agency. I went before Him and in essence said, "I'm not neutral, and You can do with me what You want. If You need my vote, it's there. I don't care what You do with me, and You don't have to take anything from me because I give it to You—everything, all I own, all I am." And that makes the difference (Boyd K. Packer, "That All May Be Edified," 272).

Beyond the fact that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, that there has been a restoration of His gospel through prophets—after that, this is the one truth I most want to teach my children...It is the misapprehension of most people that if you are good, really good, at what you do, you will eventually be both widely known and well compensated. It is the understanding of almost everyone that success, to be complete, must include a generous portion of both fame and fortune as essential ingredients. The world seems to work on that premise. The premise is false! It is not true! The Lord taught otherwise...The choice [of life] is not between fame and obscurity, nor is the choice between wealth and poverty. The choice is between good and evil, and that is a very different issue indeed. When we finally understand that, our happiness will not be determined by the material things...I can envision the day, in generations ahead, when I [see] my children and grandchildren, struggling with the challenges of life...going the full distance of mortality without becoming either well known or well compensated. I can see myself fall to my knees to thank a generous God that my prayers have been answered, that they are truly successful and truly happy (Boyd K. Packer, New Era, Aug. 1989, 4-6).

In our family I have a key that I use, a kind of fatherly key. With my children I know when it is time to lift supervision. As I meet young people around the Church, they are always saying, "When will my parents ever think I have enough maturity to act for myself?" I know when with my family. I have employed this key. I know that they are ready for full freedom in any field of endeavor the very minute they stop resenting supervision. At that moment I can back off, let them go alone, and really just be there to respond if they come for help (Boyd K. Packer, "Obedience," 7 December 1971).

A collector of precious gems after a lifetime of searching, found the one gem he had looked for all his life. It was a pearl! He valued it above all the jewels in his collection. It was his treasure. He was certain that nowhere in the world was a jewel box worthy of this perfect gem, so he designed a box himself and commissioned the finest craftsmen to carve it. He hovered over their work. When the box was finished and lined with blue velvet, he put his precious pearl on display. He stood by as people came to see it. He studied them and listened carefully to what they said. Soon he turned them away in deep sorrow. It was the box that they admired. It was the box that attracted them. To his great disappointment, only a few of them really saw the pearl (Boyd K. Packer, Mission Presidents' Seminar, 22 June 1999).

I have come to know also that a fundamental purpose of the Word of Wisdom has to do with revelation. From the time you are very little we teach you to avoid tea, coffee, liquor, tobacco, narcotics, and anything else that disturbs your health. And you know that we get very worried when we find one of you tampering with those things. If someone "under the influence" can hardly listen to plain talk, how can they respond to spiritual promptings that touch their most delicate feelings? As valuable as the Word of Wisdom is as a law of health, it may be much more valuable to you spiritually than it is physically (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1979, 20).

An organist who has the sensitivity to quietly play prelude music from the hymnbook tempers our feelings and causes us to go over in our minds the lyrics which teach the peaceable things of the kingdom. If we will listen, they are teaching the gospel, for the hymns of the Restoration are, in fact, a course in doctrine! (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, Nov. 1991, 22).

I had a thought the other night;
A thought profound and deep.
It came when I was too worn down,
Too tired to go to sleep.
I'd had a very busy day
And pondered on my fate.
The thought was this:
When I was young, I wasn't sixty-eight!
I could walk without a limp;
I had no shoulder pain.
I could read a line through twice
And quote it back again.
I could work for endless hours
And hardly stop to breathe.
And things that now I cannot do
I mastered then with ease.
If I could now turn back the years,
If that were mine to choose,
I would not barter age for youth,
I have too much to lose.
I am quite content to move ahead;
To yield my youth, however grand.
The thing I'd lose if I went back
Is what I understand.
(Boyd K. Packer, "The Instrument of Your Mind and the Foundation of Your Character," CES Fireside, 2 Feb 2003, 6).

Over the years, as a diversion, I have carved wooden birds. Sometimes it would take a year to complete one. I would get specimens and measure the feathers and study the colors and then carve them. I would carve a setting for them. It was very restful. Sometimes when I would get unsettled, my wife would say, "Why don't you go carve a bird!" It was a very calming thing in my life. Elder A. Theodore Tuttle and I were going into town one day. I had one of the carvings. I was taking it in to show someone. We had put it on the backseat. At an intersection, he slammed on the brakes, and the carving tipped upside down on the floor and broke to pieces. He pulled over to the side and looked at it. He was devastated. I was not. Without thinking, I said, "Forget it. I made it. I can fix it." And I did. I made it stronger than it was. I improved it a bit. Now, who made you? Who is your Creator? There is not anything about your life that gets bent or broken that He cannot fix (Boyd K. Packer, "The Instrument of Your Mind and the Foundation of Your Character," CES Fireside, 2 Feb 2003, 7).

Like my Brethren, I have traveled all over the world. Like my Brethren, I have held positions of trust in education, in business, in government, and in the Church. I have written books, and, like them, have received honors, degrees, certificates, plaques. Such honors come with the territory and are undeserved. Assessing the value of those things, the one thing I treasure more than any of them—more than all of them put together—the thing of most value to me is how our sons and daughters and their husbands and wives treat their children and how, in turn, our grandchildren treat their little ones (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 2002, 10).

Bishops, keep constantly in mind that fathers are responsible to preside over their families. Sometimes, with all good intentions, we require so much of both the children and the father that he is not able to do so. If my boy needs counseling, bishop, it should be my responsibility first, and yours second. If my boy needs recreation, bishop, I should provide it first, and you second. If my boy needs correction, that should be my responsibility first, and yours second. If I am failing as a father, help me first, and my children second. Do not be too quick to take over from me the job of raising my children. Do not be too quick to counsel them and solve all of the problems. Get me involved. It is my ministry (Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1978, 93).

Teaching some things that are true, prematurely or at the wrong time, can invite sorrow and heartbreak instead of the joy intended to accompany learning...The scriptures teach emphatically that we must give milk before meat. The Lord made it very clear that some things are to be taught selectively, and some things are to be given only to those who are worthy. It matters very much not only what we are told but when we are told it. Be careful that you build faith rather than destroy it (Boyd K. Packer, The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater than the Intellect, CES Symposium, 22 August 1981, 4-5).

Things that are eternal must be paid for in advance. With a down payment and an extension of credit, we can gain possession of material things, but there's no credit buying in eternity. Things of the Spirit, things that are eternal, must, positively must, be paid for in advance...There's no school that will confer a degree upon a freshman with an invitation that he stay around for several years and work it out. It is conferred only if, and only when, he has earned it (Boyd K. Packer, "Insights," Ensign, June 1978, 69).

A member, at any given time, may not understand one point of doctrine or another, may have a misconception, or even believe something is true that in fact is false. There is not much danger in that. That is an inevitable part of learning the gospel. No member of the Church should be embarrassed at the need to repent of a false notion he might have believed. Such ideas are corrected as one grows in light and knowledge. It is not the belief in a false notion that is the problem, it is the teaching of it to others. In the Church we have the agency to believe whatever we want to believe about whatever we want to believe. But we are not authorized to teach it to others as truth (Boyd K. Packer, "From Such Turn Away," Ensign, May 1985, 35).

In 1976 following a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, President Spencer W. Kimball invited us to a small church to see the statues of Christ and the Twelve Apostles by Bertel Thorvaldsen. The "Christus" stands in an alcove beyond the altar. Standing in order along the sides of the chapel are the statues of the Twelve, with Paul replacing Judas Iscariot. President Kimball told the elderly caretaker that at the very time Thorvaldsen was creating those beautiful statues in Denmark, a restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ was taking place in America with apostles and prophets receiving authority from those who held it anciently. Gathering those present closer to him, he said to the caretaker, "We are living Apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ," and pointing to Elder Pinegar he said, "Here is a Seventy like those spoken of in the New Testament." We were standing near the statue of Peter, whom the sculptor depicted holding keys in his hand, symbolic of the keys of the kingdom. President Kimball said, "We hold the real keys, as Peter did, and we use them every day." Then came an experience I will never forget. President Kimball, this gentle prophet, turned to President Johan H. Benthin, of the Copenhagen Stake, and in a commanding voice said, "I want you to tell every prelate in Denmark that they do not hold the keys! I HOLD THE KEYS!" There came to me that witness known to Latter-day Saints but difficult to describe to one who has not experienced it—a light, a power coursing through one's very soul—and I knew that, in very fact, here stood the living prophet who held the keys (Boyd K. Packer, "The Shield of Faith," Ensign, May 1995, 8).

