Life-changing Prayers

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In my opinion, one of the most impactful of all the talks at the April 2014 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Pres. Henry B. Eyring’s talk given during the priesthood session: “The Priesthood Man.”

In particular there is one paragraph that I believe to be life-changing:

“We all pray, but the priesthood holder you want to be prays often and with real intent. In the evening you will get on your knees and thank God for the blessings of the day. You will thank Him for parents, for teachers, and for great examples to follow. You will describe in your prayers specifically who has blessed your life and how, during that day. That will take more than a few minutes and more than a little thought. It will surprise you and change you.” (Eyring, Henry B. (2014). The Priesthood Man).

Ever since I re-read this talk, I’ve taken his counsel to heart. Specifically, I “describe in your prayers specifically who has blessed your life and how, during that day.” This requires me to be more mindful throughout the day of how and who does something for me. The blessings can be as little as a smile or holding an elevator door or helping me with a task. The blessings can be a hug from a child or a spouse or a kind word said. Modifying my prayers to include this level of specificity helps me be more mindful of small and large acts of service around me and particularly ones done for me. Trying to mention names has also been beneficial. I’ve never been particularly good at remembering names (I once even introduced myself by the wrong name but that’s a story for a different time) so this counsel from Pres. Eyring provides encouragement for me to go out of my way to try and learn, remember, and later recall someone’s name.

The end result is that I get to express gratitude for specific acts of kindness or service. To do so requires me to be more grateful and watchful throughout the day. Our Father notices falling sparrows so we can certainly notice a held door or a warm smile. Searching and expressing gratitude for acts of kindness and service encourages me to go out of my way to do kind things for others. I’m grateful for the teachings of living prophets that help me become a better man.

New! Watch Priesthood Session Live Online

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The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that for the first time ever, the priesthood session of General Conference will be available to watch live online. Read the press release about General Conference. Specifically of interest:

“As part of a continued effort to make general conference proceedings more accessible to members around the globe, the priesthood session will be shown live for the first time through expanded channels, including LDS.org, the Mormon Channel and BYUtv.”

This is welcome news to those who live some distance from church buildings.

Lowering the Age and Raising the Bar

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I wanted to share a few thoughts about the lowering of the age requirements for LDS missionaries, which was announced on Saturday morning by Pres. Thomas S. Monson. Young men can serve at 18 if they are done with high school (or its equivalent) and young women can serve at 19 if they are done with high school (or its equivalent).

First about numbers: Church leaders are expecting a significant increase in the number of missionaries serving. I think it will have a greater effect initially on the number of women serving than the number of men, although it will affect both. We currently have 58,000 missionaries serving. Back in the 90s it was usually at 60,000 but was down to around 52,000 in recent years with a higher trend recently. The trend will continue upward after this announcement.

Second, this point should not be ignored: “Elder Holland also explained that missionaries will be asked to enhance their pre-mission preparation prior to entering the Missionary Training Center (MTC) and that time spent in the MTC will be reduced by approximately one-third for all missionaries. That change will help accommodate an overall increase in missionaries.” Missionaries called to missions in their own language typically only spend 20 days in the MTC so this will be reduced to around 14 days. The best education about the process of being a missionary occurs in the field. On the job training is more effective than any in the classroom training that occurs in the MTC. What the MTC does is get missionaries used to the missionary schedule (typically 6:30 AM – 10:30 PM). Missionaries who are learning a new language spend around 9 weeks in the MTC(s) with the extra time spent learning the language (or at least thinking you are learning the language). Again, most of the language learning occurs in the field. With a reduction of about 33%, the stay is reduced from 9 weeks to 6 weeks. As Elder Holland stated, this reduction in MTC time is to accommodate more missionaries (it can be assumed that the Church is expecting up to a 33% increase in missionaries, although this increase likely will occur over the course of a decade – I’m predicting {and I could be wrong – hopefully I am} an increase of about 15,000 within 10 years).

