Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Gain Mastery and then Enslave Them

"We again warn our people in America of the constantly increasing threat against our inspired Constitution and our free institutions set up under it.  The same political tenets and philosophies that have brought war and terror in other parts of the world are at work amongst us in America.  The proponents thereof are seeking to undermine our own form of government and to set up instead one of the forms of dictatorships now flourishing in other lands.  These revolutionists are using a technique that is as old as the human race - - a fervid but false solicitude for the unfortunate over whom they thus gain mastery and then enslave them." [Elder J. Reuben Clark, Conference Report, Apr. 1942, 88-97]

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Great Transfer Board in the Sky

“We do not control what I call ‘the great transfer board in the sky.’ The inconveniences that are sometimes associated with release from our labors here are necessary in order to accelerate the work there. Heavenly Father can’t do His work there, with 10 times more people than we have on this planet, without on occasion taking some of the very best sisters and brothers from among us. The conditions of termination here, painful though they are, are a part of the conditions of acceleration there. Thus we are back to faith in the timing of God, and to our need to be able to say ‘Thy timing be done,’ even when we do not fully understand it” (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, July 2002).

Monday, October 28, 2013

God is in the Details

"Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem? It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone. We are likewise placed in human orbits to illuminate. Divine correlation functions not only in the cosmos but on this planet, too. After all, the Book of Mormon plates were not buried in Belgium, only to have Joseph Smith born centuries later in distant Bombay....God, who oversees the interlacings of galaxies, stars, and worlds, asks us to confess His hand in our personal lives, too. Have we not been reassured about the fall of one sparrow and that the very hairs of our heads are numbered?. God is in the details! Just as the Lord knows all of His vast creations, He also knows and loves each in any crowd—indeed, He knows and loves each and all of mankind!...Of course we cannot fully comprehend all this right now! Of course we cannot know the meaning of all things right now. But we can know, right now, that God knows us and loves us individually!" (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, Encircled in the Arms of His Love, Ensign, November 2002, p.16)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Get it First Hand

"There is an increase in the attendance of the people at meetings. There is nothing that causes the people to grow more in the Gospel than attending their meetings. There is nothing that is more calculated to cause the spirit of the Gospel to dry up, figuratively speaking, than to stay away from our meetings. When we are in a meeting we partake of the spirit of that meeting. When we are absent from it and somebody tells us of the wonderful spirit that was present and what was accomplished by being there to partake of it, we cannot appreciate those things. It is very much like the man who was hungry and someone told him of a fine dinner, but he did not appreciate that dinner. We have to eat for ourselves, we have to live for ourselves, we have to be in the line of our duty in order to partake of the Spirit of the Lord, if the Spirit of the Lord is manifest.

I call to mind that a brother who lost his standing as an apostle was a very, very poor attendant at the meetings of the Council of the Twelve, other matters occupied his attention. Francis M. Lyman had to come from Tooele the night before our meeting and spend one night here and all day in order to be at the meetings of the Presidency and Apostles which lasted two or three hours, but he never missed one of them. I said to him one day: 'It is remarkable to me that you are so prompt and always present at our meetings.' He said: 'I do not want to miss any inspiration from the Lord; I do not want the Spirit of the Lord to come to me second hand. I want to partake of it, and to feel it, and to realize it, and to know it for myself'" (President Heber J. Grant, CR, October 1934, p.122-123).

