Sunday, October 04, 2015

This Week at Church October 2015 General Conference

Women’s Conference
“God has a plan for each one of us, and our individual purpose began long before we came to this earth.”

‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ teaches that each one of us ‘is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents’ and ‘each has a divine nature and destiny.’

There are two important days in a woman’s life: The day she is born and the day she finds out why.”(Elaine Cannon, in “‘Let Me Soar,’ Women Counseled,” Church News, Oct. 17, 1981, 3.)

Our divine nature has nothing to do with our personal accomplishments, the status we achieve, the number of marathons we run, or our popularity and self-esteem. Our divine nature comes from God. It was established in an existence that preceded our birth and will continue on into eternity.

Looking out through a window, not just into a mirror, allows us to see ourselves as His.

Often the first Primary song we learn is ‘I Am a Child of God.’8 Now it is time to take that beloved phrase ‘I am a child of God’ and add the words ‘Therefore, what?’ We might even ask questions such as these: ‘What will I do to live my life as a child of God?’ ‘How can I develop the divine nature that is within me?’

The divine nature within us ignites our desire to reach out to others and prompts us to act.

It is through the whisperings of the Spirit that the divine nature of a doubter, after gasping for breath, finds the peace to breathe again.

“The commandment to multiply and replenish the earth … is essential … and is the source of human happiness. Through the righteous exercise of this [creative] power, we may come close to our Father in Heaven and experience a fulness of joy, even godhood. The power of procreation is not an incidental part of the plan; it is the plan.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Plan of Happiness,”Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 26–27.)

Alma 30:18
18 And thus he did preach unto them, leading away the hearts of many, causing them to lift up their heads in their wickedness, yea, leading away many women, and also men, to commit whoredoms—telling them that when a man was dead, that was the end thereof.

We cannot play with Satan’s fiery darts and not get burned.

When we are involved in watching, reading, or experiencing anything that is below our Heavenly Father’s standards, it weakens us.

Doctrine and Covenants 58:42
42 Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more.

There are so many of us who are thrashing around … with feelings of guilt, not knowing quite how to escape. You escape by accepting the Atonement of Christ, and all that was heartache can turn to beauty and love and eternity.”(Boyd K. Packer, Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 28)

There are also great blessings and protecting promises associated with the proper wearing of our temple garment. I have come to feel that I am symbolically putting on royal robes given me by my Heavenly Father. I testify, sisters, that when we strive to wear the garment properly, our Father recognizes it as a great sign of our love and devotion to Him. It is a sign of the covenants we have made with Him, and He has promised, ‘I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.7

Sisters, I do not know why we have the many trials that we have, but it is my personal feeling that the reward is so great, so eternal and everlasting, so joyful and beyond our understanding that in that day of reward, we may feel to say to our merciful, loving Father, ‘Was that all that was required?’”

Sisters, in this cause we are all valued. We are all needed.

We are the cause for which Jesus Christ suffered, bled from every pore, and in perfect love gave His life.

The pioneers of the present, meaning you and me, also press forward in faith, ‘to labor in [the Lord’s] vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men.’”

We join with faithful sisters of the past, of the present, and of the rising generation when we join together in the work of salvation!

We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but … saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.” (John A. Widtsoe, “The Worth of Souls,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Oct. 1934, 189)

Righteousness emanates out to the world when we understand what God wants us to do and then we do it.

How magnificent will be the future as the Almighty rolls on His glorious work … through the selfless [service] of those whose hearts are filled with love for the Redeemer of the world.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stay the Course—Keep the Faith,” Ensign, Nov. 1995, 72)

“We agreed, right then and there, to be not only saviors for ourselves but … saviors for the whole human family. We went into a partnership with the Lord. The working out of the plan became then not merely the Father’s work, and the Savior’s work, but also our work. The least of us, the humblest, is in partnership with the Almighty in achieving the purpose of the eternal plan of salvation.”(John A. Widtsoe, “The Worth of Souls,” Utah Genealogical and Historical Magazine, Oct. 1934, 189)

“...the most important work we can do is to prepare for marriage and family.