Third point. Where are the missionaries prepared now if not as much in the MTC? Where they always were supposed to be prepared – in the home and at church: “Elder Holland said parents need to help their children prepare for missionary service.” Back in 2003 Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley raised the bar for missionaries by raising the standard for the preparation of missionaries. The Lord wanted better-prepared servants who were ready to hit the ground running. Part of this change required revamping the missionary discussions (near the end of my mission new discussions were starting to be piloted in the adjacent mission to mine in Washington). These updated discussions emphasized the role of prophets more but more significantly and substantially relied on missionaries receiving revelation concerning the needs of those whom they were teaching. This greater emphasis of reliance on the Spirit meant that missionaries needed to be better prepared.

All of this implies that preparation need to occur in the homes. Parents have a greater responsibility to make sure that their children areprepared. With the recent age change and subsequent shortening of stays in MTCs, this puts even greater responsibility on parents to prepare their children. Young men and women should be intimately familiar with Preach My Gospel (notice: PDF link of the book) before they get to the MTC. Making it a regular part of gospel study is encouraged. Going on a mission is like jumping into the deep end of a pool without knowing how to swim. Missionaries have to rely on the Spirit to buoy them up because they are in over their heads (I can’t take credit for this analogy, it comes to me second hand from one of my ward mission leaders who met regularly with some of the Apostles to discuss church technology plans – he learned it from them). Learning to recognize the Spirit and act on those promptings best happens in the home. This means that parents have to be more conscientious about teaching their children and helping their children learn to recognize the Spirit. Youth need to know the doctrine, recognize the Spirit, and live the gospel. This has always been the case but it is imperative now that the youth are prepared before they are set apart as missionaries. Having served with the youth for the past 6 years, I can say that many are that prepared.

Overall, this was an exciting announcement from the prophet. I don’t know if I would have gone at 18 if I had the choice. I thoroughly enjoyed the year I had at Brigham Young University before my mission. I learned much that year, a lot that helped me prepare further to serve as a missionary. I could have gone at 18 but I value the experiences and friends I had at BYU as a freshman. On the other hand, if I went at 18, I might have modified my career trajectory earlier (I essentially figured out what I wanted to do when I was a missionary; my freshman year was spent in classes that were for a major that I no longer wanted to do. I don’t want to say that the whole year was a waste, it was valuable in many ways and it was a year I hold dear to my heart, but most of my classes were major-specific and thus not helpful when I changed my major to psychology). If I had gone on a mission right after high school maybe I would have figured out my new major before I spent a year on classes that in the end did not matter (although they were still great learning experiences). This is a lot of ifs and hypotheticals and is in the end a moot discussion because going earlier was not an option.

My point in belaboring this point is that the decision is not an easy one. The Church is not expecting every young man to go at 18. They do not even expect every young man to go at 19. The hope is that every able young man will be able to serve a mission but there are extenuating circumstances that contraindicate missions for some individuals. What is important is to make the decision of when to go with the inspiration of God and with input from parents and church leaders. What the Lord wants are missionaries who are willing and worthy to serve and who are prepared to act as instruments in His hands as full-time missionaries and throughout their lives.

Elder Bowen’s General Conference Talk

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General Conference so far has been uplifting. I have enjoyed the talks and the music. One talk that touched me particularly was Elder Shayne M. Bowen’s from Saturday morning. He spoke about parents losing children to death. The grief is severe but the guilt and anger can become toxic and destructive. Christ offers reassurance in the resurrection and assuagement through the Atonement.

As a side note: I met Elder Bowen a couple times when he visited our previous ward. I was impressed when he took the time to meet with our youth and teach our young men – offering to answer whatever questions they had (and as Young Men’s President I was more than happy to turn my lesson time over to one of the Seventy). He is a great teacher and has a deep love and knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

LDS General Conference 2012 – Two Favorite Talks

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Two of my favorite talks from conference were by Elder Jeffery R. Holland and Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I also really enjoyed Sis. Cheryl Esplin’s talk about teaching our children to understand the gospel.

The full text of all the addresses will be posted on Thursday. Here is a summary of what was spoken.

Watch Elder Holland’s talk about the Laborers in the Vineyard below. He talked about being grateful for the blessings we receive and counseled us to not compare ourselves to others. We don’t need to “drink a quart of pickle juice” when others around us are successful. We shouldn’t get so caught up on old grievances – against ourselves, against others, against the Church, or even ones by church members or church leaders. We are all imperfect and cannot measure up to our Perfect Father. God thrills from being merciful. We need forgiveness and need to forgive others. We have never travelled beyond the light of God’s forgiveness. We can overcome our problems and receive forgiveness.

