Quotes on Commitment

If we pattern our life after the Master, and take His teachings and example as the supreme pattern for our own, we will not find it difficult to be consistent and loyal in every walk of life, for we will be committed to a single, sacred standard of conduct and belief. — President Howard W. Hunter, April 1990 General Conference

A man said to me just a few days ago – and he is a member of the Church and thinks he is a pretty good member, and I am not questioning him on that – but he said, “You know, this Church requires too much of its people.  There isn’t another church in the world that requires or demands as much of its people as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormon Church.”

I said, “Brother, the Church doesn’t demand anything of you.  It offers you great opportunities and many privileges that are not given to any individual any place in the world other than through the Church of Jesus Christ.  And the priesthood offers opportunities, privileges, and blessings that one can enjoy only as he accepts the rules and keeps the covenants upon which these privileges and blessings are predicated.  You may choose what you wish to do in this Church, and you will be blessed accordingly.  It is entirely up to you.”  But I added, “As far as I am concerned, brother, I would rather walk barefoot from here to the celestial kingdom and back into the presence of my Heavenly Father, if I can get there, than to let the things of this world keep me out.”  And I am serious about it. — Elder N. Eldon Tanner, Conference Report, October 1966, pp. 98-99

Consider the counsel of President Hinckley, given in the leadership training meeting:  “There is much more to be achieved than statistical improvement,” President Hinckley said.  “More importantly, we should be concerned with the spiritual dimension of our people and the enlargement of this dimension.  There is a tendency in all of us to ask for better statistical performance.  There is a tendency to impose quotas. . . . In the work of the Lord there is a more appropriate motivation than pressure.  There is the motivation that comes of true conversion.  When there throbs in the heart of an individual Latter-day Saint a great and vital testimony of the truth of this work, he [meaning, of course, men and women] will be found doing his duty in the Church.  He will be found in his sacrament meetings.  He will be found in his priesthood meetings.  He will be found paying his honest tithes and offerings.  He will be doing his home teaching.  He will be found in attendance at the temple as frequently as his circumstances will permit.  He will have within him a great desire to share the Gospel with others.  He will be found strengthening and lifting his brethren and sisters.  It is conversion that makes the difference (Regional Representatives’ seminar, 6 Apr. 1984; emphasis added). — Elder W. Mack Lawrence, Ensign, May 1996, p. 75

I was riding on a plane some time ago with a great industrial leader.  As I sat visiting with him, he said, “You know, I have a religion.  My religion is, ‘moderation in all things.’  As I have pursued religions, I have found that this fits me best, ‘moderation in all things.'”  I asked, “How does it work on ‘Thou shalt not steal’?  How does it work on ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’?  How does it work on ‘Love God with all your heart, might, mind, and soul’?  How does it work on ‘Love your neighbor’?”  I went on a little while, and he said, “That’s enough.  It doesn’t work in all cases.” — Bernard P. Brockbank, “The Divine Light of Life,” Speeches of the Year, February 29, 1972, p. 7

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 [to establish this intention] between me and the Lord so that I knew that he knew which way I committed my agency.  I went before Him and 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. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, “To Those Who Teach in Troubled Times,” address delivered at seminary and institute conference, Summer 1970, Salt Lake City; quoted by Ezra Taft Benson, “Jesus Christ – Gifts and Expectations,” Ensign, Dec. 1988, p. 4

When the time comes for you to sacrifice for that which you believe, will you have the faith to make that sacrifice?  Have you made the commitment to do anything the Lord asks, and are you disciplined enough to fulfill that commitment, even at a time that may not be particularly opportune or pleasant?  I would encourage each of you to promise the Lord, now, that you will do as he or his messengers ask.  The sacrifice may be great; the sacrifice may be small.  But may you all have the strength and integrity to act on your faith, so that you may one day appear before the Lord blameless, knowing that you did everything in your power to prove your commitment. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “The Power of Commitment,” New Era, November 1989, p. 4

We can have eternal life if we want it, but only if there is nothing else we want more. — Elder Bruce C. Hafen, Ensign, May 2004, p. 98

Joshua reminds us of the importance of making decisions promptly: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Not tomorrow, not when we get ready, not when it is convenient – but “this day,” straightway, choose whom you will serve.  He who invites us to follow will always be out in front of us with His Spirit and influence setting the pace.  He has charted and marked the course, opened the gates, and shown the way.  He has invited us to come unto Him, and the best time to enjoy his companionship is straightway.  We can best get on the course and stay on the course by doing as Jesus did – make a total commitment to do the will of His Father. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, Ensign, May 1983, pp. 30-31