We honor the Father’s plan and glorify God when we strengthen and ennoble those relationships in the new and everlasting covenant of marriage.

This sacred work is about developing a broken heart, a contrite spirit, and a willingness to use our divine gifts and unique talents to do the Lord’s work in His way.

Whatever our circumstances, wherever we are along the path toward salvation, we unite as one in our commitment to the Savior. We sustain one another in His service.

Elder Dieter F Uchtdorf, A Summer with Great-Aunt Rose
His parables invited His disciples to embrace truths not just with their minds but also with their hearts and to connect eternal principles with their everyday lives.

And every evening as the two of them knelt by Eva’s bed to pray, Great-Aunt Rose would say the most beautiful prayers, thanking her Heavenly Father for the blue jays and the spruce trees, the sunsets and the stars, and the “wonder of being alive.” It sounded to Eva as though Rose knew God as a friend.

“Over time, Eva made a surprising discovery: Great-Aunt Rose was quite possibly the happiest person she had ever known!
But how could that be?

“What did she have to be happy about?

“She had never married, she had no children, she had no one to keep her company except that creepy cat, and she had a hard time doing simple things like tying her shoes and walking up stairs.”

“The days of summer were passing more quickly now. Before Eva knew it, Great-Aunt Rose said it would soon be time for Eva to return home. Though Eva had been looking forward to that moment since the day she arrived, she wasn’t quite sure how to feel about it now. She realized she was actually going to miss this strange old house with the stalker cat and her beloved great-aunt Rose.”

“‘But,’ Eva said, ‘you can’t just flip a switch and go from sad to happy.’
“‘No, perhaps not,’ Aunt Rose smiled gently, ‘but God didn’t design us to be sad. He created us to have joy!3 So if we trust Him, He will help us to notice the good, bright, hopeful things of life. And sure enough, the world will become brighter. No, it doesn’t happen instantly, but honestly, how many good things do? Seems to me that the best things, like homemade bread or orange marmalade, take patience and work.’”

“‘Dear Eva, do you really think that my life is perfect?’ Aunt Rose sat with Eva on the overstuffed sofa. ‘There was a time when I was so discouraged I didn’t want to go on.’

“‘You?’ Eva asked.

“Aunt Rose nodded. ‘There were so many things I wished for in my life.’ As she spoke, a sadness entered her voice that Eva had never heard before. ‘Most of them never happened. It was one heartbreak after another. One day I realized that it would never be the way I had hoped for. That was a depressing day. I was ready to give up and be miserable.’”
‘‘It’s not fair’ was the song I sang over and over in my head.”

“I could hang my head and drag my feet on the dusty road of self-pity, or I could have a little faith, put on a bright dress, slip on my dancing shoes, and skip down the path of life, singing as I went.”

“Faith in the Savior taught me that no matter what happened in the past, my story could have a happy ending.”

Revelation 21:3-4
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

“Are you saying that being happy means just looking forward to happiness in the future? Is all our happiness in eternity? Can’t some of it happen now?”

“I exercised faith in God’s promises by filling my life with meaningful things.”

“...most of those busy, unhappy people have forgotten the one thing that matters most in all the world—the thing Jesus said is the heart of His gospel.”

“And one day, as she was standing in her own home, admiring a painting of a girl in pioneer dress skipping down a bright blue path, she realized that somehow she had reached the same age her great-aunt Rose was during that remarkable summer.”

Saturday Morning Session
President Dieter F Uchtdorf, It Works Wonderfully!
“Sometimes, the truth may just seem too straightforward, too plain, and too simple for us to fully appreciate its great value. So we set aside what we have experienced and know to be true in pursuit of more mysterious or complicated information. Hopefully we will learn that when we chase after shadows, we are pursuing matters that have little substance and value.”

