Sunday, October 30, 2016

Church Services This Week at Oak Ridge Ward Layton North Stake Layton Utah 30 October 2016

From the Bulletin
“...the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others.” (President Gordon B Hinckley, “Whosoever Will Save His Life”, Ensign August 1982)

“In these latter days, we know there will be earthquakes in diverse places.16 Perhaps one of those diverse places will be in our own homes, where emotional, financial, or spiritual “earthquakes” may occur. Priesthood power can calm the seas and heal fractures in the earth. Priesthood power can also calm the minds and heal fractures in the hearts of those we love.” (Russell M Nelson, “The Price of Priesthood Power”, April 2016 General Conference)

Sacrament Meeting
Mosiah 2:17
 17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

Jesus was the perfect example of service.

You can serve by doing temple and family history work.” (“For the Strength of Youth”, “Service”)

Service is the secret to happiness.

We need to be grateful for everything the Lord had blessed us with.

We become prideful when we stop saying thank you.

A part of gratitude is receiving.

If you want to be happier, then count your blessings.

Sunday School
3 Nephi 8-10
Helaman 14:21-23
 21 Yea, at the time that he shall yield up the ghost there shall be thunderings and lightnings for the space of many hours, and the earth shall shake and tremble; and the rocks which are upon the face of this earth, which are both above the earth and beneath, which ye know at this time are solid, or the more part of it is one solid mass, shall be broken up;
 22 Yea, they shall be rent in twain, and shall ever after be found in seams and in cracks, and in broken fragments upon the face of the whole earth, yea, both above the earth and beneath.
 23 And behold, there shall be great tempests, and there shall be many mountains laid low, like unto a valley, and there shall be many places which are now called valleys which shall become mountains, whose height is great.

3 Nephi 8:5-7
 5 And it came to pass in the *thirty and fourth year, in the first month, on the fourth day of the month, there arose a great storm, such an one as never had been known in all the land.
 6 And there was also a great and terrible tempest; and there was terrible thunder, insomuch that it did shake the whole earth as if it was about to divide asunder.
 7 And there were exceedingly sharp lightnings, such as never had been known in all the land.

The three days of darkness are the same as the three days Christ's body was in the tomb.

Everything in the temple and the gospel is related to the atonement.

Repentance is not something we do once, but everyday.

“What was the object of gathering the … people of God in any age of the world? … The main object was to build unto the Lord a house whereby He could reveal unto His people the ordinances of His house and the glories of His kingdom, and teach the people the way of salvation; for there are certain ordinances and principles that, when they are taught and practiced, must be done in a place or house built for that purpose.“ (History of the Church, 5:423–25, 427; paragraph divisions altered; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on June 11, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards;)

Joint Relief Society and Priesthood Meeting
They introduced us to FamilySearch Zoning.  It is a tool to let you identify zones in scanned newspapers that contain data about people.  For example, identifying where an obituary is on a page.  This is especially useful if it spans columns or is interrupted by other things on the page.

Doctrine and Covenants 128:8
 8 Now, the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ, wherein it is granted that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Or, in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth shall be recorded in heaven, and whatsoever you do not record on earth shall not be recorded in heaven; for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their own works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Church Services This Week at Oak Ridge Ward Layton North Stake Layton Utah 16 October 2016

Sacrament Service
A couple that recently returned from a humanitarian mission to Central America,  specifically Guatemala, spoke to us.  They served for 18 months.

“In contrast to welfare assistance, Church humanitarian aid is intended primarily for those who are not members of [the Church]. It is distributed without any strings attached. To avoid any risk that humanitarian aid might be misunderstood as a subtle inducement for recipients to join the Church, humanitarian aid is not distributed by bishops or other local leaders, by proselyting missionaries, or through the Church’s missionary organization. The Church does not seek ‘rice Christians.’ Humanitarian assistance is a loving gift to help those in need without regard to their religious beliefs or interest in Mormonism. It is separately administered by professional workers and by specially called humanitarian missionaries” (Dallin H. Oaks, Deseret News, 11 Nov. 2006).

“When President Gordon B. Hinckley first read ‘The Family: A Proclamation to the World’ 20 years ago this year, we were grateful for and valued the clarity, simplicity, and truth of this revelatory document. Little did we realize then how very desperately we would need these basic declarations in today’s world as the criteria by which we could judge each new wind of worldly dogma coming at us from the media, the Internet, scholars, TV and films, and even legislators. The proclamation on the family has become our benchmark for judging the philosophies of the world, and I testify that the principles set forth within this statement are as true today as they were when they were given to us by a prophet of God nearly 20 years ago.” (Bonnie L. Oscarson, “Defenders of the Family Proclamation”, April 2015 General Conference)

The entire theology of our restored gospel centers on families and on the new and everlasting covenant of marriage. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in a premortal life where we all lived as literal spirit children of God our Heavenly Father. We believe that we were, and still are, members of His family.

“We believe that marriage and family ties can continue beyond the grave—that marriages performed by those who have the proper authority in His temples will continue to be valid in the world to come. Our marriage ceremonies eliminate the words ‘till death do us part’ and instead say, ‘for time and for all eternity.’“ (Elder L Tom Perry, “Why Marriage and Family Matter—Everywhere in the World”, April 2015 General Conference)
“In building Zion in our hearts and homes, we need to emphasize religious observance in the home by having daily family prayer and scripture study and by holding weekly family home evening. In this context, we can teach and train our children. We do this with love and kindness, avoiding undue criticism of our children and our spouse.“
...
“If we do this, when our children make unwise choices, they will know that all is not lost and that they can find their way home. I want to assure you that you and your family will be blessed as you strive to strengthen each member of your family through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.“ (By Elder Quentin L. Cook, “Reaping the Rewards of Righteousness”, Ensign July 2015)

Sunday School
3 Nephi 1-7
If we don't know the signs of the second coming, how can we watch steadfastly for them to come to pass?

Satan will try to convince us that the prophecies will not be fulfilled and that when they are fulfilled that they have not been fulfilled.  He can't stop it from happening. He can only try to make us not see it or forget that we saw it.

“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.”(Elder Vern P. Stanfill, “Choose the Light”, October 2015 General Conference)

The adversary has a better chance to persuade us that what we believe is foolish if we worry about looking foolish in front of our fellowmen” (Elder Neal A Maxwell, Things As They Really Are[1978], 41)

Sometimes the Lord tells us things and we forget and then he has to remind us.

Doctrine and Covenants 6:23
23 Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?

It seems to be human nature: as we become more familiar with something, even something miraculous and awe-inspiring, we lose our sense of awe and treat it as commonplace.”
“Taking for granted our modern technologies and conveniences may be a relatively small matter. But, sadly, we sometimes take a similar attitude toward the eternal and soul-expanding doctrine of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the Church of Jesus Christ, we have been given so much. We are surrounded by such an astonishing wealth of light and truth that I wonder if we truly appreciate what we have.

“Think of those early disciples who walked and talked with the Savior during His earthly ministry. Imagine the thanksgiving and reverence that must have flooded their hearts and filled their minds when they saw Him risen from the tomb, when they felt the wounds in His hands. Their lives would never be the same!” (President Dieter F Uchtdorf, “O How Great the Plan of Our God”, October 2016 General Conference)

It was nine years from the Savior's birth before the people of Nephi began falling away.  What have we experienced in the last nine years?  Which of those things have faded in our memories?  Which of those things have we minimized their importance?

There are many parallels between those before the Savior's birth and us who are here before the service coming.

Elders Quorum
My lesson
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Howard W Hunter Chapter 19 - Our Commitment to God
15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

What do you think Joshua is saying in this scripture?

What are some ways Joshua might phrase this verse if speaking it those in our day or to you specifically?

Think about how would you respond?

This lesson is on our commitment to God. What is our level of commitment? Do I say,  “Me and my house will serve the Lord “? I have to admit that if I take a hard look at myself I sometimes say, me and my house will serve the Lord... unless there is a movie we really want to see or I will serve the Lord unless traffic gets in my way while I am driving.

Do I obey all of God's commandments or all of them, except that one that really inconveniences me?