A few years ago I received a telephone call from a bishop whose son had been inducted into the military service and was at an army basic training center. The father said, "He's been there for three weeks and he hasn't been to church yet." Then he described his son as being an active Latter-day Saint, faithful in his duties. He had received his Duty to God award and was typical of the fine young men in the Church. "He's never missed a church meeting before," his father said. "Isn't there something you can do to help?" The boy had telephoned and said that no one had come yet to invite him to go to church. I made an investigation of the circumstances. Can you picture the following: In the barracks a few feet from his bunk was a bulletin board. On it was an 8 1/2 x 11 bulletin with a picture of the Salt Lake Temple on it, and a listing of the meeting times at the base chapel. He had been to an orientation for all new inductees, conducted by one of the base chaplains. While in this case it was not a Latter-day Saint chaplain, there was a Latter-day Saint chaplain at that installation. This fact had been noted in the lecture, incidentally. He had been told that if he wanted to know about church services to talk to the sergeant on duty, or he could contact any chaplain's office and that information would readily be given him. He, however, had been told before he left home that the Church had a wonderful program to help young men in the military service. He was assured that the Church was doing everything to take care of our men and that we would find them and look after them and bring the full Church program to them. He had, therefore, laid back on his bunk, propped up his feet, put his head on the pillow, and waited for the Church to do everything for him. He waited three weeks and was disappointed enough that he called his father, the bishop, to say that the Church had failed him. Now this was not malicious. It was just that he had been brought up with the idea that the whole effort and duty of the Church was to look after him (He had missed the very point that the whole effort of the Church is to give him the opportunity to serve someone else). Surely, since he was away from home and in a strange place and needing attention more than he had ever needed it in his life, all of that help, he was sure, would be forthcoming immediately without any effort on his part (Boyd K. Packer, "Self-Reliance," Ensign, Aug. 1975, 86).

Let me share with you something I learned from...S. Norman Lee—once our Stake President, then our Patriarch in Brigham City. Shortly after we were married, I was invited to speak in a sacrament meeting. Patriarch Lee was seated on the stand. As the meeting closed he said to me, "That was a fine talk, Brother Packer, but may I point our that the correct pronunciation of this one word is" as follows to which I replied with some impudence. "Oh, is that so?" Later I felt very ashamed of myself and called Patriarch Lee and apologized. I thanked him for the correction and invited his continued interest. Shortly thereafter I was called to the stake high council and on fairly frequent occasion, spoke in meetings where Patriarch Lee was in attendance. Always he would compliment me and then add a correction or a suggestion. Always I tried to respond with sufficient appreciation to encourage him to continue his interest. A desire to learn is one thing. An expressed willingness to be taught and to be corrected is quite another. I have found, and we have taught our children, that there is always a "patriarch Lee—type" usually someone older and experienced who knows much about the challenges you face, whether they be spiritual or temporal. It is worth inviting them to help you. While there is great value in seeking a personal interview to receive counsel, what I am talking about is something else. It is an unstructured process, with counsel and suggestions offered in bits and pieces and you responding with thanks. That process survives only where there is a genuine desire to learn and an invitation to those who can teach and correct you. That invitation is not always in words but more in attitude...Once when I returned from a mission tour totally exhausted, my wife said to me, "I have never seen you so tired. What is the matter; did you find a mission president who wouldn't listen?" "No," I replied, "it was just the opposite. I found one who wanted to learn." Many will say they want to learn but feel threatened if there is the slightest element of correction in what they are given. He wanted to learn! That president now sits in the Council of the Twelve Apostles. I have learned that few respond when that kind of teaching or correction is offered and fewer still invite it (Boyd K. Packer, "The Edge of the Light," BYU Today, March 1991, 24).

Do not try merely to discard a bad habit or a bad thought. Replace it. When you try to eliminate a bad habit, if the spot where it used to be is left open it will sneak back and crawl again into that empty space. It grew there; it will struggle to stay there. When you discard it, fill up the spot where it was. Replace it with something good. Replace it with unselfish thoughts, with unselfish acts. Then, if an evil habit or addiction tries to return, it will have to fight for attention. Sometimes it may win. Bad thoughts often have to be evicted a hundred times, or a thousand. But if they have to be evicted ten thousand times, never surrender to them. You are in charge of you. I repeat, it is very, very difficult to eliminate a bad habit just by trying to discard it. Replace it (Boyd K. Packer, That All May Be Edified, 196).

Be patient if some will not eat when first invited. Remember, all who are spiritually hungry will not accept the gospel. Do you remember how reluctant you are to try any new food? Only after your mother urges you will you take a little, tiny portion on the tip of a spoon to taste it to see if you like it first. Undernourished children must be carefully fed; so it is with the spiritually underfed. Some are so weakened by mischief and sin that to begin with they reject the rich food we offer. They must be fed carefully and gently. Some are so near spiritual death that they must be spoonfed on the broth of fellowship, or nourished carefully on activities and programs. As the scriptures say, they must have milk before meat. But we must take care lest the only nourishment they receive thereafter is that broth (Boyd K. Packer, "Feed My Sheep," Ensign, May 1984, 42).

Procedures, programs, the administrative policies, even some patterns of organization are subject to change. We are quite free, indeed, quite obliged to alter them from time to time. But the principles, the doctrines, never change. If you over-emphasize programs and procedures that can change, and will change, and must change, and do not understand the fundamental principles of the gospel, which never change, you can be misled (Boyd K. Packer, "Principles," Ensign, Mar. 1985, 8).

Several years ago, I was a member of a city council and also a member of a stake high council. Late one Monday night, I was going home from a high council meeting. I went through the business district on a street without traffic. Suddenly behind me there was a police car with a red light flashing. The officer said that I had been going 45 miles an hour in a 35-mile-an-hour zone. I couldn't contest it, I wasn't paying that much attention. The streets were deserted, and I was probably going as fast as he said. Since it was his duty, he made out a ticket. I was embarrassed and irritated at myself, because there were a number of places to put the money that would go for the fine (We squandered a good deal on food and clothing and things like that). Early the next morning, wanting to get the matter settled, I went to the city judge. He chuckled at my embarrassment and asked a question, "Well, what do you want to do with it?" It was a meaningful question. As a city councilman, I was in charge of the city judge. He had recently asked for new furniture for his office, and I was in the process of seeing his request through the council. Well this was one of those moments of temptation. I finally answered that he must treat me as any other citizen. He was a bit reluctant, but said, "All right, $10.00. A dollar a mile for each mile of excess speed." That was the going rate. I took the good-natured ribbing from the city treasurer and paid the fine, and that was that. Two nights later I attended a city council session. It was an open meeting with a number of delegations present, including a representative from the press. When each of the councilmen made his report, the councilman in charge of the police department announced that he had fired one of the patrolmen. It was the man who had issued the ticket. When the mayor asked the reason for the dismissal, the councilman said, "Oh, he was always arresting the wrong people." What the councilman had meant was that his rookie policeman just didn't seem to be able to catch the idea of what he should do when on patrol duty at night. Someone could be hot-rodding through the cemetery at night pushing over the headstones, or could be running along the curbing clipping off newly-planted trees, while he was parked on a little-traveled street waiting for an unsuspecting motorist. I had nothing to do with his dismissal, knew nothing about it, may even have objected to it had I known about it sooner. But do you think that you could ever convince that man that I didn't have him fired? The circumstantial evidence is too convincing. Monday night he gave a ticket to a city councilman. Wednesday morning he was dismissed from the police force for "arresting the wrong people." Can you see his surprise and the trial to his faith when I was called as one of the General Authorities of the Church? Can you hear him saying, "Well, I remember him when he had my job because I gave him a ticket" (Boyd K. Packer, "Steady As She Goes," BYU Fireside, 7 Jan 1969, 7-8; See also Ensign, May 1979, 80-81).