Here is Pres. Uchtdorf’s Sunday morning talk. He counseled us to forgive others, giving us a two word sermon amid the rest of his talk: “Stop it!” We need to stop judging others and forgive and love everyone: “Brothers and sisters, let us put down our stones. Let us be kind. Let us forgive. Let us talk peacefully with each other. Let the love of God fill our hearts. Let us do good unto all men…Let us, as disciples of Jesus Christ, return good for evil. Let us not seek revenge or allow our wrath to overcome us. … As member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wherever we may be, let us be known as a people who have love one to another”.

Cloven Tongues of Fire

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There is a phrase in the book of Acts – “cloven tongues of fire” – that describes an experience of great power. The context of the phrase is day of Pentecost. During this great outpouring of the Spirit of the Lord, many great sights were seen, many great sounds were heard, and many great feelings were felt. We read, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” (Acts 2:2-4).

I started thinking about the term “cloven tongues of fire”. What does that phrase mean? How it is phrased in Acts makes it seem like those present saw flames around them. This might be the case but we get clarification of what this phrase means in the Doctrine and Covenants, part of the canon of scripture for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We read: “Let it be fulfilled upon them, as upon those on the day of Pentecost; let the gift of tongues be poured out upon thy people, even cloven tongues as of fire, and the interpretation thereof.” (D&C 109:36).

Cloven means split. Cloven tongues are like the tongues of snakes. But in this instance, the cloven tongues refer to speaking in tongues. This is a gift from the Holy Ghost. There are at least two ways of looking at these cloven tongues of fire.

  1. On the day of Pentecost, some people spoke in tongues – plural. They said something in one language but other people heard it in another. We know this is the case: “The multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilæans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?” (Acts 2:6-8). Thus, these cloven tongues are really just that – speaking in tongues (multiple) at the same time.
  2. Another interpretation (pun intended) is that tongues are cloven because there is the message of the spoken words and the message of the Holy Ghost. These two things are not always the same thing. What is said and what the Spirit teaches us can be different. Both interpretations are correct.

What’s important to keep in mind is that speaking in tongues is only effective if there is someone who can understand it or interpret it. Generally, it is not the case that the Holy Ghost will bless someone with the gift of tongues in order for them to speak some unknown language without an interpreter. That’s why people speaking gibberish purportedly under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost are not really given the gift of tongues. This is not to say that people cannot speak in an unknown language – such as Adam’s “pure and undefiled” language (see Moses 6:5-6:46) – but again, when this occurs there will almost always be someone who is able to understand and/or translate it by the same power of the Holy Ghost.

The gift of tongues – even cloven tongues of fire – is evident in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today as are the other miraculous events of the day of Pentecost. We have missionaries who learn languages quickly, who teach the gospel filled with the fire of God. There have been cases where missionaries or  apostles have said things they didn’t know how to say in another language or that those listening understood what was being said even though they did not understand the words.

What about someone like myself who served as a missionary in the United States, speaking my native English? The cloven tongues of fire is only one gift of many from the Holy Ghost. Still, there were many times when I spoke and the tongue of the Spirit spoke too – it was a fire that burned brightly within others and myself. Additionally, because of the blessings of the Holy Ghost, my command of English improved. This is not usually how we think of the gift of tongues but it can, and often is, the case that your own language skills will improve so that you can improve teaching the gospel.

“Cloven tongues of fire” is a phrase that provides powerful imagery. The most important implication of it is that it is a gift of the Holy Ghost. When the power of God rests upon us we can know, feel, and do great things. This is a power that touches many but was largely lost from the earth until the Priesthood and ordinances of God were restored to Joseph Smith. The gift (not just influence) of the Holy Ghost is one of the greatest and most important components of the Restoration.

In closing, Pres. Packer gave a great talk on this topic in the April 2000 General Conference. Pres. Packer said:

“In every language, the Spirit of God—the Holy Ghost—guides, or can guide, every member of the Church. Everyone is invited to come and repent and be baptized and receive of this sacred gift. Despite opposition, the Church will flourish; and despite persecution, it will grow. Joseph Smith was asked, ‘How does your religion differ from other religions?’ He replied, ‘All other considerations were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost.'”