Page 244, First Two Full Paragraph
“As I think of the blessings God has given us and the many beauties of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am aware that along the way we are asked to make certain contributions in return, contributions of time or of money or of other resources. These are all valued and all necessary, but they do not constitute our full offering to God.
Ultimately, what our Father in Heaven will require of us is more than a contribution; it is a total commitment, a complete devotion, all that we are and all that we can be.

“Please understand that I do not speak only of a commitment to the Church and its activities, although that always needs to be
strengthened. No, I speak more specifically of a commitment that is shown in our individual behavior, in our personal integrity, in our loyalty to home and family and community, as well as to the Church. . . .”

Why does a father require things of his children at times and not just always give them everything freely?  Does a good earthly father expect certain commitment from their children?  How so?

Why does Heavenly Father expect commitment and work from us?

Continuing on page 244
“Approximately 586 years before Christ, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, marched against the city of Jerusalem and conquered it. So impressed was he with the qualities and learning of the children of Israel that he had several of them brought to the king’s court [in Babylon].

“Trouble came to the Israelites the day Nebuchadnezzar made a golden idol and commanded all in the province of Babylon to worship it, a command that the three young Israelites—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego—quietly refused. The king was full of ‘rage and fury’ and demanded that they be brought before him. (Dan. 3:13.) He informed them that if they did not fall down before the golden image at the appointed moment, ‘ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace.’ Then with some self-satisfaction he asked, ‘And who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?’ [Dan. 3:15.]

“The three young men responded courteously but without hesitation:

“‘If it be so,’ they said, ‘[that you threaten us with death,] our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.
“‘But if not [if for whatever reason he chooses not to save us from the fire], be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.’ [Dan. 3:17–18.]

“Of course Nebuchadnezzar was more furious than ever and ordered that one of the furnaces be heated to seven times its normal temperature. Then he commanded that these three valiant young men be thrown fully clothed into the midst of the fire. Indeed, the king was so insistent and the flame so hot that the soldiers who carried Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego fell dead from the heat of the furnace as they cast their captives forward.

“Then transpired one of those great miracles to which the faithful are entitled according to the will of God. These three young men stood and walked about calmly in the midst of the furnace and were not burned. Indeed, when they were later called out of the furnace by the astonished king himself, their clothing was untarnished, their skin was free from any burn, not a hair of their head was singed. Not even the smell of smoke had come upon these courageous, committed young men.

“‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego,’ said the king, ‘who hath … delivered his servants that trusted in him, … [who] yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

“‘… Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, in the province of Babylon.’ (Dan. 3:28, 30.)”

We’ve probably heard this story quite a few times.  Have we ever thought about what our actions would have been at that time?  We live in America and as bad as things get here we don’t really know what it is like to live under a king, especially a dictator king like Nebuchadnezzar.

Would we have just bowed down to stay out of the kings way, knowing he was a tyrant and never had the confrontation in the first place?  We wouldn’t really be worshipping it.  We would just be following the law.  Every choice has consequences.  Sometimes good consequences and sometimes bad.  What could have been possible consequences of them just going through the motions and doing what the king had said?

Perhaps we would’ve not bowed down, but then what would we do if we were arrested, possibly very forcefully arrested, and brought before an angry man, who had power to do whatever he wanted to do us.  He could have tortured us in many different ways or this fiery furnace thing.  Would we be scared?  Would we be intimidated?

What are we really talking about here?  Was this just being told to bow and then saying no thank you and then being asked to come see the king at 3:30 on Thursday so the king can hear your case?

President Benson once said, “When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.” (In Donald L. Staheli, “Obedience—Life’s Great Challenge,”Ensign, May l998, 82).  The king and the fiery furnace were potentially a bit more than an irritant.  How much less than that would it take for me to waiver in my commitment?

Elder Robert D Hales in last conference asked, “If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?”.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego indeed did, in the end, suffer less.

Perhaps this is a good challenge to close the lesson with.  Do an experiment on the words contained in Daniel and the words of Elder Hales.  See if we increase our love for and commitment to the Savior just a little bit, if he doesn’t some of the things that are troubling us.

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Sunday, October 09, 2016

Church Services This Week at Oak Ridge Ward Layton North Stake Layton Utah 9 October 2016

Sacrament Service
Think about what your regrets will be about your preparedness if disaster strikes and work on those things now. Think about what your regrets will be after this life when you review your preparations for eternity and work on those things now.

Sunday School
Helaman 13-16 - Repent and Return unto the Lord  - lesson 35
Repent, return to the Lord, and follow the prophets.

2 Nephi 2:17-18
 17 And I, Lehi, according to the things which I have read, must needs suppose that an angel of God, according to that which is written, had fallen from heaven; wherefore, he became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.
 18 And because he had fallen from heaven, and had become miserable forever, he sought also the misery of all mankind. Wherefore, he said unto Eve, yea, even that old serpent, who is the devil, who is the father of all lies, wherefore he said: Partake of the forbidden fruit, and ye shall not die, but ye shall be as God, knowing good and evil.

Helaman 13:38
 38 But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.

Even if you repent, you have to keep repenting.

Watch your thoughts, your words, and your deeds.

Mosiah 2:36-37
 36 And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord, that it may have no place in you to guide you in wisdom’s paths that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved—
 37 I say unto you, that the man that doeth this, the same cometh out in open rebellion against God; therefore he listeth to obey the evil spirit, and becometh an enemy to all righteousness; therefore, the Lord has no place in him, for he dwelleth not in unholy temples.

We often receive promptings during conference of things we should adjust in our lives. Then weeks go by and we forget those promptings or get busy and don't work on them.

Elders Quorum
Teachings of Presidents of the Church:  Howard W Hunter chapter 18
Being honest with ourselves is also important.

How do we be completely honest and yet tactful?

Calling things someone else's fault when it is ours is lying to ourselves. Not taking accountability is dishonest.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

This Week at Church October 2016 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Womens Session
“The greatest form of charity may be to withhold judgment.” (Sandra Rogers, “Hearts Knit Together,” in Hearts Knit Together: Talks from the 1995 Women’s Conference (1996), 7)

“Recently, as three-year-old Alyssa watched a movie with her siblings, she remarked with a puzzled expression, ‘Mom, that chicken is weird!’

“Her mother looked at the screen and responded with a smile, ‘Honey, that is a peacock.’
“Like that unknowing three-year-old, we sometimes look at others with an incomplete or inaccurate understanding. We may focus on the differences and perceived flaws in those around us whereas our Heavenly Father sees His children, created in His eternal image, with magnificent and glorious potential.”

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
“Words have surprising power, both to build up and to tear down. We can all probably remember negative words that brought us low and other words spoken with love that made our spirits soar. Choosing to say only that which is positive about—and to—others lifts and strengthens those around us and helps others follow in the Savior’s way.”

“In a hundred small ways, all of you wear the mantle of charity. … Rather than being judgmental [or] critical of [one] another, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her [or his] best to deal with the challenges which come [her or his] way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Charity Never Faileth,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 125)

Sister Carole M Stephens, The Master Healer
“We need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ.” (Russell M. Nelson, “A Plea to My Sisters,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 97)

17 Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost.
19 And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save.
20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
“I often meet Latter-day Saint women who are desperate for help, yet they do not turn to the One who can provide everlasting help. Too often they seek for understanding by searching ‘the great and spacious building.’”

“When the woman came to the well, Jesus—the embodiment of living water—said simply, ‘Give me to drink.’ Our Savior will likewise speak to us in a voice we recognize when we come to Him—for He knows us. He meets us where we are. And because of who He is and what He has done for us, He understands. Because He has experienced our pain, He can give us living water when we seek it.”

“If you are free [from] serious sin yourself, don’t suffer needlessly the consequences of another’s sins. … You can feel compassion. … Yet you should not take upon yourself a feeling of responsibility. … When you have done what is reasonable to help one you love, lay the burden at the feet of the Savior. … As you so act, not only will you find peace but will demonstrate your faith in the power of the Savior to lift the burden of sin from a loved one through his repentance and obedience.”
...
“Complete healing will come through your faith in Jesus Christ and His power and capacity, through His Atonement, to heal the scars of that which is unjust and undeserved.” (Richard G. Scott, “To Be Free of Heavy Burdens,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2002, 88)

“You don’t have to continue to carry the burden of sorrow caused by sin—alone.