Many years ago John Burroughs, a naturalist, one summer evening was walking through a crowded park. Above the sounds of city life he heard the song of a bird. He stopped and listened! Those with him had not heard it. He looked around. No one else had noticed it. It bothered him that everyone should miss something so beautiful. He took a coin from his pocket and flipped it into the air. It struck the pavement with a ring, no louder than the song of the bird. Everyone turned; they could hear that! It is difficult to separate from all the sounds of city traffic the song of a bird. But you can hear it. You can hear it plainly if you train yourself to listen for it. One of our sons has always been interested in radio. When he was a little fellow, his Christmas present was a very elementary radio construction set. As he grew, and as we could afford it, and as he could earn it, he received more sophisticated equipment. There have been many times over the years, some very recently, when I have sat with him as he talked with someone in a distant part of the world. I could hear static and interference and catch a word or two, or sometimes several voices at once. Yet he can understand, for he has trained himself to tune out the interference. It is difficult to separate from the confusion of life that quiet voice of inspiration. Unless you attune yourself, you will miss it (Boyd K. Packer, "Prayers and Answers," Ensign, Nov. 1979, 19).

I have told you how the authority is given to you. The power you receive will depend on what you do with this sacred, unseen gift. Your authority comes through your ordination; your power comes through obedience and worthiness (Boyd K. Packer, "The Aaronic Priesthood," Ensign, Nov. 1981, 32).

In the mountains surrounding [the Salt Lake] valley there is still very deep snow. The animals, especially the deer, have suffered because of it. They have moved from the foothills to the orchards and gardens trying to find enough nourishment to survive. President Hinckley, who lives quite near to here, has had them in his garden during the winter. For many years, game wardens bought alfalfa hay and established feed yards in the foothills. The deer came in great numbers to eat the green, leafy hay. They thought they were doing all they needed to do for them. But, if the winter wore on and spring was late, the deer died in great numbers. They died of starvation with their bellies full of hay. This, because nutrients essential to sustain life through a long period of stress, were missing from their diet. It can be like that with the flocks for whom we are the shepherds. Other stake presidents have thought they were doing all that was needed for their sheep, only to find that some have been fed but not nourished. Like the deer with their stomachs full of hay, in times of prolonged individual stress they do not survive spiritually. Buildings and budgets, and reports and programs and procedures are very important. But, by themselves, do not carry that essential spiritual nourishment and will not accomplish what the Lord has given us to do. They are only tools. The means to an end, not ends in themselves (Boyd K. Packer, "Sheperds of the Flock," Meeting of Stake Presidents and Regional Representatives, 2 Apr 1982, 1).

Another area of concern with which many of the former Church leaders had worked, and to which Elder Packer and the Brethren gave concerted attention, was that of the proper role and place of the Seventy. Their concern came at a time when, even with the combined support groups of Assistants to the Twelve, Regional Representatives, and the Seventy, they were taxed to the limit in administering what had become a worldwide church. The need to provide increasing General Authority leadership for the Church had become crucial. In order to meet the challenge, the Brethren sought the will of the Lord...All knew that the Seventy, as they were organized on a stake level, could not fill their prophetic roles. They must somehow be brought into closer compliance with the scriptural charter. One who had given much thought and study to those scriptures and to the solution they surely must contain was Elder Boyd K. Packer. He felt both the urgency and the weight of the matter. Finally his brethren assigned him to prepare a document briefing the discussions and decisions of the Church leaders with reference to the Seventy from the beginning. As the work progressed, and in a marvelous way, unexpected visitors dropped by his office to leave materials that might interest him. One brought notes from the personal papers of President George Albert Smith on the Seventy; another, President Harold B. Lee's personal notes on the same subject. Laboring in faith and diligence, Brother Packer continued the quest, to know the Lord's will. He studied and pondered the passages in D&C 107 that pertain specifically to the Seventy. As he read and reread, verse 10 suddenly stood out as if it had been newly placed there: "High priests after the order of the Melchizedek Priesthood have a right to officiate in their own standing, under the direction of the presidency, in administering spiritual things, and also in the office of an elder, priest, teacher, deacon, and member" (D&C 107:10). Elder Packer tells of the impact upon him: "It suddenly occurred to me that that was a verse on the Seventy that should be added to the others. The reason it had never been considered was that it did not mention the Seventy. And the significance of it was that it did not mention the Seventy. I took it to Bruce McConkie first and read it to him in that context. It was the first time that he had ever seen it in that light. Because it very declaratively said that a high priest could not officiate in the office of a Seventy." Traditionally, the order of priesthood leadership had been listed deacon, teacher, priest, elder, seventy, high priest, Seventy, Apostle. Now the brethren could see how the Lord intended it to be: deacon, teacher, priest, elder, high priest, Seventy, Apostle, with the Seventy being listed only once. In that sequence, all scripture with reference to the Seventy quickly fell into place. From that newly highlighted scripture there came to the Brethren the understanding of the Lord's will relative to the Seventy. The call of a Seventy was not a local priesthood call; rather, it was henceforth to be as the Lord had said; the Seventy "form a quorum equal in authority to that of the Twelve special witnesses or Apostles" (D&C 107:26). The Lord further stated that the Seventy were "to act in the name of the Lord, under the direction of the Twelve or the traveling high council" (D&C 107:34). This was to be in the same sense that the Twelve act in the name of the Lord under direction of the First Presidency. Thus the Brethren, through revelation to one of their number, were provided with the answer... As an obedient instrument in the hands of the Lord, and under direction of the Brethren, Elder Packer with his diligent study and spiritual effort became a significant factor in the changes that followed. In perfect unity the Twelve presented their recommendations to the First Presidency. After much prayer and deliberation, the prophet and his Counselors began to implement orderly changes relative to the Seventy. On 1 October 1976 the First Quorum of the Seventy was expanded by the release of all twenty-one Assistants to the Twelve and their call as Seventies, and by the calling of four new Seventies. President Kimball stated that the establishment of the First Quorum of the Seventy as one of "the three governing quorums of the Church defined by the revelations" was a great milestone in priesthood government at the general Church level and "will make it possible to handle efficiently the present heavy workload and to prepare for the increasing expansion and acceleration of the work, anticipating the day when the Lord will return to take direct charge of His Church and Kingdom" (Lucile Tate, Boyd K. Packer; A Watchman on the Tower, 235-237).

There are qualities which determine how successful a priesthood leader is going to be. I'd like to list twelve of them, just briefly. You will succeed if these things are in order:

  1. What you feel.
  2. What you know.
  3. What you are.
  4. What you do.
  5. How you inspire.
  6. How you teach.
  7. What you foster.
  8. How you lead.
  9. How you train and manage the programs.
  10. How you conform to policies and guidelines, to handbooks and procedures.
  11. How you manage your budgeting and expenses.
  12. How you provide materials, buildings, facilities, etc.
We fear that perhaps by the way we have administered the work, we may have given you the impression that all of these things should be ranked in importance in reverse order. By what we have emphasized, we may inadvertently have given you the impression that procedural or temporal things ranked first in importance. Let me read a few of them in that order:
  1. How you provide materials, buildings, facilities, etc.
  2. How you manage your budgeting expenses.
  3. How you conform to policies and guidelines to handbooks and procedures.
  4. How you lead your organizational structure.
  5. How you train and manage the programs.
All of these things are important and ought to receive attention, but you must not leave the weightier matters undone. Let me repeat the rest of them in proper order, with first things first...Of consummate importance to the successful mission leaders are these:
  1. What you feel.
  2. What you know.
  3. What you are.
  4. What you do.
(Boyd K. Packer, "By the Spirit of Truth," Mission Pres. Seminar, 3 Apr. 1985).