Oh my brethren and sisters, why waste your time, your talents, your means, your influence in following something that will perish and pass away, when you could devote yourselves to a thing that will stand forever?  For this Church and kingdom, to which you belong, will abide and continue in time, in eternity, while endless ages roll along, and you with it will become mightier and more powerful, while the things of this world will pass away and perish, and will not abide in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord our God. — President Charles W. Penrose, Conference Report, 1919, pp. 36-37

Ananias and Sapphira . . . kept back a portion instead of consecrating their all.  Some would never sell Jesus for thirty pieces, but they would not give Him their all either! . . . We tend to think of consecration only in terms of property and money.  But there are so many ways of keeping back part.  One might be giving of money and time and yet hold back a significant portion of himself.  One might share talents publicly yet privately retain a particular pride.  One might hold back from kneeling before God’s throne and yet bow to a particular gallery of peers.  One might accept a Church calling but have his heart more set on maintaining a certain role in the world. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Conference Report, October 1992, p. 90

Sometimes someone will say: “Well, I have been baptized into the Church; I am a member of the Church;  I’ll just go along and live an ordinary sort of life; I won’t commit any great crimes; I’ll live a reasonably good Christian life; and eventually I will gain the kingdom of God.”  I don’t understand it that way.  I think that baptism is a gate.  It is a gate which puts us on a path; and the name of the path is the straight and narrow path.  The straight and narrow path leads upward from the gate of baptism to the celestial kingdom of heaven. After a person has entered the gate of baptism, he has to press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, as Nephi expresses it, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men; and if he endures to the end, then he gains the promised reward. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Conference Report, October 1950, p. 16

Daily hope is vital, since the “Winter Quarters” of our lives are not immediately adjacent to our promised land either.  An arduous trek still awaits, but hope spurs weary disciples on. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Conference Report, October 1994

At times many of us let that enemy of achievement – even the culprit “self-defeat” – dwarf our aspirations, smother our dreams, cloud our vision, and impair our lives.  The enemy’s voice whispers in our ears, “You can’t do it.”  “You’re too young.”  “You’re too old.” “You’re nobody.” This is when we remember that we are created in the image of God.  Reflection on this truth provides a profound sense of strength and power. — President Thomas S. Monson, “Choose You This Day,” Ensign, November 2004, p. 67

A truly committed person does not falter in the face of adversity. Until one is committed, there is a chance to hesitate, to go off in another direction, or to be ineffective. Members within our ranks who are committed to living the gospel of Jesus Christ will not be affected by the rationale of hecklers. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton, “Be of Good Cheer,” 1987, p. 51

To love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is all-consuming and all-encompassing. It is no lukewarm endeavor. It is total commitment of our very being – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – to a love of the Lord.

The breadth, depth, and height of this love of God extend into every facet of one’s life.  Our desires, be they spiritual or temporal, should be rooted in a love of the Lord.  Our thoughts and affections should be centered on the Lord.  “Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord,” said Alma, “yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever”  (Alma  37:36). — President Ezra Taft Benson, “The Great Commandment – Love the Lord,” Ensign, May 1988, p. 4

My brethren and sisters, we must be loyal.  We cannot be found on the sidelines carping and criticizing and finding fault with one another.  We must help one another with each other’s burdens.  We must share the sorrows of one another.  We must rejoice with one another in our victories.  We must be loyal to the Church against all its enemies. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Church Educational System Fireside, BYU, February 2, 1997

It is our responsibilities, not ourselves, that we should take seriously. — Peter Ustinov

Few things help an individual more than to place responsibility upon him, and to let him know that you trust him. — Booker T. Washington

The issue is not going to church; rather, the issue is worshiping and renewing covenants as we attend church.  The issue is not going to or through the temple; rather, the issue is having in our hearts the spirit, the covenants, and the ordinances of the Lord’s house.  The issue is not going on a mission; rather, the issue is becoming a missionary and serving throughout our entire life with all of our heart, might, mind, and strength. — Elder David A. Bednar, “Becoming a Missionary,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 45

If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: they’re hobbies. — Jon Stewart

