See also: D&C 21:4-5; 28:3; 93:39; 121:28; 127:4; Moses 1; Genesis 45:7; Samuel 15; John 9:27; Proverbs 3:107; Luke 15:11-32 (Prodigal Son)
What our people who have been through the temple need to know is the sacredness of the obligations they enter into in these holy temples.
When they agree there to consecrate all that they have and all that they are for the building up of the kingdom of God, I do believe that in the eyes of the Lord they are not idle words; that we ought to put first our duty and responsibility to the priesthood that we bear and to the building of the kingdom of God, and all other things ought to be secondary unto that. And if we realize this, and we realize the majesty of this great work in which we are engaged, it would not be difficult for us to do that very thing. — Elder LeGrand Richards, The Improvement Era, December 1955, p. 926
I believe that God will always make a way where there is no way. I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, July 1995, p. 2
If we don’t change direction, we will arrive at where we’re going. — Richard L. Evans, Conference Report, April 1970, p. 15
Those who do not profess to know anything of the Lord are far better off than we are, unless we live our religion, for we who know our Master’s will and do it not, will be beaten with many stripes; while they who do not know the Master’s will and do it not will be beaten with few stripes. This is perfectly reasonable. We cannot chastise a child for doing that which is contrary to our wills, if he knows no better; but when our children are taught better and know what is required of them, if they then rebel, of course, they expect to be chastised, and it is perfectly right that they should be. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 16:111
Whatever the past may have been in our individual lives, it is gone. The future lies ahead, and we must face it with resolution. There is always a point from which we can begin. Even though we may have been faithful in the past, if we turn away, that faithfulness will profit us nothing. — President Howard W. Hunter, General Conference, April 1961
We need to keep the commandments of God, and we need to encourage all to do so. Obedience is the most genuine way to show our love for God. — President Howard W. Hunter, Martyrdom sesquicentennial satellite broadcast, Carthage, IL, June 26, 1994
There are some who try to serve the Lord without offending the devil. Others want “to serve the Lord but only in an advisory capacity,” cautioned President Marion G. Romney. . . . Jesus gave us the ending demographics: wide is the gate and popular and broad is the way that leads to destruction. The narrow and straight way that leads to salvation, alas, is the path less traveled by. Hence, there is no way we can both move with the herd and also move toward Jesus. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, March 1995, p. 15
Blessed are those who need no reasons other than their love for the Savior to keep his commandments. — President James E. Faust, Ensign, November 1991, p. 35
The fruits of the Spirit of God are love, peace, joy, gentleness, long-suffering, kindness, affection, and everything that is good and amiable. — President John Taylor, February 2, 1879, at the funeral of Dimick B. Huntington
If you understand the great plan of happiness and follow it, what goes on in the world will not determine your happiness. You will be tried, for that is part of the plan, but “thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.” (D&C 121:7-8) — Elder Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1994, p. 20
There is no resting place along the path called faithfulness. The trek is constant, and no lingering is allowed. — President Thomas S. Monson, BYU address, March 7, 1993
When you listen to the Holy Ghost and follow its promptings, life is an adventure. — Elder F. Enzio Busche
I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called but few are chosen. — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6:185
Prayer will bring us closer to God, and we must be drawing closer to him continually throughout our lives. “If you wish to go where God is, you must be like God, or possess the principles which God possesses, for if we are not drawing towards God in principle, we are going from Him and drawing towards the devil.” (Joseph Smith) — Relief Society Personal Study Guide 1, p. 70
You cannot do wrong and feel right. It is impossible! Years of happiness can be lost in the foolish gratification of a momentary desire for pleasure. Satan would have you believe that happiness comes only as you surrender to his enticements, but one only needs to look at the shattered lives of those who violate God’s laws to know why Satan is called the Father of Lies. — President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1977, p. 30
I make a special appeal to the youth. You will remain much safer and infinitely happier if you will place your energy into current obedience rather than saving it for future repentance. When we are obedient, we establish a base from which the challenges of the future can be addressed. — Elder Glenn Pace, Ensign, November 1992, p. 12
Our Eternal Father defined truth and established what is right and wrong before the creation of this earth. He also fixed the consequences of obedience and disobedience to those truths. He defended our right to choose our path in life so that we would grow, develop, and be happy, but we do not have the right to choose the consequences of our acts. Those who willfully, consistently disobey His commandments will inevitably learn that truth. . . .
Please understand, no one has the privilege to choose what is right. God reserved that prerogative to Himself. Our agency does allow us to choose among alternate paths, but then we are bound to the consequence God has decreed. — Elder Richard G. Scott, Ensign, November 1992, p. 61
Each of us is an innkeeper who decides if there is room for Jesus! — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1992, p. 66
Whatever we embrace instead of Jesus and His work will keep us from qualifying to enter His kingdom and therefore from being embraced by Him. (See Morm. 6:17.) — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, November 1992, p. 67
To each person is given a pattern – obedience through suffering, and perfection through obedience. — The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 168
We are not expected to be successful in all things. We are expected to be faithful in all things. — Mother Theresa
Our destiny is not based on chance. It is based on choice. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, CES Symposium, 1993
As we conclude this general conference, let us all give heed to what was said to us. Let us assume the counsel given applies to us, to me. Let us harken to those we sustain as prophets and seers, as well as the other brethren, as if our eternal life depended upon it, because it does! — President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1978, p. 77
What is wrong is wrong, and trends do not make something right which is at variance with the laws of God. — President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1978, p. 78
We are all latter-day fishes and loaves. We do all we can do and the Lord will make up the difference. — Elaine Jack, 1994 BYU Women’s Conference
In the parable, oil can be purchased at the market. In our lives, the oil of preparedness is accumulated drop by drop in righteous living. Attendance at sacrament meetings adds oil to our lamps, drop by drop over the years. Fasting, family prayer, home teaching, control of bodily appetites, preaching the gospel, studying the scriptures – each act of dedication and obedience is a drop added to our store. Deeds of kindness, payment of offerings, and tithes, chaste thoughts and actions, marriage in the covenant for eternity – these, too, contribute importantly to the oil with which we can at midnight refuel our exhausted lamps. — Stanley A. Peterson, BYU Book of Mormon Symposium, Church News, August 20, 1994, p. 5
The pathway to hell is paved with good intentions – but so, apparently, is the pathway to heaven. — Anonymous
Today, tomorrow, next week is the time for our preparation. In fact, it is a life-long effort. It does not stop until we are safely dead with our testimonies still burning very brightly. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Keep the Commandments – Beginning Right Now,” BYU Devotional, September 6, 1987
The great test of life is obedience to God. “We will prove them herewith,” said the Lord, “to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:25).
The great task of life is to learn the will of the Lord and then do it.
The great commandment of life is to love the Lord.
— President Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, April 2, 1988
When Joseph was in Egypt, what came first in his life – God, his job, or Potiphar’s wife? When she tried to seduce him, he responded by saying, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9)
Joseph was put in prison because he put God first. If we were faced with a similar choice, where would we place our first loyalty? Can we put God ahead of security, peace, passions, wealth, and the honors of men?
When Joseph was forced to choose, he was more anxious to please God than to please his employer’s wife. When we are required to choose, are we more anxious to please God than our boss, our teacher, our neighbor, or our date? — President Ezra Taft Benson, General Conference, April 2, 1988
. . . when we partake of the sacrament, we witness that . . . we will always remember him. Surely those who keep the promise to always remember the Son of God would not profane his name or use words of vulgarity or coarseness, or deliberately expose themselves to surroundings or influences that are inconsistent with always remembering the Son of God. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Teaching and Learning by the Spirit,” Ensign, March 1997, p. 9
Understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ and following Him as our Savior and our Redeemer will influence every aspect of our lives, including all of our individual choices. Those who live according to Heavenly Father’s eternal plan will not want to absorb any information that is illicit or untoward, nor will they destroy their spiritual sensitivity through immoral acts or the consumption of any harmful substances. Neither will they search for doctrinal loopholes to find reasons to challenge the ordained leadership of the Church nor tamper with the simple truths of the gospel. They will not attempt to justify any lifestyle that is contrary to the plan of happiness. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, General Conference, April 1995
We are in a school, fitting, qualifying, and preparing ourselves that we may be worthy and capable of going back and dwelling in the presence of our Heavenly Father, and the man who claims that he knows the gospel is true and then does not live it, does not keep the commandments of God. Such a man will never attain to that strength, to that power, to that eminence, and to that capacity in the Church and Kingdom of God that he would attain if he obeyed the laws of God. — President Heber J. Grant, Improvement Era, 42:713; Gospel Standards, p. 40
Another fallacy is to believe that the choice to accept or not accept the counsel of prophets is no more than deciding whether to accept good advice and gain its benefits or to stay where we are. But the choice not to take prophetic counsel changes the very ground upon which we stand. It becomes more dangerous. The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future. The best time to have decided to help Noah build the ark was the first time he asked. Each time he asked after that, each failure to respond would have lessened sensitivity to the Spirit. And so each time his request would have seemed more foolish, until the rain came. And then it was too late.
Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety. Along the path, I have found that the way had been prepared for me and the rough places made smooth. God led me to safety along a path which was prepared with loving care, sometimes prepared long before. — Elder Henry B. Eyring, “Finding Safety in Counsel,” Ensign, May 1997, p. 25
We talk about our trials and troubles here in this life: but suppose that you could see yourselves thousands and millions of years after you have proved faithful to your religion during the few short years in this time, and have obtained eternal salvation and a crown of glory in the presence of God; then look back upon your lives here, and see the losses, crosses, and disappointments, the sorrows . . . you would be constrained to exclaim, “But what of all that? Those things were but for a moment, and we are now here. We have been faithful during a few moments in our mortality, and now we enjoy eternal life and glory, with power to progress in all the boundless knowledge and through the countless stages of progression, enjoying the smiles and approbation of our Father and God, and of Jesus Christ our elder brother.” — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 7:275-276
You know it isn’t hard to recognize a real warrior for the priesthood. You meet him at every turn. He is the one who says no when others say yes to movies on Sunday, to R- or X-rated shows at any time (he knows he must not fall to this temptation). He’s the one who says no to immoral books or magazines or pictures or stories at any time. He says no to fishing or swimming or boating on Sunday. He’s the one who says no when others say, “Just try it,” to a beer or a cigarette – even if it’s just one. This courageous warrior is also the one who says yes when others say no to priesthood meeting Sunday morning, to sacrament meeting, to tithe paying, to prayers each day, to seminary or institute classes. This stalwart young man is one who says yes when others say no to a mission. — Bishop H. Burke Peterson, General Conference Priesthood Session, Ensign, November 1974, pp. 68-69
When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power. — President Ezra Taft Benson
We have nothing to fear. God is at the helm. He will overrule for the good of this work. He will shower down blessings upon those who walk in obedience to His commandments. Such has been His promise. Of His ability to keep that promise none of us can doubt. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, May 1995, p. 71
It is not grooming and media that is the fundamental point of this discussion. I use those examples, with which we are familiar, to emphasize that we would be greatly blessed by taking Christ as our guide and striving, constantly and forever to be like Him, not spend our time flirting with tolerance limits and worldly ways. Whether it be our grooming, choice of media, honor code, honesty in business, church attendance, magnifying our callings, home and visiting teaching, modesty, or anything else, those who focus on the rules and limits rather than the target are confusing what is technically allowable or acceptable by the world, with what is right. . . .
Where we focus does have a real impact on our happiness and worthiness. . . .
We are living in a world that is a PG-13 and R rated world. Sometimes we are tempted to compare our actions based on what the rest of the world is doing, and if our actions are not as bad, then we figure we are still OK. Using the world as our benchmark is focusing on the tolerance limits, not the target. We cannot use the world as our guide. Doing so is falling into the trap described in 2 Nephi: “And others will he pacify and lead them into carnal security that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea Zion prospereth, all is well – and thus the devil cheateth their souls and leadeth them carefully down to hell” (2 Nephi 28:21). — Val D. Hawks, BYU Devotional, “Looking Toward the Mark,” June 13, 2004
Staying away from the edge is an individual responsibility. Occasionally our well-meaning young people want every detail of appropriate and inappropriate conduct to be specified, perhaps so they can feel comfortable in getting closer to the edge. They sometimes seem more concerned with what the gospel prohibits than what it gives. For instance, some young adults were surprised when they learned that it was inappropriate for mixed young single adult groups to be involved together in overnight activities. They said, “Why hasn’t the prophet told us?” The Church counsel in this matter has been clear for many years. It should not have been necessary to tell these young people to avoid the appearance of evil. My strong advice is, if there is any question about your personal conduct, don’t do it. It is the responsibility of prophets to teach the word of God – not to spell out every jot and tittle of human behavior. Our moral agency requires us to know good from evil and choose the good. — President James E. Faust,“Acting for Ourselves and Not Being Acted Upon,” Ensign, November 1995, p. 45
I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, . . . he will open a way where there appears to be no way. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, July 1995, p. 2
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
I submit to you that this may be one of the Savior’s commandments that is, even in the hearts of otherwise faithful Latter-day Saints, almost universally disobeyed. 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 commitments. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, CES Fireside, March 2, 1997
People argue over whether the Word of Wisdom is simply the word of the Lord or a commandment. What difference does it make? The word of the Lord becomes a commandment to me, and I am so very grateful for that marvelous thing which we call the Word of Wisdom. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, meeting in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, July 31, 1998; Ensign, February 2002, p. 49
How often do Church members arise early in the morning to do the will of the Lord? How often do we say, “Yes, I will have home evening with my family, but the children are so young now; I will start when they are older”? How often do we say, “Yes, I will obey the commandment to store food and to help others, but just now I have neither the time nor the money to spare; I will obey later”? Oh, foolish people! While we procrastinate, the harvest will be over and we will not be saved. Now is the time to follow Abraham’s example; now is the time to repent; now is the time for prompt obedience to God’s will. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Example of Abraham,” Ensign, June 1975, p. 2
When obedience becomes a quest, it is no longer an irritation. — Mary Ellen Smoot, General Relief Society President, Relief Society Broadcast, September 23, 2000
As much as we may want the gospel to accommodate to the world, it can’t, it won’t, it never has, and it never will.