Friday, September 27, 2013

Do Your Homework

Years ago I was asked to chair a committee of faculty from Brigham Young University and other schools with this question to study: What should be the future of higher education in the Church? Elder Neal A. Maxwell was then the commissioner of education. I told him I didn't think I could fulfill the assignment without the help of heaven. He asked if I would like a blessing. I've forgotten how it was arranged that I would see Elder Alvin R. Dyer, but that was especially pleasant for me, since I had been a priest once in a ward where he was the bishop, the president of my quorum. He listened sympathetically to my story, put his hands on my head, and gave me a blessing that included words like this as a promise: "In this assignment, and in many others which will come to you, your mind will be guided in channels toward the truth." That blessing gave me confidence, maybe too much confidence. The committee began its work. And after months of what seemed to me futile effort, I felt some desperation, much as you do when heaven seems to withhold its help in a task you know matters and is beyond you. I somehow managed to arrange another interview. This one was with President Harold B. Lee. He received me in a kindly way. In my anxiety, I soon blurted out my question: "President Lee, how do I get revelation?" He smiled. I am glad he didn't laugh, since it was an odd question to ask. But he answered my question with a story. It was essentially this. He said that during World War II he had been part of a group studying the question "What should the Church be doing for its members in the military service?" He said they conducted interviews at bases up and down the country. They had data gathered. They had the data analyzed. They went back for more interviews. But still, no plan emerged. Then he gave me the lesson, which I now give to you, in about these words: "Hal, when we had done all we knew how to do, when we had our backs to the wall, then God gave us the revelation. Hal, if you want to get revelation, do your homework." (see D&C 9:3-10) [From Elder Henry B. Eyring, To Draw Closer to God: A Collection of Discourses, p.91-103,105]

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You never know the consequences of your actions...

“Never let a problem to be solved, become more important than a person to be loved.” (President Thomas S. Monson, CR. October 2008)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Will it be Enough?

"A few years ago, Bishop Stanley Smoot was interviewed by President Spencer W. Kimball. President Kimball asked, 'How often do you have family prayer?' Bishop Smoot answered, 'We try to have family prayer twice a day, but we average about once.' President Kimball answered, 'In the past, having family prayer once a day may have been all right. But in the future it will not be enough if we are going to save our families.'
I wonder if having casual and infrequent family home evening will be enough in the future to fortify our children with sufficient moral strength. In the future, infrequent family scripture study may be inadequate to arm our children with the virtue necessary to withstand the moral decay of the environment in which they will live. Where in the world will the children learn chastity, integrity, honesty, and basic human decency if not at home? These values will, of course, be reinforced at church, but parental teaching is more constant." (Elder James E. Faust, The Greatest Challenge in the World, Good Parenting, Ensign, November 1990, p.32)

Thursday, September 12, 2013

One by One

“Just go get one, who will go get one, who will go get one, who will go get one. That’s how you establish the kingdom.” Elder David A. Bednar, England 2011

The Family

"The ultimate end of all activity in the Church is that a man and his wife and their children might be happy at home, protected by the principles and laws of the gospel, sealed safely in the covenants of the everlasting priesthood. Every law and principle and power, every belief, every ordinance and ordination, every covenant, every sermon and every sacrament, every counsel and correction, the sealing, the calls, the releases, the service—all these have as their ultimate purpose the perfection of the individual and the family, for the Lord has said, 'This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.'...You have the power of the priesthood directly from the Lord to protect your home. There will be times when all that stands as a shield between your family and the adversary’s mischief will be that power. You will receive direction from the Lord by way of the gift of the Holy Ghost." (Elder Boyd K. Packer, The Power of the Priesthood, Ensign, May 2010"

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Never Stop Asking THinking, Pondering

"The proper 'why' questions will lead us to the proper 'who,' 'what,' 'when,' 'where,' and 'how' decisions… Unfortunately, we sometimes don’t seek revelation or answers from the scriptures or the handbooks because we think we know the answers already. Brothers and sisters, as good as our previous experience may be, if we stop asking questions, stop thinking, stop pondering, we can thwart the revelations of the Spirit. Remember, it was the questions young Joseph asked that opened the door for the restoration of all things. We can block the growth and knowledge our Heavenly Father intends for us. How often has the Holy Spirit tried to tell us something we needed to know but couldn’t get past the massive iron gate of what we thought we already knew?" [President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Acting on the Truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ”, WWLeadership, February 2012]

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Best Way to Learn

"Teaching is the best way to learn, I'm still convinced of that; by passing on our knowledge we continue to discover and learn. Moreover, this activity forces us each time to a new formulation of what we want to express, forces us to new [attempts], [a] constant search of new methods. The constant links with youth helps us to always have a youthful outlook, make us able to surprise ourselves constantly.."