14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

“I know firsthand how the gospel can invigorate and renew one’s spirit—how it can fill our hearts with hope and our minds with light.  I know for myself how the fruits of the gospel of Jesus Christ can transform lives from the ordinary and dreary to the extraordinary and sublime.”

“This beautiful gospel is so simple a child can grasp it, yet so profound and complex that it will take a lifetime—even an eternity—of study and discovery to fully understand it.”

“The more we walk in this path of discipleship, the more we desire to learn the word of God.”

“I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel.”

“...start where you are.
Sometimes we feel discouraged because we are not “more” of something—more spiritual, respected, intelligent, healthy, rich, friendly, or capable. Naturally, there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve. God created us to grow and progress. But remember, our weaknesses can help us to be humble and turn us to Christ, who will ‘make weak things become strong.’4  Satan, on the other hand, uses our weaknesses to the point that we are discouraged from even trying.”
“God will help you become something greater than you ever thought possible. And you will discover that the gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed working in your life. It works.”

“I pray that we will focus on ‘the simplicity that is in Christ’18 and allow His grace to lift and carry us during our journey from where we are now to our glorious destiny in our Father’s presence.”

Elder M Russell Ballard, God Is at the Helm
“It has always been a challenge for the world to accept living prophets and apostles, but it is so essential to do so in order to fully understand the Atonement and the teachings of Jesus Christ…”

“Too many people think Church leaders and members should be perfect or nearly perfect. They forget that the Lord’s grace is sufficient to accomplish His work through mortals.  Our leaders have the best intentions, but sometimes we make mistakes. This is not unique to Church relationships, as the same thing occurs in our relationships among friends, neighbors, and workplace associates and even between spouses and in families.

“Looking for human weakness in others is rather easy. However, we make a serious mistake by noticing only the human nature of one another and then failing to see God’s hand working through those He has called.”

“The plan [of salvation] also provides us with a unique, eternal perspective that we are God’s spirit children.”

“Another important doctrine that we should cling to is to observe the Sabbath day. This helps us remain unspotted from the world, provides us with physical rest, and gives each of us the spiritual refreshment of worshipping the Father and the Son every Sunday.6When we delight in the Sabbath day, it is a sign of our love for Them.7

“This same spirit of worship should permeate our monthly fast and testimony meetings. This sacrament meeting is for members to briefly express gratitude, love, and appreciation for our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the restored gospel and to bear personal witness of these things. Fast and testimony meeting is a time to share brief inspirational thoughts and bear solemn testimony. It is not a time to give a speech.

“Young children should practice sharing their testimonies in Primary and with their parents in family home evening gatherings until they understand the important meaning of a testimony.”

“The joy we experience in this life will be in direct proportion to how well our lives are centered on the teachings, example, and atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ.”

My Thoughts
We often try to do life our own way without instruction and we can’t figure out why life doesn’t work for us.

“Despite their hardships, they were able to live after the manner of happiness because they were centered in Christ and His gospel.”

Sister Neill F Marriott, Yielding Our Hearts to God
“Based on this knowledge of the Lord’s mercy and power, my husband, children, and I chose this family motto: ‘It will all work out.’ Yet how can we say those words to one another when deep troubles come and answers aren’t readily available?”

“Our family motto doesn’t say, ‘It will all work out now.’ It speaks of our hope in the eternal outcome—not necessarily of present results. Scripture says, ‘Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good.’5 This doesn’t mean all things are good, but for the meek and faithful, things—both positive and negative—work together for good, and the timing is the Lord’s. ”

“When we open ourselves to the Spirit, we learn God’s way and feel His will. During the sacrament, which I call the heart of the Sabbath, I have found that after I pray for forgiveness of sins, it is instructive for me to ask Heavenly Father, ‘Father, is there more?’”