“You don’t have to carry the pain caused by the unrighteous actions of others—alone.

“You don’t have to experience the painful realities of mortality—alone.”


38 O ye pollutions, ye hypocrites, ye teachers, who sell yourselves for that which will canker, why have ye polluted the holy church of God? Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ? Why do ye not think that greater is the value of an endless happiness than that misery which never dies—because of the praise of the world?

“Sisters, I don’t believe that conditions are going to improve going forward. If current trends are an indication, we need to be prepared for the storms that lie ahead. It would be easy to throw our hands up in despair, but as covenant people we need never despair.”

“Heavenly Father’s generous compensation for living in perilous times is that we also live in the fulness of times.” (Gary E. Stevenson, “Plain and Precious Truths,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 92)

“Attacks against the Church, its doctrine, and our way of life are going to increase. Because of this, we need women who have a bedrock understanding of the doctrine of Christ and who will use that understanding to teach and help raise a sin-resistant generation. We need women who can detect deception in all of its forms. We need women who know how to access the power that God makes available to covenant keepers and who express their beliefs with confidence and charity. We need women who have the courage and vision of our Mother Eve.” (Russell M. Nelson, “A Plea to My Sisters,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 97)

“It will take concerted effort to be converted and to keep our covenants. To do so, we need to be girls and women who study the essential doctrines of the gospel and have an unshakable testimony of their truthfulness.”

“Young women of the Church need to see themselves as essential participants in the priesthood-directed work of salvation and not just as onlookers and supporters. “

“All women need to see themselves as essential participants in the work of the priesthood. Women in this Church are presidents, counselors, teachers, members of councils, sisters, and mothers, and the kingdom of God cannot function unless we rise up and fulfill our duties with faith. Sometimes we just need to have a greater vision of what is possible.”

“Our youth are being exposed to difficult questions on a daily basis, and many of us have loved ones who are struggling to find answers. The good news is that there are answers to the questions being asked. Listen to the recent messages from our leaders. We are being urged to study and understand our Heavenly Father’s plan of happiness. We have been reminded of the principles in the family proclamation.”

“I worry that we live in such an atmosphere of avoiding offense that we sometimes altogether avoid teaching correct principles. We fail to teach our young women that preparing to be a mother is of utmost importance because we don’t want to offend those who aren’t married or those who can’t have children, or to be seen as stifling future choices. On the other hand, we may also fail to emphasize the importance of education because we don’t want to send the message that it is more important than marriage. We avoid declaring that our Heavenly Father defines marriage as being between a man and woman because we don’t want to offend those who experience same-sex attraction. And we may find it uncomfortable to discuss gender issues or healthy sexuality.

“Certainly, sisters, we need to use sensitivity, but let us also use our common sense and our understanding of the plan of salvation to be bold and straightforward when it comes to teaching our children and youth the essential gospel principles they must understand to navigate the world in which they live.”

President Dieter F Uchtdorf, Fourth Floor, Last Door
“What they fail to understand is that there are more ways to see than with our eyes, more ways to feel than with our hands, more ways to hear than with our ears.”

“Just because we can’t hear something doesn’t mean there is nothing to hear. Two people can listen to the same message or read the same scripture, and one might feel the witness of the Spirit while the other doesn’t.

“On the other hand, in our efforts to help our loved ones experience the voice of the Spirit and the vast, eternal, and profound beauty of the gospel of Jesus Christ, telling them to “listen harder” may not be the most helpful way.”

“One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eyes.” (Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry, The Little Prince, trans. Richard Howard (2000), 63.)

“Yet some might ask, ‘If faith is so powerful, why can’t I receive an answer to a heartfelt prayer? I don’t need a sea to part or a mountain to move. I just need my illness to go away or my parents to forgive each other or an eternal companion to appear on my doorstep with a bouquet of flowers in one hand and an engagement ring in the other. Why can’t my faith accomplish that?’

“Faith is powerful, and often it does result in miracles. But no matter how much faith we have, there are two things faith cannot do. For one, it cannot violate another person’s agency.”

“God did not force His own children to follow Him in the premortal world. How much less will He force us now as we journey through this mortal life?”

“The second thing faith cannot do is force our will upon God. We cannot force God to comply with our desires—no matter how right we think we are or how sincerely we pray.”

“Faith means that we trust not only in God’s wisdom but that we trust also in His love. It means trusting that God loves us perfectly, that everything He does—every blessing He gives and every blessing He, for a time, withholds—is for our eternal happiness.”

“... we walk by whatever faith we have,10 seeking always to increase our faith. Sometimes this is not an easy quest. Those who are impatient, uncommitted, or careless may find faith to be elusive. Those who are easily discouraged or distracted may hardly experience it. Faith comes to the humble, the diligent, the enduring.”

“...don’t give up. Seek God with all your heart. Exercise faith. Walk in righteousness.”

Saturday Morning Session
President Dieter F Uchtdorf, O How Great the Plan of Our God!
“The more adept I get at technology, the more I take it for granted.”

“For a large part of human history, communication happened at the speed of a horse. Sending a message and getting a reply could take days or even months. Today our messages travel thousands of miles into the sky or thousands of meters beneath the oceans to reach someone on the other side of the world, and if there is a delay of even a few seconds, we get frustrated and impatient.”

“It seems to be human nature: as we become more familiar with something, even something miraculous and awe-inspiring, we lose our sense of awe and treat it as commonplace.”

“Think of those early disciples who walked and talked with the Savior during His earthly ministry. Imagine the thanksgiving and reverence that must have flooded their hearts and filled their minds when they saw Him risen from the tomb, when they felt the wounds in His hands. Their lives would never be the same!”

“But most of all, think of how you felt when for the first time you believed and understood that you are truly a child of God; that Jesus Christ willingly suffered for your sins so that you may be clean again; that priesthood power is real and can bind you to your loved ones for time and for all eternity; that there is a living prophet on the earth today. Isn’t that wonderful and amazing?”

“Too often we let ourselves be distracted by the imperfections of our fellow members instead of following the example of our Master. We tread a path covered with diamonds, but we can scarcely distinguish them from ordinary pebbles.”

“I am grateful that the restored gospel of Jesus Christ has answers to the most complex questions in life. These answers are taught in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They are true, plain, straightforward, and easy to understand. They are inspired, and we teach them to our three-year-olds in the Sunbeam class.”

“Brothers and sisters, we are eternal beings, without beginning and without end. We have always existed.1 We are the literal spirit children of divine, immortal, and omnipotent Heavenly Parents!”

“When we passed through the veil and entered this mortal life, we knew that we would no longer remember the life before. There would be opposition and adversity and temptation. But we also knew that gaining a physical body was of paramount importance for us. Oh, how we hoped that we would quickly learn to make the correct choices, withstand the temptations of Satan, and eventually return to our beloved Parents in Heaven.”

“That is why we are here on this beautiful planet earth—because God offered us the opportunity, and we chose to accept it. Our mortal life, however, is only temporary and will end with the death of our physical body. But the essence of who you and I are will not be destroyed.”

“After the Resurrection, there will be a Day of Judgment. While all will eventually be saved and inherit a kingdom of glory, those who trust in God and seek to follow His laws and ordinances will inherit lives in the eternities that are unimaginable in glory and overwhelming in majesty

“That Day of Judgment will be a day of mercy and love—a day when broken hearts are healed, when tears of grief are replaced with tears of gratitude, when all will be made right.3

“Yes, there will be deep sorrow because of sin. Yes, there will be regrets and even anguish because of our mistakes, our foolishness, and our stubbornness that caused us to miss opportunities for a much greater future.”

“Our beloved Father simply asks that we live by the truth we have received and that we follow the path He has provided. Therefore, let us take courage and trust in the guidance of the Spirit. Let us in word and in deed share with our fellowmen the amazing and awe-inspiring message of God’s plan of happiness. May our motive be our love for God and for His children, for they are our brothers and sisters. This is the beginning of what we can do in return for so much.”

“God’s ways are just and His plan is perfect.”

13 O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.

Elder Robert D Hales, “Come, Follow Me” by Practicing Christian Love and Service
“If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?”

“Parents, you are called to be loving teachers and missionaries to your children and youth. They are your investigators.”