So where should each of us make our stand?  As we demonstrate our devotion to God by our daily acts of righteousness, He can know where we stand.  For all of us this life is a time of sifting and refining.  We all face trials.  Individual members in the early days of the Church were tested and refined when they had to decide if they had the faith . . . to put their belongings in a wagon or a pioneer handcart and travel across the American plains. Some did not have the faith.  Those who did traveled “with faith in every footstep.”  In our time we are going through an increasingly difficult time of refining and testing.  The tests are more subtle because the lines between good and evil are being eroded.  Very little seems to be sacred in any of our public communication.  In this environment we will need to make sure where we stand all of the time in our commitment to eternal truths and covenants. — President James E. Faust, “Where Do I Make My Stand?” Ensign, November 2004, p. 21

Our welfare and happiness depends upon our obedience to the laws of God, upon our conduct before him in all our acts. We wish to have inscribed not only in our meetinghouse, but in our hearts and acts, Holiness to the Lord, God is my God, God is my Father, God is my friend; and I wish to devote and dedicate myself unto Him, ought to be the feeling of every man and woman, and especially of every Latter-day Saint.  Let there be no act of my life, no principle that I embrace, that shall be at variance with these words which were first inscribed by the Almighty, and prophesied of that it should come to pass in the last days, that even upon the bells of the horses should be written “Holiness to the Lord.”  That is not in name only, but it is to be written on the tablets of our hearts, as with a pen of iron, for when this principle shall become universal, righteousness will extend “from the rivers to the ends of the earth.” — President John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 23, p. 355

I have never been sorry on any occasion when I stood for what was right – even against severe criticism.  As you learn that truth, you will also discover that when you have taken a determined stand for right, when you have established personal standards and made covenants to keep them, when temptations come and you act according to your standards, you will be reinforced and given strength beyond your own capacity if that is needed.  Difficulty comes when you enter the battle of temptation without a fixed plan. That is what Satan desires, for then you are ripe for defeat. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Do What Is Right,” Ensign, June 1997, p. 53

We ought to show in our every day lives a deep devotion to the principles of the Gospel, and to our Heavenly Father.  It should not be merely in words and expressions, but it should pervade our whole being.  When awake in the morning, our thoughts should be directed to the Author of our being, with thanks for the protection during the night, and with a prayer for His guidance and protection during the day; and, when we lie down at night, our last thoughts should be directed to Him, thanking Him for what we have been able to do during the day, and communing with Him in our meditations.  Our devotion should be shown in calling together our family at the family altar, in the morning and at night, and there bring before the Lord our petitions and supplications. — Elder Anthon H. Lund, Conference Report, April 1912, p. 11

Quality is never an accident:  It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution.  It represents the wise choice of many alternatives. — William A. Foster

Duty does not require perfection, but it does require diligence.  It is not simply what is legal; it is what is virtuous.  It is not reserved to the mighty or high in station but instead rests on a foundation of personal responsibility, integrity, and courage.  Doing one’s duty is a manifestation of one’s faith. — Elder Keith B. McMullin,  “Our Path of Duty,” Ensign, May 2010, p. 14

To be cheerful when others are in despair, to keep the faith when others falter, to be true even when we feel forsaken – all of these are deeply desired outcomes during the deliberate, divine tutorials which God gives to us – because He loves us. (See Mosiah 3:19.)  These learning experiences must not be misread as divine indifference.  Instead, such tutorials are a part of the divine unfolding. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Be of Good Cheer,” Ensign, November 1982, p. 66

I bear you my testimony and witness that indeed Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that he is working mightily in heaven today to further the kingdom of God.  He, along with Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Hyrum Smith, and hundreds of other great people and righteous souls, is counting on us to do this work and to emphasize the fact that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and restored the gospel.  Zion will not arise simply because we wish it to.  It will arise because we will it to – because we apply our minds, our muscle, and our hearts in bringing it to pass.  The work of creation requires all the best within us, but what a great and noble goal to seek for Zion. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Restoration and Faith,” Ensign, Jan 2006, p. 38

If one “mind[s] the things of the flesh” (Rom.8:5), he cannot “have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16) because his thought patterns are “far from” Jesus, as are the desires or the “intents of his heart” (Mosiah 5:13).  Ironically, if the Master is a stranger to us, then we will merely end up serving other masters.  The sovereignty of these other masters is real, even if it sometimes is subtle, for they do call their cadence.  Actually, “we are all enlisted” (Hymns, 1985, no. 250), if only in the ranks of the indifferent. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father,” Ensign, November 1995, 22

