Elder Dalin H. Oaks -
Love and Law
"Some seem to value God’s love because of their hope that His love is so great and so unconditional that it will mercifully excuse them from obeying His laws. In contrast, those who understand God’s plan for His children know that God’s laws are invariable, which is another great evidence of His love for His children. Mercy cannot rob justice,2 and those who obtain mercy are “they who have kept the covenant and observed the commandment” (D&C 54:6).
"We read again and again in the Bible and in modern scriptures of God’s anger with the wicked3 and of His acting in His wrath4 against those who violate His laws."
"The love of God is so universal that His perfect plan bestows many gifts on all of His children, even those who disobey His laws. Mortality is one such gift, bestowed on all who qualified in the War in Heaven.6 Another unconditional gift is the universal resurrection: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). Many other mortal gifts are not tied to our personal obedience to law. As Jesus taught, our Heavenly Father “maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
"If a person understands the teachings of Jesus, he or she cannot reasonably conclude that our loving Heavenly Father or His divine Son believes that Their love supersedes Their commandments. Consider these examples.
When Jesus began His ministry, His first message was repentance.10
"When He exercised loving mercy by not condemning the woman taken in adultery, He nevertheless told her, 'Go, and sin no more' (John 8:11).
"Jesus taught, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)."
Elder Robert D. Hales -
Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ
"From their testimonies, recorded in holy scripture, we know that '[God] created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness.'3 Some people may be surprised to learn that we look like God. One prominent religious scholar has even taught that imagining God in the form of man is creating a graven image and is idolatrous and blasphemous.4 But God Himself said, 'Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.'5
"The use of the words us and our in this scripture also teaches us about the relationship between the Father and the Son. God further taught, 'By mine Only Begotten [Son] I created these things.'6 The Father and the Son are separate and distinct individuals—as any father and son always are. This may be one reason the name of God in Hebrew, Elohim, is not singular but plural."
Elder Jorge F. Zeballos -
Attempting the Impossible
"God will not require more than the best we can give because that would not be just, but neither can He accept less than that because that would not be just either."
Elder Tad R. Callister -
Joseph Smith—Prophet of the Restoration
"Suppose for a moment someone told you these three facts about a New Testament personality and nothing more: first, the Savior said of this man, “O thou of little faith” (Matthew 14:31); second, this man, in a moment of anger, cut off an ear of the high priest’s servant; and third, this man denied knowing who the Savior was on three occasions, even though he had walked with Him daily. If that is all you knew or focused upon, you might have thought this man a scoundrel or a no-good, but in the process you would have failed to come to know one of the greatest men who ever walked the earth: Peter the Apostle."
"First, does God love us as much today as He loved the people to whom He spoke in New Testament times? Second, does God have the same power today as He did then? And third, do we need Him as much today as they needed Him anciently? If the answers to those questions are yes and if God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, as the scriptures so declare (see Mormon 9:9), then there is little doubt: God does speak to man today exactly as Joseph Smith testified."
"Many teach that there is one heaven and one hell. Joseph Smith restored the truth that there are multiple heavens. Paul spoke of a man who was caught up into the third heaven (see 2 Corinthians 12:2). Could there be a third heaven if there was no second heaven or first heaven?"
"If someone turns from these restored doctrines, where will he go to learn the true nature of God as taught in the grove of trees? Where will he go to find the doctrines of the premortal existence, baptism for the dead, and eternal marriage? And where will he go to find the sealing powers that can bind husbands and wives and children beyond the grave?"
Elder Kent D. Watson -
Being Temperate in All Things
"Tempered glass, like tempered steel, undergoes a well-controlled heating process which increases strength. Thus, when tempered glass is under stress, it will not easily break into jagged shards that can injure.
Likewise, a temperate soul—one who is humble and full of love—is also a person of increased spiritual strength. With increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation. We learn to control, or temper, our anger, vanity, and pride. With increased spiritual strength, we can protect ourselves from the dangerous excesses and destructive addictions of today’s world."
"Likewise, a temperate soul—one who is humble and full of love—is also a person of increased spiritual strength. With increased spiritual strength, we are able to develop self-mastery and to live with moderation. We learn to control, or temper, our anger, vanity, and pride. With increased spiritual strength, we can protect ourselves from the dangerous excesses and destructive addictions of today’s world.
"We all seek peace of mind, and we all desire security and happiness for our families. If we look for silver linings in this past year’s economic downturn, perhaps the trials some have faced have taught us that peace of mind, security, and happiness do not come from buying a home or accumulating possessions for which the debt incurred is larger than our savings or income can afford."
Elder Neil L. Anderson -
“Repent . . . That I May Heal You”
"When we sin, we turn away from God. When we repent, we turn back toward God."
"For most, repentance is more a journey than a one-time event. It is not easy. To change is difficult. It requires running into the wind, swimming upstream. Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.”18 Repentance is turning away from some things, such as dishonesty, pride, anger, and impure thoughts, and turning toward other things, such as kindness, unselfishness, patience, and spirituality. It is “re-turning” toward God."
President Boyd K. Packer -
Prayer and Promptings
"The Prophet Joseph Smith promised that 'all beings who have bodies have power over those who have not.'9"