“Thee lift me, I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together eternally.”

We can take advantage of the teaching moments in our own families—that means now. Don’t let them slip by. When an opportunity comes to share your thoughts about the gospel and the lessons of life, stop everything, sit down, and talk with your children and grandchildren.”

“No training class or manual is as helpful as personally studying our scriptures, praying, pondering, and seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit.”

“As you share your testimony of the gospel, your faith will grow and your confidence will increase!”

“Family home evening is not a lecture from Mom and Dad. It is our family time to share simple spiritual concepts and experiences, to help our children learn to care and share, have fun together, bear testimony together, and grow and progress together.”

“Whenever we raise our voices in anger, the Spirit leaves our companionships and families. When we speak in love, the Spirit can be with us. Let us remember that our children and grandchildren measure our love by how much devoted time we give them. Above all, don’t lose patience and don’t give up!”

“Some parents who have loved and taught their children also weep when their grown children choose not to follow the Lord’s plan. What can parents do? We cannot pray away another’s agency.”

“We can pray for guidance about when to speak, what to say, and yes, on some occasions, when to be still.  Remember, our children and family members already chose to follow the Savior in their premortal realm. Sometimes it is only by their own life’s experiences that those sacred feelings are awakened again. Ultimately, the choice to love and follow the Lord has to be their own.”

“Brothers and sisters, if we have not fully done so yet, let us turn more toward forgiveness, kindness, and love. Let us renounce the war that so often rages in the heart of the natural man and proclaim Christ’s caring, love, and peace.”

Sister Carol F McConkie, The Soul’s Sincere Desire
1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

“We are children of a loving Heavenly Father, and we may enjoy personal communion with Him when we pray ‘with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ’3 and then act in accordance with the answers we receive by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.”

“A prayer of faith opens the way to receive glorious heaven-sent blessings.”

“If we expect to receive, we must ask, seek, and knock.”

“God needs brave sons.”

“He suffered, bled, and died to glorify His Father, and His merciful petition on our behalf opens the way for each of us to obtain peace in this life and everlasting life in the world to come. He does not want us to suffer longer or endure more trials than needed.”

28 Be wise in the days of your probation; strip yourselves of all uncleanness; ask not, that ye may consume it on your lusts, but ask with a firmness unshaken, that ye will yield to no temptation, but that ye will serve the true and living God.

“It is not only important that we shall know how to pray, but it is equally important that we shall know how to receive the answer to our prayer, to be discerning, to be alert, to be able to see with clear vision and understand with clear intention God’s will and purpose concerning us.” (Melvin J. Ballard, “Our Channels of Power and Strength,” Improvement Era, Sept. 1923, 992; quoted in M. Russell Ballard, Yesterday, Today, and Forever (2015), 133)

“I have had prayers answered. Those answers were most clear when what I wanted was silenced by an overpowering need to know what God wanted. It is then that the answer from a loving Heavenly Father can be spoken to the mind by the still, small voice and can be written on the heart.” (Henry B. Eyring, “Write upon My Heart,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 86; Liahona,Jan. 2001, 100)

“Prayer is a gift from God. We need never feel lost or alone.”

Elder Craig C. Christensen, “A Choice Seer Will I Raise Up”
1 The ends of the earth shall inquire after thy name, and fools shall have thee in derision, and hell shall rage against thee;
2 While the pure in heart, and the wise, and the noble, and the virtuous, shall seek counsel, and authority, and blessings constantly from under thy hand.

“We need not be timid about testifying of Joseph’s mission as prophet, seer, and revelator, for the Lord has always worked through prophets.”

“For many of us, a witness of the Prophet Joseph Smith begins as we read the Book of Mormon. I first read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover as a young early-morning seminary student. With my vivid boyish imagination, I decided to read as if I were Joseph Smith, discovering the truths in the Book of Mormon for the very first time. It had such an impact on my life that I continue to read the Book of Mormon in that way. I often find that doing so deepens my appreciation for the Prophet Joseph and for the truths restored in this precious book.”

11 And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins.
12 But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism!

“Because Joseph was a prophet, we know that marriage and family are an essential part of God’s plan for our happiness. We know that through temple ordinances and covenants, our cherished family relationships can endure eternally.”

Elder Juan A. Uceda, The Lord Jesus Christ Teaches Us to Pray
“But in reality our Father in Heaven saved me. He listened to my voice. I had heard the voice of the Spirit three times before, telling me not to go to the Inca Bridge, but I had not obeyed that voice. I was in shock, I was pale, and I did not know what to say.”

“He had paid attention to my voice but that I had not paid any attention to His.  There was a deep pain in my heart for disobeying His voice and at the same time a deep sense of gratitude for His mercy. He did not exercise His justice upon me, but in His great mercy,”

“He teaches you and me to pray as we see Him in our minds praying in Gethsemane...”

12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
13 ¶And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

“So a moment of prayer is a very, very sacred moment. He is not one to say, ‘No, I will not listen to you now because you only come to me when you are in trouble.’ Only men do that. He is not one to say, ‘Oh, you cannot imagine how busy I am now.’ Only men say that.”

Elder Cornish J. Devn Cornish, Am I Good Enough? Will I Make It?
“As with my own experience, our members often ask, ‘Am I good enough as a person?’ or ‘Will I really make it to the celestial kingdom?’ Of course, there is no such thing as ‘being good enough.’ None of us could ever ‘earn’ or ‘deserve’ our salvation, but it is normal to wonder if we are acceptable before the Lord, which is how I understand these questions.”

“...we must stop comparing ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly by competing and comparing. We falsely judge our self-worth by the things we do or don’t have and by the opinions of others. If we must compare, let us compare how we were in the past to how we are today—and even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us; that is Satan’s trick.”

“Heavenly Father intends for us to make it! That is His work and His glory.”

“Brothers and sisters, all the Lord expects of us is to try, but you have to really try!” (This exact phrasing from President Hinckley does not appear in print, but the following is recorded: “Just do the best you can, but be sure it is your very best” (“A Challenging Time—a Wonderful Time,” Teaching Seminary: Preservice Readings[Church Educational System manual, 2004], 18). He also said: “Please don’t nag yourself with thoughts of failure. Do not set goals far beyond your capacity to achieve. Simply do what you can do, in the best way you know, and the Lord will accept of your effort” (“Rise to the Stature of the Divine within You,” Ensign, Nov. 1989, 96).)

“Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints.” (David A. Bednar, “The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality,” Ensign, Apr. 2012, 42;Liahona, Apr. 2012, 14.)

“If we will sincerely repent, God really will forgive us, even when we have committed the same sin over and over again.”

“Sin always has consequences.”

“What we cannot do is rationalize rather than repent. It will not work to justify ourselves in our sins by saying, ‘God knows it’s just too hard for me, so He accepts me like I am.’ ‘Really trying’ means we keep at it as we fully come up to the Lord’s standard, which is clearly defined in the questions we are asked in order to get a temple recommend.”

Elder Neil L Andersen, A Witness of God
“Just as we might be perplexed with a mountain of puzzle pieces, the early Saints must have seen the commission to take the restored gospel to all the world as a nearly impossible task. But they began, one person, one puzzle piece at a time, finding the straight edges, working to rightly frame this divine work. ”

“You are important to this great cause.”

“The divinely appointed responsibility that once rested primarily upon the shoulders of full-time missionaries now rests upon us all.”

“Guilt is like a battery in a gasoline-powered car. It can light up the car, start the engine, and power the headlights, but it will not provide the fuel for the long journey ahead. The battery, by itself, is not sufficient. And neither is guilt.”

“I promise you that as you pray often and sincerely for opportunities to “stand as a witness of God,” those opportunities will come, and those who seek more light and knowledge will be put before you. As you respond to spiritual promptings, the Holy Ghost will carry your words to the heart of another, and one day the Savior will confess you before His Father.”

“Please don’t see your efforts to share the love of the Savior with another as a pass/fail test with your grade determined by how positively your friends respond to your feelings or invitation to meet the missionaries.”

