Sunday, October 31, 2010

I Love to See the Manaus Brazil Temple

© 2008, Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Ground was broken for the Manaus Brazil Temple on June 20, 2008. Currently, the Temple is expected to be completed in 2011.

The Manaus Brazil Temple will be the first Temple to have a port entrance for patrons arriving via the adjacent Rio Negro (Black River).

I Love to See the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple

Photo by Eric Ward, Provo UT
The Church's 73rd Operating Temple is the Albuquerque New Mexico Temple. Announced on April 7, 1997, it was dedicated on March 5, 2000 by Gordon B Hinckley.

The Temple sits on 8.3 acres of land, and has two ordinance rooms and three sealing rooms in its 34,245 square feet of space. Its exterior is Desert Rose pre-cast concrete trimmed with Texas pearl granite.

Daily Thought -- October 31, 2010 - Fear

“If ye are prepared ye shall not fear” (D&C 38:30)

Our young people in many ways are much stronger and better than we were. They and we should not be afraid of what is ahead.

Encourage our young people. They need not live in fear (see D&C 6:36). Fear is the opposite of faith.

-Boyd K. Packer, “Do Not Fear,” Liahona, May 2004, 77–80

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love." 1 Jn 4:18

Who among us can say that he or she has not felt fear? I know of no one who has been entirely spared. Some, of course, experience fear to a greater degree than do others. Some are able to rise above it quickly, but others are trapped and pulled down by it and even driven to defeat. We suffer from the fear of ridicule, the fear of failure, the fear of loneliness, the fear of ignorance. Some fear the present, some the future. Some carry the burden of sin and would give almost anything to unshackle themselves from those burdens but fear to change their lives. Let us recognize that fear comes not of God, but rather that this gnawing, destructive element comes from the adversary of truth and righteousness. Fear is the antithesis of faith. It is corrosive in its effects, even deadly.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7).

We need not fear as long as we have in our lives the power that comes from righteously living by the truth which is from God our Eternal Father.

Nor need we fear as long as we have the power of faith

-Gordon B. Hinckley, “Words of the Prophet: God Will Make a Way,” New Era, Jan 2002, 4

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 30, 2010

"In these last days it is essential—even critical—that parents and children listen to and learn from one another."

M. Russell Ballard, "Mothers and Daughters," Ensign, May 2010, 21

Friday, October 29, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 29, 2010

"The gospel is so very simple when we understand it properly. It is always right, it is always good, it is always uplifting. Obedience to gospel principles brings forth joy and happiness. Disobedience has a day of reckoning and will only bring forth heartache, misery, strife, and unhappiness."

L. Tom Perry, "What Should We Do on the Sabbath?" New Era, July 2010, 3

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 28, 2010 - Oaks on Priesthood

"We have this priesthood power, and we should all be prepared to use it properly."

Dallin H. Oaks, "Healing the Sick," Ensign, May 2010, 48

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 27, 2010 - Nelson on Genealogy

"Our inborn yearnings for family connections are fulfilled when we are linked to our ancestors through sacred ordinances of the temple."

Russell M. Nelson, "Generations Linked in Love," Ensign, May 2010, 92

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 26, 2010

"Is there a happy future for you and your posterity in these latter days? Absolutely! Will there be difficult times when those ominous latter-day warnings and prophecies are fulfilled? Of course there will. Will those who have built upon the rock of Christ withstand winds, hail, and the mighty shafts in the whirlwind? You know they will."

Jeffrey R. Holland, "This, the Greatest of All Dispensations," Ensign, July 2007, 57–58

Monday, October 25, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 25, 2010 -

"My dear young friends, when the captain of a long-range jet passes the point of safe return, and the headwinds are too strong or the cruising altitudes too low, he might be forced to divert to an airport other than his planned destination. This is not so in our journey through life back to our heavenly home. Wherever you find yourselves on this journey through life, whatever trials you may face, there is always a point of safe return; there is always hope. You are the captain of your life, and God has prepared a plan to bring you safely back to Him, to your divine destination."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Is There a Point of No Return?" New Era, June 2010, 3

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I Love to See the Washington D.C. Temple

Located 10 miles north of the United State Capitol Building, the Washington D.C. Temple is the Church's 16th Operating Temple. Built with reinforced concrete sheathed in Alabama white marble, the Temple stands at 288 feet tall, which makes it the tallest Temple.

It contains six ordinance rooms and 14 sealing rooms in its 160,000 square feet. Its 52 acre wooded lot also contains a stake center and visitors center. Announced on November 16, 1968, it was dedicated on November 19-22, 1974 by Spencer W Kimball.