So much of our modern world is based on self-indulgence, immediate gain and satisfaction, and social acceptance at all cost. The gospel and kingdom of God are so much more than this. Among the characteristics God prizes are patience, long-suffering, endurance, kindness, and brotherly love, none of which is short term or developed in a moment. — Elder Dennis B. Neuenschwander, Ensign, November 2000, p. 43
Unless you have already done so, make this decision now: “I will live to have no regrets.” I cannot tell you how immensely important it is for your life here on earth and throughout eternity to be able to say . . . ”I have no regrets; I have not participated.” — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Have No Regrets,” BYU Fireside, 12 September 1999
Speaking at a Regional Conference in Tacoma, Washington in 1995, President Hinckley quoted from the Word of Wisdom revelation in D&C 89:1 and then commented: “This is an admonition. Some people argue over whether it is a commandment. I do not need to argue. As far as I am concerned, whether it is a commandment or counsel, that which the Lord counsels becomes a commandment to Gordon B. Hinckley. I hope it does to you.” — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Learn Truth by Living Lord’s Principles,” Church News, August 26, 1995
There is only one safe and sure way for man to act. The Lord has given him free choice and has given him, gratis, the information which is the best choice to make and what will be the results of either choice made. The Lord has never condemned nor permitted destruction to any people until he has warned them. Warning is as universal as the need for warning. One cannot say he did not know better. Ignorance is no excuse in the law. Every normal person may have a sure way of knowing what is right and what is wrong. He may learn the gospel and receive the Holy Spirit, which will always guide him as to right and wrong. In addition to this, he has the leaders of the Lord’s church. And the only sure, safe way is to follow that leadership – follow the Holy Spirit within you and follow the prophets, dead and living. — President Spencer W. Kimball, seminar for new mission presidents, June 25, 1968
Just four months ago President Hinckley spoke to you in a Churchwide fireside. Have you studied his message and identified things you need to avoid or do differently? I know a 17-year-old girl who just prior to the prophet’s talk had pierced her ears a second time. She came home from the fireside, took off the second set of earrings, and said to her parents, “If President Hinckley says we should only wear one set of earrings, that’s good enough for me.”
Wearing two pairs of earrings may or may not have eternal consequences for this young woman, but her willingness to obey the prophet will. And if she will obey him now, on something relatively simple, how much easier it will be to follow him when greater issues are at stake.
Today I make you a promise. It is a simple one, but it is true. If you will listen to the living prophet and the apostles and heed our counsel, you will not go astray. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Here Am I, Send Me,” BYU Devotional, March 13, 2001, p. 6
The stunning reality, my dear brothers and sisters, is that you control how close you are to the Lord. You determine just how clear and readily available promptings from the Holy Ghost will be. You determine this by your actions, by your attitude, by the choices you make, by the things you watch and wear and listen to and read, and by how consistently and sincerely you invite the Spirit into your life. — Elder M. Russell Ballard, “Here Am I, Send Me,” BYU Devotional, March 13, 2001, p. 6
Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards. — Anonymous
D&C 58:;26-29. The Lord should not have to command His people in all things.
Usually the Lord gives us the overall objectives to be accomplished and some guidelines to follow, but he expects us to work out most of the details and methods. The methods and procedures are usually developed through study and prayer and by living so that we can obtain and follow the promptings of the Spirit. Less spiritually advanced people, such as those in the days of Moses, had to be commanded in many things. Today those spiritually alert look at the objectives, check the guidelines laid down by the Lord and his prophets, and the prayerfully act – without having to be commanded ‘in all things.’ This attitude prepares men for godhood. . . .
Sometimes the Lord hopefully waits on his children to act on their own, and when they do not, they lose the greater prize, and the Lord will either drop the entire matter and let them suffer the consequences or else he will have to spell it out in greater detail. Usually, I fear, the more he has to spell it out, the smaller is our reward. — Elder Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 1965; Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, pp. 121-22
We promise as we take the sacrament to keep His commandments, all of them. President J. Reuben Clark Jr., as he pled – as he did many times – for unity in a general conference talk, warned us against being selective in what we will obey. He put it this way: “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.”
President Clark went on: “When we partake of the Sacrament we covenant to obey and keep his commandments. There are no exceptions. There are no distinctions, no differences” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1955, 10-11). President Clark taught that just as we repent of all sin, not just a single sin, we pledge to keep all the commandments. Hard as that sounds, it is uncomplicated. We simply submit to the authority of the Savior and promise to be obedient to whatever He commands (see Mosiah 3:19). It is our surrender to the authority of Jesus Christ which will allow us to be bound as families, as a Church, and as the children of our Heavenly Father. — President Henry B. Eyring, “That We May Be One,” Ensign, May 1998, pp. 67-68
One of the sneaky ploys of the adversary is to have us believe that unquestioning obedience to the principles and commandments of God is blind obedience. His goal is to have us believe that we should be following our own worldly ways and selfish ambitions. This he does by persuading us that “blindly” following the prophets and obeying the commandments is not thinking for ourselves. He teaches that it is not intelligent to do something just because we are told to do so by a living prophet or by prophets who speak to us from the scriptures.
Our unquestioning obedience to the Lord’s commandments is not blind obedience. President Boyd K. Packer in the April conference of 1983 taught us about this: “Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God. . . . We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see” (“Agency and Control,” Ensign, May 1983, 66). — Elder R. Conrad Schultz, “Faith Obedience,” Ensign, May 2002, p. 30
Even though we all know that in this life there are bound to be things that we will just plain have to “endure,” for many that “endure to the end” phrase is a bit of a “downer.” When we talk to the children about it in Primary, we don’t say, “endure to the end.” We say, “Choose the Right.” And for myself, I prefer the phraseology from Second Nephi which means the same but sounds a little happier and stronger. “Wherefore, ye must press forward with steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men” (2 Nephi 31:20). Pressing forward with a brightness of hope sounds like something we can do. Especially with the Lord’s assurance that His “yoke is easy and [his] burden is light” (Matthew 11:30). — Sydney Smith Reynolds, “Be Ye Therefore Perfect,” BYU Women’s Conference, May 1, 2002, pp. 9-10
Sisters, we prove to the Lord the desires of our hearts when we let Him know that we are willing to do whatever He wants us to do. With the father of King Lamoni we must be willing to “give away all [our] sins to know [Him]” (Alma 22:18) – even if our sin is accepting from the Adversary a destructive view of ourselves which keeps us from feeling the Lord’s love. If our submission to the Lord is qualified then how can we expect Him to lead us? Would we say to Him who has given everything, “I’m willing to do whatever you would have me do, but don’t let it be in the Nursery and please don’t let it be in the geriatric wing”? There is, indeed, something sublimely perfect about “Thy will be done.” — Sydney Smith Reynolds, “Be Ye Therefore Perfect,” BYU Women’s Conference, May 1, 2002, pp. 11-12
As Brigham Young taught, the gospel laws “teach men to be truthful, honest, chaste, sober, industrious, frugal and to love and practice every good word and work, . . . they elevate and ennoble man, [and] if fully obeyed, [they] bring health and strength to the body, clearness to the perceptions, power to the reasoning faculties as well as salvation to the soul.” — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Gospel in Our Lives,” Ensign, May 2002, p. 34
All who have spoken have done very well. . . . But what matters most is what may have occurred within each of us as a result of our experience. I, for one, have made a stronger resolution within myself to be a better person than I have been in the past. I hope that I will be a little kinder to any I meet who may be in distress. I hope that I will be a little more helpful to those who are in need. I hope that I will be a little more worthy of your confidence. I hope that I will be a better husband, a better father and grandfather. I hope that I will be a better neighbor and friend. I hope that I will be a better Latter-day Saint with an increased understanding of the wonderful aspects of this glorious gospel.
I challenge every one of you who can hear me to rise to the divinity within you. Do we really realize what it means to be a child of God, to have within us something of the divine nature?
I believe with all my heart that the Latter-day Saints, generally speaking, are good people. If we live by the principles of the gospel we must be good people, for we will be generous and kind, thoughtful and tolerant, helpful and outreaching to those in distress. We can either subdue the divine nature and hide it so that it finds no expression in our lives, or we can bring it to the front and let it shine through all that we do. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, October 2002
We cannot set off on a wrong course without first overruling a warning. (President Boyd K. Packer) — Elder Kenneth Johnson, “Yielding to the Enticings of the Holy Spirit,” Ensign, November 2002, p. 90
Now the only safety we have as members of the Church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through His prophet, “as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me. . . .”
There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with your social life. . . .
Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow the ones who the Lord has placed to preside over His church. He knows who He wants to preside over this church, and He will make no mistake. The Lord doesn’t do things by accident. . . . Let us keep our eye on the president of the Church. — Elder Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1970, pp. 152-53
Prophetically, President Gordon B. Hinckley said to us at a recent general conference that current events in the world did not constitute the “all-consuming calamity.” President Hinckley also cautioned: “Peace may be denied for a season. . . . We may even be called on to suffer in one way or another. . . . Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes of obedience to the commandments of God. . . . This is the crux of the entire matter – obedience to the commandments of God.” (“The Times in Which We Live,” Ensign, Nov. 2001, pp. 74 and 73.) — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “These are Your Days,” Ensign, October 2004, p. 26
Remember that ofttimes the wisdom of God appears as foolishness to men, but the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right. — President Thomas S. Monson, “Constant Truths in Changing Times,” Ensign, May 2005
Some people live the gospel with “short, frenzied outbursts of emotion,” followed by long periods of lapse or by performance that is intermittent or sputtering. What we need in living the gospel is “the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”
So what does it mean to obey the commandments, to keep our covenants, and to serve the Lord with “the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime”? It means to be a 100 percent Latter-day Saint, 100 percent of the time. In scriptural terms, it means to follow the direction King Benjamin gave to his people: “I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his” (Mosiah 5:15). It means to follow the plea Father Lehi gave to a wavering son: “O that thou mightest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!” (1 Nephi 2:10).
The dedication of a lifetime requires one to be tranquil and steady, steadfast and immovable. We hold fast to our covenants and to the leadership and teachings of the servants of the Lord so that we will, as the Apostle Paul wrote, “be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14).
. . . I pray that the Lord will bless each of us as we seek to keep the commandments of the Lord, to set our sights ever higher, to accomplish in our day-to-day decisions what I’ve called the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “The Dedication of a Lifetime,” CES Fireside, May 1, 2005
Here is set up the controlling principle of all advancement in the kingdom, that of obedience. Anything we hope for, anything we desire, anything we should have will come to us through the principle of obedience and by the same token all may be lost by disobedience. How simple the gospel is! — Elder George Q. Morris, Conference Report, April 1953, p. 112
Elder Wirthlin spoke of last year’s deadly tsunami off the Indonesian coast that claimed more than 200,000 lives. Amazingly, not one member of the Moken people – a society of fishermen living on the coast of Thailand and Burma – was injured although their village was destroyed. By observing the shifting sea, the Moken elders recognized the signs of an approaching tsunami and warned everyone to run to higher ground.
“The Moken people were fortunate in that they had someone with conviction who warned them of what would follow. The villagers were fortunate because they listened. Had they not, they may have perished.”
The Lord’s prophets also warn people to find higher, holy ground for safety, he added. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Church News, October 8, 2005, p. 6; General Conference, October 2005
It is not sufficient that we acknowledge allegiance to the Lord, but that we give Him our hearts, and if we give Him our hearts, we keep His commandments; we show our love, we show our appreciation by yielding homage, obedience and service to Him whom we acknowledge as our Creator. . . . I believe . . . that the Lord has made no requirements of us, no requirement of any of His children, which is not possible of accomplishment. — Elder Anthony W. Ivins, Conference Report October 1909, pp. 96-97
Men and women who turn their lives over to God will discover that He can make a lot more out of their lives than they can. He will deepen their joys, expand their vision, quicken their minds, strengthen their muscles, lift their spirits, multiply their blessings, increase their opportunities, comfort their souls, raise up friends, and pour out peace. — Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 361
When things come up that require an exertion on our part, we should bring our wills into subjection to the will of the Father, and feel to say, what is the will of our Father, whom we are here in the world to serve? Then every act that we perform will be a success. We may not see its success today or tomorrow, nevertheless it will result in success. — President Lorenzo Snow, Conference Report, October 1899, p. 2
You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. But if you listen to these things, as if from the mouth of the Lord himself, with patience and faith, the promise is that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.” (D&C 21:6) — Elder Harold B. Lee, Improvement Era, December 1970, p. 126
An individual who holds a share in the Priesthood, and continues faithful to his calling, who delights himself continually in doing the things God requires at his hands, and continues through life in the performance of every duty, will secure to himself not only the privilege of receiving, but the knowledge how to receive the things of God, that he may know the mind of God continually; and he will be enabled to discern between right and wrong, between the things of God and the things that are not of God. And the Priesthood – the Spirit that is within him, will continue to increase until it becomes like a fountain of living water; until it is like the tree of life; until it is one continued source of intelligence and instruction to that individual. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 3:192
“Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.” (D&C 121:38)
That it seems to me, as we have experienced it, is about the progressive way that men begin to fall away. They first begin to “kick against the pricks.” I have wondered what that means. These no doubt are the pricks of the gospel. I wonder, perhaps, if they are not those things referred to in President Clark’s remarkable article some years ago in The Improvement Era, that he called “restraints,” the restraints of the Word of Wisdom, the restraints imposed in keeping the Sabbath day holy, injunctions against card playing, the restraints imposed by following out the welfare program. And so we might go on. These are the restraints against which some people seem to rebel and are kicking constantly against the “pricks” of the gospel. I remember in this connection what somebody said in classifying humankind. He said there were only three kinds of people in the world “Saints, Ain’ts, and Complaints,” and perhaps the “Complaints” would represent those who seem to be kicking against the pricks. These are the ones who next begin to ‘persecute the Saints’ and, finally, “to fight against God.” — Elder Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1947, pp. 65-66
Since the days of Adam, the Lord has spoken to His prophets, and while His message differs according to the specific needs of the time, there is one consistent, never-changing theme: Depart from iniquity and journey to higher ground. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Journey to Higher Ground,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 16
Let me suggest to you four settings in which to practice quick and steady obedience. One is the command to feast upon the word of God. A second is to pray always. A third is the commandment to be a full-tithe payer. And the fourth is to escape from sin and its terrible effects. Each takes faith to start and then to persevere. And all can strengthen your capacity to know and obey the Lord’s commands. — President Henry B. Eyring, “Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 38
Decisions now to exercise faith and be steady in obedience will in time produce great faith and assurance. That is the spiritual preparedness we all will need. And it will qualify us in the moments of crisis to receive the Lord’s promise that “if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”
That will be true when we face the storms of life and the prospect of death. A loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son have given us all the help They can to pass the test of life set before us. But we must decide to obey and then do it. We build the faith to pass the tests of obedience over time and through our daily choices. We can decide now to do quickly whatever God asks of us. And we can decide to be steady in the small tests of obedience which build the faith to carry us through the great tests, which will surely come. — President Henry B. Eyring, “Spiritual Preparedness: Start Early and Be Steady,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 40
I was humbled and overwhelmed to be called as an Assistant to the Twelve Apostles 33 years ago. A few days later President Hugh B. Brown counseled me that the most important thing I should do is to always be in harmony with my Brethren. President Brown did not elaborate. He just said, “Stick with the Brethren.” I interpreted that to mean that I should follow the counsel and direction of the President of the Church, the First Presidency, and Quorum of the Twelve. That resonated as something I wanted to do with all my heart.