Perseverance means to continue in a given course until we have reached a goal or objective, regardless of obstacles, opposition, and other counter influences. . . . Perseverance is a positive, active characteristic. . . . It gives us hope by helping us realize that the righteous suffer no failure except in giving up and no longer trying. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Never Give Up,” Ensign, November 1987, p. 8

As I understand this scripture [D&C 20:31-34] it means that Jesus Christ is kind and merciful to us when we serve him with our whole hearts, but not any of us can take refuge in past righteousness or service.  It also means that there is a possibility that any one of us can fall out of good standing, even those who have already achieved a certain degree of righteousness.  Therefore, we need to be on our constant guard, each of us, that we not allow ourselves to fall into habits of carelessness in our faith, in our prayers, or in our various Church activities or responsibilities.  It is for this reason that I am resolving again to live closer to God each day and to follow his chosen prophets and apostles more diligently than I have ever done in the past. — Elder Theodore M. Burton, Ensign, June 1974, p. 116

There is a lie – a vicious lie – circulating among the Latter-day Saints and taking its toll among the young.  And it is that a “balanced man” is one who deliberately guards against becoming too righteous.  This lie would have you believe that it is possible to live successfully and happily as a “double-minded man” with one foot in Babylon and one foot in Zion. (See James 1:8.) — Elder Carlos E. Asay, Ensign, May 1992

Brigham Young’s words concerning his own death and burial are worth noting.  After giving instructions concerning where he should be buried, he said, “There let my earthly house or tabernacle rest in peace, and have a good sleep, until the morning of the first resurrection; no crying or mourning with anyone as I have done my work faithfully and in good faith.” (cited in Preston Nibley, Brigham Young: The Man and His Work, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1936, p. 537.)

As we reflect on those who have gone before us, and as we consider our present labors for the good of ourselves and others, would that we all might say each day, “I am doing my work faithfully and in good faith.” — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Faith of the Pioneers,” Ensign, July 1984, p. 6

I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection.  ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.  — Thomas Paine

To love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is all-consuming and all-encompassing.  It is no lukewarm endeavor.  It is total commitment of our very being – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually – to a love of the Lord.

The breadth, depth, and height of this love of God extend into every facet of one’s life.  Our desires, be they spiritual or temporal, should be rooted in a love of the Lord.  Our thoughts and affections should be centered on the Lord.  “Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord,” said Alma, “yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever” (Alma  37:36). — President Ezra Taft Benson, “The Great Commandment – Love the Lord,” Ensign, May 1988, p. 4

Most of us think that the price of discipleship is too costly and too burdensome.  For many it involves the giving up of too much.  But the cross is not as heavy as it appears to be because we acquire through obedience a much greater strength to carry it:

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”  “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”  “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:28–30). — President James E. Faust, “The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign, April 1999

. . .we must be careful, as we seek to become more and more godlike, that we do not become discouraged and lose hope.  Becoming Christlike is a lifetime pursuit and very often involves growth and change that is slow, almost imperceptible.  The scriptures record remarkable accounts of men whose lives changed dramatically, in an instant. . . . But we must be cautious as we discuss these remarkable examples. Though they are real and powerful, they are the exception more than the rule.  For every Paul, for every Enos, and for every King Lamoni, there are hundreds and thousands of people who find the process of repentance much more subtle, much more imperceptible.  Day by day they move closer to the Lord, little realizing they are building a godlike life.  They live quiet lives of goodness, service, and commitment.  They are like the Lamanites, who the Lord said “were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.”  (3 Ne. 9:20) — President Ezra Taft Benson, “A Mighty Change of Heart,” Ensign, October 1989, p. 2

The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan. — United States President Ronald Reagan

While standards generally may totter, we of the Church are without excuse if we drift in the same manner.  We have standards – sure, tested, and effective.  To the extent that we observe them, we shall go forward.  To the extent that we neglect them, we shall hinder our own progress and bring embarrassment to the work of the Lord. These standards have come from Him.  Some of them may appear a little out-of-date in our society, but this does not detract from their validity nor diminish the virtue of their application.  The subtle reasoning of men, no matter how clever, no matter how plausible it may sound, cannot abridge the declared wisdom of God. — President Gordon B Hinckley, “Pursue the Steady Course,” Ensign, January 2005, p. 5

