Thursday, September 11, 2014

Prepare our Meeting for Investigators

“In an effort to keep our work closely linked to the Savior’s ministry, let me suggest some things all of us might do to keep Christ and His Atonement in the forefront of members’ and investigators’ consciousness. Encourage in every way possible more spiritual Church meetings, especially sacrament meetings. One of the great fears missionaries have at least in some locations is taking their investigators to church. And indeed the investigators deserve to feel essentially the same spirit in sacrament meeting that they feel when being taught by the missionaries.” (Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, March 2001)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

By Small Means Great Things are Brought to Pass

Daniel Chester French's statue, Minute Man, adjacent to the North Bridge, the historical site in the Battle of Concord, the first day of battle in the American War of Independence.
"The thunderbolt falls on an inch of ground, but the light of it fills the horizon." 
From Ralph Waldo Emerson's address at the 1875 dedication of French's Minuteman statue alluding to how the local resistance to the King's troops had far-reaching effects. How far has the First Vision, or the actions in our own lives reached?

It's What's Inside that Counts

"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
By Henry Stanley Haskins (1875-1957) from his anonymously published Meditations in Wall Street (New York: William Morrow & Co., 1940) p. 131.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Its a Good Thing There Wasnt Anybody Around to Help the Pilgrims

"They landed in a forbidding wilderness. No Federal Housing, so they went to work and built their own. No Free Stamp Program, so they raised what food they ate, and when they didn't raise enough, went without. No Free Schools, so mothers taught their children. No Recreational Programs, they were too busy working. No anti-draft riots, everyone was expected to share in the protection of his country. No Social Security, no security at all, except what each provided for himself. But there were compensations. No rioters demanding something for nothing. No unwashed students telling their mothers what to teach. No wasteful bureaucrats paying themselves out of the workers production. Nothing, really, for the Pilgrims but hard work and a lot of it. Did it pay off? Our standard of living proves it" (Christian Economics, Nov. 1972, p. 25).

Gullible Gulls

“In our friendly neighbor city of St. Augustine great flocks of sea gulls are starving amid plenty. Fishing is still good, but the gulls don’t know how to fish. For generations they have depended on the shrimp fleet to toss them scraps from the nets. Now the fleet has moved. … The shrimpers had created a Welfare State for the sea gulls. The big birds never bothered to learn how to fish for themselves and they never taught their children to fish. Instead they led their little ones to the shrimp nets. Now the sea gulls, the fine free birds that almost symbolize liberty itself, are starving to death because they gave in to the ‘something for nothing’ lure! They sacrificed their independence for a handout. A lot of people are like that, too. They see nothing wrong in picking delectable scraps from the tax nets of the U.S. Government’s ‘shrimp fleet.’ But what will happen when the Government runs out of goods? What about our children of generations to come? Let’s not be gullible gulls. We must preserve our talents of self-sufficiency, our genius for creating things for ourselves, our sense of thrift and our true love of independence.” (“Fable of the Gullible Gull,” Reader’s Digest, Oct. 1950, p. 32 as told by President Marion G. Romney, The Celestial Nature of Self-reliance, Ensign, November 1982, p.91)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Follow Now!

Finding Safety in Counsel
"Another fallacy is to believe that the choice to accept or not accept the counsel of prophets is no more than deciding whether to accept good advice and gain its benefits or to stay where we are. But the choice not to take prophetic counsel changes the very ground upon which we stand. It becomes more dangerous. The failure to take prophetic counsel lessens our power to take inspired counsel in the future. The best time to have decided to help Noah build the ark was the first time he asked. Each time he asked after that, each failure to respond would have lessened sensitivity to the Spirit. And so each time his request would have seemed more foolish, until the rain came. And then it was too late. Every time in my life when I have chosen to delay following inspired counsel or decided that I was an exception, I came to know that I had put myself in harm’s way. Every time that I have listened to the counsel of prophets, felt it confirmed in prayer, and then followed it, I have found that I moved toward safety. Along the path, I have found that the way had been prepared for me and the rough places made smooth. God led me to safety along a path which was prepared with loving care, sometimes prepared long before... An example from Church history is that of Reddick Newton Allred. He was one of the rescue party sent out by Brigham Young to bring in the Willie and Martin Handcart Companies. When a terrible storm hit, Captain Grant, captain of the rescue party, decided to leave some of the wagons by the Sweetwater River as he pressed ahead to find the handcart companies. With the blizzards howling and the weather becoming life-threatening, two of the men left behind at the Sweetwater decided that it was foolish to stay. They thought that either the handcart companies had wintered over somewhere or had perished. They decided to return to the Salt Lake Valley and tried to persuade everyone else to do the same. Reddick Allred refused to budge. Brigham had sent them out and his priesthood leader had told him to wait there. The others took several wagons, all filled with needed supplies, and started back. Even more tragic, each wagon they met coming out from Salt Lake they turned back as well. They turned back 77 wagons, returning all the way to Little Mountain, where President Young learned what was happening and turned them around again. When the Willie Company was finally found, and had made that heartrending pull up and over Rocky Ridge, it was Reddick Allred and his wagons that waited for them. (See Rebecca Bartholomew and Leonard J. Arrington, Rescue of the 1856 Handcart Companies [1992], 29, 33–34.)" (then Elder Henry B. Eyring, CR., April, 1997).

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

“A resistance to anything that limits one’s conduct has almost taken over society. Our whole social order could self-destruct over the obsession with freedom disconnected from responsibility, where choice is imagined to be somehow independent of consequences” [President Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1996.]