Saturday Afternoon Session
Elder Quentin L Cook, Valiant in the Testimony of Jesus
“Sooner or later everybody has to sit down to a banquet of consequences.”(Robert Louis Stevenson, in Carla Carlisle, “A Banquet of Consequences,” Country Life, July 6, 2016, 48. Mrs. Carlisle credits Robert Louis Stevenson for the quote. Some give credit to others.)

“The prophet Jacob referred to ancient Jews as “a stiffnecked people [who] despised … plainness, … ”
My Thoughts
{
Many in our day despise plainness.  They do not like people to speak things the way they really are or they get offended.
}

“Eternal life is the greatest gift of God and is bestowed on those who ‘keep [God’s] commandments and endure to the end.’1 On the other hand, eternal life with our Heavenly Father is denied those ‘who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus.’2

“We know the Apostasy occurred in part because the philosophies of men were elevated over Christ’s basic, essential doctrine. Instead of the simplicity of the Savior’s message being taught, many plain and precious truths were changed or lost. In fact, Christianity adopted some Greek philosophical traditions to reconcile people’s beliefs with their existing culture.”

“The time is coming when … it will be difficult to tell the face of a Saint from the face of an enemy to the people of God. Then … look out for the great sieve, for there will be a great sifting time, and many will fall.” (Heber C. Kimball, in Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (1945), 446.)

“Much sifting will occur because of lapses in righteous behavior which go unrepented of. A few will give up instead of holding out to the end. A few will be deceived by defectors. Likewise, others will be offended, for sufficient unto each dispensation are the stumbling blocks thereof!” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Be of Good Cheer,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 68)

“While there are many examples of looking beyond the mark,25 a significant one in our day is extremism. Gospel extremism is when one elevates any gospel principle above other equally important principles and takes a position that is beyond or contrary to the teachings of Church leaders.”

68 Whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me; therefore he is not of my church.

“In addition, some members elevate causes, many of which are good, to a status superior to basic gospel doctrine. They substitute their devotion to the cause as their first commitment and relegate their commitment to the Savior and His teachings to a secondary position.”

Elder Gary E Stevenson, Look to the Book, Look to the Lord
“There are three ways in which the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion. It is the keystone in our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of testimony.” (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Book of Mormon—Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Nov. 1986, 5, 7)

“Each of you can also receive a personal witness of this book! Do you realize that the Book of Mormon was written for you—and for your day? This book is one of the blessings of living in what we call the dispensation of the fulness of times. Although the Book of Mormon was written by inspired, ancient authors—many of whom were prophets—they and the people of their day did not have the benefit of possessing the whole book.”

34 Behold, the Lord hath shown unto me great and marvelous things concerning that which must shortly come, at that day when these things shall come forth among you.
35 Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing.


Elder D Todd Christofferson, “Abide in My Love”
“God’s love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.” (Thomas S. Monson, “We Never Walk Alone,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 124)

“To ‘continue in’ or ‘abide in’ the Savior’s love means to receive His grace and be perfected by it.”

“[To abide in God’s love] means to learn ‘to abide the law of a celestial kingdom’ so that we can ‘abide a celestial glory.’”

“His agony in Gethsemane and on the cross was greater than any mortal could bear.37  Nevertheless, because of His love for His Father and for us, He endured, and as a consequence, He can offer us both immortality and eternal life.”

Elder W Mark Bassett, For Our Spiritual Development and Learning
“I, however, ignored those plain and precious truths and instead exerted my effort searching for those things that were not meant to be revealed.”

“These actions can lead us to seek after things that are not necessarily meant to be understood at this time, all the while ignoring the beautiful truths that are meant for us and our circumstances”

“...the mysteries of God are unfolded unto us only according to His will and by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

8 Behold, great and marvelous are the works of the Lord. How unsearchable are the depths of the mysteries of him; and it is impossible that man should find out all his ways. And no man knoweth of his ways save it be revealed unto him; wherefore, brethren, despise not the revelations of God.
9 For behold, by the power of his word man came upon the face of the earth, which earth was created by the power of his word. Wherefore, if God being able to speak and the world was, and to speak and man was created, O then, why not able to command the earth, or the workmanship of his hands upon the face of it, according to his will and pleasure?
10 Wherefore, brethren, seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.

“In order to understand the mysteries of God, or those things that can be understood only through revelation, we must follow the example of Nephi, who said, ‘Being exceedingly young, nevertheless being large in stature, and also having great desires to know of the mysteries of God, wherefore, I did cry unto the Lord; and behold he did visit me, and did soften my heart that I did believe all the words which had been spoken by my father.’6


“In this modern age, we have come to expect that knowledge can and should be obtained immediately; when information is not easily known or accessible, it is often dismissed or mistrusted. Because of the abundance of information, some unwittingly give more credibility to available sources with an unknown origin rather than relying on the Lord’s established pattern for receiving personal revelation. “

“...they will trust the Lord enough to follow His commandments—even when they do not completely understand the reasons for them. Their faith will be manifest through diligence and through work.” (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “The Lord’s Work” (address given at the seminar for new mission presidents, June 25, 2016), 6.)

“[We] are sometimes left with basic questions that cannot be resolved by study. … Some things can be learned only by faith.” (Dallin H. Oaks, “Opposition in All Things,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2016, 117.)

11 Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear.

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita, Be Ambitious for Christ
“Being ambitious for Christ means being motivated, focused, and dedicated to His work. Being ambitious for Christ will seldom mean that we are singled out for public honor. Being ambitious for Christ means that we serve faithfully and diligently in our wards and branches without complaint and with joyful hearts.”

“May we be ambitious for Christ as we accept our difficulties and trials with patience and faith and find joy in our covenant path.”

Elder Dallin H Oaks, Sharing the Restored Gospel
Latter-day Saints are surely among those most committed to this great responsibility [to teach the gospel to all people]. We should be because we know that God loves all of His children and that in these last days He has restored vital additional knowledge and power to bless all of them. The Savior taught us to love all as our brothers and sisters, and we honor that teaching by sharing the witness and message of the restored gospel ‘among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people’ (D&C 112:1). This is a vital part of what it means to be a Latter-day Saint. We look on this as a joyful privilege. What could be more joyful than sharing the truths of eternity with God’s children?

There are three things all members can do to help share the gospel, regardless of the circumstances in which they live and work. All of us should do all of these.

“First, we can all pray for desire to help with this vital part of the work of salvation. All efforts begin with desire.
“Second, we can keep the commandments ourselves. Faithful, obedient members are the most persuasive witnesses of the truth and value of the restored gospel. Even more important, faithful members will always have the Savior’s Spirit to be with them to guide them as they seek to participate in the great work of sharing the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Third, we can pray for inspiration on what we can do in our individual circumstances to share the gospel with others.”
We need the guidance of the Lord because at any particular time some are—and some are not—ready for the additional truths of the restored gospel. We should never set ourselves up as judges of who is ready and who is not.”

“Trust the Lord. He is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep. … If we are not engaged, many who would hear the message of the Restoration will be passed by. … The principles are pretty simple—pray, personally and in your family, for missionary opportunities.” (M. Russell Ballard, “Put Your Trust in the Lord,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2013, 44.)

We will come to understand that success in sharing the gospel is inviting people with love and genuine intent to help them, no matter what their response.”

“that people learn when they’re ready to learn, not when we’re ready to teach them.” (Clayton M. Christensen, The Power of Everyday Missionaries (2012), 30)

“A most significant evidence of our conversion and of how we feel about the gospel in our own lives is our willingness to share it with others.” (M. Russell Ballard, “Now Is the Time,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 75; Liahona,Jan. 2001, 89)

Priesthood Session
Elder Jeffrey R Holland, Emissaries to the Church
While working through our schedule to visit all homes, which may take some months to accomplish, we would make other kinds of contact with the individuals and families on our list via any of the means the Lord has provided.

Now, as for what ‘counts’ as home teaching, every good thing you do ‘counts,’ so report it all! Indeed, the report that matters most is how you have blessed and cared for those within your stewardship, which has virtually nothing to do with a specific calendar or a particular location. What matters is that you love your people and are fulfilling the commandment ‘to watch over the church always.’

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis Jr., There Is Power in the Book
2 Nephi 25:26
26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. … The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness. “(Marion G. Romney, “The Book of Mormon,” Ensign, May 1980, 67.)

