“Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed.
“By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants?
I repeat: we need the gospel and the Church. In fact, the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel.
“We often wonder: How can someone be fully active in the Church as a youth and then not be when they are older? How can an adult who has regularly attended and served stop coming? How can a person who was disappointed by a leader or another member allow that to end their Church participation? Perhaps the reason is they were not sufficiently converted to the gospel—the things of eternity.” (Donald L. Hallstrom, “Converted to His Gospel through His Church”, General Conference April 2012)
“It is common to confuse leadership with telling people what to do.” “...a true leader does not give direction and expect it to be followed simply because of position. Rather, priesthood leadership is about invitation. A kind invitation, based in pure knowledge and love unfeigned, will always be a greater motivation than ‘Because I said so.’” (Craig Merrill, “Leadership the Lord’s Way”, Ensign January 2012)
“I sometimes have said to my friends when they seemed to be at the crossroads, uncertain as to which way they wanted to go, ‘Today is the beginning of eternal happiness or eternal disappointment for you.’” (George Albert Smith, In Conference Report, Oct. 1944, 94)
Some ask things like, “Why would a righteous God allow this or that hard thing to happen us?” Some might also ask, “Why would a righteous father not buy a snowblower and instead buy snow shovels for his kids, intentionally inflicting hardship on them that he has the power to remove? The answer is the same. It is to make our children stronger.
Enos, Jarom, Omni, Words of Mormon
1 Nephi 9:2-5
2 And now, as I have spoken concerning these plates, behold they are not the plates upon which I make a full account of the history of my people; for the plates upon which I make a full account of my people I have given the name of Nephi; wherefore, they are called the plates of Nephi, after mine own name; and these plates also are called the plates of Nephi.
3 Nevertheless, I have received a commandment of the Lord that I should make these plates, for the special purpose that there should be an account engraven of the ministry of my people.
4 Upon the other plates should be engraven an account of the reign of the kings, and the wars and contentions of my people; wherefore these plates are for the more part of the ministry; and the other plates are for the more part of the reign of the kings and the wars and contentions of my people.
5 Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.
2 Nephi 4:15-16
15 And upon these I write the things of my soul, and many of the scriptures which are engraven upon the plates of brass. For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them, and writeth them for the learning and the profit of my children.
16 Behold, my soul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and my heart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.
9 Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them.
10 And while I was thus struggling in the spirit, behold, the voice of the Lord came into my mind again, saying: I will visit thy brethren according to their diligence in keeping my commandments. I have given unto them this land, and it is a holy land; and I curse it not save it be for the cause of iniquity; wherefore, I will visit thy brethren according as I have said; and their transgressions will I bring down with sorrow upon their own heads.
11 And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites.
After enos gets forgiveness of his sins his thoughts turn to his brethren.
The numbers of the Nephites are still small at the time of Enos. When he prays for the Nephites or his brethren, he is talking about his cousins.
The people of Mosiah find the city of Zarahemla which was established by Mulek. Mulek came out of Jerusalem at the same time as Lehi during the reign of Zedekiah. Mulek was one of Zedekiah’s sons.
A missionary that just returned from the Paris France mission spoke to us.
He said to the young men that you need to prepare for your mission daily. He said that it is hard to be prepared adequately and things will be new to them in the mission field, but they should be trying anyway.
The missionary's father spoke as well.
“...feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to provide for the widow, to dry up the tear of the orphan, to comfort the afflicted, whether in this church, or in any other, or in no church at all, wherever he finds them” (Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, 15 Mar. 1842, 732)
From the Bulletin
“Some people say, “I can’t afford to pay tithing.’ Those who place their faith in the Lord’s promises say, ‘I can’t afford not to pay tithing.’ “ (Dallin H Oaks, Tithing, Ensign, May 1994, 34)