Others may not agree with that counsel, but it warrants some consideration. I have concluded that spiritual guidance in large measure depends upon being in harmony with the President of the Church, the First Presidency, and the Quorum of the Twelve – all of whom are sustained, as they were today, as prophets, seers, and revelators. I do not know how we can expect to be in full harmony with the Spirit of the Lord if we are not in harmony with the President of the Church and the other prophets, seers, and revelators. — President James E. Faust, “Called and Chosen,” Ensign, November 2005, p. 53
When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power. (President Ezra Taft Benson) — Bruce C. Hafen, “A Disciple’s Journey,” BYU Magazine, Summer 2008, p. 31
We do not follow in blind obedience, but in faithful obedience. — Ed Pinegar
Elder Charles A. Callis of the Quorum of the Twelve once remarked to Harold B. Lee that “the gift of discernment was an awesome burden to carry. To see clearly what is ahead and yet find members slow to respond or resistant to counsel or even rejecting the witness of the apostles and prophets brings deep sorrow.” (In Boyd K. Packer, “The Twelve Apostles,” Ensign, November 1996, p. 7) — Brad W. Farnsworth, “Reflections on the BYU Experience,” BYU Devotional, February 8, 2005, pp. 7-8
One of the most well-known and frequently cited passages of scripture is found in Moses 1:39. This verse clearly and concisely describes the work of the Eternal Father: “For behold, this is my work and my glory – to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
A companion scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants describes with equal clarity and conciseness our primary work as the sons and daughters of the Eternal Father. Interestingly, this verse does not seem to be as well known and is not quoted with great frequency. “Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength” (D&C 11:20; italics added). Thus, the Father’s work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children. Our work is to keep His commandments with all of our might, mind, and strength-and we thereby become chosen and, through the Holy Ghost, receive and recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our daily lives. — Elder David A. Bednar, Ensign, May 2005, pp. 101-02
We [need to] develop our submissiveness to God’s will, so that amid our lesser but genuinely vexing moments we too can say, “Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42). When heartfelt, this expression of obedience constitutes real petition followed by real submission. It is much more than polite deference. Rather, it is a deep yielding in which one’s momentary uncertainty gives way to the certainty of Father’s rescuing love and mercy, attributes which drench His plan of salvation. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Apply the Atoning Blood of Christ,” Ensign, November 1997, p. 23
Said President Spencer W. Kimball: “As yet there was no evidence of rain and flood. . . . [Noah’s] warnings were considered irrational. . . . How foolish to build an ark on dry ground with the sun shining and life moving forward as usual! But time ran out. . . . The floods came. The disobedient . . . were drowned. The miracle of the ark followed the faith manifested in its building.” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, pp. 5-6)
Noah had the unwavering faith to follow God’s commandments. May we ever do likewise. May we remember that the wisdom of God ofttimes appears as foolishness to men, but the greatest lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and we obey, we will always be right. — President Thomas S. Monson, Ensign, November 2002, pp. 60-61
We all need to build a personal ark, to fortify ourselves against this rising tide of evil, to protect ourselves and our families against the floodwaters of iniquity around us. And we shouldn’t wait until it starts raining, but prepare in advance. This has been the message of all the prophets in this dispensation, including President Hunter, as well as the prophets of old.
Unfortunately we don’t always heed the clear warnings of our prophets. We coast complacently along until calamity strikes, and then we panic.
When it starts raining, it is too late to begin building the ark. However, we do need to listen to the Lord’s spokesmen. We need to calmly continue to move ahead and prepare for what will surely come. We need not panic or fear, for if we are prepared, spiritually and temporally, we and our families will survive any flood. Our arks will float on a sea of faith if our works have been steadily and surely preparing for the future. — Elder W. Don Ladd, Ensign, November 1994, p. 29
The revelation to produce and store food may be as essential to our temporal welfare today as boarding the ark was to the people in the days of Noah. — President Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, November 1987, p. 49
If we could part the veil and observe our heavenly home, we would be impressed with the cultivated minds and hearts of those who so happily live there. I imagine that our heavenly parents are exquisitely refined. In this great gospel of emulation, one of the purposes of our earthly probation is to become like them in every conceivable way so that we may be comfortable in the presence of heavenly parentage and, in the language of Enos, see their faces “with pleasure” (Enos 1:27).
President Brigham Young (1801-77) said, “We are trying to be the image of those who live in heaven; we are trying to pattern after them, to look like them, to walk and talk like them. — Elder Douglas L. Callister, “Our Refined Heavenly Home,” Ensign, June 2009, p. 55
I wish to state unequivocally that the commandments of God must be kept to receive the blessings and promises of the Savior. The Ten Commandments are still a vital thread in the fabric of the gospel of Christ, but with His coming came new light and life, which bring a fuller measure of joy and happiness. Jesus introduced a higher and more difficult standard of human conduct. It is simpler as well as more difficult because it focuses on internal rather than external requirements: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself. When smitten, turn the other cheek. When asked for a coat, give your cloak also. Forgive, not just once but seventy times seven. This was the essence of the new gospel. There was more emphasis on do than do not. More moral agency was given to each of us. — President James E. Faust, Ensign, November 1997, p. 53
President N. Eldon Tanner often quoted Proverbs 3:5-7. On one occasion he said:
“How much wiser and better it is for man to accept the simple truths of the gospel and to accept as authority God, the Creator of the world, and his Son Jesus Christ, and to accept by faith those things which he cannot disprove and for which he cannot give a better explanation. He must be prepared to acknowledge that there are certain things – many, many things – that he cannot understand.
“How can we deny or even disbelieve God when we cannot understand even the simplest things around us – how the leaf functions, what electricity is, what our emotions are, when the spirit enters the body, and what happens to it when it leaves? How can we say that because we do not understand the resurrection, there is not or cannot be a resurrection?
“We are admonished to ‘trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.’ (Prov. 3:5) And we are warned: ‘Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isa. 5:21)” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1968, p. 49.) — Old Testament Student Manual, 1 Kings – Malachi, p. 14
The gospel is the way of discipleship. As we walk in that way, we can experience confidence and joy – even during times of peril, sorrow, and uncertainty. — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Way of the Disciple,” Ensign, May 2009, p. 75
Some see only sacrifice and limitations in obedience to the commandments of the new and everlasting covenant, but those who live the experience – who give themselves freely and unreservedly to the covenant life – find greater liberty and fulfillment. When we truly understand, we seek more commandments, not fewer. Each new law or commandment we learn and live is like one more rung or step on a ladder that enables us to climb higher and higher. Truly, the gospel life is the good life. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “The Power of Covenants,” Ensign, May 2009, footnote 2, p. 23
To get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God commands us to do, and will be damned at last. We may tithe mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, and still not obey the commandments of God [see Luke 11:42]. The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it.
As a Church and a people it behooves us to be wise, and to seek to know the will of God, and then be willing to do it; for “blessed is he that heareth the word of the Lord, and keepeth it,” say the Scriptures. “Watch and pray always,” says our Savior, “that ye may be accounted worthy to escape the things that are to come on the earth, and to stand before the Son of Man.” [See Luke 11:28; 21:36.] If Enoch, Abraham, Moses, and the children of Israel, and all God’s people were saved by keeping the commandments of God, we, if saved at all, shall be saved upon the same principle. As God governed Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as families, and the children of Israel as a nation; so we, as a Church, must be under His guidance if we are prospered, preserved and sustained. Our only confidence can be in God; our only wisdom obtained from Him; and He alone must be our protector and safeguard, spiritually and temporally, or we fall. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p. 161
Brethren and sisters, be faithful, be diligent, contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the Saints [see Jude 1:3]; let every man, woman and child realize the importance of the work, and act as if success depended on his individual exertion alone; let all feel an interest in it, and then consider they live in a day, the contemplation of which animated the bosoms of kings, Prophets, and righteous men thousands of years ago – the prospect of which inspired their sweetest notes, and most exalted lays, and caused them to break out in such rapturous strains as are recorded in the Scriptures; and by and by we will have to exclaim, in the language of inspiration –
“The Lord has brought again Zion,
The Lord hath redeemed His people Israel.” [D&C 84:99.] — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p. 144
The only safety we have as members of this church is to do exactly what the Lord said to the Church in that day when the Church was organized. We must learn to give heed to the words and commandments that the Lord shall give through his prophet, “as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; . . . as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.” (D&C 21:4-5) There will be some things that take patience and faith. You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life.
. . . Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow the ones whom the Lord has placed to preside over his church. He knows whom he wants to preside over this church, and he will make no mistake. The Lord doesn’t do things by accident. . . . Let’s keep our eye on the President of the Church. (President Harold B. Lee Conference Report, Oct. 1970, pp. 152-53) — Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 45
I bear witness to you, my brothers and sisters, that God sustains [the living prophet], and no one else in the world today but him, because he has the holy calling of prophet, seer, and revelator, representing the Lord upon the earth in our time. He only has the right to revelation for the people of the Church, and if all people would understand that, they would not be tossed about by those who would seek to divert their minds from the Church and its glorious principles. . . .
. . . They will be fortified against false teachers and anti-Christs, and we do have them among us. (Delbert L. Stapley Conference Report, Oct. 1953, p. 70.) — Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p. 45
President Ezra Taft Benson succinctly restated the message of Abraham 3:25 when he said: “The great test of life is obedience to God” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1988, 3; or Ensign, May 1988, 4). We are not here to test or “prove” God, but to be tested and prove ourselves. We are on trial, not God.
Elder Rex C. Reeve Sr., who was a member of the Seventy, said: “This life is a time of testing. It is not the reward time. That will come later. We are here being tested. The test is going on now!” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 37; or Ensign, Nov. 1982, 26) — Pearl of Great Price Student Manual, p. 38
(Genesis 12:10-20) Abraham did not lie. Even though Abraham was correct in calling her [Sarah] his sister, he did deceive the Egyptians. How can this action be justified? The answer is very simple. His action was justified because God told him to do it (see Abraham 2:22-25). The Prophet Joseph Smith taught the following:
“That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another.
“God said, ‘Thou shalt not kill;’ at another time He said, ‘Thou shalt utterly destroy.’ This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted – by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.” (Teachings, p. 256)
Since God is perfect and does not do anything that is not right (see Deuteronomy 32:4; 1 Samuel 15:29; Alma 7:20; D&C 3:2), Abraham’s act was not wrong. — Old Testament Student Manual, p. 66
One of the purposes of mortal life is to prove to God that we will keep His commandments when that takes courage. — President Henry B. Eyring, “Moral Courage,” Ensign, March 2010, p. 5
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” (Joshua 24:15). 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
At the time of his appointment as President of the Church, Harold B. Lee said: “The safety of the Church lies in the members keeping the commandments . . . . As they keep the commandments, blessings will come.” — Quoted in Stephen W. Gibson, “Presidency Meets the Press,” Church News, July 15, 1972, p. 3
. . . if we are not alert, there are those today who not only tolerate but advocate voting to change laws that would legalize immorality, as if a vote would somehow alter the designs of God’s laws and nature. A law against nature would be impossible to enforce. For instance, what good would a vote against the law of gravity do?
There are both moral and physical laws “irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world” that cannot be changed. (D&C 130:20) History demonstrates over and over again that moral standards cannot be changed by battle and cannot be changed by ballot. To legalize that which is basically wrong or evil will not prevent the pain and penalties that will follow as surely as night follows day.
Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the gospel. If they are misunderstood either innocently or willfully, so be it. We cannot change; we will not change the moral standard. We quickly lose our way when we disobey the laws of God. If we do not protect and foster the family, civilization and our liberties must needs perish.
“I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.” (D&C 82:10) — President Boyd K. Packer, “Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” Ensign, October 2010
If we obey it, the word of God has an inherent protective power: “Whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them” (1 Nephi 15:24). — Elder Jay E. Jensen, “The Savior, the Master Teacher,” Ensign, January 2011, p. 45
Remember how, with Pharaoh’s angry army in hot pursuit, ancient Israel aligned themselves with the Lord’s instructions? Moses stretched forth his hand and the Red Sea parted. With towering walls of water on each side, Israel walked through the narrow passage obediently, and no doubt quickly! There were no warnings about conforming on that day!