“For example, perhaps I have a carefully guarded resentment toward someone. When I ask if there is more to confess, that ‘secret’ comes clearly to my memory. In essence, the Holy Ghost is whispering, ‘You honestly asked if there was more, and here it is. Your resentment diminishes your progress and damages your ability to have healthy relationships. You can let this go.’ Oh, it is hard work—we may feel quite justified in our animosity—but yielding to the Lord’s way is the only way to lasting happiness.”

“True worship begins when our hearts are right before the Father and the Son. What is our heart condition today? ”

“The result of sacrificing our heart, or our will, to the Lord is that we receive the spiritual guidance we need.”

“[Jesus Christ’s] way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.”

“Can we love Jesus Christ and His way more than we love ourselves and our own agenda?”

“So trusting my all to thy tender care,
And knowing thou lovest me,
I’ll do thy will with a heart sincere:
I’ll be what you want me to be.” (“I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go,” Hymns, no. 270.)

Larry R Lawrence, What Lack I Yet?
“...we need to ask the Lord for directions along the way. We have to ask some difficult questions, like ‘What do I need to change?’ ‘How can I improve?’ ‘What weakness needs strengthening?’”

“The young man was stunned; he had never considered such a sacrifice. He was humble enough to ask the Lord but not faithful enough to follow the divine counsel he was given. We must be willing to act when we receive an answer.”

“A perfect time to ask, ‘What lack I yet?’ is when we take the sacrament.”
“In this reverent atmosphere, as our thoughts are turned heavenward, the Lord can gently tell us what we need to work on next.”

28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

“Every one of us, if we would reach perfection, must [at] one time ask ourselves this question, ‘What lack I yet?’” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee(2000), 197)

My Thoughts
Haven’t we all received nudgings like these people, even if they are not so strongly worded.
“The Holy Ghost doesn’t tell us to improve everything at once. If He did, we would become discouraged and give up. The Spirit works with us at our own speed, one step at a time, or as the Lord has taught, ‘line upon line, precept upon precept,’”

“I would like to suggest that each of you participate in a spiritual exercise sometime soon, perhaps even tonight while saying your prayers. Humbly ask the Lord the following question: “What is keeping me from progressing?’”

“I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. ... A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord’s face and know that he is.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Give the Lord Your Loyalty,”Ensign, Mar. 1980, 4; Tambuli, Feb. 1981, 47)

“Our hearts can be filled with anguish when we see a loved one suffer the pains of a horrible disease.

Francisco J Vinas, The Pleasing Word of God
“Through our experience in life, we learn that joy in this world is not full, but in Jesus Christ our joy is full (see D&C 101:36). He will give us strength so we will not have to suffer any manner of afflictions save they are swallowed up in His joy (see Alma 31:38).

“The death of someone we love can leave an empty place in our soul.”
“The suffering and distress endured by people of this earth is the result of unrepented and unremitted sin. … Just as suffering and sorrow attend sin, so happiness and joy attend forgiveness of sins” (President Marion G Romney, in Conference Report, Apr. 1959, 11).

“The moment we begin to remember Him and keep His commandments every day—and not just on the Sabbath day—is when the remission of our sins begins to gradually take effect and His promise of having His Spirit with us begins to be fulfilled.”

“What might be some of those vanities that can interfere in the process of receiving a remission of our sins and that are associated with keeping the Sabbath day holy?
Some examples include arriving late for sacrament meeting without a valid reason; arriving, without previously having examined ourselves, to eat the bread and drink from the cup unworthily (see 1 Corinthians 11:28); and arriving without first having confessed our sins and having asked God for forgiveness for them.
“Other examples: being irreverent by exchanging messages on our electronic devices, leaving the meeting after partaking of the sacrament, and engaging in activities in our homes that are inappropriate for that sacred day.”
Isaiah 58:13-14 (Emphasis added)
13 ¶ If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

“With the influence of the Holy Ghost, we will not be offended, nor will we offend others; we will feel happier, and our minds will be cleaner. Our love for others will increase. We will be more willing to forgive and spread happiness to those around us.