What I say is based on these convictions: First: instruction vital to our salvation is not hidden in an obscure verse or phrase in the scriptures. To the contrary, essential truths are repeated over and over again. Second: every verse, whether oft-quoted or obscure, must be measured against other verses. There are complementary and tempering teachings in the scriptures which bring a balanced knowledge of truth. Next: there is a consistency in what the Lord says and what He does, that is evident in all creation. Nature can teach valuable lessons about spiritual and doctrinal matters. The Lord drew lessons from flowers and foxes, from seeds and salt, and sparrows and sunsets. Fourth: not all that God has said is in the Bible. Other scriptures—the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price—have equal validity, and they sustain one another. Fifth: while much must be taken on faith alone, there is individual revelation through which we may know the truth...What may be obscure in the scriptures can be made plain through the gift of the Holy Ghost. We can have as full an understanding of spiritual things as we are willing to earn (Boyd K. Packer, "The Pattern of Our Parentage," Ensign, Nov. 1984, 66).

The gospel might be likened to the keyboard of a piano—a full keyboard with a selection of keys on which one who is trained can play a variety without limits; a ballad to express love, a march to rally, a melody to soothe, and a hymn to inspire; an endless variety to suit every mood and satisfy every need. How shortsighted it is, then, to choose a single key and endlessly tap out the monotony of a single note, or even two or three notes, when the full keyboard of limitless harmony can be played...Some members of the Church who should know better pick out a hobby key or two and tap them incessantly, to the irritation of those around them. They can dull their own spiritual sensitivities. They lose track that there is a fullness of the gospel...They may reject the fullness in preference to a favorite note. This becomes exaggerated and distorted, leading them away into apostasy (Boyd K. Packer, "The Only True and Living Church," Ensign, Dec. 1971, 41-42).

There aren't many places in which a leader can use a person who is struggling for worthiness. Unfortunately, it seems that those few situations in which we could use them—to offer prayers, to make brief responses, to bear testimony—are almost invariably reserved for the active: for the stake presidency, for the high council, for the bishopric, for the patriarch, for the auxiliary leaders. Indeed, we sometimes go to great lengths to import speakers and participants—to the loss of our hungry ones. At a ward sacrament meeting I attended recently a sister had been invited to sing whose husband was not active in the Church. He was, however, at the meeting. The bishop wanted a very special program for this occasion. His first announcement was: "Brother X, my first counselor, will give the opening prayer." His second counselor gave the closing prayer. How unfortunate, I thought. The three men in the bishopric struggle with such concern over the spiritually sick, then take the very medicine that would make those people well—activity, participation—and consume it themselves in front of the needy! (Boyd K. Packer, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled, 16).

If your students are acquainted with the revelations, there is no question—personal or social or political or occupational—that need go unanswered. Therein is contained the fulness of the everlasting gospel. Therein we find principles of truth that will resolve every confusion and every problem and every dilemma that will face the human family or any individual in it (Boyd K. Packer, "Teach the Scriptures," Address to CES Religious Educators, 14 Oct. 1977, 3-4).

I do not like to receive honors. Compliments always bother me, because the great work of moving the gospel forward has in the past, does now, and will in the future depend upon ordinary members (Boyd K. Packer, "The Least of These," Ensign, Nov 2004, 87).

My wife and I do not expect reward for ourselves greater than will come to our own children or to our parents. We do not press nor do we really want our children to set great prominence and visibility in the world or even in the Church as their goal in life. That has so very little to do with the worth of the soul. They will fulfill our dreams if they live the gospel and raise their children in faith (Boyd K. Packer, "The Least of These," Ensign, Nov 2004, 87-88).

To be a good teacher you must also be a willing learner (Boyd K. Packer, "Principles of Teaching and Learning," Ensign, June 2007, 50).

The best example of teaching and how to teach, the best model for teaching methods...is the Lord and His teaching (Boyd K. Packer, "Principles of Teaching and Learning," Ensign, June 2007, 53).

I was number 10 in a family of 11 children. So far as I know, neither my father nor my mother served in a prominent calling in the Church. Our parents served faithfully in their most important calling -- as parents. Our father led our home in righteousness, never with anger or fear. And the powerful example of our father was magnified by the tender counsel of our mother. The gospel is a powerful influence in the life of every one of us in the Packer family and to the next generation and the next generation and the next, as far as we have seen. I hope to be judged as good a man as my father. Before I hear those words "well done" from my Heavenly Father, I hope to first hear them from my mortal father. Many times I have puzzled over why I should be called as an Apostle and then as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve in spite of having come from a home where the father could be termed as less active. I am not the only member of the Twelve who fits that description. Finally I could see and understand that it may have been because of that circumstance that I was called. And I could understand why in all that we do in the Church, we need to provide the way, as leaders, for parents and children to have time together as families (Boyd K. Packer, "And a Little Child Shall Lead Them," Ensign, May 2012)

I once learned a valuable lesson from a mission Relief Society president. In a conference, she announced some tightening up of procedures. A sister stood up and defiantly said, "Those rules can't apply to us! You don't understand us! We are an exception." That wonderful Relief Society president replied, "Dear sister, we'd like not to take care of the exception first. We will establish the rule first, and then we'll see to the exception." Many times I have borrowed from her wisdom, grateful for what she taught me (Boyd K. Packer, GC, Apr. 1994, "The Father and the Family,").

I believe that to the degree you perform according to the challenge and charge which you have, the image of Christ does become engraved upon your countenances. And for all practical purposes, in that classroom at that time and in that expression and with that inspiration, you are He and He is you (Boyd K. Packer, "The Ideal Teacher").






We were dressed in our home each morning, not only with hats and raincoats and boots to protect us from physical storm, but even more carefully our parents dressed us each day in the armor of God. As we would kneel in family prayer and listen to our father, a bearer of the priesthood, pour out his soul to the Lord for the protection of his family against the fiery darts of the wicked, one more layer was added to our shield of faith (L. Tom Perry, Ensign, May 1974, 98).






The government of the church of Christ, like all God's exercise of authority—is moral government only. There are two kinds of authority represented in government, effective and moral. Effective authority operates by compulsion, and is the authority of earthly, human governments. Moral authority operates by persuasion only; this is the method of divine government. The action of God upon man is moral, and moral only. By constituting man free, God has refused to exercise effective authority over him. An ecclesiastical or political society claiming divine authority, must exercise moral authority only; for the moment it exercises compulsion it ceases to represent God, and resolves itself into effective authority which is human, all human, and not at all divine (CHC 1:198).

Naturally Joseph stretched forth his hands to take out the treasure, when to his surprise he experienced a shock which seemed to paralyze his strength. A second and third attempt resulted in the same way, save that the repeated shocks, whatever their nature might be, increased in severity, and rendered him hopelessly weak and unable to lay hold of the record. "Why can I not obtain this book," he exclaimed. "Because you have not kept the commandments of the Lord," said a voice near by, and looking up the youth beheld standing by him the messenger of the previous night and of that morning. On the instant the mind of the young Prophet went back to the conversation of the night before, in which he had been told that he must "have no other object in view in getting the plates but to glorify God, and must not be influenced by any other motive than that of building up his kingdom"—otherwise he could not get this record. This instruction the Prophet had not followed. In that walk from his father's home to the hill Cumorah, he had indulged in all sorts of reveries as to the possible results of obtaining this record. A record on gold plates! Wealth beyond all his boyish dreams, sufficient for himself and his family! And with wealth, release from want, both of himself and his friends, and in its place ease and comfort, and importance of station in the world! These had been his reflections while on the way to Cumorah, until on his arrival there he was obsessed by them so far that all thought of the glory of God, the restoration of a knowledge of the gospel to the world, the gathering of scattered Israel, of which the coming forth of this ancient record was to be the prelude and sign, the founding of the kingdom of God for the salvation of man—all this had been forgotten by the young and inexperienced Prophet, and the desire for a share in the kingdoms of this world—wealth, ease, influence, station, had for the moment possessed him—and there the possibility of it all lay within his reach in that rude stone box, and yet he had not the power to clutch it! "Why can I not obtain this book?" "Because you have not kept the commandments of the Lord!" That stern pronouncement had a sobering effect. The glory of the kingdoms of this world for Joseph Smith vanished. He stood humbled before his preceptor, for such, surely, Moroni had become. Swift repentance followed; his vision cleared; he was once more en report with the spiritual things of God's kingdom; once more the prophetic powers of his soul were awakened—he was again the Prophet! (B. H. Roberts, Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:77-78).






I do not tell all I know; I have never told my wife all I know, for I found out that if I talked too lightly of sacred things, thereafter the Lord would not trust me (Marion G. Romney, Ensign, Jan. 1983, 53).