(Erno Rubik, inventor of Rubik's Cube, London speech,1/31/81)

Making Ordinary People Winners

“The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate ‘apparently ordinary’ people to unusual effort. The tough problem is not in identifying winners: it is in making winners out of ordinary people. That, after all, is the overwhelming purpose of education. Yet historically, in most of the periods emphasizing excellence education has reverted to selecting winners rather than creating them."
(K. Patricia Cross, scholar of educational research)

Monday, June 24, 2013

We Must Prove Ourselves

 “President Brigham Young explained that our families are not yet ours. The Lord has committed them to us to see how we will treat them. Only if we are faithful will they be given to us forever. What we do on earth determines whether or not we will be worthy to become heavenly parents (see chapter 2, Our Heavenly Family).” Gospel Principles, p.231

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't drift through life

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving - we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Life is like an old time railway journey

“Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just like people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old time rail journey ... delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” (Jenkins Lloyd Jones, Deseret News, 12 June 1973)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Are you being neutralized in the battle?

“The devil knows that if the elders of Israel should ever wake up, they could step forth and help preserve freedom and extend the gospel. Therefore the devil has concentrated, and to a large extent successfully, in neutralizing much of the priesthood. He has reduced them to sleeping giants… The Prophet Joseph Smith declared it will be the elders of Israel who will step forward to help save the Constitution, not the Church. And have we elders been warned? Yes, we have. And have we elders been given the guide lines? Yes indeed, we have. And besides, if the Church should ever inaugurate a program, who do you think would be in the forefront to get it moving? It would not be those who were sitting on the sidelines prior to that time or those who were appeasing the enemy. It would be those choice spirits who, not waiting to be ‘commanded in all things,’ used their own free will, the counsel of the prophets and the Spirit of the Lord as guidelines and who entered the battle ‘in a good cause’ and brought to pass much righteousness in freedom's cause. Brethren, if we had done our homework and were faithful, we could step forward at this time and help save this country. The fact that most of us are unprepared to do it is an indictment we will have to bear. The longer we wait, the heavier the chains, the deeper the blood, the more the persecution and the less we can carry out our God-given mandate and world-wide mission. The war in heaven is raging on earth today. Are you being neutralized in the battle?” (Elder Ezra Taft BensonNot Commanded in All Things, CR., April 1965,  p.123-125)

Hot or Cold?

“Latter-day Saints should be thoroughly loyal to the course of life laid out in the Gospel plan. A milk-and-water allegiance kills; while a passionate devotion gives life and soul to any cause and its adherents. The troubles of the world may largely be laid at the doors of those who are neither hot nor cold; who always follow the line of least resistance; whose timid hearts flutter at taking sides for truth. As in the great Council in the heavens, so in the Church of Christ on earth, there can be no neutrality. We are, or we are not, on the side of the Lord. An unrelenting faith, contemptuous of all compromise, will lead the Church and every member of it, to triumph and the achievement of our high destiny” (Elder John A. Widtsoe, CR., April 1941, p.117).

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


When Oscar L. Booz died in the fall of 1901, his parents blamed his death on the cruel hazing he had been subjected to as a West Point cadet. When the story received front-page coverage, President McKinley demanded that West Point conduct an inquiry into hazing at the Academy. Having bravely withstood his own hazing ordeal, cadet Douglas MacArthur now faced an even more difficult challenge: should he name names, and risk being called a snitch, or refuse to cooperate, and risk his military career?

"Pinky" gave her son encouragement in the form of a poem. What do you think she was encouraging him to do? What does the poem say about their relationship, or mother-son relationships in general at the turn of the century? Here is the poem in its entirety:
Do you know that your soul is of my soul such a part
That you seem to be fiber and core of my heart?
None other can pain me as you, son, can do;
None other can please me or praise me as you.
Remember the world will be quick with its blame
If shadow or shame ever darken your name.
Like mother like son is saying so true
The world will judge largely of mother by you.
Be this then your task, if task it shall be
To force this proud world to do homage to me.
Be sure it will say, when its verdict you've won
She reaps as she sowed: "This man is her son!"