“We will feel grateful to see how others progress, and we will seek the good in others.

“It is my prayer that we may experience the joy that comes from striving to live in righteousness and that we may keep the companionship of the Holy Ghost in our lives through sincere and continuous repentance. We will become better people, and our families will be blessed.”

“The adversary has been successful in planting a great myth in the minds of many people. He and his emissaries declare that the real choice we have is between happiness and pleasure now in this life and happiness in a life to come (which the adversary asserts may not exist).”

‘...we must be righteous, follow rules, and be prepared for difficult situations.”

”...the storms and temptations of this life are often unpredictable. But this we know: they will come! In order to overcome the challenges and temptations that each of us inevitably faces, it will require righteous preparation and the use of divinely provided protections. We must determine to be temple worthy regardless of what befalls us. If we are prepared, we shall not fear.”

Alma 40:12
12 And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.

“Unfortunately I see little evidence that people are actually happier in the emerging dispensation, or that their children are better off, or that the cause of social justice is well-served, or that declining marriage rates and thinning family trees … promise anything save greater loneliness for the majority, and stagnation overall.” (Ross Douthat, “Gay Conservatism and Straight Liberation,” New York Times, June 28, 2015, Sunday Review section, 11)

“How, then, do we prepare in such a difficult time?
“First: Righteous Self-Control and Conduct
“Second: Honoring the Sabbath Will Increase Righteousness and Be a Protection for the Family
“Third: Divine Protections Are Provided When We Are Righteous”

“I believe that sometimes our loving Father in Heaven must view us with the amusement we feel when we watch our own small children as they learn and grow. We all stumble and fall as we gain experience.”

“...honoring the Sabbath is a form of righteousness that will bless and strengthen families, connect us with our Creator, and increase happiness. The Sabbath can help separate us from that which is frivolous, inappropriate, or immoral. It allows us to be in the world but not of the world.”

Ezekiel 20:20
20 And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.

“In the last six months, a most remarkable change has occurred in the Church. This has been in the response of the members to renewed emphasis on the Sabbath by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and to President Russell M. Nelson’s challenge to make the Sabbath a delight.” (Russell M. Nelson, “The Sabbath Is a Delight,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2015, 129–32)

“We may hit the bottom and even be tipped over on our sides. Amid such trials, I promise you that living and maintaining temple-worthy lives will hold together all that really matters.”

Saturday Afternoon Session
Three new apostles (Ronald A. Rasband, Gary E. Stevenson, and Dale G. Renlund) were sustained.

“Much has been written and said about today’s generation of young adults. Research shows that many resist organized religion. Many are in debt and unemployed. A majority like the idea of marriage, but many are reluctant to take that step. A growing number don’t want children. Without the gospel and inspired guidance, many are wandering in strange paths and losing their way.”

“That eternal plan includes holding fast to the iron rod—cleaving to God’s word and the word of His prophets. We need to tighten our grip on the rod that leads us back to Him. Now is the ‘day of choosing’1 for all of us.”

“...never deliberately fly into a thunderstorm.”

“You are responsible to think about the consequences of every choice you make. Ask yourself, ‘If I make this choice, what is the worst thing that could happen?’”

“Think of it: If you choose not to take a drink of alcohol, you will not become an alcoholic! If you never choose to go into debt, you will avoid the possibility of bankruptcy!”

“Many of your generation are facing crushing debt. When I was a young adult, my stake president was an investment banker on Wall Street. He taught me, ‘You are rich if you can live happily within your means.’”

“Don’t buy what you can’t afford.”

“Many young adults in the world are going into debt to get an education, only to find the cost of school is greater than they can repay. Seek out scholarships and grants. Obtain part-time employment, if possible, to help pay your own way. This will require some sacrifice, but it will help you succeed.”