It would be a simple thing for the Lord to reveal to President Kimball where the deposits of oil and precious ores are. We could then hire someone to dig them out and we could float in wealth—and we would float in wealth right down to Hades. No, the Lord doesn't really need us to take care of the poor, but we need this experience; for it is only through our learning how to take care of each other that we develop within us the Christlike love and disposition necessary to qualify us to return to his presence (Marion G. Romney, Ensign, Nov. 1981, 92).

The time will come when we shall know the will of God before we ask. Then everything for which we pray will be "expedient." Everything for which we ask will be "right." That will be when as a result of righteous living, we shall so enjoy the companionship of the spirit that he will dictate what we ask (Marion G. Romney, CR Oct. 1944, 56).

Only a united people, keeping God's commands, can expect the protection which he alone can give when the floods come, and the rains descend, and the winds blow, and beat upon our house (Marion G. Romney, Ensign, May 1983, 18).

Getting a knowledge of the gospel and living it are interdependent. They go hand in hand. One cannot fully learn the gospel without living it. A knowledge of the gospel comes by degrees: one learns a little, obeys what he learns; learns a little more and obeys that. This cycle continues in an endless round. Such is the pattern by which one can move on to a full knowledge of the gospel (Marion G. Romney, "Records of Great Worth," Ensign, Sept. 1980, 4).

Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made (Marion G. Romney, "The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance," Ensign, June 1984, 6).

Searching [the scriptures] for the purpose of discovering what they teach as enjoined by Jesus is a far cry from hunting through them for the purpose of finding passages which can be pressed into service to support a predetermined conclusion (Marion G. Romney, "The Messages of The Old Testament," An address given to CES Religious Educators, 17 August 1979).






An impression to the mind is very specific. Detailed words can be heard or felt and written as though the instruction were being dictated. A communication to the heart is a more general impression. The Lord often begins by giving impressions. Where there is a recognition of their importance and they are obeyed, one gains more capacity to receive more detailed instruction to the mind. An impression to the heart, if followed, is fortified by a more specific instruction to the mind (Richard G. Scott, "Helping Others to Be Spiritually Led," CES Symposium, Aug. 11, 1998, 4).

I believe that we often leave the most precious personal direction of the Spirit unheard because we do not record and respond to the first promptings that come to us when we are in need or when impressions come in response to urgent prayer (Richard G. Scott, Principles of the Gospel in Practice, Sperry Symposium 1985, 8).

Q: How do you go about repenting after a sexual sin is committed? What sins should you tell the bishop? A: All of the sexual transgressions we have discussed require sincere repentance with the participation of the bishop. Should you have done any of this, repent now. It is wrong to violate these commandments of the Lord. It is worse to do nothing about it. Sin is like cancer in the body. It will never heal itself. It will become worse unless cured through repentance. A youth in serious trouble said: "I have done things that I knew were bad. I have been taught they were ever since I can remember. I know repentance is a great gift; without it I would be lost. But I'm not ready to repent of my sins, yet I know when I am ready I can." How tragic. The thought of intentionally committing serious sin now and repenting later is perilously wrong. Never do that. Many start that journey of intentional transgression and never make it back. Premeditated sin has greater penalties and is harder to overcome. If there is sin, repent now—while you can (Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov. 1994, 38).

Q: They always tell us we shouldn't become sexually involved, but they never tell us the limits. What are they? A: Any sexual intimacy outside of the bonds of marriage—I mean any intentional contact with the sacred, private parts of another's body, with or without clothing—is a sin and is forbidden by God. It is also a transgression to intentionally stimulate these emotions within your own body (Richard G. Scott, Ensign, Nov. 1994, 38).

To me, the word edified means that the Lord will personalize our understanding of truth to meet our individual needs as we strive for that guidance (Richard G. Scott, "Helping Others to Be Spiritually Led," CES Symposium, Aug. 11, 1998, 12).

Satan has a powerful tool to use against good people. It is distraction. He would have good people fill life with "good things" so there is no room for the essential ones (Richard G. Scott, "First Things First," Ensign, May 2001, 7).

As you seek spiritual knowledge, search for principles. Carefully separate them from the detail used to explain them. Principles are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances. A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and compelling circumstances. It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle. (Richard G. Scott, "Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge," Ensign, Nov. 1993, 86).

At one time I worked on the immediate staff of a very hardworking, demanding, misunderstood man who became the father of the nuclear navy that provided great protection for the United States at a critical time in world conditions. His name is Hyman Rickover. I have great respect for him. After eleven years in that service, I received a call from the First Presidency to preside over a mission. I knew I would have to tell Admiral Rickover immediately. As I explained the call and that it would mean I would have to quit my job, he became rather excited. He said some unrepeatable things, broke the paper tray on his desk, and, in the comments that followed, clearly established two points. "Scott, what you are doing in this defense program is so vital that it will take a year to replace you, so you can't go. Second, if you do go, you are a traitor to your country." I said, "I can train my replacement in the two remaining months, and there won't be any risk to the country." There was more conversation, and he finally said, "I never will talk to you again. I don't want to see you again. You are finished, not only here, but don't ever plan to work in the nuclear field again." I responded, "Admiral, you can bar me from the office, but, unless you prevent me, I am going to turn this assignment over to another individual" He asked, "What's the name of the man who wants you?" I told him, "President David O. McKay." He added, "If that's the way Mormons act, I don't want any of them working for me." I knew he would try to call President McKay, who was ill, and that conversation would benefit no one. I also knew that in the Idaho Falls area there were many members of the Church whose families depended upon their working in our program. I didn't want to cause them harm. I also knew that I had been called by the Lord. I didn't know what to do. Then, the words of the song we sang tonight began to run through my mind: "Do what is right; let the consequence follow." While I had never contacted a General Authority in my life, I had been interviewed by Elder Harold B. Lee, so I had a feeling to call him. I explained that the admiral would try to call President McKay and would make some negative comments, but everything was all right and I would be able to accept my call. While doing that, my heart kept saying, "Is this going to turn out all right or will somebody be innocently hurt who depends on our program for livelihood?" The song would come back: "Do what is right; let the consequence follow." True to his word, the admiral ceased to speak to me. When critical decisions had to be made, he would send a messenger or I would communicate through a third party. We accomplished the changeover. On my last day in the office I asked for an appointment with him, and his secretary gasped. I went with a copy of the Book of Mormon in my hand. He looked at me and said, "Sit down, Scott. What do you have? I have tried every way I can to force you to change. What is it you have?" There followed a very interesting, quiet conversation. There was more listening this time. He said he would read the Book of Mormon. Then something I never thought would occur happened. He added, "When you come back from the mission, I want you to call me. There will be a job for you." (Richard G. Scott, "Do What Is Right," CES Fireside, 3 Mar. 1996).






It has been declared in the solemn word of revelation, that the spirit and the body constitute the soul of man; and, therefore, we should look upon this body as something that shall endure in the resurrected state, beyond the grave, something to be kept pure and holy. Be not afraid of soiling its hands; be not afraid of scars that may come to it if won in earnest effort, or in honest fight, but beware of scars that disfigure, that have come to you in places where you ought not have gone, that have befallen you in unworthy undertakings; beware of the wounds of battles in which you have been fighting on the wrong side (James E. Talmage, CR Oct. 1913, 117).

To hell there is an exit as well as an entrance. Hell is no place to which a vindictive judge sends prisoners to suffer and to be punished principally for his glory; but it is a place prepared for the teaching, the disciplining of those who failed to learn here upon the earth what they should have learned. "Eternal punishment," is God's punishment, for he is eternal; and that condition or state or possibility will ever exist for the sinner who deserves and really needs such condemnation; but this does not mean that the individual sufferer or sinner is to be eternally and everlastingly made to endure and suffer. No man will be kept in hell longer than is necessary to bring him to a fitness for something better. When he reaches that stage the prison doors will open and there will be rejoicing among the hosts who welcome him into a better state (James E. Talmage, CR Apr. 1930, 97).

Within the Gospel of Jesus Christ there is room and place for every truth thus far learned by man or yet to be made known (James E. Talmage, "The Earth and Man," 9 August 1931).