The power of the Holy Ghost is real. When with us, we can receive great blessings so that we are better able to share the gospel with others and bless the lives of others. The flaming fire of the Spirit is a call to responsibility; it is a call to be lights on hills to others who are lost in the darkness of disbelief. It is a call to speak with the power of God so that others might bask in His light and love.

Elder Holland’s General Conference Address

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I have a confession to make. I missed almost all of General Conference because I was at a research conference on Saturday and on my way to another research conference on Sunday. So, last week was a conference weekend for me, it just wasn’t Conference weekend. What I am grateful for is the opportunity I have to listen, read, or watch all the talks from General Conference online or on my iPod. I can (and do) listen to Conference talks while walking from my car to my lab. I can use that time to soak in the words of prophets and apostles, thanks to terrific technologies.

In this strain of gratitude, I would like to post the video of Elder Holland’s talk, as well as a few quotations from his talk. Here is the video:

To those in the church who might feel as if their contributions have been small or insignificant, Elder Holland offers these words with all the sincerity of his heart: “And to the near-perfect elderly sister who almost apologetically whispered recently, ‘I have never been a leader of anything in the Church. I guess I’ve only been a helper,’ I say, ‘Dear sister, God bless you and all the ‘helpers’ in the kingdom.’ Some of us who are leaders hope someday to have the standing before God that you have already attained.” (Source).

We are all important members of God’s family and are loved by Him and by so many others. Elder Holland said, “In whatever country you live, however young or inadequate you feel, or however aged or limited you see yourself as being, I testify you are individually loved of God, you are central to the meaning of His work, and you are cherished and prayed for by the presiding officers of His Church. The personal value, the sacred splendor of every one of you, is the very reason there is a plan for salvation and exaltation.”

I hope that we might all read, watch, listen to, re-read, re-watch, or listen again to Elder Holland’s message. His message was more than a jaunty pep-talk or a bit of positive psychological prose, Elder Holland spoke of and exhibited the pure love Christ. God loves each of us, in spite of our many imperfections. This does not mean that we are free to sin without consequence but God does love each of us.

On Time

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One night Wilford Woodruff had a vision of Joseph Smith and others in heaven. Joseph was at the door of the temple in heaven. He was in a hurry and could not stop to talk with Wilford. Many people were in a hurry. After a bit, Joseph passed by Wilford again. Wilford stopped him and asked why he and everyone were hurried. Joseph replied, “I will tell you Brother Woodruff. Every dispensation that has had the Priesthood on the earth and has gone into the Celestial Kingdom has had a certain amount of work to do to prepare to go to the earth with the Savior when He goes to reign on the earth. Each dispensation has had ample time to do this work. We have not. We are the last dispensation and so much work has to be done [that] we need to be in a hurry in order to accomplish it!”

In other words, we do not have much time before the Second Coming. We must be anxiously engaged in the work of the Lord. We must not waste time! We have so much to do and so little time. Those who have already passed on are engaged in the work from the other side of the veil. They continue their work with all the energy they have.

General Conference was one week ago. I marvel at the wonderful technology that allows us to watch Conference as it happens, even though we might be across the globe. Mp3s of the sessions were up hours after each was over. As soon as each session ended, we could watch it (again) via streaming video. Shortly later each talk and song were available to download as videos or audio. On Thursday the full text of the talks was posted.

The Church is constantly working on new ways to reach more people more quickly and with less effort. We can watch church videos on YouTube, we can listen to an LDS radio station – online and over the air in some locations, we can read scriptures online or on our iPods or iPhones, we can send out emails to the whole ward announcing activities, we can report home teaching via email, we can share the gospel using Twitter or Facebook or blogs. The Lord has blessed us with technological advances so that we might have more time to devote to fulfilling His work. We need to take advantage of these advances and labor and time-saving inventions by making sure we fulfill our gospel responsibilities and our duties to God.