President Dieter F Uchtdorf, Learn from Alma and Amulek
For whatever reason, sometimes we as leaders are reluctant to find and ask our Amuleks. Perhaps we think that we can do the work better by ourselves, or we are reluctant to inconvenience others, or we assume that others would not want to participate. Too often we hesitate to invite people to use their God-given talents and engage in the great work of salvation.

It may be someone who is unassuming or even invisible within your congregations. It may be someone who seems unwilling or unable to serve. Your Amuleks may be young or old, men or women, inexperienced, tired, or not active in the Church. But what may not be seen at first sight is that they are hoping to hear from you the words ‘The Lord needs you! I need you!’

Nevertheless, the Lord sees in you what He saw in Amulek—the potential of a valiant servant with an important work to do and with a testimony to share. There is service that no one else can give in quite the same way.

My dear brothers, my dear friends, let us seek out, find, inspire, and rely upon the Amuleks in our wards and stakes. There are many Amuleks in the Church today.

President Henry B Eyring, That He May Become Strong Also
The Lord grants His power to those in all priesthood offices who worthily serve in their priesthood duties.

I was just as much sustained by the power of God while holding the office of a Teacher, and especially while officiating in the vineyard as a Priest, as I ever was as an Apostle. There is no difference in this so long as we do our duty.”(Wilford Woodruff, “The Rights of the Priesthood,” Deseret Weekly,Mar. 17, 1894, 381.)

I remember a bishop who treated me as if I were already what I had the potential to become in priesthood power.

“...I always expect that I will hear the word of God. I am seldom disappointed and often amazed, and I can’t help but smile...

106 And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also.
107 Therefore, take with you those who are ordained unto the lesser priesthood, and send them before you to make appointments, and to prepare the way, and to fill appointments that you yourselves are not able to fill.
108 Behold, this is the way that mine apostles, in ancient days, built up my church unto me.

My thoughts
{
Elder Eyring always talks with awe about interactions with prophets and apostles in his younger years, even though he is one.
}

President Thomas S Monson, Principles and Promises
Brethren, may we care for our bodies and our minds by observing the principles set forth in the Word of Wisdom, a divinely provided plan. With all my heart and soul, I testify of the glorious blessings which await us as we do.

Sunday Morning Session
President Thomas S Monson, The Perfect Path to Happiness
We need to work and learn, search and pray, repent and improve. We need to know God’s laws and live them. We need to receive His saving ordinances. Only by so doing will we obtain true, eternal happiness.

We are blessed to have the truth. We have a mandate to share the truth. Let us live the truth, that we might merit all that the Father has for us. He does nothing save it be for our benefit.” - Trials, Death

President Russell M Nelson, Joy and Spiritual Survival
These are the latter days, so none of us should be surprised when we see prophecy fulfilled. A host of prophets, including Isaiah, Paul, Nephi, and Mormon, foresaw that perilous times would come,1 that in our day the whole world would be in commotion,2 that men would ‘be lovers of their own selves, … without natural affection, … lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God,’3 and that many would become servants of Satan who uphold the adversary’s work.4 Indeed, you and I ‘wrestle … against the rulers of the darkness of this world, [and] against spiritual wickedness in high places.’5

As conflicts between nations escalate, as cowardly terrorists prey on the innocent, and as corruption in everything from business to government becomes increasingly commonplace, what can help us? What can help each of us with our personal struggles and with the rigorous challenge of living in these latter days?

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

That’s it! Saints can be happy under every circumstance. We can feel joy even while having a bad day, a bad week, or even a bad year!”

“Just as the Savior offers peace that ‘passeth all understanding,’ 12 He also offers an intensity, depth, and breadth of joy that defy human logic or mortal comprehension. For example, it doesn’t seem possible to feel joy when your child suffers with an incurable illness or when you lose your job or when your spouse betrays you. Yet that is precisely the joy the Savior offers. His joy is constant, assuring us that our ‘afflictions shall be but a small moment’ 13 and be consecrated to our gain.14

I have learned to suffer with joy. My suffering was swallowed up in the joy of Christ.

What will you and I be able to endure as we focus on the joy that is ‘set before’ us?20 What repenting will then be possible? What weakness will become a strength?21What chastening will become a blessing?22 What disappointments, even tragedies, will turn to our good?23 And what challenging service to the Lord will we be able to give?24

Anything that opposes Christ or His doctrine will interrupt our joy. That includes the philosophies of men, so abundant online and in the blogosphere, which do exactly what Korihor did.

If we look to the world and follow its formulas for happiness,27 we will never know joy. The unrighteous may experience any number of emotions and sensations, but they will never experience joy!28 Joy is a gift for the faithful.29 It is the gift that comes from intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ.30

Every day that you and I choose to live celestial laws, every day that we keep our covenants and help others to do the same, joy will be ours.

“...each and every day can be a day of joy and gladness.

Elder Peter F. Meurs, The Sacrament Can Help Us Become Holy
11 And this shall ye always do to those who repent and are baptized in my name; and ye shall do it in remembrance of my blood, which I have shed for you, that ye may witness unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you.

We can begin our preparation for the sacrament well before sacrament meeting begins. Saturday may be a good time to contemplate our spiritual progress and preparation.

Mortality is an essential gift in our journey to become like our Heavenly Father. Of necessity, it includes trials and challenges that provide opportunities for us to change and grow.

Participation in the sacrament ordinance provides an opportunity to more fully yield our hearts and souls to God.

In our preparation, our hearts become broken as we express gratitude for Christ’s Atonement, repent of our mistakes and shortcomings, and ask for the Father’s help in our continuing journey to become more like Him.

Our sacrament experience can be enhanced when we arrive well before the meeting and ponder as the prelude music is played.”

Sacrament meetings should begin and end on time and should not be overprogrammed. Prayer meetings need not be held before sacrament meeting. Those participating should be seated at least five minutes before the meeting begins so they can be spiritually prepared for a worshipful experience. During that quiet interval, prelude music is subdued. This is not a time for conversation or transmission of messages but a period of prayerful meditation as leaders and members prepare spiritually for the sacrament..” (Russell M. Nelson, “Worshiping at Sacrament Meeting,” Ensign, Aug. 2004, 27; Liahona, Aug. 2004, 13.)

“Spiritually participate in the sacrament prayers.”

Beautiful blessings and gifts are available to us as we keep our covenants.

Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-18
16 For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
17 But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
18 Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—

“As we consider our sacrament experience, we might ask ourselves:
  • What will I do this week to better prepare for the sacrament?
  • Could I contribute more to the reverence and revelation that can accompany the beginning of sacrament meeting?
  • What doctrine was taught in the sacrament hymn?
  • What did I hear and feel as I listened to the sacrament prayers?
  • What did I think about as the sacrament was passed?”

Sister Linda S Reeves, The Great Plan of Redemption
“Because of the atoning sacrifice of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, and through sincere repentance, his sins were completely gone, as if they had never happened.”

“Sometimes serious transgression leads to divorce, and depending on circumstances, that might be necessary. But to this man’s amazement, his wife embraced him and dedicated herself to helping him in any way that she could. Over time, she was able to fully forgive him. She had felt the healing power of the Savior’s Atonement for her.”

During our mission, I once accompanied my husband when he went to interview a man for baptism. While my husband conducted the interview, I waited outside with the sister missionaries who had taught this man. When the interview was finished, my husband informed the missionaries that the man would be able to be baptized. This dear man wept and wept as he explained that he had been certain that the serious sins he had committed in his life would prevent him from being able to be baptized. I have seldom witnessed the joy and happiness of someone coming out of the darkness and into the light equal to what I witnessed that day.”

“With faith in [our] merciful Redeemer and His power, potential despair turns to hope. One’s very heart and desires change, and the once-appealing sin becomes increasingly abhorrent. …
“… Whatever the cost of repentance, it is swallowed up in the joy of forgiveness.” (D. Todd Christofferson, “The Divine Gift of Repentance, Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 40)
Enos 1:4-8
4 And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
5 And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.
6 And I, Enos, knew that God could not lie; wherefore, my guilt was swept away.
7 And I said: Lord, how is it done?
8 And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen. And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, thy faith hath made thee whole.