Theories may be regarded as the scaffolding upon which the builder stands while placing the blocks of truth in position. It is a grave error to mistake the scaffolding for the wall, the flimsy and temporary structure for the stable and permanent. The scaffolding serves but a passing purpose, important though it be, and is removed as soon as the walls of that part of the edifice of knowledge have been constructed. Theories have their purpose and are indispensable, but they must never be mistaken for demonstrated facts (James E. Talmage, "The Earth and Man," 9 August 1931).

We have been taught...to look upon these bodies of ours as gifts from God. We Latter-day Saints do not regard the body as something to be condemned, something to be abhorred, and something to be subdued in the sense in which that expression is oft-times heard in the world. We regard as the sign of our royal birthright, that we have bodies upon the earth...We believe that these bodies are to be well cared for, that they are to be looked upon as something belonging to the Lord, and that each may be made, in very truth, the temple of the Holy Ghost, the place into which the Spirit of God shall enter and where He shall delight to dwell...It is peculiar to the theology of the Latter-day Saints that we regard the body as an essential part of the soul. Read your dictionaries, the lexicons, and encyclopedias, and you will find that nowhere, outside of the Church of Jesus Christ, is the solemn and eternal truth taught that the soul of man is the body and the spirit combined (James E. Talmage, GC, Oct. 1913).






It is recorded in the American Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica, that I, David Whitmer, have denied my testimony as one of the three witnesses to the divinity of the Book of Mormon; and that the other two witnesses, Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, denied their testimony to that Book. I will say once more to all mankind, that I have never at any time denied that testimony or any part thereof. I also testify to the world, that neither Oliver Cowdery or Martin Harris ever at any time denied their testimony. They both died reaffirming the truth of the divine authenticity of the Book of Mormon. I was present at the death of Oliver Cowdery, and his last words were, "Brother David, be true to your testimony to the Book of Mormon (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ [1887], Part 1, Chapter 1, 8-9).

Unto all Nations, Kindred Tongues and People, unto whom these presents shall come: It having been represented by one John Murphy, of Polo, Caldwell County, Mo., that I, in a conversation with him last summer, denied my testimony as one of the three witnesses to the Book of Mormon. To the end, therefore, that he may uderstand me now, if he did not then; and that the world may know the truth, I wish now, standing as it were, in the very sunset of life, and in the fear of God, once for all to make this public statement: That I have never at any time denied that testimony or any part thereof, which has so long since been published with that Book, as one of the three witnesses. Those who know me best, will know that I have always adhered to that testimony. And that no man may be misled or doubt my present views in regard to the same, I do again affirm the truth of all of my statements, as then made and published. "He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear;" it was no delusion! What is written is written, and he that readeth let him understand (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ [1887], Part 1, Chapter 1, 8-9).

Joseph...had the Urim and Thummim, and a chocolate colored stone, which he used alternately, as suited his convenience, and he said he believed Joseph could as well accomplish the translation by looking into a hat, or any other stone, as by the use of the Urim and Thummim or the chocolate colored stone. David expressed absolute faith in the Prophet's power to get any information he desired, and by any means he should adopt for the purpose. I mean he appeared to have absolute faith in the Prophet's power with God, to get any information he wished for. And he did not think that either the Urim and Thummim or the stone he had were essential, or absolutely essential, to the obtaining of the information. (David Whitmer to Nathan A. Tanner Jr., Opening the Heavens, Statement 100).






The Lord needs such men on the outside of his Church, to help it along. They are among its auxiliaries, and can do more good for the cause where the Lord has placed them, than anywhere else. And the same is true of the priesthood and its auxiliaries inside the Church. Hence, some are drawn into the fold and receive a testimony of the Truth; while others remain unconverted—for the present; the beauties and glories of the gospel being veiled temporarily from their view, for a wise purpose. The Lord will open their eyes in his own due time. God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of his great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous, for any one people (Orson F. Whitney, CR Apr. 1928, 59; See also Ensign, July 1972, 59).






In our pre-existent state, in the day of the great council, we made a certain agreement with the Almighty. The Lord proposed a plan. We accepted it. Since the plan is intended for all men, we became parties to the salvation of every person under that plan. We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves, but measurably, saviors for the whole human family. We went into partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father's work, and the Savior's work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation (John A. Widtsoe, Church Service on Genealogical Committees, 28).

I believe that the busy person on the farm, in the shop, in the office, or in the household, who has his worries and troubles, can solve his problems better and more quickly in the house of the Lord than anywhere else. If he will leave his problems behind and in the temple work for himself and for his dead, he will confer a mighty blessing upon those who have gone before, and quite as large a blessing will come to him, for at the most unexpected moments, in or out of the temple will come to him, as a revelation, the solution of the problems that vex his life. That is the gift that comes to those who enter the temple properly, because it is a place where revelations may be expected. I bear you my personal testimony that this is so (John A. Widtsoe, "Temple Worship," The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Apr. 1921, 63-64).

I have a feeling also, my dear brethren and sisters, that those who give themselves with all thier might and main to this work receive help from the other side, and not merely in gathering geneologies. Whoever seeks to help those on the other side receives help in return in all the affiars of life (John A. Widtsoe, The Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Jul. 1931, 104).






The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude...Because Heavenly Father is merciful, a principle of compensation prevails.(Joseph B. Wirthlin, GC, Oct. 2008, "Come What May, and Love It").






BANGERTER, W. GRANT: I can honestly say that no nonmember of the Church has ever tried to induce me to discard my standards. The only people I remember trying to coerce me to abandon my principles or who ridiculed me for my standards have been non-practicing members of [my own] Church (New Era, July 1982, 6).

BATEMAN, MERRILL J: There is a difference between diligent searching or pondering over the scriptures and casual reading. A Church history story illustrates the difference. A small six-year-old boy wandered away from his handcart company during a storm and was lost. When the storm subsided, Robert and Ann Parker realized their boy was missing and began searching. For two days an organized search was unsuccessful. The decision was taken that the company must move on because of the approaching winter. Ann Parker pinned a bright red shawl about the thin shoulders of her husband and sent him back alone on the trail to search again for their child. If he found him dead he was to wrap him in the shawl; if alive, the shawl would be a flag to signal her. Ann and her children took up their load and struggled on with the company, while Robert retraced the miles of trail, calling, and searching and praying for his helpless little son. One suspects that he did not just casually look behind a few trees or leisurely walk along the trail, but that he vigorously investigated every thicket, every clump of trees and gully or wash. At last he reached a trading station where he learned that his child had been found and cared for by a woodsman and his wife. The boy had been ill from exposure and fright. But God had heard the prayers of his people. Out on the trail each night Ann and her children kept watch and, when, on the third night the rays of the setting sun caught the glimmer of a bright red shawl above her husband's head, the brave little mother sank in a pitiful heap in the sand. She slept for the first time in six days. The story illustrates the difference between just looking and searching diligently. A casual, infrequent exposure to the scriptures will generally not open the door to the whisperings of the Spirit or provide insights into the Savior's life and character. We need to search the scriptures with the same vigor that Robert hunted for his son and with the consistency of the mother searching the horizon if we expect to hear his voice and know his words (Ensign, Nov. 1992, 27).

BURTON, H. DAVID : One night at sea, [a] captain saw what looked like the light of another ship heading toward him. He had his signalman blink to the other ship: "Change your course 10 degrees south." The reply came back, "Change your course 10 degrees north." The ship's captain answered: "I am a captain. Change your course south." To which the reply came, "Well, I am a seaman first class. Change your course north." This so infuriated the captain, he signaled back, "I say change your course south. I am on a battleship!" To which the reply came back, "And I say change your course north. I am in a lighthouse." (H. David Burton, "Courage to Hearken," Ensign, May 1994, 68).

BURTON, THEODORE M.: As a General Authority, I have prepared information for the First Presidency to use in considering applications to readmit repentant transgressors into the Church and to restore priesthood and temple blessings. Many times a bishop will write, "I feel he has suffered enough!" But suffering is not repentance. Suffering comes from lack of complete repentance. A stake president will write, "I feel he has been punished enough!" But punishment is not repentance. Punishment follows disobedience and precedes repentance. A husband will write, "My wife has confessed everything!" But confession is not repentance. Confession is an admission of guilt that occurs as repentance begins. A wife will write, "My husband is filled with remorse!" But remorse is not repentance. Remorse and sorrow continue because a person has not yet fully repented. Suffering, punishment, confession, remorse, and sorrow may sometimes accompany repentance, but they are not repentance...The meaning of repentance is not that people be punished, but rather that they change their lives so that God can help them escape eternal punishment and enter into his rest with joy and rejoicing (Ensign, Aug. 1988, 7-8).

