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]