There are passages ahead which will require similar obedience, as prophets lead the “men [and women] of Christ” in a straight and narrow course. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “Settle This in Your Hearts,” Ensign, November 1992
This is not “blind obedience,” it is rather “intelligent obedience” based upon prior spiritual witness. — President Harold B. Lee, Improvement Era, November 1962
Thus within the discipleship allotted to us, we are to overcome the world (see 1 Jn. 5:3-4); to finish the work we personally have been given to do; to be able to partake of a bitter cup without becoming bitter; to experience pouring out our souls; to let our wills increasingly be swallowed up in the will of the Father; to acknowledge – tough though the tutoring trials – that, indeed, “All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7); and to plow enduringly to the end of the furrow – all the while glorifying Him and using the matchless gifts He has given us, including, one day, all that He has (D&C 84:38). — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, General Conference, April 2001
I do not recollect that I have seen five minutes since I was baptized that I have not been ready to preach a funeral sermon, lay hands on the sick, or to pray in private or in public.
I will tell you the secret of this. In all your business transactions, words, and communications, if you commit an overt act, repent of that immediately, and call upon God to deliver you from evil and give you the light of His spirit. Never do a thing that your conscience, and the light within you, tell you is wrong. Never do a wrong, but do all the good you possibly can. Never do a thing to mar the peaceable influence of the Holy Spirit in you.
Then whatever you are engaged in – whether in business, in the dance, or at the pulpit – you are ready to officiate at any time in any of the ordinances of the House of God. If I commit an overt act, the Lord knows the integrity of my heart, and through sincere repentance, He forgives me. — Brigham Young, November 17, 1867, see Journal of Discourses 12:103
The world truly would be a different place if each of us frequently and seriously considered our Lord’s request: “Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” (Matt. 7:12)
At this Christmastime, when we celebrate the birth of the Son of God, our teacher, our king, our Savior, our Redeemer, the resurrected living Son of the living God, let us sincerely seek to do good unto those around us.
God bless us during this glad season with an increase of love, a decrease of selfishness, a greater desire to be helpful to those in distress, and an enlarged sense of service. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Do Ye Even So to Them,” Ensign, December 1991, p. 2
He calls us to take time from our daily lives to follow him and serve our fellowmen. Even the greatest among us should be the servant of all. Those who always remember him will straightway assume and faithfully fulfill the responsibilities to which they are called by his servants. . . . If we always remember our Savior, we will forgive and forget grievances against those who have wronged us. . . . As we always remember him, we should strive to assure that we and our family members and, indeed, all the sons and daughters of God everywhere follow our Savior into the waters of baptism. This reminds each of us of our duties to proclaim the gospel, perfect the Saints, and redeem the dead. . . . We should always remember how the Savior taught us to love and do good to one another. Loving and serving one another can solve so many problems! — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Ensign, May 1988, pp. 30-31
Most Latter-day Saints are genuinely motivated to acquire the qualities of our Savior. We should be pleased to discover that much of this growth and refinement comes to us as a natural consequence of simply living the gospel. For example, as we love and serve others in Christlike ways, we too are blessed by the Lord with increased love, spiritual capacity, and an overall refinement of our own gifts, graces, and abilities. Indeed, much is added unto us by the Lord if we use our time here on earth wisely, above all preparing to meet God and seeking first his kingdom (see Alma 12:24; Matt. 6:33). — Elder Jack H Goaslind, “Look to the Future with Optimism,” Ensign, April 1997, p. 27
After obeying the principles and ordinances of the gospel, “the will” of God is to serve your fellowmen, benefitting them, making this world better for your having lived in it. Christ gave his all to teach us that principle. And he made the statement: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40) This is the message God has given to us. — President David O. McKay, General Conference, October 1966
The gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses much more than avoiding, overcoming, and being cleansed from sin and the bad influences in our lives; it also essentially entails doing good, being good, and becoming better. Repenting of our sins and seeking forgiveness are spiritually necessary, and we must always do so. But remission of sin is not the only or even the ultimate purpose of the gospel. To have our hearts changed by the Holy Spirit such that “we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2), as did King Benjamin’s people, is the covenant responsibility we have accepted. — Elder David A. Bednar, Ensign, November 2007
I too believe that God will always make a way where there is no way. I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way. — President Gordon B. Hinckley
What is the cost of discipleship? It is primarily obedience. It is the forsaking of many things. But since everything in life has a price, it is a price worth paying, considering that the great promise of the Savior is for peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come. It is a price we cannot afford not to pay. — President James E. Faust, Ensign, April 1999
The thing that all of us should strive for is to so live, keeping the commandments of the Lord, that He can answer our prayers. If we will live worthy, then the Lord will guide us – by a personal appearance, or by His actual voice, or by His voice coming into our mind, or by impressions upon our heart and our soul. And oh, how grateful we ought to be if the Lord sends us a dream in which is revealed to us the beauties of the eternity or a warning and direction for our special comfort. Yes, if we so live, the Lord will guide us for our salvation and for our benefit. — President Harold B. Lee, “Revelation and You,” Tambuli, February 1980, p. 38
Jesus said several times, “Come, follow me.” His was a program of “do what I do,” rather than “do what I say.” His innate brilliance would have permitted him to put on a dazzling display, but that would have left his followers far behind. He walked and worked with those he was to serve. His was not a long-distance leadership. He was not afraid of close friendships; he was not afraid that proximity to him would disappoint his followers. The leaven of true leadership cannot lift others unless we are with and serve those to be led. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “Jesus: The Perfect Leader,” Ensign, August 1979, p. 5
Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God. . . . We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see. — President Boyd K. Packer, General Conference, April 1983
Enduring to the end implies “patient continuance in well doing” (Romans 2:7), striving to keep the commandments (see 2 Nephi 31:10), and doing the works of righteousness (see D&C 59:23). It requires sacrifice and hard work. To endure to the end, we need to trust our Father in Heaven and make wise choices, including paying our tithes and offerings, honoring our temple covenants, and serving the Lord and one another willingly and faithfully in our Church callings and responsibilities. It means strength of character, selflessness, and humility; it means integrity and honesty to the Lord and our fellowmen. It means making our homes strong places of defense and a refuge against worldly evils; it means loving and honoring our spouses and children. By doing our best to endure to the end, a beautiful refinement will come into our lives. We will learn to “do good to them that hate [us], and pray for them which despitefully use [us]” (Matthew 5:44). The blessings that come to us from enduring to the end in this life are real and very significant, and for the life to come they are beyond our comprehension. — Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Have We Not Reason to Rejoice?” General Conference, October 2007
If we will go forward, never losing sight of our goal, speaking ill of no one, living the great principles we know to be true, this cause will roll on in majesty and power to fill the earth. Doors now closed to the preaching of the gospel will be opened. . . .
I see a wonderful future in a very uncertain world. If we will cling to our values, if we will build on our inheritance, if we will walk in obedience before the Lord, if we will simply live the gospel we will be blessed in a magnificent and wonderful way. . . .
Great has been our past, wonderful is our present, glorious can be our future. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Look to the Future,” General Conference, October 1997
In ancient times when people wanted to worship the Lord and seek His blessings, they often brought a gift. For example, when they went to the temple, they brought a sacrifice to place on the altar. After His Atonement and Resurrection, the Savior said He would no longer accept burnt offerings of animals. The gift or sacrifice He will accept now is “a broken heart and a contrite spirit.” As you seek the blessing of conversion, you can offer the Lord the gift of your broken, or repentant, heart and your contrite, or obedient, spirit. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “When Thou Art Converted,” Liahona, May 2004
Our safety lies in the virtue of our lives. Our strength lies in our righteousness. God has made it clear that if we will not forsake Him, He will not forsake us. He, watching over Israel, slumbers not nor sleeps (see Ps. 121:4). — Unknown
Getting through the hazards of life requires understanding, skill, experience, and self-assurance like that required to sink a difficult basket under pressure. In the game of life, that is called righteous character. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is used. Character is woven quietly from the threads of hundreds of correct decisions (like practice sessions). When strengthened by obedience and worthy acts, correct decisions form a fabric of character that brings victory in time of great need.
Righteous character provides the foundation of spiritual strength that enables you to make difficult, extremely important decisions correctly when they seem overpowering.
Righteous character is what you are. It is more important than what you own, what you have learned, or what you have accomplished. It allows you to be trusted. It opens the door to help from the Lord in moments of great challenge or temptation. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “Trust in the Lord,” Ensign, May 1989
During the past few years a number of resources have been set in place in the Church to help us. New editions of the scriptures have been published – are we taking advantage of them? More temples are located closer to our people – are we going to the house of the Lord more frequently? The consolidated meeting schedule was set up – are we taking advantage of the increased time with our families? A special home evening manual was provided – are we using it? A new hymnal has just been published – are we singing more songs of the heart? (See D&C 25:12.) And so the list goes on and on. We have received much help. We don’t need changed programs now as much as we need changed people! — President Ezra Taft Benson, “Cleansing the Inner Vessel,” Ensign, May 1986, p. 4
Simple and tremendously challenging are the words of the Scout Oath: “On my honor I will do my best.” If every one of us would make that effort, the world would be much better, and we would be much happier. It is so often the very small and singularly inconsequential acts of our lives that eventually make so great a difference. The history of this church is replete with cases of men who started on the road to apostasy with small, seemingly unimportant decisions. Oliver Cowdery was one of them. Martin Harris was one of them. David Whitmer was one of them. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Don’t Drop the Ball,” Ensign, November 1994, p. 46
Now I think it is perfectly clear that the Lord expects far more of us than we sometimes render in response. We are not as other men. We are the saints of God and have the revelations of heaven. Where much is given much is expected. We are to put first in our lives the things of his kingdom. . . . We have made . . . solemn, sacred, holy covenants, pledging ourselves before gods and angels. We are under covenant to live the law of obedience. We are under covenant to live the law of sacrifice. We are under covenant to live the law of consecration. . . . It is our privilege to consecrate our time, talents, and means to build up his kingdom. We are called upon to sacrifice, in one degree or another, for the furtherance of his work. Obedience is essential to salvation; so, also, is service; and so, also, are consecration and sacrifice. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Conference Report, April 1975, pp. 74-76
We may reject counsel because it causes us inconvenience or because we cannot see its value. I plead with you to avoid the ranks of counsel resisters; prayerfully follow the counsel you are given. — Elder Marvin J. Ashton,“Carry Your Cross,” Ensign, February 1988, pp. 70-71
We may build temples, erect stately domes, magnificent spires [and] grand towers, in honor of our religion, but if we fail to live the principles of that religion . . , and to acknowledge God in all our thoughts, we shall fall short of the blessings which its practical exercise would ensure. — President George A. Smith, Deseret News Weekly, 17 July 1872, p. 348
Remember always that the gospel is designed to teach us how to conduct ourselves for the benefit of our spiritual and temporal affairs. It is not enough to attend Church meetings, partake of the sacrament, participate in religious discussions, and then turn a deaf ear to the needs of our families, our neighbors or our communities, or be dishonest or unscrupulous in our dealings with them.
Neither is it enough to be a good, solid citizen, contributing to charities, serving on community boards, and in general living a good Christian life. Although commendable, this is not sufficient to entitle one to the fulness of joy and the eternal life that our Father in heaven has promised to those who love him and keep his commandments. — President N. Eldon Tanner, “Just for Today,” New Era, January 1975, p. 4
It is so important for us to prepare ourselves for the things that will happen in our lives. We must look forward with optimism and confidence. We can gain nothing by brooding over the past or the things we should have done but did not. Rather, we must decide that from this point on we will correct our mistakes, repent, and go forward with a determination to walk in obedience to the commandments, which can only make us happier, more loved and respected, and more successful in any field of endeavor. — President N. Eldon Tanner, “Walking in Obedience to the Commandments,” Ensign, February 1972, p. 2
Mormon is finishing his last letter to his son. He has reminded him of some of the terrible problems of that time. He has been candid in this, laying out for Moroni his own sad view of things as they were. In summation, he has declared the most unpleasant thing people could hear from a prophet – that he could not recommend them unto God. But then he says to his own son, “I recommend thee unto God,” and bears his witness and delivers his valedictory to Moroni in these blessed words:
“My son, be faithful in Christ; [that is where it starts and that is the heart of it all] and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his sufferings and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, [that is, his resurrection] and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever” (Moro. 9:25).
Don’t let infamy, don’t let sin, don’t let what is happening in the world, weigh you down. That is not what Christ is all about; don’t let it grieve you. Let him lift you up. Let him lift you up. And let all that he represents for us rest in your minds forever. — Elder Marion D. Hanks, “An Attitude – The Weightier Matters,” Ensign, July 1981, p. 67
Have you ever found yourself doing something you thought was right, but doing it because you “had” to? Did you ever keep a commandment of God with an attitude of resentment or self-righteousness, or even because you expected some immediate personal benefit? I suppose most of us have had this experience. Do you remember your feelings on such occasions? Do you think such feelings will be ignored by a Father in Heaven who gave us the willpower we call agency? Don’t such feelings tell us something about the desires of our hearts? Under the law of God we are accountable for our feelings and desires as well as our acts. Evil thoughts and desires will be punished. Acts that seem to be good bring blessings only when they are done with real and righteous intent. On the positive side, we will be blessed for the righteous desires of our hearts even though some outside circumstance has made it impossible for us to carry those desires into action. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Devotional and Fireside Speeches,1985-86, pp. 29, 31
I will say to the Latter-day Saints, if they will be faithful, and do what they should do, and listen to the counsel given to them, they need not have any fears about anything, for the whole work is in the hands of God, the destinies of nations lie there. It is better for a people to be wise, to get righteousness, to be the friends of God, than to occupy any other positions in life. — Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, February 25, 1855, p. 6; Journal of Discourses 2, p. 199
The Doctrine and Covenants describes with equal clarity and conciseness our primary work as the sons and daughters of the Eternal Father. Interestingly, this verse does not seem to be as well known and is not quoted with great frequency. “Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength” (D&C 11:20). Thus, the Father’s work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children. Our work is to keep His commandments with all of our might, mind, and strength – and we thereby become chosen and, through the Holy Ghost, receive and recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our daily lives. — Elder David A. Bednar, Conference Report, April 2005
In Adam’s mind there was no question why he should render obedience, for he knew that whatever the Lord commanded him to do would be for his good and benefit.
