March 25, 2012

Pray as General Conference Approaches

“President David O. McKay described what it means when the Holy Ghost comes into a life: “What the sunshine is to the field and to the flowers the Holy Spirit is to the life of man.” (Conference Report, October 1930, p. 10.) It has been my experience that that sunshine comes into my life even more powerfully when my effort is to try to help those who lead or teach me.

Each time a general conference approaches, you can pray that the Brethren who speak and who lead us will have the Holy Spirit. I will make a twofold promise to you. First, your prayers will be answered if they are offered with faith and with confidence. Second, not only will you bring sunshine to the lives of others, but you will bring sunshine into your own life. As the Brethren speak, you will be able to listen and hear the words of God as he instructs you through his servants. You will recognize the words of truth that you need. And that is sunshine.”

President Henry B. Eyring – Draw Closer to God

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February 8, 2012

Happiness in Marriage

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“I am satisfied that happiness in marriage is not so much a matter of romance as it is an anxious concern for the comfort and well-being of one’s companion. Any man who will make his wife’s comfort his first concern will stay in love with her throughout their lives and through the eternity yet to come.”

– Gordon B. Hinckley

February 3, 2012

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.

Faith and character are intimately related. Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used. Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith. As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience.

We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.

The Transforming Power of Character and Faith – Richard G. Scott – Oct 2010 General Conference

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January 27, 2012

Courage

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January 11, 2012

“I anoint you with this consecrated oil”

Now, brothers and sisters, what conclusions from all this? Let me say first that I pray that hereafter, when you speak or hear the words, “I anoint you with this consecrated oil,” you will remember what the consecration cost.

I pray that, as you sit (but in our spirits as we kneel) at the sacrament table, and you are asked to remember his body and blood, you will recall that he is the veritable tree and olive beaten for the light, and that there flows from him unto this whole earth, and beyond, the redemptive power of healing and soothing and ministering to the needy.

I pray that in hours of gladness, should your cup run o’er, you will remember that, to make that possible, a cup, the bitterest of cups, was drunk.

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I pray that when your life, the life of attempted faithfulness, is bludgeoned and becomes wearing and wearying, you will remember that no great and good fruit comes easily, that you are the olive plants who were supposedly planted anew in him, and that only time and suffering and endurance can produce the peaceable and perfect fruit which he yearns for you to have.

And finally I pray that, as we seek to be what he said he was, the light of the world, we will endure the days of affliction and be prepared for the day of joyous reunion. All the prophets have promised that both are ahead. One day he will honor the Mount of Olives again. This time he will descend in triumph. When his foot touches it, the mount itself shall separate, be shaken, and an earthquake will follow. The earth will be purged and cleansed and will eventually shine with celestial light. We are promised we may share in those culminations to descend with him or to ascend to meet him. And either of those is glorious.

Truman Madsen – The Olive Press

December 18, 2011

I Only Asked for Someone Who Could Understand Me, and He Sent Someone I Knew

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Anna Matilda Anderson was a young girl who lived in Sweden in the 1880s. When she and her family joined the Church, they were ridiculed for their beliefs. Anna’s mother decided they should move to America and join the Saints in Utah. Anna was 11 years old when she and her sister, Ida, were sent ahead to earn money and bring the rest of the family. They sailed to the United States, then traveled by train to Ogden, Utah, where Ida left by covered wagon to work for her sponsors in Idaho. Anna was completely alone on that train as it continued to Salt Lake City. She spoke no English and knew no one.

Can you imagine the loneliness and terror of her ride? The train pulled into the darkened Rio Grande station just before midnight. The relative who was to meet Anna was not there. Anna stood watching with dread as the station slowly emptied. Finally, she was alone with a German family who also had no one to meet them. The darkness was thick and threatening, closing in around her. She later recalled: “I started to cry and thought about the last thing my mother told me: ‘If you come to a place where you can’t understand what the people are saying, don’t forget to pray to your Father in Heaven because He can understand you.’ ”

Anna knelt by her suitcase and pleaded with all her might for heavenly help. Haven’t we all said prayers like that? The German family motioned for Anna to follow them. Having no other choice, she walked behind them, crying. Arriving at Temple Square, they heard rapid footsteps. A woman was hurrying toward them, studying each person she passed. She looked at the German family, then pressed on. Anna caught the woman’s searching gaze. The woman stopped, unbelieving. She recognized the young girl! And with a shock, Anna recognized the woman. She was her Sunday School teacher who had left Sweden a year earlier! Pulling Anna tightly into her arms, the teacher wiped away her frightened tears. She told Anna: “I was awakened over and over again. … Images of the arriving immigrants raced through my mind. I could not go back to sleep. I was prompted to come to the temple to see if there was anyone I knew here” (journal of Anna Matilda Anderson, in author’s possession).

Can you believe it? A Sunday School teacher sent in a pitch-black night like an angel of light! “So you see,” Anna remembered, “my Heavenly Fathermore than answered my prayers. I only asked for someone who could understand me, and He sent someone I knew.”Years later, Anna explained how she took that amazing journey alone: Her faith in the Lord assured her that something better was waiting just ahead. This gave her the courage to cross an ocean without her mother, pray to her Father in Heaven when she was lost, and walk toward the safe haven of the temple. Anna moved through the unknown and left a path for others to follow. One of those who followed Anna’s faith-filled footsteps was my husband. You see, Anna was his grandmother.

– Bonnie D. Parkin, “Finding Faith in Every Footstep,” Ensign, May 1997, 84

December 17, 2011

If the Day Ever Comes When We Quit Learning, We Will Atrophy and Die

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“None of us . . . knows enough. The learning process is an endless process. We must read, we must observe, we must assimilate, and we must ponder that to which we expose our minds. . . .
“ . . . You cannot afford to stop. You must not rest in your development. . . . There is so much to learn and so little time in which to learn it” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 298–99).

“None of us can assume that he has learned enough. As the door closes on one phase of life, it opens on another, where we must continue to pursue knowledge. Ours ought to be a ceaseless quest for truth” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 301).

“When all is said and done, we are all students. If the day ever comes when we quit learning, look out. We will just atrophy and die. We all can learn and learn well” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 302).

“We must go on growing. We must continuously learn. It is a divinely given mandate that we go on adding to our knowledge” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, 303).

“With all of our learning, let us also learn of him. With all of our study, we need to seek knowledge of the Master. That knowledge will complement in a wonderful way our secular training and will give us character and a fulness to life that can come in no other way” (“With All Thy Getting Get Understanding,” 5).

December 16, 2011

When Shall We Cease to Learn?

“We are in the school [of mortality] and keep learning, and we do not expect to cease learning while we live on earth; and when we pass through the veil, we expect still to continue to learn and increase our fund of information. That may appear a strange idea to some; but it is for the plain and simple reason that we are not capacitated to receive all knowledge at once. We must therefore receive a little here and a little there” (Teachings: Brigham Young, 87).

“We might ask, when shall we cease to learn? I will give you my opinion about it: never, never” (Teachings: Brigham Young, 195).

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December 15, 2011

It Is Not All to be Comprehended in This World

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“When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave” (Teachings: Joseph Smith, 268).

November 29, 2011

High Aim and Low Achievement

“One of the great tragedies we witness almost daily is the tragedy of men of high aim and low achievement.  Their motives are noble.  Their proclaimed ambition is praiseworthy.  Their capacity is great.  But their discipline is weak.  They succumb to indolence.  Appetite robs them of will.”

President Gordon B. Hinckley