COOK, GENE R.: President Kiinball one time was asked, "Elder Kimball, what do you do when you're in a boring sacrament meeting?" President Kimball thought a minute and then he gave a very profound answer. He said, "I don't know, I've never been in one." What he was really teaching, brothers and sisters, was about another meeting. If you're just in this meeting with me -- this one we physically see--you're not in the meeting yet. The real meeting is the meeting between you and the Lord. And if you want to really get in the meeting and have the Lord work upon your heart, that will be up to you (Gene R. Cook, "Teaching by the Spirit and Learning How to Receive Blessing From the Lord," CES Seminary and Institute Meeting, 30 June 1989).

DIBBLE, PHILO: I saw the glory and felt the power, but did not see the vision (Philo Dibble, Juvenile Instructor, 27 [1892], 303).

In 1881 [Addison Everett] wrote a letter to a Church member named Oliver B. Huntington and then, in 1882, another letter to President Joseph F. Smith (Second Counselor to President John Taylor at the time), sharing at their request what he knew of [the restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood]. In his letter to President Smith, he recalled hearing the Prophet, in Nauvoo a few days before the Martyrdom, relate the circumstances...Joseph Smith, Brother Everett wrote, "Said as they were translating the Book of Mormon at His Father In Laws in Susquhanah County Pennsylvania. They ware threatned by a mob and at the same time Father Knight came down from Colesville, New York, and desired them to go home with him and preach to them in his neighbourhood and on account of the mob spirit prevailing they concluded to go." But even after they arrived at the Knights' residence in Colesville, opposition soon plagued them. Once again circumstances forced them to flee in haste from the mob and to return to Harmony. Brother Everett's letter continues: "And they wandered in a dense forest all night and often times in mud and water up to their knees. And Brother Oliver got quite exausted in the after part of the night and Brother Joseph had to put his arm arround him and allmost carry him. Just as the day broke in the East Brother Oliver gave out entirely and he, Br. Joseph, leaned him against an oake tree just out side a field fence. Br. Oliver cryied out, "How long, O Lord, O how long, Br. Joseph have we got to suffer these things? Just this moment Peter James & John came to us and ordained us to the Holy Apostelship and gave us the Keys of the Dispnsation of the fullness of times. And we had some 16 or 17 miles to go to reach our place of residence and Brother Oliver could travel as well as I could" (Addison Everett to Oliver B. Huntington in 1881, See "Dating the Restoration of the Melchizedek Priesthood," Larry C. Porter, Ensign, June 1979, ??).

FEATHERSTONE, VAUGHN J: The season of the world before us will be like no other in the history of mankind. Satan has unleashed every evil, every scheme, every blatant, vile perversion ever known to man in any generation. Just as this is the dispensation of the fullness of times, so it is also the dispensation of the fullness of evil. We and our wives and husbands, our children, and our members must find safety. There is no safety in the world; wealth cannot provide it, enforcement agencies cannot assure it, membership in this Church alone cannot bring it. As the evil night darkens upon this generation, we must come to the temple for light and safety. In our temples we find quiet, sacred havens where the storm cannot penetrate to us. There are hosts of unseen sentinels watching over and guarding our temples. Angels attend every door. There will be greater hosts of unseen beings in the temple. Prophets of old as well as those in this dispensation will visit the temples. Those who attend will feel their strength and feel their companionship. We will not be alone in our temples. Before the Savior comes the world will darken. There will come a period of time where even the elect will lose hope if they do not come to the temples. The world will be so filled with evil that the righteous will only feel secure within these walls. The Saints will come here not only to do vicarious work, but to find a haven of peace. They will long to bring their children here for safety sake (Address in St. George Temple. Do not distribute).

HAFEN, BRUCE C: If we refuse to repent, and thereby must satisfy justice by suffering for our own sins, we will remain unprepared to enter the celestial kingdom. Unless we accept the Savior's invitation to carry our sins, we will not experience the complete rehabilitation that occurs through a combination of divine assistance and genuine repentance. By analogy, criminals are not necessarily rehabilitated by serving a fixed number of years to pay their debt to society. A prison term may satisfy our sense of retribution, but real rehabilitation requires a positive process of character change. Mercy and repentance are rehabilitative, not retributive. The Savior asks us to repent not just to repay him for paying our debt to justice, but also to induce us to undergo the personal development that will purify our very nature ("Beauty for Ashes: The Atonement of Jesus Christ," Ensign, Apr. 1990, 7).

HOWARD, F BURTON: Most of all, I think eternal marriage cannot be achieved without a commitment to make it work. Most of what I know about this I have learned from my companion. We have been married for almost 47 years now. From the beginning she knew what kind of marriage she wanted. We started as poor college students, but her vision for our marriage was exemplified by a set of silverware. As is common today, when we married she registered with a local department store. Instead of listing all the pots and pans and appliances we needed and hoped to receive, she chose another course. She asked for silverware. She chose a pattern and the number of place settings and listed knives, forks, and spoons on the wedding registry and nothing else. No towels, no toasters, no television—just knives, forks, and spoons. The wedding came and went. Our friends and our parents' friends gave gifts. We departed for a brief honeymoon and decided to open the presents when we returned. When we did so, we were shocked. There was not a single knife or fork in the lot. We joked about it and went on with our lives. Two children came along while we were in law school. We had no money to spare. But when my wife worked as a part-time election judge or when someone gave her a few dollars for her birthday, she would quietly set it aside, and when she had enough she would go to town to buy a fork or a spoon. It took us several years to accumulate enough pieces to use them. When we finally had service for four, we began to invite some of our friends for dinner. Before they came, we would have a little discussion in the kitchen. Which utensils would we use, the battered and mismatched stainless or the special silverware? In those early days I would often vote for the stainless. It was easier. You could just throw it in the dishwasher after the meal, and it took care of itself. The silver, on the other hand, was a lot of work. My wife had it hidden away under the bed where it could not be found easily by a burglar. She had insisted that I buy a tarnish-free cloth to wrap it in. Each piece was in a separate pocket, and it was no easy task to assemble all the pieces. When the silver was used, it had to be hand washed and dried so that it would not spot, and put back in the pockets so it would not tarnish, and wrapped up and carefully hidden again so it would not get stolen. If any tarnish was discovered, I was sent to buy silver polish, and together we carefully rubbed the stains away. Over the years we added to the set, and I watched with amazement how she cared for the silver. My wife was never one to get angry easily. However, I remember the day when one of our children somehow got hold of one of the silver forks and wanted to use it to dig up the backyard. That attempt was met with a fiery glare and a warning not to even think about it. Ever! I noticed that the silverware never went to the many ward dinners she cooked, or never accompanied the many meals she made and sent to others who were sick or needy. It never went on picnics and never went camping. In fact it never went anywhere; and, as time went by, it didn't even come to the table very often. Some of our friends were weighed in the balance, found wanting, and didn't even know it. They got the stainless when they came to dinner. The time came when we were called to go on a mission. I arrived home one day and was told that I had to rent a safe-deposit box for the silver. She didn't want to take it with us. She didn't want to leave it behind. And she didn't want to lose it. For years I thought she was just a little bit eccentric, and then one day I realized that she had known for a long time something that I was just beginning to understand. If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don't expose it to the elements. You don't make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and it grows more beautiful and precious as time goes by. Eternal marriage is just like that. We need to treat it just that way (F. Burton Howard, Ensign, May 2003, 93-94).