It is interesting to note that after Adam had fulfilled the commandment of offering up sacrifices, the Lord rewarded him with a visitation from a divine being, imparting to Adam the knowledge why he was to offer sacrifices. And this applies to each and everyone of us when obeying the commandments of the Gospel. We may not understand them fully; but through obedience, the Lord will reveal to us the reason and the knowledge which will give us a full, clear comprehension of the law or the commandment involved. — Elder Joseph L. Wirthlin, Conference Report, April 1941
The way of the gospel is a simple way. Some of the requirements may appear to you as elementary and unnecessary. Do not spurn them. Humble yourselves and walk in obedience. I promise that the results that follow will be marvelous to behold and satisfying to experience. — Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Report, October 1976, p. 143
“What shall we do to be saved?” The Lord in every instance gave an answer. We have a series of short revelations in the D&C, which are the answers to that question. I find in every one a significant statement, worded almost identically in all of these revelations, to Hyrum Smith, David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery, and others of less fame in the Church: “Keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion.” That is our business, the business of the Latter-day Saints.
From one point of view, it is selfish enough, perhaps, to keep the commandments that I may be blessed, but it is something even greater to keep the commandments that Zion may be established. As the foundation of His great cause the Lord gave the law of sacrifice. Unless we give of ourselves we cannot build Zion, or anything else worthy of the great cause that the Lord has given us. The law of sacrifice, from the day of Adam to the present day, in one form or another, is the basic principle of life among the communities of Saints.
So we need, in this Church and Kingdom, for our own and the world’s welfare a group of men and women in their individual lives who shall be as a light to the nations, and really standards for the world to follow. Such a people must be different from the world as it now is. There is no opportunity for Latter-day Saints to say we shall be as the world is, unless the world has the same aim that we have. We are here to build Zion to Almighty God, for the blessing of all the world. In that aim we are unique and different from all other peoples. We must respect that obligation, and not be afraid of it. We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves for that great destiny and obligation. — Elder John A. Widtsoe, Conference Report, April 1940
As I understand the teachings of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they were that it would profit no man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul. It is by the faithful discharge of the duties and the obligations that rest upon us in the Church of God that we are developed. It is by the exercise of our mental faculties that we improve upon them; it is by the exercise of our physical powers that we strengthen them; it is by the cultivation and the exercise of our spirits that we grow in spirituality, that we grow in the testimony of the gospel, that we grow in ability and strength to accomplish the purposes of our Heavenly Father upon the earth. — President Heber J. Grant, April 1945, 116th Annual General Conference
We receive all our blessings upon the principle of obedience. There is a celestial law, a terrestrial law, and a telestial law: and we can attain to any degree of glory that we desire, but it will be upon the principle of obedience. If we obey celestial law, we will obtain celestial glory. If we obtain terrestrial glory, it will be by obedience to terrestrial law; and the same with telestial law and telestial glory. And what is celestial law? It does not mean any one thing; it means all things. It is the fullness of obedience: it is living by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. If today, you are keeping those commandments that are now in force, you are living a celestial law, and your chances are good for celestial glory. — Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, October 1910
One of the principal purposes of this life is to find out if the Lord can trust us. One of our familiar scriptures says, “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abr. 3:25). We are destined to be tried, tested, and proven during our sojourn on earth to see if we are trustworthy. The Prophet Joseph Smith indicated that to attain the highest blessing of this life, we will first be tested and proved thoroughly until the Lord is certain that he can trust us in all things, regardless of the personal hazard or sacrifice involved. — Elder Robert E. Wells, “The Cs of Spirituality,” Ensign, November 1978, p. 24
I too believe that God will always make a way where there is no way. I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way. — President Gordon B. Hinckley
It is glorious to be a member. It is glorious to have any office or calling in the Church, no matter how relatively humble the title may sound. I am impressed constantly with the fact that, regardless of our calling, we are all encouraged, we are all dedicated, and we are all working in the service of the Master. — Elder Henry D. Moyle, Conference Report, October 1961, p. 43
Our individual efforts may be humble and appear somewhat insignificant. But the accumulated good works of all, laboring together with a common purpose, will bring to pass great and wondrous accomplishments. The world will be a better place for our united service. Our people will be a happy people, a blessed people, a people whose shepherd is our Lord, leading us through pastures green and peaceful, if we will walk after His pattern and in His light. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “God Is At The Helm,” Ensign, May 1994
We do not confer a favor upon the Almighty by obeying his laws, by receiving his blessings; though we please him, no doubt, by so doing. And when we stand before him at the last day, having “come up through great tribulation” and made our calling and election sure, I think I can hear Him say: “Well done, good and faithful servant, or good and faithful handmaid – enter into the joy of thy Lord.” But I cannot by any stretch of imagination, conceive Him as saying: “Thank you, my child, for coming to Heaven!” — Elder Orson F. Whitney, Conference Report, April 1931
Surely every soul who understands what the Savior did for us loves him and desires to demonstrate, in a realistic manner, thanks and gratitude.
In the 59th section of the Doctrine and Covenants there is a revelation in which the Lord tells us specifically how we can do this.
The said revelation was received by the Prophet Joseph Smith in Independence, Missouri, on August 7, 1831. The Saints were then just beginning to gather in Zion. The land had been consecrated and the temple site had been dedicated.
The Lord began the revelation by saying: “. . . blessed . . . are they who have come up unto this land with an eye single to my glory. . . .” — President Marion G. Romney, “Thou Shalt Thank the Lord Thy God in All Things,” Ensign, June 1974, p. 4
What are a broken heart and a contrite spirit? And why are they considered a sacrifice? As in all things, the Savior’s life offers us the perfect example: though Jesus of Nazareth was utterly without sin, He walked through life with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, as manifested by His submission to the will of the Father. “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me” (John 6:38). To His disciples He said, “Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart” (Matthew 11:29). And when the time came to pay the ultimate sacrifice entailed in the Atonement, Christ shrank not to partake of the bitter cup but submitted completely to His Father’s will. — Elder Bruce D. Porter, “A Broken Heart and a Contrite Spirit,” Ensign, November 2007, pp. 31-32
The blessings of discipleship are readily available to all who are willing to pay the price. Discipleship brings purpose to our lives so that rather than wandering aimlessly, we walk steadily on that strait and narrow way that leads us back to our Heavenly Father. Discipleship brings us comfort in times of sorrow, peace of conscience, and joy in service – all of which help us to be more like Jesus. — President James E. Faust, “Discipleship,” Ensign, November 2006, p. 22
Surely the Lord loves, more than anything else, an unwavering determination to obey his counsel. Surely the experiences of the great prophets of the Old Testament have been recorded to help us understand the importance of choosing the path of strict obedience. How pleased the Lord must have been when Abraham, after receiving direction to sacrifice his only son, Isaac, did as he was instructed, without question and without wavering. — President Howard W. Hunter, “Commitment to God,” Ensign, October 1982
The great principle that we have to come to is the knowledge of God, of the relationship that we sustain to each other, of the various duties we have to attend to in the various spheres of life in which we are called to act as mortal and immortal, intelligent, eternal beings, in order that we may magnify our calling and approve ourselves before God and the holy angels, and if we obtain knowledge of this kind, we shall do well, for this is the greatest good of the whole, it embraces everything that we want. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor , p. 95
In spirit of the prosaic and commonplace aspects of this subject, I have long been convinced, my brethren and sisters, that the most challenging, dramatic, and vital thing in our lives is this “keeping the commandments.” It tests every fiber of our beings. It is at once a demonstration of our intelligence, our knowledge, our character, and our wisdom. — Elder Stephen L Richards, Conference Report, October 1950
The disciples of Christ receive a call to not only forsake the pursuit of worldly things but to carry the cross daily. To carry the cross means to follow His commandments and to build up His Church on the earth. It also means self-mastery (Alma 39:9, footnote b). As Jesus of Nazareth instructed us, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23). “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27) — President James E. Faust, “Discipleship,” Ensign, November 2006, p. 20
We cannot shout praises to the name of the Lord Jehovah, who is the Lord Jesus, to the extent that we should in order to honor him properly for all that he has done for us and for the possibilities that lie ahead because he took upon himself our sins on conditions of repentance. The work of God the Father was creation, and the work of Christ the Son was redemption. We are men, and our work – building on the foundation that God our Father laid and that Christ his Son has established – is to do the part assigned to us in order to inherit the glory and honor and dignity of which I speak. In general terms, that means that we are to accept and believe the law. We are to believe in Christ and live his law, be upright and clean, have our sins washed away in the waters of baptism, become new creatures by the power of the Holy Ghost, and walk in paths of truth and righteousness. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, BYU Fireside, November 6, 1977
“Work out your own salvation” is an exhortation to demonstrate by activity, by thoughtful obedient effort the reality of faith. But this must be done with “fear and trembling;” that is with a consciousness that absolute dependence upon self may produce pride and weakness that will bring failure. With “fear and trembling” we should seek the strength and grace of God for inspiration to obtain the final victory.
However, to work out one’s salvation is not to sit idly by, dreaming and yearning for God miraculously to thrust bounteous blessings into our laps. It is to perform daily, hourly, momentarily, if necessary, the immediate task or duty at hand, and to continue happily in such performance as the years come and go, leaving the fruits of such labors either to self or to others to be bestowed as a just and beneficent Father may determine. — President David O. McKay, Conference Report, April 1938
Harry Emerson Fosdick once wrote: “Some Christians carry their religion on their backs. It is a packet of beliefs and practices which they must bear. At times it grows heavy and they would willingly lay it down, but that would mean a break with old traditions, so they shoulder it again. But real Christians do not carry their religion, their religion carries them. It is not weight; it is wings. It lifts them up, it sees them over hard places, it makes the universe seem friendly, life purposeful, hope real, sacrifice worthwhile. It sets them free from fear, futility, discouragement, and sin – the great enslavers of men’s souls. You can know a real Christian, when you see him, by his buoyancy” (Twelve Tests of Character , 8788). I hope it is clearly evident when the world looks at us that we are known for our buoyancy – that we live, believe, and practice real Christian ideas and doctrine. — Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, November 1999, p. 77
We are bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mind. How can we do this? There is only one answer. We must rise above the evil that encroaches upon us. We must follow the counsel of the Lord, who said, “It is my will, that all they who call on my name, and worship me according to mine everlasting gospel, should gather together, and stand in holy places.” (D&C 101:22) — President James E. Faust, “Standing in Holy Places,” Ensign, May 2005
Too many of us believe that because of our obedience to the principles of the gospel, we should get what we want to have. That’s the wrong idea. If we are obedient to the principles of the gospel, then we will get what God wants us to have for our own good, for our own salvation. Is that true or not? If we obey these principles, shouldn’t we get what God wants us to have rather than what we want to have? — Matthew Cowley, “Learning to Live Simply,” June 19, 1953
I testify to you this day that the time will come when every man, woman, and child will look into the Savior’s loving eyes. On that day, we will know with a surety the worth of our decision to straightway follow Him. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Follow Me,” Ensign, May 2002
God offers us counsel not just for our own safety but for the safety of His other children, whom we should love. There are few comforts so sweet as to know that we have been an instrument in the hands of God in leading someone else to safety. That blessing generally requires the faith to follow counsel when it is hard to do. — President Henry B. Eyring, “Safety in Counsel,” Liahona, June 2008, pp. 2-7
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
I say to everyone within the sound of my voice, “Do not fail the Lord.” We must accept the truth that the gospel principles are not on trial but that we are. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “Fortify Your Homes against Evil,” Ensign, May 1979, p. 4
The Latter-day Saints who hearken to the words of the Lord, given to them touching their political, social, and financial concerns, I say, and say it boldly, that they will have wisdom which is altogether superior to that of the wisdom of the children of darkness, or the children of the world. I know this by the revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the results of my own actions. They who have hearkened to counsels given to them in temporal matters, have invariably bettered their conditions temporally and spiritually. — Discourses of Brigham Young, 1943 edition, pp. 219-20
When we can’t come up with a reason why we’re obeying a certain commandment, we can always fall back on Adam’s response to Satan when asked why he was making sacrifices after leaving the Garden of Eden: “I know not save the Lord commanded me.” Enough said. — Vicki Bean Topliff
Nevertheless, we are saddened to learn, as the authorities travel about the stakes and missions of the Church, that there are still many of the Saints who are not reading and pondering the scriptures regularly, and who have little knowledge of the Lord’s instructions to the children of men. Many have been baptized and received a testimony, and have “gotten into this strait and narrow path,” yet have failed to take the further required step – to “press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end.” (2 Ne. 31:19, 20)
Only the faithful will receive the promised reward, which is eternal life. For one cannot receive eternal life without becoming a “doer of the word” (see James 1:22) and being valiant in obedience to the Lord’s commandments. And one cannot become a “doer of the word” without first becoming a “hearer.” And to become a “hearer” is not simply to stand idly by and wait for chance bits of information; it is to seek out and study and pray and comprehend. Therefore the Lord said, “Whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me.” (D&C 84:52) — President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, July 1985
It is up to us. Therein lies life’s greatest and most persistent challenge. Thus when people are described as “having lost their desire for sin,” it is they, and they only, who deliberately decided to lose those wrong desires by being willing to “give away all [their] sins” in order to know God (Alma 22:18). — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts,” Ensign, November 1996, p. 22
I testify that it is not sufficient to be baptized and then live an acceptable life, avoiding major transgressions. The Lord has decreed that the additional ordinances and covenants that I have mentioned must be received for exaltation and eternal life. Being worthy of temple ordinances means that you will choose to do what many in the world are not willing to do. You will keep the Sabbath day holy, exercise faith through the payment of tithing and fast offerings, consistently participate in Church worship, give service, and show love and appreciation for your family by helping each member of it. After you have received all of the temple ordinances, you will continue to grow by keeping the covenants made and faithfully “endur[ing] to the end.” — Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, April 1997
God’s love is so perfect that He lovingly requires us to obey His commandments because He knows that only through obedience to His laws can we become perfect, as He is. For this reason, God’s anger and His wrath are not a contradiction of His love but an evidence of His love. Every parent knows that you can love a child totally and completely while still being creatively angry and disappointed at that child’s self-defeating behavior. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, “Love and Law,” Ensign, November 2009, p. 27
What is the cost of discipleship? It is primarily obedience. It is the forsaking of many things. But since everything in life has a price, it is a price worth paying, considering that the great promise of the Savior is for peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come. It is a price we cannot afford not to pay. — President James E. Faust, “The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign, April 1999, p. 2
It is not alone sufficient for us as Latter-day Saints to follow our leaders and to accept their counsel, but we have the greater obligation to gain for ourselves the unshakable testimony of the divine appointment of these men and the witness that what they have told us is the will of our Heavenly Father. — President Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1950, p. 30
As your testimony is fortified, Satan will try harder to tempt you. Resist his efforts. You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker. Satan’s increasing influence in the world is allowed to provide an atmosphere in which to prove ourselves. While he causes havoc today, Satan’s final destiny was fixed by Jesus Christ through His Atonement and Resurrection. The devil will not triumph.