My Thoughts
{
I think Enos was asking more about how his heart was changed and the guilt he was feeling was removed, rather than just a curious question about how Jesus forgives sins.
}

“Why do Jesus and Heavenly Father want me to repent? In the words of my teenage grandchild: ‘Because They love me! In order to progress and become like Them, I need to repent. I also want the Spirit to be with me, so I need to repent daily to have His wonderful companionship. I will never be able to thank Them enough.’”

“However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made … , or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Laborers in the Vineyard,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 33)

“To me, the greatest miracles in life are not the parting of the Red Sea, the moving of mountains, or even the healing of the body. The greatest miracle happens when we humbly approach our Father in Heaven in prayer, fervently plead to be forgiven, and then are cleansed of those sins through the atoning sacrifice of our Savior.”

Elder M Russell Ballard, To Whom Shall We Go?
John 17:20-22
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

John 6:66-69
66 ¶From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

“For some, Christ’s invitation to believe and remain continues to be hard—or difficult to accept. Some disciples struggle to understand a specific Church policy or teaching. Others find concerns in our history or in the imperfections of some members and leaders, past and present. Still others find it difficult to live a religion that requires so much. Finally, some have become ‘weary in well-doing.’5 For these and other reasons, some Church members vacillate in their faith, wondering if perhaps they should follow those who ‘went back, and walked no more’ with Jesus.”

“If any one of you is faltering in your faith, I ask you the same question that Peter asked: ‘To whom shall [you] go?’ If you choose to become inactive or to leave the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where will you go? What will you do? The decision to ‘walk no more’ with Church members and the Lord’s chosen leaders will have a long-term impact that cannot always be seen right now. There may be some doctrine, some policy, some bit of history that puts you at odds with your faith, and you may feel that the only way to resolve that inner turmoil right now is to ‘walk no more’ with the Saints. If you live as long as I have, you will come to know that things have a way of resolving themselves. An inspired insight or revelation may shed new light on an issue. Remember, the Restoration is not an event, but it continues to unfold.“

We should not assume … that just because something is unexplainable by us it is unexplainable.” (Neal A. Maxwell, Not My Will, But Thine (1988), 124.)

Where will you go to be taught about a Savior who is your best friend, who not only suffered for your sins but who also suffered ‘pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind’ so ‘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,’7 including, I believe, the infirmity of loss of faith?”

Where will you go to learn more about Heavenly Father’s plan for our eternal happiness and peace, a plan that is filled with wondrous possibilities, teachings, and guidance for our mortal and eternal lives? Remember, the plan of salvation gives mortal life meaning, purpose, and direction.”

Where will you go to find a detailed and inspired Church organizational structure through which you are taught and supported by men and women who are deeply committed to serving the Lord by serving you and your family?”

Brothers and sisters, accepting and living the gospel of Christ can be challenging. It has always been thus, and it ever will be. Life can be like hikers ascending a steep and arduous trail. It is a natural and normal thing to occasionally pause on the path to catch our breath, to recalculate our bearings, and to reconsider our pace. Not everyone needs to pause on the path, but there is nothing wrong with doing so when your circumstances require. In fact, it can be a positive thing for those who take full advantage of the opportunity to refresh themselves with the living water of the gospel of Christ.

The danger comes when someone chooses to wander away from the path that leads to the tree of life.”

I don’t pretend to know why faith to believe comes easier for some than for others. I’m just so grateful to know that the answers are always there, and if we seek them—really seek with real intent and with full purpose of a prayerful heart—we will eventually find the answers to our questions as we continue on the gospel path.”

Just as we should open our arms in a spirit of welcoming new converts, so too should we embrace and support those who have questions and are faltering in their faith.”

“Please know that even though great storms of wind and waves beat upon the old ship, the Savior is on board and is able to rebuke the storm with His command ‘Peace, be still.’ Until then, we must not fear, and we must have unwavering faith and know that ‘even the wind and the sea obey him.’11

He will never abandon any one of us. Remember Peter’s response to the Savior’s question and words:
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

Bishop Dean M Davies, The Blessings of Worship
One of the most remarkable and tender experiences recorded in holy scripture is the account of the visit of the Savior to people in the Americas following His death and Resurrection. The people had suffered a destruction so great that it caused ‘the whole earth [to become] deformed.’1 The record of those events relates that following the catastrophe, all the people wept continually,2 and in the midst of their deep grief, they hungered for healing, peace, and deliverance.”

Far from being an accidental, happy occurrence, worship is essential and central to our spiritual life. It is something we should yearn for, seek out, and strive to experience.

In the Book of Mormon we learn that from the moment Alma the Younger was delivered from suffering the consequences of his own rebelliousness, he was never the same.”

As we worship, our souls are refined and we commit to walk in the footsteps of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ. And from this resolve, we acquire charity.

Elder Lynn G Robbins, The Righteous Judge
“There is only one way to judge righteous judgment, as Jesus Christ does, and that is to be as He is.”

“The natural man and woman in each of us has a tendency to condemn others and to judge unrighteously, or self-righteously.”

“Today’s ‘common judge[s]’ (D&C 107:74), our bishops and branch presidents, should avoid any similar impulse to condemn, as James and John did on that occasion. A righteous judge would respond to confessions with compassion and understanding. An erring youth, for example, should leave the bishop’s office feeling the love of the Savior through the bishop and enveloped in the joy and healing power of the Atonement—never shamed or held in contempt. Otherwise, the bishop may unwittingly drive the lost sheep further into the wilderness (see Luke 15:4).”

“...through the sweet irony of sacrifice, we actually gain something of eternal worth—His mercy and forgiveness and eventually “all that [the] Father hath” (D&C 84:38).”

While few of us will be called to be common judges, the principles of righteous judgment apply to all of us, especially to parents who have a daily opportunity to use these principles with their children. To effectively teach a child is the very essence of good parenting, and to lovingly discipline is the very essence of being a righteous judge.”

“If children are defiant and difficult to control, be patient with them until you can conquer by love, … and you can then [mold] their characters as you please.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph F. Smith (1998), 299)

41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—
43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

This scripture (D&C 121:41–43) teaches us to reprove “when moved upon by the Holy Ghost,” not when moved upon by anger.

“unkind things are not usually said under the inspiration of the Lord. The Spirit of the Lord is a spirit of kindness; it is a spirit of patience; it is a spirit of charity and love and forbearance and long suffering. …
“… But if we have the spirit of fault finding … in a destructive manner, that never comes as a result of the companionship of the Spirit of our Heavenly Father and is always harmful.
“… Kindness is the power that God has given us to unlock hard hearts and subdue stubborn souls.” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith (2011), 225, 226, 228)


“… Kindness is the power that God has given us to unlock hard hearts and subdue stubborn souls.”(Teachings of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith (2011), 225, 226, 228)

14 And it came to pass that he did teach and minister unto the children of the multitude of whom hath been spoken, and he did loose their tongues, and they did speak unto their fathers great and marvelous things, even greater than he had revealed unto the people; and he loosed their tongues that they could utter.
16 Behold, it came to pass on the morrow that the multitude gathered themselves together, and they both saw and heard these children; yea, even babes did open their mouths and utter marvelous things; and the things which they did utter were forbidden that there should not any man write them.

Those parents had been granted the extraordinary gift of a glimpse into eternity and of beholding the true identity and premortal stature of their children. Would that not forever change the way the parents saw and treated their children?”

“The way you see [a child] is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is [who] they [will] become.” (Attributed to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, brainyquote.com)

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.” (Thomas S. Monson, “Finding Joy in the Journey,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2008, 86.)



Elder Henry B Eyring, Gratitude on the Sabbath Day
Today I desire to speak about feelings of the heart. The one I will focus on is gratitude—particularly on the Sabbath day.

5 Wherefore, I give unto them a commandment, saying thus: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy might, mind, and strength; and in the name of Jesus Christ thou shalt serve him.
7 Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things.
8 Thou shalt offer a sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in righteousness, even that of a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Many of you listening already find joy in the Sabbath as a day to remember and give thanks to God for blessings.

My thoughts - blog Sabbath
{
On the sabbath we could take time to count our blessings.
}

The blessing of love we receive will make it easier for us to keep the commandment to “always remember him.”

We can count all those blessings every Sunday and feel grateful.