GOASLIND, JACK H: Several years ago I heard about a good brother who described his attitude as President David O. McKay gave the concluding talk of general conference. It was a sultry afternoon, and this was the fifth session he had attended. He was sitting in the balcony, and his mind had a serious wandering problem. He noticed a man sitting in the middle section who had fallen asleep with his head tilted back and his mouth open. It occurred to him that if he were in the roof of the Tabernacle, he could drop a spit wad through one of the vent holes right into the mouth of that sleeping man. What a glorious thought! Following the meeting, he overheard two men talking about their feelings during President McKay's talk. They were visibly moved by what they had heard. He thought to himself, These two brethren were having a marvelous spiritual experience, and what was I doing? Thinking about dropping spit wads from the ceiling! (Ensign, May 1991, 46).

GROBERG, JOHN H: In the past I have tried to figure out whether I should go into business or into teaching or into the arts or whatever. As I have begun to proceed along one path, having more or less gathered what facts I could, I have found that if that decision was wrong or was taking me down the wrong path—without fail, the Lord has always let me know. On the other hand, there may have been two or three ways that I could have gone, any one of which would have been right and would have been in the general area providing the experience and means whereby I could fulfill the mission that the Lord had in mind for me. Because he knows we need growth, he generally does not point and say, "Open that door and go twelve yards in that direction; then turn right and go two miles..." But if it is wrong, he will let us know—we will feel it for sure. So rather than saying, "I will not move until I have this burning in my heart," let us turn it around and say, "I will move unless I feel it is wrong; and if it is wrong, then I will not do it." By eliminating all of these wrong courses, very quickly you will find yourself going in the direction that you ought to be going (Speeches, 1979, 97-98).

I was a relatively young and recent appointee to a major administrative position at Utah State University. I had great admiration for the university president with whom I served. I was very anxious to please him. On major issues I would anticipate the position that he was most likely to take and make my comments accordingly in our deliberations. I began to notice that he didn't ask for my opinion very often. Then an issue arose where the president and all the other members of the president's council were united in how best to solve that particular problem at hand. I felt strongly that their position was wrong, and I mustered the courage to express my contrary view. A sudden and very awkward silence fell over the room. The president said, "Well, this apparently deserves more thought before we make the decision." I left the meeting only to have the president follow me to my office, closing the door behind him after he entered. You can imagine what I thought was coming. He said, "Rolfe, you may have noticed recently that I have not asked for your opinion very often. You typically have accurately thought out what my position is most likely to be on the issues before us, and then you have taken that position. Not until today has your opinion been of real value to me. I know what I think on issues. What I need in the decision-making process is to know the contrary opinion. Only then can we make knowledgeable and well-reasoned decisions. Thank you." My position on that issue eventually was adopted and is still in place as policy at Utah State University now 30 years later (W. Rolfe Kerr, "On the Lord's Errand," CES Satellite Training Broadcast, August 2005, 5).

The majority of the students we teach might be described as "low-hanging fruit"—easy to reach and easy to teach. They enroll willingly and attend regularly. They assert themselves in the learning process, and they leave our influence with enriched lives and abiding testimonies of the gospel. But what about the fruit that hides higher up in the trees—those young people more difficult to reach and more challenging to teach. Some would even seem to be unreachable and unteachable. But I urge you not to accept that conclusion about them...Without compromising the attention that we give those who come so willingly, let us reach up and reach out, engaging, inspiring, and truly teaching those precious souls who may come to us less willingly—even unwillingly. Reaching and teaching the fruit hiding in the treetops is one of the most sacred responsibilities we have. I pray for increased effectiveness with the students who are reachable and teachable, but I pray especially that we will become more effective with those who seem to be unreachable and unteachable (W. Rolfe Kerr, "Our Sacred Responsibility," Address to CES, 29 Feb 2008, 1).

PACE, GLENN L: As great as the various programs of the Church are, they carry with them a potential danger. If we are not careful, it is possible to get so wrapped up in the plan that we forget the principles. We can fall into the trap of mistaking traditions for principles and confusing programs with their objectives. One Saturday morning I was on my way to fulfill an assignment on a welfare farm. We were to clean the weeds out of an irrigation ditch. My route took me past the home of an elderly widow in my ward, who was weeding her front yard. The temperature was already in the mid-eighties and she looked like she was near to having sunstroke. For a fleeting moment I thought I should stop and lend a helping hand, but my conscience allowed me to drive on by because, after all, I had an assignment on the welfare farm. I wonder what would have happened if I had followed the spontaneous prompting of the Spirit and unleashed the genuine compassion I was feeling. I wonder what would have happened to her; I wonder what would have happened to me. But I couldn't do that because I hadn't been assigned. We need more spontaneous acts of compassionate service...I fear we have learned too much over the years about programs at the expense of insufficient understanding of principles. If we had learned more principles, priesthood leaders all over the world would be solving local problems with local resources without waiting for something to come from Church headquarters. Members would be helping each other without waiting for an assignment. Programs blindly followed bring us to a discipline of doing good, but principles properly understood and practiced bring us to a disposition to do good (Glenn L. Pace, "Principles and Programs," Ensign, May 1986, 23-24).

PETERSON, H BURKE: For much of our lives, we lived in central Arizona. Some years ago a group of teenagers from the local high school went on an all-day picnic into the desert on the outskirts of Phoenix. As some of you know, the desert foliage is rather sparse—mostly mesquite, cat-claw, and palo verde trees, with a few cactus scattered here and there. In the heat of the summer, where there are thickets of this desert growth, you may also find rattlesnakes as unwelcome residents. These young people were picnicking and playing, and during their frolicking, one of the girls was bitten on the ankle by a rattlesnake. As is the case with such a bite, the rattler's fangs released venom almost immediately into her bloodstream. This very moment was a time of critical decision. They could immediately begin to extract the poison from her leg, or they could search out the snake and destroy it. Their decision made, the girl and her young friends pursued the snake. It slipped quickly into the undergrowth and avoided them for fifteen or twenty minutes. Finally, they found it, and rocks and stones soon avenged the infliction. Then they remembered: their companion had been bitten! They became aware of her discomfort, as by now the venom had had time to move from the surface of the skin deep into the tissues of her foot and leg. Within another thirty minutes they were at the emergency room of the hospital. By then, the venom was well into its work of destruction. A couple of days later I was asked to visit her in the hospital. As I entered her room, I saw a pathetic sight. Her foot and leg were elevated—swollen almost beyond recognition. The tissue in her limb had been destroyed by the poison, and a few days later it was found her leg would have to be amputated below the knee. It was a senseless sacrifice, this price of revenge. How much better it would have been if, after the young woman had been bitten, there had been an extraction of the venom from the leg in a process known to all desert dwellers (Ensign, Nov. 1983, 59).

PINEGAR, REX D: Charles Francis Adams, grandson of the second president of the United States, was a successful lawyer, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and the U.S. ambassador to Britain. Amidst his responsibilities he had little time to spare. He did, however, keep a diary. One day he wrote, "Went fishing with my son today—a day wasted!" On that same date, Charles's son, Brooks Adams, had printed in his own diary, "Went fishing with my father today—the most wonderful day of my life" (Ensign, Nov. 1994, 82).

PORTER, L ALDIN: You make one major mistake when you tell people something [and] you think they hear you...They don't...The first time we teach a concept or a principle, nobody hears us. The second time we teach a concept or a principle, people say, "I've heard that somewhere before." The third time we teach a concept or a principle, people say, "That's a good idea, but I would have to change. I don't want to change." Now that's as far as we generally go. We say, "Well, I've already told him three times. What do you want?" The fourth time you teach a concept or a principle, people say, "That's a good idea. Some day I may try it." The fifth time you teach a concept or a principle, people say, "That is a good idea. I'll try it today." Now, those are the geniuses, the rest of them take longer (L. Aldin Porter, General Authority Training, October 3, 2000).

SAMUELSON, CECIL O: In a number of settings over the years and reinforced now by my experiences at BYU, it has seemed to me that wisdom and understanding are much rarer traits or talents than are knowledge and impressive mental capacity. It has also become clear that wisdom and understanding are not of the same domain as knowledge and intellectual prowess. Stated another way, we see many examples of bright folks who are not very wise and others with excellent judgment and wisdom who seem to have modest intellectual gifts or limited knowledge. A corollary observation is that while it is relatively easy for most of us to learn facts or a given body of information, it seems much more difficult to know how to use wisely that which has been learned ("Wisdom and Understanding," BYU Devotional, 10 Jan 2006, 1).