Even now, he must operate within bounds set by the Lord. He cannot take away any blessing that has been earned. He cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions. He has no power to destroy the eternal bonds forged in a holy temple between a husband, wife, and children. He cannot quench true faith. He cannot take away your testimony. Yes, these things can be lost by succumbing to his temptations. But he has no power in and of himself to destroy them. — Elder Richard G. Scott, General Conference, October 2001
If we live by the principles of the gospel, we must be good people, for we will be generous and kind, thoughtful and tolerant, helpful and outreaching to those in distress. We can either subdue the divine nature and hide it so that it finds no expression in our lives, or we can bring it to the front and let it shine through all that we do. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “Each a Better Person,” Ensign, November 2002, p. 99
Holiness is the strength of the soul. It comes by faith and through obedience to God’s laws and ordinances. God then purifies the heart by faith, and the heart becomes purged from that which is profane and unworthy. When holiness is achieved by conforming to God’s will, one knows intuitively that which is wrong and that which is right before the Lord. Holiness speaks when there is silence, encouraging that which is good or reproving that which is wrong. — President James E. Faust, “Standing in Holy Places,” Ensign, May 2005, p. 62
Some seek to brush aside conscience, refusing to hear its voice. But that deflection is, in itself, an act of choice, because we so desired. Even when the light of Christ flickers only faintly in the darkness, it flickers nevertheless. If one averts his gaze therefrom, it is because he so desires.
Like it or not, therefore, reality requires that we acknowledge our responsibility for our desires. Brothers and sisters, which do we really desire, God’s plans for us or Satan’s? . . .
No wonder desires also determine the gradations in outcomes, including why “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt. 22:14; see D&C 95:5).
It is up to us. God will facilitate, but He will not force. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts,” Ensign, November 1996
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
“Do you,” President Young asked, “think that people will obey the truth because it is true, unless they love it? No, they will not” (in Journal of Discourses, 7:55). Thus knowing gospel truths and doctrines is profoundly important, but we must also come to love them. When we love them, they will move us and help our desires and outward works to become more holy. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, “According to the Desire of [Our] Hearts,” Ensign, November 1996
And this is a certainty: If with our whole heart we seek God, God will draw near to us and we will find him, not expecting, of course, that we will behold him, visibly, that he will come down to everybody and appear in his personality, but by the power of his divine spirit. He will draw near to us and we will draw near to him, and every Latter-day Saint who has really been born of the Spirit as well as of the water, understands something of this. (Sec. 88:62-68.) I don’t know of any joy or pleasure, any sensation that is delightful, to be compared with beholding the visions of eternity by the power of the Holy Ghost, and to have the soul lifted up above sublunary things and all earthly and material matters, to draw near to God or Heavenly Father . . . and those who seek the Lord and try to serve him with all their heart and mind and strength, will be able to draw near unto him. — Elder Charles W. Penrose, Conference Report, October 1915, pp. 38-39
Perfection is a long, hard journey with many pitfalls. It’s not attainable overnight. Eternal vigilance is the price of victory. Eternal vigilance is required in the subduing of enemies and in becoming the master of our lives. It cannot be accomplished in little spurts and disconnected efforts. There must be constant and valiant, purposeful living – righteous living. Do we have the power to attain this kind of abundance? The psalmist was inspired to write:
“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” (Ps. 8:4–6) There are those today who say that man is the result of his environment and cannot rise above it. Those who justify mediocrity, failure, immorality of all kinds, and even weakness and criminality are certainly misguided. Surely the environmental conditions found in childhood and youth are an influence of power. But the fact remains that every normal soul has its free agency and the power to row against the current and to lift itself to new planes of activity and thought and development. Man can transform himself. Man must transform himself. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “The Abundant Life,” Ensign, October 1985, p. 5
It is no different today from what it was in the days of Peter and Paul, the apostles of old.
Paul told the Romans that “the gospel of (Jesus) Christ . . . is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; . . .” (Romans 1:16.) Incorporated in this term salvation is not only the spiritual but also the temporal phase of our lives. We cannot disassociate mortal man from the eternal spirit of man within him. It is, therefore, through obedience to the laws of God that we will find the answer to our questions, whether they be domestic, political, social, economic, or spiritual. — Elder Henry D. Moyle, Conference Report, April 1963
The axiom “You get what you pay for” is true for spiritual rewards as well. You get what you pay for in obedience, in faith in Jesus Christ, in diligent application of the truths that you learn. — Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Sustaining Power of Faith in Times of Uncertainty and Testing,” Ensign, May 2003, p. 75
We are not born into this world with fixed habits. Neither do we inherit a noble character. Instead, as children of God, we are given the privilege and opportunity of choosing which way of life we will follow – which habits we will form. Confucius said that the nature of men is always the same. It is their habits that separate them. Good habits are not acquired simply by making good resolves, though the thought must precede the action. Good habits are developed in the workshop of our daily lives. It is not in the great moments of test and trial that character is built. That is only when it is displayed. The habits that direct our lives and form our character are fashioned in the often uneventful, commonplace routine of life. They are acquired by practice. — Elder Delbert L. Stapley, “Good Habits Develop Good Character,” Ensign, November 1974, p. 20
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 isn’t discipleship at all. — Elder Jeffery R. Holland, CES Devotional, 2012
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
Do not be too anxious for the Lord to hasten this work. Let our anxiety be centered upon this one thing, the sanctification of our own hearts, the purifying of our own affections, the preparing of ourselves for the approach of the events that are hastening upon us. This should be our concern, this should be our study, this should be our daily prayer. . . . Seek to have the Spirit of Christ, that we may wait patiently the time of the Lord and prepare ourselves for the times that are coming. — Brigham Young, “This is Our Duty,” Journal of Discourses, 9:3
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
All these rewards were seemingly promised, or foreordained, before the world was. Surely these matters must have been determined by the kind of lives we had lived in that premortal spirit world. Some may question these assumptions, but at the same time they will accept without any question the belief that each one of us will be judged when we leave this earth according to his or her deeds during our lives here in mortality. Isn’t it just as reasonable to believe that what we have received here in this earth [life] was given to each of us according to the merits of our conduct before we came here?” — President Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, October 1973, pp. 7-8
We have been placed upon this earth because of our faithfulness in having kept our first estate. The labors that we performed in the sphere that we left before we came here have had a certain effect upon our lives here, and to a certain extent they govern and control the lives that we lead here, just the same as the labors that we do here will control and govern our lives when we pass from this stage of existence. — President Heber J. Grant, “Reward of Conscience,” Improvement Era, February 1943, p. 75
Joseph Smith taught that “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him.” — Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 181
But how do we even begin to master ourselves and overcome Satan, sin and temptation? President Benson suggests the practical process of goal-setting. He suggests that we conquer these things one at a time. He said: “Every accountable child of God needs to set goals, short – and long-range goals. A man who is pressing forward to accomplish worthy goals can soon put despondency under his feet, and once a goal is accomplished, others can be set up. Some will be continuing goals. Each week when we partake of the sacrament we commit ourselves to the goals of taking upon ourselves the name of Christ, of always remembering Him and keeping His commandments (see Moroni 4:3; D&C 20:27). — President Ezra Taft Benson, “Do Not Despair,” Ensign, October 1986
The future of this world has long been declared; the final outcome between good and evil is already known. There is absolutely no question as to who wins because the victory has already been posted on the scoreboard. The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the field trying to decide which team’s jersey we want to wear! — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, missionary conference, September 4, 2012
Now let us examine ourselves. Are we doing as much as we should? And if we are not, let us turn around and do better. If we are doing as we should, if we are reaching out in all directions to do good to the children of our Father, then we will bring to ourselves the blessing of an all wise Father, and we will rejoice in the good that we accomplish here. . . . “Let us be humble and prayerful, living near to our Heavenly Father, and evidence our belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ by living up to its principles. Let us evidence our faith in God, and in the work He has given to the earth, by a correct and consistent life, for after all that is the strongest testimony that we will be able to bear of the truth of this work. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, p. 9
Now I pray that our Father in heaven will bless His people – bless them abundantly and in full measure. I pray that the Saints shall stand firm against the pressures and enticements of the world; that they shall put first in their lives the things of God’s kingdom; that they shall be true to every trust and keep every covenant. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, “A Witness and a Blessing,” Ensign, June 1971, p. 110
Declaring our testimony of the gospel is good, but being a living example of the restored gospel is better. Wishing to be more faithful to our covenants is good; actually being faithful to sacred covenants – including living a virtuous life, paying our tithes and offerings, keeping the Word of Wisdom, and serving those in need – is much better. Announcing that we will dedicate more time for family prayer, scripture study, and wholesome family activities is good; but actually doing all these things steadily will bring heavenly blessings to our lives.
Discipleship is the pursuit of holiness and happiness. It is the path to our best and happiest self.
Let us resolve to follow the Savior and work with diligence to become the person we were designed to become. Let us listen to and obey the promptings of the Holy Spirit. As we do so, Heavenly Father will reveal to us things we never knew about ourselves. He will illuminate the path ahead and open our eyes to see our unknown and perhaps unimagined talents.
The more we devote ourselves to the pursuit of holiness and happiness, the less likely we will be on a path to regrets. The more we rely on the Savior’s grace, the more we will feel that we are on the track our Father in Heaven has intended for us. — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Of Regrets and Resolutions,” Ensign, November 2012
The door is open. The plan is here. The authority and power is here. It is up to you. If you live according to that plan, you will be happy; you will be successful; you will be exalted in the celestial kingdom with all your worthy loved ones. — The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 342
. . . we can’t insist on our timetable when the Lord has His own. . . . Sometimes our insistence on acting according to our own timetable can obscure His will for us.
In Liberty Jail, the Prophet Joseph asked the Lord to punish those who persecuted the members of the Church in Missouri. His prayer was for sure and swift retribution. But the Lord responded that in “not many years hence,” (D&C 121:15) He would deal with those enemies of the Church. In the 24th and 25th verses of the 121st section of the Doctrine and Covenants, He says:
“Behold, mine eyes see and know all their works, and I have in reserve a swift judgment in the season thereof, for them all;
“For there is a time appointed for every man, according as his works shall be.” (D&C 121:24-25)
We remove the pavilion when we feel and pray, “Thy will be done” and “in Thine own time.” His time should be soon enough for us since we know that He wants only what is best. — President Henry B. Eyring, “Where Is the Pavilion?” Ensign, November 2012
My beloved brothers and sisters, I am not certain just what our experience will be on Judgment Day, but I will be very surprised if at some point in that conversation, God does not ask us exactly what Christ asked Peter: “Did you love me?” I think He will want to know if in our very mortal, very inadequate, and sometimes childish grasp of things, did we at least understand one commandment, the first and greatest commandment of them all – “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.” (Luke 10:27; see also Matthew 22:37–38.) And if at such a moment we can stammer out, “Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee,” then He may remind us that the crowning characteristic of love is always loyalty. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The First Great Commandment,” Ensign, November 2012
“If ye love me, keep my commandments,” (John 14:15) Jesus said. So we have neighbors to bless, children to protect, the poor to lift up, and the truth to defend. We have wrongs to make right, truths to share, and good to do. In short, we have a life of devoted discipleship to give in demonstrating our love of the Lord. We can’t quit and we can’t go back. After an encounter with the living Son of the living God, nothing is ever again to be as it was before. The Crucifixion, Atonement, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ mark the beginning of a Christian life, not the end of it. It was this truth, this reality, that allowed a handful of Galilean fishermen-turned-again-Apostles without “a single synagogue or sword” (Frederic W. Farrar, The Life of Christ , 656; see chapter 62 for more on the plight of this newly founded Church) to leave those nets a second time and go on to shape the history of the world in which we now live. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The First Great Commandment,” Ensign, November 2012
When you have labored faithfully for years, you will learn this simple fact – that if your hearts are aright, and you still continue to be obedient, continue to serve God, continue to pray, the Spirit of revelation will be in you like a well of water springing up to everlasting life. Let no person give up prayer because he has not the spirit of prayer, neither let any earthly circumstance hurry you while in the performance of this important duty. By bowing down before the Lord to ask him to bless you, you will simply find this result – God will multiply blessings on you temporally and spiritually. Let a merchant, a farmer, a mechanic, any person in business, live his religion faithfully, and he need never lose one minute’s sleep by thinking about his business; he need not worry in the least, but trust in God, go to sleep and rest. I say to this people – pray, and if you cannot do anything else, read a prayer aloud that your family may hear it, until you get a worshiping spirit, and are full of the riches of eternity, then you will be prepared at any time to lay hands on the sick, or to officiate in any of the ordinances of this religion. — Brigham Young, quoted by John A. Widtsoe in old Tabernacle, November 17, 1867, Journal of Discourses 12:103, Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 46
If we pray that his will be done, we must be prepared to do our part. My father said to me when I was a boy, “If you want your prayers to be answered, you’d better get on your feet and go to work.” There is no use praying for the kingdom to come and his will to be done unless we are prepared to do something about it. — Elder N. Eldon Tanner, Conference Report, April 1974, pp. 75-76
Again, while prayer is essential and is one of the fundamental principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is nonsense for a person to pray only, and not work. A well-balanced person would naturally do everything that he could do and at the same time petition the Lord to help him in his efforts, thus aiding to bring about his desires. By work, patience and integrity, such a person would support his prayers by so living that the Lord could be justified in granting his petitions. The commandments which the Lord has given us, in ages past, and those now being revealed, teach us that human desire and effort are necessary to obtain divine assistance. — President Joseph F. Smith, “Strive to Be as Broad as the Gospel,” Improvement Era, July 1912, p. 843; TLDP:487
It is our privilege to consecrate our time, talents, and means to build up his kingdom. We are called upon to sacrifice, in one degree or another, for the furtherance of his work. Obedience is essential to salvation: so, also, is service; and so, also, are consecration and sacrifice. — Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Conference Report, April 1975, p. 76
We should live so near to the Lord, be so humble in our spirits, so tractable and pliable, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, that we will be able to know the mind and will of the Father concerning us as individuals and as officers in the Church of Christ under all circumstances. And when we live so that we can hear and understand the whisperings of the still small voice of the Spirit of God, let us do whatsoever that Spirit directs, without fear of the consequences. It does not make any difference whether it meets the minds of carpers or critics, or of the enemies of the kingdom of God, or not. Is it agreeable to the will of the Lord? Is it compatible with the spirit of the great latter-day work in which we are engaged? Is the end aimed at likely to advance the Church and to strengthen it in the earth? If its trend is in that direction, let us do it, no matter what men may say or think. — President Joseph F. Smith, Conference Report, October 1903, p. 86
We do not set the standards, but we are commanded to teach them and maintain them. . . . However out of step we may seem, however much the standards are belittled, however much others yield, we will not yield, we cannot yield. — Elder Boyd K. Packer, General Conference, October 2003
We have earthly debts and heavenly debts. Let us be wise in dealing with each of them and ever keep in mind the words of the Savior. The scriptures tell us, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.” The riches of this world are as dust compared to the riches that await the faithful in the mansions of our Heavenly Father. How foolish is he who spends his days in the pursuit of things that rust and fade away. How wise is he who spends his days in the pursuit of eternal life. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, General Conference, April 2004
Though impenetrable darkness should surround us, we ought, as a people and as individuals, to cling to that truth which the Lord has revealed concerning this work; cling to the Priesthood; cling to the “rod of iron,” which is the word of God, and the word of God comes through the Priesthood. Let each one say: “I will serve God, no matter what happens; I will cling to His Priesthood, which God has put in His Church to govern it, no matter what the consequences may be.” That is the integrity we should cherish, and which we should teach to our children. Unless we do, we will never accomplish that which God designs for us. — Collected Discourses 1886-1898, vol. 5, edited by Brian H. Stuy, George Q. Cannon, April 5, 1897
Where is there safety in the world today? Safety can’t be won by tanks and guns and the airplanes and atomic bombs. There is only one place of safety and that is within the realm of the power of Almighty God that he gives to those who keep his commandments and listen to his voice, as he speaks through the channels that he has ordained for that purpose. . . .