We have little time to do the Lord’s work; let’s not squander what time we have. Those like the Prophet Joseph or Pres. Hinckley or many of our ancestors on the other side of the veil are working with all diligence to do the Lord’s work. They need willing and active hearts and hands from us to fulfill our duties. We need to remember the words of Amulek who said, “Behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors” (Alma 34:32). We have much work to accomplish in this life – there are things we can only do here. We have work enough to do ere the sun goes down. How are you spending your time?

Selected October 2009 General Conference Quotes and Thoughts – Sunday Afternoon Session

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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland – Witness of the Book of Mormon


Elder Holland’s talk was one of the most powerful testimonies of the Book of Mormon you will likely hear in your life!

Prophecies regarding the last days often reveal calamities – political and economic.

The Savior warned that even the very elect could be deceived in the last days. Think of the heart as the poetic location of our loyalties and values. Heavenly Father knows all of our troubles of the heart and soul. The Book of Mormon begins with a great parable of life – hope vs. fear, salvation vs. destruction, etc. Mists of darkness arose to make the hard way even harder. There was a rod of iron that led the way – it was a manifestation of God’s love – it was His word.

The power of Christ [will counter] all troubles in all times, including the end of times. That is the safe harbor God wants for us in public or personal despair. As we are faithful, we can be made strong.

Elder Holland told of the martyrdom of Hyrum and Joseph. Many testify of the truth of the Book of Mormon and of the truthfulness of Joseph’s calling as a prophet of God. Joseph and Hyrum were willing to die rather than deny the divine origin of the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon has been denied and attacked since its publication and no attack has ever held.

“No wicked man could write a book like this [the Book of Mormon] and no good man would write it, unless it were truth and he had been commanded of God.”

The Book of Mormon is a stone of stumbling and rock of offense to the unbeliever.

“My testimony is as binding and unequivocal as [Joseph’s]…I give my witness to the world [that the Book of Mormon is true…I lie not.”

God always provides safety for the soul and with the Book of Mormon He has again done that.

Elder Quentin L. Cook – Stewardship

We have the freedom to choose our course in this life…but we will be accountable for our choices.

We are stewards over our minds, bodies…

Stewardship for ourselves and family.

“We live in a time when virtue and chastity are not safeguarded.” The wellsprings of life are to be kept pure. This is one of the reasons why virtue and chastity are so important in our Father’s Plan. When our thoughts or actions are impure, we violate His standard.

Those who rationalize, remind us of little children who cover their eyes convinced that they can’t see us and we can’t see them.

All can repent and return to a state of cleanliness. “Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is repented and I remember them no more.” We have a duty to secure the physical and spiritual well-being of our children. Having religious observance in our home is as important as having food, shelter, and clothing.

Stewardship for the poor and needy.

We are accountable as stewards over earthly blessings.

Story of 80 year old Sarah who was one of first to give service or donations. He also spoke of the Church’s humanitarian efforts, including fast offerings.

We should be diligent. Because of contributions, the church can respond quickly without fanfare to needs/disasters around the world. In all our stewardship actions, we try to follow the Savior.

Elder D. Todd Christofferson – The Principle of Discipline

We all possess the God-given gift of moral agency. For positive outcomes, moral agency must be coupled with moral discipline.

The root of the word discipline is shared with the word “disciple.” Our moral discipline is rooted in loyalty and devotion to the Father and Son. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ that provides the foundation of moral discipline.

The world sees moral as relative. This leads to lack of internal control, which requires external coercion by governments. We rely on external laws to regulate behavior, which shows how uncivilized we have become.

We need an internal moral compass within each individual that can deal with the root causes of personal and societal ills. Moral discipline is learned at home. We can’t dictate what others will do [but we can what we do]. There must be constant teaching, mostly by example [of the gospel]. The intelligent use of agency requires knowledge of truth to see things how they are.

Satan and his followers are not promoting objectivity. We should not have to learn by sad experience that wickedness never was happiness. Early discipline [of children] can bring an abrupt end to crime [or prevent it outright].

“While therapy can support a person’s will, it cannot substitute for it.”

Pres. Thomas S. Monson – Closing Remarks

We live in a time when many in the world have slipped from the moorings of safety. Many are routinely disregarding the laws of God.