12 And it came to pass that I beheld the church of the Lamb of God, and its numbers were few, because of the wickedness and abominations of the whore who sat upon many waters; nevertheless, I beheld that the church of the Lamb, who were the saints of God, were also upon all the face of the earth; and their dominions upon the face of the earth were small, because of the wickedness of the great whore whom I saw.
14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

Sunday Afternoon Session
Elder David A Bednar, “If Ye Had Known Me”
21 ¶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.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you:depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Our understanding of this episode is enlarged as we reflect upon an inspired revision to the text. Significantly, the Lord’s phrase reported in the King James Version of the Bible, “I never knew you,” was changed in the Joseph Smith Translation to “Ye never knew me.”

We come to know the Father as we come to know His Beloved Son.”

20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

In His mortal ministry, Jesus marked the path, led the way, and set the perfect example. ‘A correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes’21 provides enduring purpose and clear direction as we follow Him on the road of devoted discipleship.”

Following the Savior also enables us to receive ‘an actual knowledge that the course of life [we are] pursuing’22 is in accordance with God’s will. Such knowledge is not an unknowable mystery and is not focused primarily upon our temporal pursuits or ordinary mortal concerns. Rather, steady and sustained progress along the covenant pathway is the course of life that is pleasing to Him.”

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

“I have reflected many times on this father’s request: ‘Help thou mine unbelief.’ I wonder if the intent of the man’s pleading was not primarily to help him believe in Jesus as our Redeemer and in His healing power. He already may have acknowledged Christ as the Son of God. But perhaps he needed help to believe the Master’s healing power indeed could be so individual and so personalized as to bless his own beloved son. He may have believed in Christ generally but not believed Christ specifically and personally.”

“We often testify of what we know to be true, but perhaps the more relevant question for each of us is whether we believe what we know.”

Brian K Ashton, The Doctrine of Christ
“The scriptures define the doctrine of Christ as exercising faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.”

“The doctrine of Christ on the other hand is the means—the only means—by which we can obtain all of the blessings made available to us through Jesus’s Atonement.”

“Being born again, unlike our physical birth, is more a process than an event. And engaging in that process is the central purpose of mortality.” (D. Todd Christofferson, “Born Again,” Ensign or Liahona, May 2008, 78)

He made it possible for mercy to overpower justice upon conditions of repentance.”

Repentance is not a backup plan just in case our plan to live perfectly fails.”

Through repentance we become submissive and obedient to God’s will. Now, this is not done alone. A recognition of God’s goodness and our nothingness,30 combined with our best efforts to align our behavior with God’s will,31 brings grace into our lives.  Grace “is divine means of help or strength, given through the bounteous mercy and love of Jesus Christ … to do good works that [we] otherwise would not be able to maintain if left to [our] own means.”

As our constant companion, the Holy Ghost gives us additional power or strength to keep our covenants.47 He also sanctifies us,48 which means to make us ‘free from sin, pure, clean, and holy through the atonement of Jesus Christ.’49

In other words, the reception of the Holy Ghost and the change that reception creates in us further builds our faith.”

As we then symbolically sacrifice our hearts and our sins upon the sacrament altar, we receive the Holy Ghost to a greater degree.

So how can we apply the doctrine of Christ more fully in our lives? One way would be to make a conscious effort each week to prepare for the sacrament by taking some time to prayerfully consider where we most need to improve.  We could then bring a sacrifice of at least one thing that keeps us from being like Jesus Christ to the sacrament altar, pleading in faith for help, asking for necessary spiritual gifts, and covenanting to improve during the coming week.62 As we do so, the Holy Ghost will come into our lives to a greater degree, and we will have additional strength to overcome our imperfections.”






Elder Carl B Cook, Serve
As we serve, we draw closer to God.

“Service is not something we endure on this earth so we can earn the right to live in the celestial kingdom. Service is the very fiber of which an exalted life in the celestial kingdom is made.” (Marion G. Romney, “The Celestial Nature of Self-Reliance,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 93.)

I see no signs that President Monson and his associates in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve are too busy or too tired. They exemplify in an inspiring way the power that comes into our lives as we exercise faith, accept assignments, and fulfill them with commitment and dedication.”

“...every calling or assignment is important.

“We are all in this great endeavor together. … Your obligation is as serious in your sphere of responsibility as is my obligation in my sphere. No calling in this church is small or of little consequence.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, “This Is the Work of the Master,” Ensign, May 1995, 71.)

All who serve will receive God’s grace.

Elder Ronald A Rasband, Lest Thou Forget
“...do not forget, Heavenly Father knows and loves each of you, and He is always ready to help.

12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

“...avoiding things that do not build and strengthen your testimony...

Ponder the scriptures regularly, and remember the thoughts and feelings you experience as you read them.

29 But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;

Avoid counterfeit offerings of so-called ‘truths’ which are so pervasive, and remember to record your feelings of ‘love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance.’8

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?

“...do not forget your divine heritage as a son or daughter of God...

Elder Evan A Schmutz, God Shall Wipe Away All Tears  - trials
“As part of our Heavenly Father’s plan, He allowed sorrow to be woven into our mortal experience.”

When we view the difficult experiences of life through the lens of faith in Christ, we are able to see that there can be godly purpose in our suffering. The faithful can experience the truth of Peter’s seemingly contradictory counsel. He wrote, ‘If ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye.’2 As we apply our ‘hearts to understanding,’3 we can increase in our ability to both endure our trials well and learn from—and be refined by—them. Such understanding provides an answer to the ageless question ‘Why do bad things happen to good people?’”

God invites us to respond with faith to our own unique afflictions in order that we may reap blessings and gain knowledge that can be learned in no other way.”

17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

In an intimate and reflective passage, Paul tells us of an unnamed ‘thorn’ in his flesh, which caused him great pain and brought him three times to his knees, begging the Lord to take it from him. In answer to Paul’s prayers, the Lord did not remove the thorn but did speak peace and give understanding to his heart, saying, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.’ With new understanding, Paul was able to accept and be grateful for the thorn he was given. He said, ‘Most gladly therefore will I … glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’12

“...we learn how to succor those in need of succor...”

When we find ourselves laboring through tribulation, it can be difficult to see our trials as signposts on our personal trail of discipleship. But whether we find ourselves at times in the dark valley of despair or on the high road of happiness, learning from and feeling compassion for the sufferings of others can be a blessing.”

“Certain forms of suffering, endured well, can actually be ennobling. …

“… Part of enduring well consists of being meek enough, amid our suffering, to learn from our relevant experiences. Rather than simply passing through these things, they must pass through us … in ways which sanctify [us].” (Neal A. Maxwell, “Enduring Well,” Ensign, Apr. 1997, 8; Liahona, Apr. 1999, 12.)

Elder K Brett Nattress, No Greater Joy Than to Know That They Know
“If all that your children knew of the gospel came from you—as their only source—how much would they know?”

I firmly believe that all sisters—I will call them ‘angels’—are mothers in Zion, whether or not they are married or bear children during this earthly experience.”

19 We love him, because he first loved us.

My Thoughts
{
1 John 4:19 was referenced more than once this conference.
}

Elder Dale G Renlund - Joy, repentance
“The Atonement leaves no tracks, no traces. What it fixes is fixed. … It just heals, and what it heals stays healed.” (President Boyd K. Packer’s testimony in the leadership meeting associated with April 2015 general conference is not published in full. These remarks are from Elder Renlund’s private notes, taken at the time.)

We can—and sometimes do—make different choices. Such choices may not seem intrinsically wrong, but they prevent us from becoming truly penitent and thus preclude our pursuit of real repentance. For instance, we may choose to blame others.

But minimizing our mistakes, even if no immediate consequences are apparent, removes the motivation to change. This thinking prevents us from seeing that our mistakes and sins have eternal consequences.

God does love us. However, what we do matters to Him and to us. He has given clear directives about how we should behave.

What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.
Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week,
Or sells eternity to get a toy?” (William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece, lines 211–14)

Repentance is not only possible but also joyful because of our Savior.

I invite you to feel more joy in your life: joy in the knowledge that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real; joy in the Savior’s ability, willingness, and desire to forgive; and joy in choosing to repent.