Peace be with you, not the peace that comes from the legislation in the halls of congress, but the peace that comes in the way that the Master said, by overcoming all the things of the world. That God may help us so to understand and may you know that I know with a certainty that defies all doubt that this is his work, that he is guiding us and directing us today, as he has done in every dispensation of the gospel. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, pp. 212-13
Perfection is a long, hard journey with many pitfalls. It’s not attainable overnight. Eternal vigilance is the price of victory. Eternal vigilance is required in the subduing of enemies and in becoming the master of oneself. It cannot be accomplished in little spurts and disconnected efforts. There must be constant and valiant, purposeful living-righteous living. — President Spencer W. Kimball, “Be Ye Therefore Perfect,” BYU Devotional, September 17, 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
To be who Heavenly Father wants us to be, we follow Jesus Christ. I testify that He is continually calling us to follow Him. If you are just learning about the Christian commitment of Latter-day Saints or if you have not been fully participating in the Church and want to follow Him again – fear not! The Lord’s first disciples were all new members of the Church, newly converted to His gospel. Jesus patiently taught each one. He helped them fulfill their responsibilities. He called them His friends and laid down His life for them. And He has already done the same for you and for me. — Elder Robert D. Hales, “Being a More Christian Christian,” Ensign, November 2012
Whatever disappointments may come, still be true to him and I promise you, in the name of the Lord, that if not in time, in eternity, you shall have like honors and glory and privilege. If you are faithful over a few things here, you shall be ruler over many things there, and become kings and priests unto God. And you sisters who have dwelt in reflected glory will shine in your own light, queens and priestesses unto the Lord forever and ever. — Elder Melvin J. Ballard, Conference Report, October 1934, p. 121
To love the Lord is not just counsel; it is not just well-wishing. It is a commandment. It is the first and great commandment incumbent upon each of us because love of God is the root from which springs all other types of love. Love of God is the root of all virtue, of all goodness, of all strength of character, of all fidelity to do right. . . . Love the Lord your God, and love His Son, and be ever grateful for their love for us. Whenever other love fades, there will be that shining, transcendent, everlasting love of God for each of us and the love of His Son, who gave His life for each of us. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ricks College regional conference, Rexburg, Idaho, 29 October 1995
Since patience is one of the traits of a saint (see Mosiah 3:19), it should not surprise us that we must sometimes learn patience not only by physical suffering, but also by sometimes having something to offer which, for one reason or another, we are prevented from offering, at least on the terms we would like to make the contribution. To trust God enough to accept the reality that he knows perfectly both what we have to offer and what we desire is a special form of trust. After all, when we sing in the hymn, “I’ll go where you want me to go, dear Lord” (Hymns, no. 75), presumably our pledge includes a willingness to stay right where we are, if that is where the Lord wants us.
Sometimes when we think we see what is needed (and feel that we can offer just what is needed), we must still surrender to the sublime wisdom of our Heavenly Father, who “knoweth all things.” (1 Jn. 3:20.) Sometimes we are tested, therefore, not only by the requirement that we place certain things on the altar of sacrifice and service, but also by the trial of circumstances that seem to prevent us from placing a portion of self on the altar. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, July 1975
We believe that worship is far more than prayer and preaching and gospel performance. The supreme act of worship is to keep the commandments, to follow in the footsteps of the Son of God, to do ever those things that please Him. It is one thing to give lip service to the Lord; it is quite another to respect and honor His will by following the example. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth,” Ensign, December 1971, p. 27
Perhaps our covenants, our sacred covenants that we always remember and consistently and earnestly strive to honor, become the blood on our doorposts in anticipation of the latter-day Passover. In ancient Israel, protection against physical death was afforded to the obedient. In our latter-day Israel, protection is available through our covenants against the spiritual perils that are so prevalent amidst the onslaught of sin and evil in an increasingly wicked world. Consider the last verse in the 89th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, which we all know refers to the Word of Wisdom: “And I, the Lord, give unto them a promise, that the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them. Amen.”
This revelation is not talking about the children of Israel. It is talking about us in this latter day as we are obedient to the instruction we have received. In the time of the children of Israel, they offered sacrifice in anticipation of the infinite sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son and participated in the feast of the Passover as a reminder of how the children of Israel were protected from the destroyer on that fateful night. In this latter day we are commanded to offer the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and we feast at the sacrament table each week. — Elder David A. Bednar, BYU-Idaho Devotional, March 22, 2002
The more we obey God, the more we desire to help others. The more we help others, the more we love God and on and on. Conversely, the more we disobey God and the more selfish we are, the less love we feel.
Trying to find lasting love without obeying God is like trying to quench thirst by drinking from an empty cup – you can go through the motions, but the thirst remains. Similarly, trying to find love without helping and sacrificing for others is like trying to live without eating – it is against the laws of nature and cannot succeed. We cannot fake love. It must become part of us. — Elder John H. Groberg, Ensign, November 2004, p. 9
The First Presidency: “When Jesus was on the earth, he said to his people, ‘How oft would I have gathered you, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not; therefore, behold, your house is left unto you desolate.’ (Matt 23:37-8) And if the Saints of this dispensation do not listen to the call of the good Shepherd, and gather according to the holy commandment, the time is not far distant, when the representatives of the Saviour now on earth, may have occasion to say, as he said, ‘Your house is left unto you desolate;’ for plagues, famine, pestilence, and death are beginning to circumscribe the earth; and where will safety be but in Zion – the land of God’s appointing – the home of the Saints; a land choice in products and government above all other lands; therefore, we say unto you, Arise and come forth, and tarry not, for the great day of the Lord is at hand, and who shall abide His coming?” — Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, James R. Clark, Messages of the First Presidency, April 1852, vol. 2, p. 99
The gospel taught by Jesus is a gospel of action. It does not consist in a passive profession of faith. Of himself, Jesus said that he came to do the Father’s will (John 5:30), not to talk about or profess it. He made a parable about the man who heard his sayings and did them not, likening him to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand, and when the rains descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house, it fell because it was built upon the sand. That man who heard his sayings and did them he likened to a wise man who built his house upon the rock, and it withstood the fury of rain and flood and tempest (Matt. 7:24-27).
The Christian church was not established by isolationists who separated themselves from each other or the body of believers. They were formed into worshiping bodies who collectively fought their way to victory against dire persecutions, torture, and death. They constituted themselves a great brotherhood cemented together for the fulfillment of a purpose in which they believed. — Elder Albert E. Bowen, Conference Report, October 1950, pp. 69-75
I take it he [Jesus, referring to Matt. 6:24] understood that in the lives of most men the time would come when they might have to make a choice as to whether or not they should choose God or mammon, and it is my conviction and my testimony that when we make the choice, if we choose to serve the Lord, it is just like forming a partnership with him. He will be on our side, he will see us through; and I wonder sometimes if we really sacrifice when we choose to serve the Lord, rather than to serve mammon, and make the necessary effort and contributions required to show our faith in him. — Elder LeGrand Richards, Conference Report, October 1948, p. 41
There are many upright and faithful who live all the commandments and whose lives and prayers keep the world from destruction. — President Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, June 1971, p. 16
For a man to undertake to live a Saint and walk in darkness is one of the hardest tasks that he can undertake. You cannot imagine a position that will sink a person more deeply in perplexity and trouble than to try to be a Saint without living as a Saint should – without enjoying the spirit of his religion. It is our privilege to live so as to enjoy the spirit of our religion. That is designed to restore us to the presence of the Gods. Gods exist, and we had better strive to be prepared to be one with them. — Discourses of Brigham Young, 227
Neither will you or I believe that anybody loves us and wishes to promote our joy and comfort, so long as that person acts contrary thereto; neither will Jesus. And unless these Latter-day Saints stop now, and go to work and prove by their acts that they are the disciples of the Lord Jesus, He will spew them out. — Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 17:40, 41
Now, my brothers and sisters, there it is. I am now in my 98th year. I have been around a very long time. I have seen much of life, its triumphs and its failures. I am convinced that there are more triumphs than failures.
“We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul-We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.”
The Prophet Joseph wrote a remarkable statement when he penned those few words that make up the thirteenth article of faith. As we ponder them, reflect on them, thoughtfully and carefully consider them, they will become guideposts of our lives. If we do so, we shall be better people. Life will be challenging but more interesting, and the blessings of the Lord will come upon us, for we shall be doing what He would have us do. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, “True to the Faith,” BYU Devotional, September 18, 2007
“And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise. . . . yea, see that ye look to God and live.” (Alma 37:45-47)
Looking heavenward should be our lifelong endeavor. Some foolish persons turn their backs on the wisdom of God and follow the allurement of fickle fashion, the attraction of false popularity, and the thrill of the moment. Their course of conduct resembles the disastrous experience of Esau, who exchanged his birthright for a mess of pottage.
And what are the results of such action? I testify to you today that turning away from God brings broken covenants, shattered dreams, and crushed hopes. Such a quagmire of quicksand I plead with you to avoid. You are of a noble birthright. Eternal life in the kingdom of our Father is your goal. — President Thomas S. Monson, “Guideposts for Life’s Journey,” BYU Devotional, November 13, 2007
We have got to put our trust in God, let the consequences be as they may. And as long as we do this, and as long as we keep the holy covenants we have entered into with him and with one another, Zion will triumph. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, p. 149
The Lord, in comforting the saints, told them that if they would listen to his counsel, the gates of hell should not have power over them, and this promise is the same to you and to me inasmuch as we listen to the counsels of inspired men. As I understand that expression, “the gates of hell,” it means those things which lead to hell, in fact, are the entrances to it. How many things are there that lead to those gates? How many things we have to be warned against and which we have to watch out for, because if we yield to them, they will lead us to the gates of hell! Let us each and every one examine ourselves and know well the path in which we are walking and avoid everything that we know is wrong, and forbidden by the Lord, well knowing that if we yield to such we have not the promise that the gates of hell shall not have power over us; on the other hand, if we perform our duty, live according to the testimony which God has given us, we need not fear, for he will lead us in the paths of righteousness that lead to eternal life. — Elder Anthon H. Lund, Conference Report, April 1913, pp. 10-11
In the account of the barren fig tree the unproductive tree was cursed for its barrenness. What a loss to the individual and to humanity if the vine does not grow, the tree does not bear fruit, the soul does not expand through service! One must live, not only exist; he must do, not merely be; he must grow, not just vegetate. We must use our talents in behalf of our fellowmen, rather than burying them in the tomb of a self-centered life. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, p. 83[The] shield of faith is not produced in a factory but at home in a cottage industry.
The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father. . . .
. . . Therefore our leaders press members to understand that what is most worth doing must be done at home. Some still do not see that too many out-of-home activities, however well intended, leave too little time to make and fit on the shield of faith at home. (See D&C 27:15, 17.) — President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1995, pp. 8-9
“Wherefore, lift up your hearts and rejoice, and gird up your loins, and take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you; Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” (D&C 27:15-17)
Where the Lord plants us, there we are to stand; when he requires us to exert ourselves for the support of these holy principles, that we are to do; that is all we need to trouble ourselves about; the rest our Heavenly Father will take care of. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, p. 175
I feel in my heart to bless the faithful members of the Church. Just as surely as they continue to walk in paths of truth and virtue, they shall have the desires of their hearts in righteousness and shall go on to eternal reward in our Father’s kingdom in due course of time.