May we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. “I love you my brothers and sisters. I pray for you. I ask that you would remember me and all the general authorities [in your prayers].” Jesus guides and directs His church here upon the earth.

Selected October 2009 General Conference Quotes and Thoughts – Sunday Morning Session

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Pres. Henry B. Eyring – The Road of Improvement

Different as we may be, we share a desire to be better than we are. We can and must expect to become better as long as we live. We will all meet the Savior someday and need to prepare for that time. Any believing Latter-day Saint is an optimist about what may come. Even the most humble person can take comfort in the invitation to become like the Savior.

I’m trying to be like Jesus, I’m following in His way. I’m trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say.

It is a commandment to become like the Savior. He has prepared a way through His Atonement and example. Love is the motivator along the way to becoming like Him. Love of God will lead us to keep His commandments. The family is an example of the ideal setting in which we can experience love [and service]. Sorrow [in our families] comes primarily from selfishness.

I pray that there will be no empty chairs in your family in the life to come. Pray for the love to make your companion’s joy your own.

[He talked about wayward children]. Orson F. Whitney quote: “Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them…Pray for your careless and disobedient children…Love them, reach out to them with confidence…”

Honor thy father and mother – the only commandment with a promise.

You can feel the approval our your Heavenly Father when you do what He asks. I hope you will go out today looking for opportunities to do as He did.

Elder L. Tom Perry – Temple and Missionary Work

Talked about the Manti Temple pageant and temple. There is a special spirit about these older temples that were constructed [with great sacrifice]. I can hear the pioneers saying, “Look what we built with our own hands!”

Stories of the pioneers. Settling in Sanpete and promised to have a temple. They waited and no temple was started so they, with the Church leaders’ permission, started building the Manti temple. They used the principles of ship-building to build a solid roof for the temple (they designed it like a ship and turned it upside-down). The principles of building a sound ship also applied to the temple.

We have all accepted the responsibility to share the gospel with others. The church eliminated the stake missions and brought it down to the ward level; it increases involvement by the members. Pres. Hinckley said: “So many of look upon missionary work simply as tracting…there is a better…wherever there is a member who introduces an investigator, there is a built-in support system.”

How prepared are you to give witness and testimony of the gospel…to play that supporting role to the full-time missionaries as they teach investigators?

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the divine way to face the future.

Elder Russell M. Nelson – Revelation

Modern technology is amazing. But more amazing is our ability to receive knowledge from heaven without hardware, software, or monthly fees. This offer to receive personal revelation is extended to all God’s children. We always need to be ready to receive [personal revelation].

To access information from heaven, one must have firm faith and sincere desire. One needs to ask with real intent and with faith in Jesus Christ. Study the matter diligently.

Some revelations have been given for specific circumstances, like Noah’s ark.

A desire to follow the prophet takes much effort because the natural man knows little of the Lord. The natural man is an enemy to God and will be forever unless he [submitteth unto the Lord].

Personal revelation can be honed to become spiritual discernment. This is a supernal gift. It allows us to see things not visible and feel things not tangible. Can detect trends in the world…things that are flashy and fleeting and those that are [worthwhile and lasting].

“None of the callings in the Priesthood are for the personal benefit or fame of those who have them. They are to fulfill the purposes of God.” ~ Pres. John Taylor (paraphrased)

Revelation need not all come at once. It may be incremental. “Line upon line, precept upon precept.” Unto him who receiveth, I will give more.

Pres. Thomas S. Monson – Service

Volunteers in Medicine founder – Dr. McConnell – giving service

Unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose in life. Giving service can, in effect, save your life.

“Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others” – David O. McKay.

At baptism we covenant to bear one another’s burdens that they may be light. Too often we think, “oh, someone else will fill that need.” We spend too much time thinking about things that do not matter much in the grand scheme of things.

“I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight that to somebody’s need made me blind; But I never have yet felt a tinge of regret for being a little too kind.”

“Warm fuzzies jar” – based on acts of service. A girl in a ward babysat for free for a family who did not have a lot of money. [Other examples of service were shared].

We have to live a long time to learn how empty a room can be that is filled only with furniture. The memories of the past can burn within our hearts.

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.

If we truly listen we may hear that voice say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”