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Come What May

"That trial has not been a problem for either of us because, when we live righteously and have received the ordinances of the temple, everything else is in the hands of the Lord. We can do the best we can, but the final outcome is up to Him. We should never complain, when we are livingworthily, about what happens in our lives.
Fourteen years ago the Lord decided it was not necessary for my wife to live any longer on the earth, and He took her to the other side of the veil. I confess that there are times when it is difficult not to be able to turn and talk to her, but I do not complain. The Lord has allowed me, at important moments in my life, to feel her influence through the veil.
What I am trying to teach is that when we keep the temple covenants we have made and when we live righteously in order to maintain the blessings promised by those ordinances, then come what may, we have no reason to worry or to feel despondent." (Elder Richard G. Scott, Temple Worship: The Source of Strength and Power in Time of Need, Ensign, May 2009). 

Feeling Offended

"And when Cain and Abel offered up their sacrifice, Cain offered his at the instigation of the devil; and his sacrifice, of course, was not accepted. God knew his heart and the feelings by which he was actuated, and therefore rejected his offering. Then came Lucifer, the devil, and says to Cain, 'I told you the Lord would treat you wrong; He has treated me wrong;' and he instigated him to kill his brother, which he did." (John Taylor,  Journal of Discourses, 26 vols., 26:, p.88 - 89)

Giving Your Best

"The The Bible does not give us the particular reasons for the acceptance of Abel's and the rejection of Cain's offering; but the Talmud, an ancient Jewish record, informs us that "while Abel selected the finest and best-conditioned animals of his flock, Cain offered fruit of an inferior quality, the poorest which the earth afforded. Therefore, Cain's offering was unheeded, while the fire of acceptance fell from heaven, consuming the gracious gift which his brother had presented to his Maker." (Franklin D. Richards, 26 vols., 23:, p.315)  

Similarities of Law of Moses Sacrifice

"Adam and Eve were taught the law of sacrifice and were commanded to practice it by giving offerings. They obeyed without questioningAdam and Eve were taught the law of sacrifice and were commanded to practice it by giving offerings. These included two emblems: the firstlings of the flock and the first fruits of the field. They obeyed without questioning (see Moses 5:5-6). President David O. McKay pointed out: “The effect of this [law] was that the best the earth produced, the best specimen in the flock or herd should not be used for self, but for God” (“The Atonement,” Instructor, Mar. 1959, 66). At a time in history when it was a struggle to make sure the family had food, those who sought to worship the Lord were asked to sacrifice the best part of their source of life. It was a real test of Adam and Eve’s faith, and they obeyed.
Likewise, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the holy prophets from Adam to Moses offered to the Lord sacrifices in a similar way.
The Law of Moses - Because of the rebellious nature of the children of Israel in the days of Moses, the practice of the law of sacrifice was changed; it became a strict law requiring daily observance of performances and ordinances. During the time of Moses there was an expansion in the number and variety of offerings under the law of sacrifice. The Mosaic sacrifices consisted of five major offerings that fell into two primary categories—obligatory and voluntary. The difference between the obligatory and the voluntary offerings might be compared to the difference between the law of tithing and the law of fast offerings.
One thing remained the same in all of these offerings: everything about Mosaic sacrifice focused on Christ. Like Christ, the priest acted as the mediator between the people and their God. Like Christ, the priest had to have the right parentage to officiate in his office. Like Christ, the offerer through obedience willingly sacrificed what was required by the law.
The part of sacrifice that most strongly paralleled the Savior was the offering itself. Notice with me some of these parallels.
First, like Christ, the animal was chosen and anointed by the laying on of hands. (The Hebrew title Messiah and the Greek title Christ both mean “the Anointed One.”) Second, the animal was to have its life’s blood spilt. Third, it had to be without blemish—totally free from physical flaws, complete, whole, and perfect. Fourth, the sacrifice had to be clean and worthy. Fifth, the sacrifice had to be domesticated; that is, not wild but tame and of help to man (see Lev. 1:2-3, 10; Lev. 22:21). Sixth and seventh, for the original sacrifice practiced by Adam and the most common sacrifice in the law of Moses, the animal had to be a firstborn and a male (see Ex 12:5; Lev. 1:3; Lev. 22:18-25). Eighth, the sacrifice of grain had to be ground into flour and made into breadstuffs, which reminds us of our Lord’s title the Bread of Life (see John 6:48).
Ninth, the firstfruits that were offered remind us that Christ was the firstfruits of the Resurrection (see I Cor. 15:20). (See also Bible Dictionary, “Sacrifices”; Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5 vols. [1992], 3:1248–49.)” (Elder M. Russell Ballard, The Law of Sacrifice, Ensign,  October 1998).