I have sought all my days to keep the commandments and do those things which will please the Lord, and I desire to bear testimony of his goodness to me and likewise his goodness to all his children who have made covenant to keep his commandments. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, “Let the Spirit of Oneness Prevail,” General Conference, October 1971
There could not be placed before men more glorious prospects than are placed before the Saints. No mortal man could wish anything greater or that will ultimately prove more satisfactory. Everything that pertains to perfect peace, happiness, glory and exaltation is before the Latter-day Saints. We should enjoy the spirit of this, and keep it actively before us. We should not let our prospects be darkened in the least by doing that which is not acceptable before the Lord. (In Conference Report, Oct. 1898, 3.) — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, Chapter 5, p. 89
I hope we live our religion. I hope we strive to keep the commandments of God. We occupy a very important position in the world. There are very few of the inhabitants of the earth who are laboring to build up Zion. There are very few, apparently, who are able to abide the law of God. There are very few who are willing to sacrifice anything for eternal life and salvation. . . .
Nevertheless, my brethren and sisters, we are laboring and progressing in this work. Zion is advancing, the kingdom of God is rolling on. The progress of this kingdom has never stopped from the day of its organization; it never will until it has accomplished all for which it has been organized and established on earth to accomplish. — The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 130-31
But make no mistake about it, brothers and sisters; in the months and years ahead, events will require of each member that he or she decide whether or not he or she will follow the First Presidency. Members will find it more difficult to halt longer between two opinions (see 1 Kings 18:21).
President Marion G. Romney said, many years ago, that he had “never hesitated to follow the counsel of the Authorities of the Church even though it crossed my social, professional, or political life” (CR, April 1941, p. 123). This is a hard doctrine, but it is a particularly vital doctrine in a society which is becoming more wicked. In short, brothers and sisters, not being ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ includes not being ashamed of the prophets of Jesus Christ. — Elder Neal A. Maxwell, BYU Devotional, 10 Oct 1978
In the words of President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see.” (“Agency and Control,” Ensign, May 1983, 66)
Our choice in this life is not whether we will or will not be subject to any power. Our choice is to which authority we will yield obedience: God’s or Satan’s. As Lehi stated, it is a choice between liberty and captivity (see 2 Nephi 2:27). If it is not one, it is necessarily the other. — Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “You Are Free,” Ensign, March 2013, p. 40
The essence of true membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is this – that you and I, independent of every other person in the world, will live our religion and do our duty, no matter what other people do. As Joshua expressed himself in olden times, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) The true measure of our standing in this Church is that we will do right, no matter who else does right or does wrong. Therefore let us seek to get that spirit upon us and live by that rule. — Teachings Of Presidents Of The Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 416
“Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me; for his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith. For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you; yea, and the Lord God will disperse the powers of darkness from before you, and cause the heavens to shake for your good, and his name’s glory.” (D&C 21:4-6)
To you Latter-day Saints everywhere, that promise will be yours if you will follow the leadership the Lord has placed within the Church, giving heed to their counsel in patience and faith; this promise to you and yours is that the gates of hell will not prevail against you, that the Lord will disperse the powers of darkness from before you and will cause the heavens to shake for your good and his name’s glory. — President Harold B. Lee, “The Way to Eternal Life,” Ensign, November 1971, pp. 9-17
The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p. 161
Our safety and happiness and our wealth depend upon our obedience to God and His laws, and our exaltation in time and eternity depends upon the same thing. If we have means placed in our hands we will ask our Father to enable us to do what is right with it, and, as I have said, we will ask Him for our daily bread, and thank Him for it; just the same as the children of Israel did. . . . The angels do not feed us exactly with manna, but God does take care of us, and I feel all the day long like blessing the name of the God of Israel; and if we fear God and work righteousness, . . . we, the people of Zion, will be the richest of all people. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, p. 36
There are certain principles established of God, which being understood and observed, will put men in possession of spiritual knowledge, gifts, and blessings. In early ages of the world, also in the days of the apostles, people came into possession of spiritual powers and various privileges by obtaining an understanding of and faithfully attending to certain rules which the Lord established. — The Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow, p. 48
The devil is ready to blind our eyes with the things of this world, and he would gladly rob us of eternal life, the greatest of all gifts. But it is not given to the devil, and no power will ever be given to him to overthrow any Latter-day Saint that is keeping the commandments of God. There is no power given to the adversary of men’s souls to destroy us if we are doing our duty. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant, p. 27
All persons are entitled to their agency, for God has so ordained it. He has constituted mankind moral agents, and given them power to choose good or evil; to seek after that which is good, by pursuing the pathway of holiness in this life, which brings peace of mind, and joy in the Holy Ghost here, and a fulness of joy and happiness at His right hand hereafter; or to pursue an evil course, going on in sin and rebellion against God, thereby bringing condemnation to their souls in this world, and an eternal loss in the world to come. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p. 213
I give you my testimony that the happiness of the Latter-day Saints, the peace of the Latter-day Saints, the progress of the Latter-day Saints, the prosperity of the Latter-day Saints, and the eternal salvation and exaltation of this people lie in walking in obedience to the counsels of the priesthood of God. We sing, “We thank thee, O God, for a prophet to guide us in these latter days” (Hymns, 1985, no. 19). Let us always follow that guidance. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign, July 1995
We were with Christ at the creation of the world, and, as he did, entered into obligations; those obligations are devolving upon us now. We are here to keep our second estate, and our utmost labors should be to regain that glory we had there, when the morning stars sang together. — The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p. 14
When we think of eternal life, what is the picture that comes to mind? I believe that if we could create in our minds a clear and true picture of eternal life, we would start behaving differently. We would not need to be prodded to do the many things involved with enduring to the end, like doing our home teaching or visiting teaching, attending our meetings, going to the temple, living moral lives, saying our prayers, or reading the scriptures. We would want to do all these things and more because we realize they will prepare us to go somewhere we yearn to go. — Elder L. Tom Perry, Ensign, May 2008
I believe that God will always make a way where there is no way. I believe that if we will walk in obedience to the commandments of God, if we will follow the counsel of the priesthood, he will open a way even where there appears to be no way. — President Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Report, October 1971
Yes, brothers and sisters, the mission of the Church is glorious – to invite all of us to come unto Christ through proclaiming the gospel, perfecting our lives, and redeeming our dead. As we come unto Christ, we bless our own lives, those of our families, and our Father in Heaven’s children, both living and dead. . . .
I pray that we will be obedient to God, learn His will and do it, and, above all, that we will keep the first and great commandment-to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. — President Ezra Taft Benson, “Come Unto Christ,” General Conference, April 1988
What a glorious promise! . . . There is no need for you or for me, in this enlightened age when the fulness of the gospel has been restored, to sail uncharted seas or to travel unmarked roads in search of truth. A loving Heavenly Father has plotted our course and provided an unfailing guide – even obedience. A knowledge of truth and the answers to our greatest questions come to us as we are obedient to the commandments of God. — President Thomas S. Monson, “Obedience Brings Blessings,” Ensign, May 2013
The whole history of the dealings of the Lord with man has shown the benefits and blessings of obeying the Lord and keeping his commandments. The history of the dealings of the Lord with ancient Israel shows that he blessed the righteous and cursed the wicked and brought his judgments upon them. Whenever Israel harkened to the teachings of Moses and the prophets, they prospered, and their enemies were a prey unto them. But when they departed from the Lord and set up altars to Baal, and committed sin, the Lord forsook them. — The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 224
We have learned this, that God lives; we have learned that when we call upon him he hears our prayers; we have learned that it is the height of human happiness to fear God and observe his laws and keep his commandments; we have learned that it is a duty devolving upon us to try and make all men happy and intelligent, which happiness and intelligence can only be obtained through obedience to the laws of God. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: John Taylor, p. 35
I testify to you this day that the time will come when every man, woman, and child will look into the Savior’s loving eyes. On that day, we will know with a surety the worth of our decision to straightway follow Him. — Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Follow Me,” Ensign, May 2002, p. 17
Every problem that afflicts humankind can be solved if we can only talk to the Lord and then, equally important, listen when the Lord answers. Thus, in the management of affairs of the Church, those who believe that the Lord reveals himself today are not worried. They are waiting until the Lord speaks, and then obediently they follow. But there will always be detractors in the Church who will resist anything that fails to harmonize with their own ideas. — President Harold B. Lee, “God’s Kingdom – A Kingdom of Order,” Ensign, January 1971
The work of devils and of darkness is never more certain to be defeated than when men and women, not finding it easy or pleasant but still determined to do the Father’s will, look out upon their lives from which it may seem every trace of God has vanished, and asking why they have been so forsaken, still bow their heads and obey. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Will of the Father in All Things,” BYU Devotional, January 17, 1989
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. That is why Joseph Smith gave those lectures on faith, so we would understand the nature of godliness and in the process have enough confidence to come unto Christ and find peace to our souls. There is not a single loophole or curve ball or open trench to fall into for the man or woman who walks the path that Christ walks. When he says, “Come, follow me” (Luke 18:22), 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. — Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, CES Fireside, March 1997
From the very beginning to the present time, a fundamental question remains to be answered by each who runs the race of life. Shall I falter or shall I finish? On the answer await the blessings of joy and happiness here in mortality and eternal life in the world to come. — Elder Thomas S. Monson, “Finishers Wanted,” Ensign, July 1972
Our special calling is to build up Zion, and prepare the people to stand in holy places while the judgments of the Lord are being poured out upon the wicked. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff, p. 31
Conform your lives to the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ and when calamities threaten, you will feel the support of his all powerful arm. Make your homes the abiding place of the spirit of the Lord; let them be holy places, where the adversary cannot come; listen to the still small voice prompting you to works of righteousness. It is my prayer for one and all that you be not swerved from the path that leads to the knowledge and power of God, the heritage of the faithful, even life everlasting. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, p. 262
The Lord, knowing what is best for you and for me and for every individual, has given to us laws, which, if we obey, will make us more Godlike, will fit and qualify and prepare us to go back and dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father and to receive that plaudit: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” [Matthew 25:21] — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant
The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation in the celestial kingdom to all those who will believe and obey it. There are some who seem to have the idea that if they believe it and their names are on the records, that is sufficient; but that isn’t sufficient. Don’t let them go on in that blind thoughtlessness. Reach out after those who are in the Church and those who are out of it, and seek in every way to share the blessings of the gospel of our Lord with them, his children. — The Teachings of George Albert Smith, p. 154
No one can state too plainly or emphasize too strongly this eternal truth that salvation is in Christ and that it comes because of his atoning sacrifice. Nor can we set forth too clearly the gospel truth that we also must do certain things to be saved.
We must believe in Christ and pattern our lives after him. We must be baptized as he was baptized. We must worship the Father as he did. We must do the will of the Father as he did. We must seek to do good and work righteousness as he did. He is our Exemplar, the great Prototype of salvation. . . . we must so live as to acquire the attributes of godliness and become the kind of people who can enjoy the glory and wonders of the celestial kingdom. — President Joseph Fielding Smith, “The Plan of Salvation,” Ensign, November 1971
Let us realize that we are not to live to ourselves, but to God; by so doing the greatest blessings will rest upon us both in time and in eternity, — Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 4:231[Our] obedience must be voluntary; it must not be forced, there must be no coercion. Men must not be constrained against their will to obey the will of God; they must obey it because they know it to be right, because they desire to do it, and because it is their pleasure to do it. God delights in the willing heart. — Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith, p. 269
How can we receive the personal blessing of the Master’s divine and exalting influence in our own lives? . . . May I suggest five beginning, essential measures which will greatly clear the channel for a daily flow of living water from the very source of the spring, even the redeemer Himself.
1st: A daily communion involving prayer.
2nd: A daily selfless service to another.
3rd: A daily striving for an increased obedience and perfection in our lives.
4th: A daily acknowledgment of His divinity.
5th: A daily study of the scriptures.
— Elder James E. Faust, Ensign, November 1976, p. 58
The values of the world wrongly teach that “it’s all about me.” That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth. It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for His children. The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that this life is all about what we can become. — Elder Dallin H. Oaks, General Conference, May 2009
How long? For a day? Keep the commandments of the Lord for a week? Observe and do his will for a month or a year? There is no promise to any individual, that I have any knowledge of, that he shall receive the reward of the just, unless he is faithful to the end. If we fully understand and faithfully carry out in our lives the saying of Jesus, “If ye love me, keep my commandments,” we shall be prepared to go back and dwell in the presence of the Father and the Son. — Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 221
The most honorable labor that any person can perform, is to do that which I have attempted to describe to you – to improve ourselves; to be Latter-day Saints in deed and in truth, to live our holy religion. When we arise in the morning, to examine ourselves, to see if there is anything that is in opposition to the mind and will of God within ourselves; and through the day to pursue the same course of self-examination. And at night before we retire to rest, to bow ourselves before our Father and God in secret, and pour out our souls in prayer before him, supplicating him to show unto us wherein we have done wrong during the day, wherein we have come short in thought, word and deed; and then repent of the same before we lie down to rest, and to obtain from him a forgiveness of our sins. And then, going on day after day, week after week, and year after year until the end shall come. If we do this, the promises of God are sure, and they cannot fail. — Elder George Q. Cannon, Journal of Discourses 21:72
The work of God is moving forward in many parts of the world like it never has before, particularly in countries where the economic standards are not high and new members are still learning the principle of faith and how it relates to blessings. To be faithful members of this Church requires sacrifice and consecration. It means that worldly pleasures and earthly possessions should not be our principal aim in life, because the gift of eternal life requires a willingness to sacrifice all we have and are in order to obtain it. — President James E. Faust, Ensign, November 1998, p. 54
Whether we are poor or rich, if we neglect our prayers and our sacrament meetings, we neglect the Spirit of the Lord, and a spirit of darkness comes over us. — Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 170