“Knowledge does away with darkness, suspense and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is. … In knowledge there is power.”(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 265.)

“Dating is the opportunity for lengthy conversations. When you date, learn everything you can about each other. Get to know each other’s families when possible. Are your goals compatible? Do you share the same feelings about the commandments, the Savior, the priesthood, the temple, parenting, callings in the Church, and serving others? Have you observed one another under stress, responding to success and failure, resisting anger, and dealing with setbacks? Does the person you are dating tear others down or build them up? Is his or her attitude and language and conduct what you would like to live with every day?”

“Be careful about taking advice from your peers. If you want more than you now have, reach up, not across!”

“You may want to conduct what I’ll call a ‘personal council.’ After praying, spend some time alone. Think about what is ahead. Ask yourself: ‘What areas of my life do I want to strengthen so that I can strengthen others? Where do I want to be a year from now? two years from now? What choices do I need to make to get there?’‘

Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Behold Thy Mother
“Bear, borne, carry, deliver. These are powerful, heartening messianic words. They convey help and hope for safe movement from where we are to where we need to be—but cannot get without assistance. These words also connote burden, struggle, and fatigue—words most appropriate in describing the mission of Him who, at unspeakable cost, lifts us up when we have fallen, carries us forward when strength is gone, delivers us safely home when safety seems far beyond our reach.”

“ love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child.”

“Be peaceful. Believe in God and yourself. You are doing better than you think you are. In fact, you are saviors on Mount Zion,”

“...there is a difference between hearing and understanding. If our children merely hear but do not understand the gospel, then the door is left open for Satan to remove these truths from their hearts.”

“...our children learn when they are ready to learn, not just when we are ready to teach them.”

“It’s never too early and it’s never too late to begin [telling our children what happened to you when they were their age].”

“Smile. This small action can help those who are overwhelmed or burdened.”

“I want to summarize the four points:
First—go the second mile.
Second—please smile. Your smile will help others.
Third—express compassion.
Fourth—invite others to come to church.”

Vern P Stanfill, Choose the Light
“When we consider thoughtfully, why would we listen to the faceless, cynical voices of those in the great and spacious buildings of our time and ignore the pleas of those who genuinely love us? These ever-present naysayers prefer to tear down rather than elevate and to ridicule rather than uplift. Their mocking words can burrow into our lives, often through split-second bursts of electronic distortions carefully and deliberately composed to destroy our faith. Is it wise to place our eternal well-being in the hands of strangers? Is it wise to claim enlightenment from those who have no light to give or who may have private agendas hidden from us? These anonymous individuals, if presented to us honestly, would never be given a moment of our time, but because they exploit social media, hidden from scrutiny, they receive undeserved credibility.
Our choice to heed those who mock sacred things will distance us from the saving and life-giving light of the Savior.”
“We must act, expecting that the Lord will fulfill His promise to lift us from the darkness if we draw near unto Him. The adversary, however, will try to convince us that we have never felt the influence of the Spirit and that it will be easier just to stop trying.”
“When faced with questions or tempted to doubt, we should remember the spiritual blessings and feelings that have penetrated our hearts and lives in the past and place our faith in Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.”

“Doubt not the Lord nor his goodness [for] we’ve proved him in days that are past.” (“We Thank Thee, O God, for a Prophet,” Hymns, no. 19.)

1 Nephi 15:10
10 Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?

26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

2 Now these sons of Mosiah were with Alma at the time the angel first appeared unto him; therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were men of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God.

“Prayer and fasting will allow us to be susceptible to spiritual promptings. Communicating with Heavenly Father while purposefully abstaining from food and drink allows us to ‘loose the bands of wickedness [and] to undo the heavy burdens.’ (Isaiah 58:6)”

“These personal religious habits—obedience, scripture study, prayer, and fasting—strengthened the sons of Mosiah. The lack of these same personal religious habits was a major reason that Laman and Lemuel were left vulnerable to the temptation to murmur and doubt.”