So where should each of us make our stand?  As we demonstrate our devotion to God by our daily acts of righteousness, He can know where we stand.  For all of us this life is a time of sifting and refining.  We all face trials.  Individual members in the early days of the Church were tested and refined when they had to decide if they had the faith . . . to put their belongings in a wagon or a pioneer handcart and travel across the American plains. Some did not have the faith.  Those who did traveled “with faith in every footstep.”  In our time we are going through an increasingly difficult time of refining and testing.  The tests are more subtle because the lines between good and evil are being eroded.  Very little seems to be sacred in any of our public communication.  In this environment we will need to make sure where we stand all of the time in our commitment to eternal truths and covenants. — President James E. Faust, “Where Do I Make My Stand?” Ensign, November 2004, p. 21

However much faith to obey God we now have, we will need to strengthen it continually and keep it refreshed constantly.  We can do that by deciding now to be more quick to obey and more determined to endure.  Learning to start early and to be steady are the keys to spiritual preparation.  Procrastination and inconsistency are its mortal enemies. — President Henry B. Eyring, “Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 38

Righteous desires need to be relentless, therefore, because, said President Brigham Young, “the men and women, who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kingdom, will find that they must battle every day” (in Journal of Discourses, 11:14).  Therefore, true Christian soldiers are more than weekend warriors. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts,” Ensign, November 1996

“As we move toward the future, we must not neglect the lessons of the past.  Our Heavenly Father gave His Son.  The Son of God gave His life.  We are asked by Them to give our lives, as it were, in Their divine service.  Will you?  Will I?  Will we?  There are lessons to be taught, there are kind deeds to be done, there are souls to be saved. — President Thomas S. Monson, “Becoming Our Best Selves,” Ensign, November 1999, p. 18

I am surprised (I would be amused if the cost were not so great) that people think they can remove the foundations of our social structure – things like work, chastity, and family and then wonder why other things crumble.  You can’t remove the foundation of a building while standing inside and not be hit with falling plaster.  We are now in the interesting position in the kingdom of trying to warn about what is happening in the world and, at the same time, of keeping ourselves personally secure. We must be Christ-centered individually.  We must have his and God’s power to do our work, and we must take seriously the challenge of becoming more Christlike.  You’re soon going to go out into a world full of marshmallow men. Like the act of putting a finger into a marshmallow, there is no core in these men, there is no center, and when one removes his finger, the marshmallow resumes its former shape.  We are in a world of people who want to yield to everything – to every fad and to every fashion.  It is incredibly important that we be committed to the core – committed to those things that matter, about which our Father in heaven has leveled with us through his Son, Jesus Christ, and his prophets. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “But For a Small Moment,” BYU Fireside, September 1, 1974

A vague creed is fitted only for a vague God.  We have a Father who loves us specifically and gives us things to do [The Ten Commandments] and, because he loves us, will cause us, at times, to have our souls stretched and to be fitted for a better world by coping with life in this world.

May God bless us with that kind of commitment, with the capacity to be serious disciples and to accept both the agendum that he has prepared for each of us because he loves us and the curriculum, prepared for each of us, which he has customized to teach us the things we most need to know, because he loves us. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “But For a Small Moment,” BYU Fireside, September 1, 1974

President Henry D. Moyle suggested that when someone speaks we ought to get three things out of the message.  First and least important (but still very important), we ought to get what is said.  Second, and more important, we ought to have a spiritual experience.  Third, and most important, we should keep the commitments we make to ourselves.  Let’s write them down and follow through.  Don’t ever make a commitment to yourself you don’t intend to keep – if you do, you weaken your character. — Elder Vaughn J. Featherstone, “Food Storage,” Ensign, May 1976

As I think of the blessings God has given us and the many beauties of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am aware that along the way we are asked to make certain contributions in return, contributions of time or of money or of other resources.  These are all valued and all necessary, but they do not constitute our full offering to God.  Ultimately, what our Father in Heaven will require of us is more than a contribution; it is a total commitment, a complete devotion, all that we are and all that we can be. — President Howard W. Hunter, “Standing as Witnesses of God,” Ensign, May 1990           

To emphasize our responsibility to rescue those in need, share the following statement by President Gordon B. Hinckley:

“Our message is so imperative, when you stop to think that the salvation, the eternal salvation of the world, rests upon the shoulders of this Church.  When all is said and done, if the world is going to be saved, we have to do it.  There is no escaping from that.  No other people in the history of the world have received the kind of mandate that we have received.  We are responsible for all who have lived upon the earth.  That involves our family history and temple work.  We are responsible for all who now live upon the earth, and that involves our missionary work.  And we are going to be responsible for all who will yet live upon the earth.” — Church News, 3 July 1999, p. 3