Being the week of Thanksgiving, I would like to express my thanks for the words of these prophets. It has been satisfying to my spirit to read words that I know come from my Savior, that He wants me to hear. We can’t remember everything, always, so reading through these talks gives me a chance to remember Him, remember what I stand for, and remember what is important in this life.
We are now reading from the October 1974 Friday morning session. Each talk holds precious tidbits, so I will highlight some of the more profound thoughts that make me feel particularly grateful.
Pres. Spencer W. Kimball–God Will Not Be Mocked
“We pray with our Lord that we may be kept from being in the world.” This statement struck me as something very basic, yet often forgotten. Do we actually pray to be kept from the world? Is it even possible to ask for this, when we ourselves can’t decide? And how does that fit with the title of this talk?
I can testify that prophets can see-a-far-off. Indeed, we must pray feverishly to stay apart from the world every day, all day if possible–then act upon it. And we must teach our children to do so as well. Here are just a few quotes from his talk:
- “We are building almost daily new chapels throughout the world, and they are filled with happy, faithful people.”
- “People are abroad who will deceive you and bring you much sorrow and remorse. Have nothing to do with those who would lead you astray.”
- “God made man in his own image, male and female made he them. With relatively few accidents of nature, we are born male or female. The Lord knew best. Certainly, men and women who would change their sex status will answer to their Maker.”
- “Sex perversions of men and women can never replenish the earth and are definitely sin without excuse, and rationalizations are very weak; God will not tolerate it. As to abortions, we deplore the reported million unborn children who will lose their lives in this country this year.”
- “Retribution is sure. It is sure.”
President Loren C. Dunn–Our Precious Families
A friend of mine mentioned that during a Relief Society class, she raised a concern that our families were under attack. She was immediately belittled by several women in the room who were ready to argue with her. How can such contrasting views be within our own church membership? We can’t deny that all of us have witnessed the downgrading of parental authority and worldly influence stealing our children away. Pres. Dunn offered three principles to consider in our parental responsibility:
- First is that parents recognize they have the right to structure the attitudes and conduct of their children—not only the right but the responsibility.
- Second, that the principle of work, the work ethic if you please, be taught by the parents in the family setting. Where else is the dignity of work to be taught if not in the home?
- And, third, parents have a right to establish the moral and spiritual tone in the family to help family members to realize the importance of living divine principles as a means of accomplishment and of peace of mind.
Neal A. Maxwell–Why Not Now?
This was Elder Maxwell’s first talk, after his introductory talk in the last conference; his legendary eloquence shown. He suggested ways that we might slide a passive membership off as devotion. “Indeed, one of the most cruel games anyone can play with self is the “not yet” game–hoping to sin just a bit more before ceasing.” His reverse psychology affects the mind just enough to be disturbing.
Henry D. Taylor–The Law of the Fast
Fasting is hard for a lot of people. I’ve sat through many lessons where people will discuss the basics of how to fast, without touching the reason why we fast. Elder Taylor brought up four qualities of importance:
- Self-imposed restraint
- An Opportunity to Help Others
- Spiritual Strength
Within these four lie the opportunity to abstain, pray, testify, and contribute. Powerful stories have been told of miracles occurring because of sincere fasting for, and in behalf, of others. Fasting is a not only a serious request for blessings in need, it is also a gift we offer of ourselves for those we love.
L. Tom Perry–When Thou Art Converted, Strengthen Thy Brethren
He makes this beautiful observation: “In the scriptures when the Lord talks about righteousness, we hear him declare abundance, fullness, and plenty.”
That is the simplest, most profound statement on why we should live the gospel every day. Because we will be enriched, filled, and offered more blessings than we can possibly count.
During this time of year, and daily, may we show our gratitude for the rich blessings we receive because we have the knowledge and testimony of happiness.
(This video is an excerpt from Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk, “Living the Gospel Joyful.”)
Additional General Conference Odyssey posts:
Appreciating Elder Maxwell Nathaniel Givens
Why Not Believe? Daniel Ortner
The satisfaction and dignity of work Marilyn Nielson