I Love to See the Hermosillo Sonora México Temple

The Hermosillo Sonora México Temple is the Church's 72nd Operating Temple. It was announced on July 20, 1998 and dedicated on February 27, 2000 by Gordon B Hinckley.

The Temple, with it's white marble veneer sits on 1.54 acres. It contains two ordinance and two sealing rooms in its 10,769 square feet.

Daily Thought -- October 24, 2010 - Packer on Perfection

"Every law and principle and power, every belief, every ordinance and ordination, every covenant, every sermon and every sacrament, every counsel and correction, the sealings, 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' (Moses 1:39)."

Boyd K. Packer, "The Power of the Priesthood," Ensign, May 2010, 9–10

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 23, 2010 - Eyring on Atonement

"If you have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost today, you may take it as evidence that the Atonement is working in your life. For that reason and many others, you would do well to put yourself in places and in tasks that invite the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Feeling the influence of the Holy Ghost works both ways: the Holy Ghost only dwells in a clean temple, and the reception of the Holy Ghost cleanses us through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. You can pray with faith to know what to do to be cleansed and thus qualified for the companionship of the Holy Ghost and the service of the Lord. And with that companionship you will be strengthened against temptation and empowered to detect deception."

Henry B. Eyring, "Gifts of the Spirit for Hard Times," Ensign, June 2007, 23

Friday, October 22, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 22, 2010 - Scott on Prayer

"A key to improved prayer is to learn to ask the right questions. Consider changing from asking for the things you want to honestly seeking what He wants for you. Then as you learn His will, pray that you will be led to have the strength to fulfill it."

Richard G. Scott, "Using the Supernal Gift of Prayer," Ensign, May 2007, 8

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 21, 2010 - Uchtdorf on Patience

"It is my prayer that patience will be a defining characteristic of we who hold the priesthood of Almighty God; that we will courageously trust the Lord's promises and His timing; that we will act toward others with the patience and compassion we seek for ourselves; and that we will continue in patience until we are perfected."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Continue in Patience," Ensign, May 2010, 59

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 20, 2010 - Faust on Trials

"President Brigham Young offered the profound insight that at least some of our suffering has a purpose when he said:" 'All intelligent beings who are crowned with crowns of glory, immortality, and eternal lives must pass through every ordeal appointed for intelligent beings to pass through, to gain their glory and exaltation. Every calamity that can come upon mortal beings will be suffered to come upon the few, to prepare them to enjoy the presence of the Lord. . . . Every trial and experience you have passed through is necessary for your salvation' (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A Widtsoe [1954], 345). "We have much reason to hope. Joy can be ours if we are willing to sacrifice all for the Lord. Then we can look forward to the infinitely priceless possibility of overcoming all the challenges of this life. Then we will be with the Savior forever and, as President Brigham Young also said, "anticipate enjoying the glory, excellency and exaltation which God has prepared for the faithful' ("Remarks," Deseret News, May 31, 1871, 197)."

James E. Faust, "Where Do I Make My Stand?" Ensign, Nov. 2004, 18–21

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 19, 2010 - Dalton on Repentance

"If I were going the wrong way in the middle of a marathon, and I realized my mistake, would I keep going? I would immediately turn around! . . . I wouldn't stay on the wrong course because no matter how long I ran there, I would never reach the finish line. And yet for many who have made a moral mistake, a little voice keeps saying: 'You blew it. You can't change. No one will ever know anyway.' To you I would say, Don't believe it. 'Satan wants you to think that you cannot repent, but that is absolutely not true' (For the Strength of Youth [2001], 30)."

Elaine S. Dalton, "You Can Return," New Era, Mar. 2010, 11

Monday, October 18, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 18, 2010 - Haight on the Sacrament

"Worthy partakers of the sacrament are in harmony with the Lord and put themselves under covenant with Him to always remember His sacrifice for the sins of the world, to take upon them the name of Christ, and to always remember Him, and to keep His commandments. The Savior covenants that we who do so shall have His Spirit to be with us and that, if faithful to the end, we may inherit eternal life."

David B. Haight, "The Sacrament—and the Sacrifice," Ensign, Apr. 2007, 18

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Love to See the Columbus Ohio Temple

The Columbus Ohio Temple, located 150 miles south of historic Kirtland, is the Church's 60th operating Temple. It was announced on April 25, 1998 and dedicated on September 4-5, 1999 by Gordon B Hinckley.