“Ask yourself, ‘Am I as close to living like Christ now as I was before?’”

“The Atonement of Jesus Christ offsets these two certainties of mortal life.”

“He had no debt to pay. He had committed no wrong. Nevertheless, an accumulation of all of the guilt, the grief and sorrow, the pain and humiliation, all of the mental, emotional, and physical torments known to man—He experienced them all.”(Boyd K. Packer, “The Savior’s Selfless and Sacred Sacrifice,” Ensign, Apr. 2015, 40; Liahona, Apr. 2015, 38.)

12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

“Our Savior experienced and suffered the fulness of all mortal challenges ‘according to the flesh’ so He could know ‘according to the flesh’ how to ‘succor [which means to give relief or aid to] his people according to their infirmities.’ He therefore knows our struggles, our heartaches, our temptations, and our suffering, for He willingly experienced them all as an essential part of His Atonement. And because of this, His Atonement empowers Him to succor us—to give us the strength to bear it all.”

“Sometimes His power heals an infirmity, but the scriptures and our experiences teach that sometimes He succors or helps by giving us the strength or patience to endure our infirmities.

“Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot cure.”(5. “Come, Ye Disconsolate,” Hymns, no. 115)

“Because of His atoning experience in mortality, our Savior is able to comfort, heal, and strengthen all men and women everywhere, but I believe He does so only for those who seek Him and ask for His help.”

Priesthood Session
“I ask myself, ‘How does the Savior see my faith?’ And tonight I ask you, ‘How does the Savior see your faith?’”

"Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker."

"Your faith will grow not by chance, but by choice."

“Fear not. … The future is as bright as your faith.”(Thomas S. Monson, “Be of Good Cheer,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2009, 92.)

Randall K Bennett, Your Next Step
"When we perceive a gap between who we are now and who we desire to become, many of us are tempted to choose to lose faith and hope."

"Our loving Heavenly Father rejoices in each and every faithful step, and if we fall, He rejoices in each effort to get back up and try again."

President Dieter F Uchtdorf, Be Not Afraid, Only Believe
"To all of us who bear the holy priesthood of God, I ask, are we like Daniel?
Do we stand loyal to God?
Do we practice what we preach, or are we Sunday Christians only?
Do our daily actions reflect clearly what we claim to believe?
Do we help ‘the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted’?5
Do we just talk the talk, or do we enthusiastically walk the walk?"

"We will have to stay calm under peer pressure, not be impressed by popular trends or false prophets, disregard the ridicule of the ungodly, resist the temptations of the evil one, and overcome our own laziness."

"Our spiritual experiences are sometimes too sacred to explain in worldly terms, but that doesn’t mean they are not real."

"He is your Father. He wants to speak to you. However, it requires a little scientific curiosity—it requires an experiment upon the word of God—and the exercise of a “particle of faith.”7 It also takes a little humility. And it requires an open heart and an open mind. It requires seeking, in the full meaning of the word. And, perhaps hardest of all, it requires being patient and waiting upon the Lord."

"If we make no effort to believe, we are like the man who unplugs a spotlight and then blames the spotlight for not giving any light."

"If we can put the burden of proof on God, we think we can excuse ourselves from taking God’s commandments seriously and from taking responsibility for our relationship with our Heavenly Father."

President Henry B Eyring, You Are Not Alone in the Work
“We know of their great capacity. Yet they will need reassurance in their calls, as we all do, that the Lord is with them in His work. The newest deacon needs that confidence, as does the most experienced high priest who receives a new call.”

“[A Deacon] may think that his work for the Lord is to pass the sacrament tray to people seated in the sacrament meeting. But the Lord’s purpose is not simply to have people partake of bread and water. It is to have them keep a covenant that will move them along the path to eternal life. And for that to happen, the Lord must give a spiritual experience to the person to whom the deacon offers the tray.”

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