Cain's Sacrifice

“… Abel offered to God a sacrifice that was accepted, which was the firstlings of the flock. Cain offered of the fruit of the ground, and was not accepted, because he could not do it in faith, he could have no faith, or could not exercise faith contrary to the plan of heaven. It must be shedding the blood of the Only Begotten to atone for man; for this was the plan of redemption; and without the shedding of blood was no remission; and as the sacrifice was instituted for a type,…” (TPJS, p58)


Thursday, February 21, 2013


“Apostasy usually begins with question and doubt and criticism…They who garnish the sepulchres of the dead prophets begin now by stoning the living ones. They return to the pronouncements of the dead leaders and interpret them to be incompatible with present programs. They convince themselves that there are discrepancies between the practices of the deceased and the leaders of the present. … They allege love for the gospel and the Church but charge that leaders are a little ‘off the beam’! … Next they say that while the gospel and the Church are divine, the leaders are fallen. Up to this time it may be a passive thing, but now it becomes an active resistance, and frequently the blooming apostate begins to air his views and to crusade. … He now begins to expect persecution and adopts a martyr complex, and when finally excommunication comes he associates himself with other apostates to develop and strengthen cults. At this stage he is likely to claim revelation for himself, revelations from the Lord directing him in his interpretations and his actions. These manifestations are superior to anything from living leaders, he claims” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982), p. 462).
“I will give you one of the Keys of the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is an eternal principle, that has existed with God from all eternity. That man who rises up to condemn others, finding fault with the Church, saying that they are out of the way, while he himself is righteous, then know assuredly, that that man is on the high road to apostasy; and if he does not repent, will apostatize, as God lives.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 156-57.)

"Youth who start out to indulge their appetites and passions are on the downward road to apostasy as sure as the sun rises in the east. I do not confine it to youth; any man or woman who starts out on that road of intemperance, of dissolute living will separate himself or herself from the fold as inevitably as darkness follows the day" (President David O. Mckay, CR, April 1945, p.123).
President David O. McKay reminded us, “The spirituality of a ward will be commensurate with the activity of the youth of that ward.” (Elder Robert L. Backman, Revitalizing Aaronic Priesthood Quorums, Ensign, November 1982, p.38)

Creating Yourself

 “… every human being has been given two creators. One is God, and the other is himself… The creation of man is still going on. .. Someone has asked this interesting question: ‘How would you like to create your own mind?’ But isn't that exactly what everyone does? William James said, ‘The mind is made up by what it feeds upon … While Cain was training himself to. . . love Satan more than God . . ." (Moses 5:18), he was giving dominion to his lower soul. This is a process that many frequently follow. Sometime ago a young man discussed with me an improper marriage which he was contemplating. I asked him why. He said he was in love. But love alone is an insufficient basis for marriage. Anyone can fall in love with anything. Many people have fallen in love with idleness, profanity, adultery, and drunkenness. Cain fell in love with Satan. A chain smoker was recently ordered by his doctor to give up smoking. He had fallen in love with cigarettes, and he felt very sorry for himself that he was now being forced to give up his bad habit. He said, "What good could it possibly do me to quit smoking when I have to stand over myself like a policeman with a club, ordering myself to do something that I don't want to do?" It is pretty difficult to force ourselves to be decent or successful while we are in love with sin and failure. “ (Elder Sterling W. Sill, CR October 1963)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is my offering a sacrifice?

C.S. Lewis said, “If our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our charitable expenditure excludes them” (Mere Christianity (1952), 67).

Where Man's Testimony of the Father began

Lectures on Faith 2

What testimony had the immediate descendants of Adam, in proof of the existence of God? The testimony of their father. And after they were made acquainted with his existence, by the testimony of their father, they were dependent upon the exercise of their own faith, for a knowledge of his character, perfections, and attributes. Lecture 2: 23, 24, 25, 26.

Had any other of the human family, besides Adam, a knowledge of the existence of God, in the first instance, by any other means than human testimony? They had not. For previous to the time that they could have power to obtain a manifestation for themselves, the all-important fact had been communicated to them by their common father; and so from father to child the knowledge was communicated as extensively as the knowledge of his existence was known; for it was by this means, in the first instance, that men had a knowledge of his existence. Lecture 2: 35, 36. Read more

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Law of Sacrifice

Elder M.Russell Ballard's CES talk on the Law of Sacrifice
"There are two major, eternal purposes for the law of sacrifice that we need to understand. These purposes applied to Adam, Abraham, Moses, and the New Testament Apostles, and they apply to us today as we accept and live the law of sacrifice. The two major purposes are to test and prove us and to assist us in coming unto Christ."

Read more here!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Obedience, Sacrifice, Consecration

Elder Bruce R. McConkie, Obedience, Consecration, and Sacrifice, Ensign May 1975
"Accordingly, I shall now set forth some of the principles of sacrifice and consecration to which the true saints must conform if they are ever to go where God and Christ are and have an inheritance with the faithful saints of ages past. It is written: 'He who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory.' (D&C 88:22.) The law of sacrifice is a celestial law; so also is the law of consecration. Thus to gain that celestial reward which we so devoutly desire, we must be able to live these two laws.
Sacrifice and consecration are inseparably intertwined. The law of consecration is that we consecrate our time, our talents, and our money and property to the cause of the Church: such are to be available to the extent they are needed to further the Lord’s interests on earth. The law of sacrifice is that we are willing to sacrifice all that we have for the truth’s sake—our character and reputation; our honor and applause; our good name among men; our houses, lands, and families: all things, even our very lives if need be.

To read more click McConkie

The Threshing Floor

So what IS the threshing floor? 

A threshing floor is where a farmer would thresh the grain harvest and then winnow it.
Sheaves of grain would be opened up and the stalks spread across the threshing floor. Pairs of donkeys or oxen (or sometimes cattle, or horses) would then be walked round and round, often dragging a heavy threshing board behind them, to tear the ears of grain from the stalks, and loosen the grain itself from the husks.
After this threshing process, the broken stalks and grain were collected and then thrown up into the air with a wooden fork-like tool called a winnowing fan. The chaff would be blown away by the wind; the short torn straw would fall some distance away; while the heavier grain would fall at the winnower's feet. The grain could then be further cleansed by sieving.

"Elder Richard G. Scott said: 'Search for principles. Carefully separate them from the detail used to explain them... It is worth great effort to organize the truth we gather to simple statements of principle'(Ensign, Nov. 1993, 86). 

Learning is not complete until you have applied what you are learning. To apply a doctrine or principle means that with the help of the Holy Ghost you can make a connection between the principles learned and your thoughts and behaviors and then choose to live accordingly.

Understanding a doctrine or principle can change the way you conduct your life. President Boyd K. Packer noted: 'The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior. . . . That is why we stress so forcefully the study of the doctrines of the gospel' (Ensign, Nov. 1986, 17).

Applying gospel truths will help you become more like the Savior. But learning how to identify and understand gospel truths takes practice and effort. These truths can be discovered by asking questions like the following:

  • What is the moral or point of the story?
  • Why did the writer include this story or scripture?
  • Why were these events or teachings preserved in scripture?
  • What did the author intend for me to learn?
  • What are some of the fundamental truths taught in this passage?


Elder Dallin H. Oaks: “To testify is to know and to declare. The gospel challenges us to be “converted,” which requires us to do and to become.” (Ensign, Nov. 2000)