The 10,700 square foot temple sits on 1.35 acres and has two endowment rooms as well as two sealing rooms. It has an exterior of Imperial Danby White variegated marble quarried from Vermont.

I Love to See the Tampico México Temple

The Tampico México Temple is the Church's 83rd operating Temple. The temple was announced on July 8, 1998 and was dedicated on May 20, 2000 by Thomas S Monson.

It sits on 2.96 acres in the city of Madero and has an exterior of Blanco Guardiano white marble from Torreón, Mexico. It has two ordinance rooms and two sealing rooms in its 10,700 square feet.

Daily Thought -- October 17, 2010 - Monson on Labels

"No one baptized in Kingston. Just ask any missionary who labored there. Time in Kingston was marked on the calendar like days in prison. A missionary transfer to another place—any place—would be uppermost in thoughts, even in dreams."While I was praying about and pondering this sad dilemma, for my responsibility then as a mission president required that I pray and ponder about such things, my wife called to my attention an excerpt from the book A Child's Story of the Prophet Brigham Young. She read aloud that Brigham Young entered Kingston, Ontario, on a cold and snow-filled day. He labored there about 30 days and baptized 45 souls. Here was the answer. If the missionary Brigham Young could accomplish this harvest, so could the missionaries of today."Without providing an explanation, I withdrew the missionaries from Kingston, that the cycle of defeat might be broken. Then the carefully circulated word: 'Soon a new city will be opened for missionary work, even the city where Brigham Young proselyted and baptized 45 persons in 30 days.' The missionaries speculated as to the location. Their weekly letters pleaded for the assignment to this Shangri-la. More time passed. Then four carefully selected missionaries—two of them new, two of them experienced—were chosen for this high adventure. The members of the small branch pledged their support. The missionaries pledged their lives. The Lord honored both."In the space of three months, Kingston became the most productive city of the Canadian Mission. The grey limestone buildings still stood; the city had not altered its appearance; the population remained constant. The change was one of attitude. The label of doubt yielded to the label of faith."

Thomas S. Monson, "Labels," Ensign, Sept. 2000, 5

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 16, 2010 - Scott on Rough Roads

"Recently . . . I encountered a large temporary sign declaring Rough Road Ahead, and indeed it was. Had I not been warned, that experience would have been disastrous. Life is like that. It's full of rough spots. Some are tests to make us stronger. Others result from our own disobedience. . . . Each one of us encounters unique challenges meant for growth."

Richard G. Scott, "Finding Forgiveness," New Era, Mar. 2010, 3

Friday, October 15, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 15, 2010

"For those who eschew evil and live good lives, who strive for a brighter day and keep the commandments of God, things can get better and better even in the face of tragedy. The Savior showed us the way. From Gethsemane, the cross, and the tomb, He rose triumphant, bringing life and hope to us all. He bids us, 'Come, follow me' (Luke 18:22)."President Thomas S. Monson has counseled: 'If we are to walk with head held high, we must make our contribution to life. If we are to fulfill our destiny and return to live with our Father in Heaven, we must keep His commandments and pattern our lives after the Savior. By so doing, we will not only achieve our goal of eternal life, but we will also leave the world richer and better than it would have been had we not lived and performed our duties' (Thomas S. Monson, used with permission)."

Keith B. McMullin, "Our Path of Duty," Ensign, May 2010, 13

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 14, 2010 - Aoyagi on helping others

"Sometimes we feel that we are weak and lack the strength to rescue others, but the Lord reminds us, 'Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:40)."

Koichi Aoyagi, "Helping Hands, Saving Hands," Ensign, May 2010, 37

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 13, 2010 - President Hinckley's Testimony

"I want to give you my testimony. I know that God our Eternal Father lives, that He is the great Governor of the universe, and that we are His children, and that somehow He hears and answers the prayers of His children. I want you to know that I know that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, that He left His royal home on high and came down among men—hated and abused of men—and that He went about doing good [see Acts 10:38]. He was crucified out of the hatred of the people; He rose the third day—'the firstfruits of them that slept' (1 Corinthians 15:20). I want you to know that the Father and the Son appeared to the boy Joseph Smith and ushered in this marvelous dispensation—the greatest dispensation in the history of the entire world."

Gordon B. Hinckley, "Inspirational Thoughts," Ensign, Feb. 2007, 4

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 12, 2010 - Packer on The Spirit

"The voice of the Spirit is described in the scriptures as being neither loud nor harsh, not a voice of thunder, neither a voice of great tumultuous noise, but rather as still and small, of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper, and it can pierce even the very soul and cause the heart to burn. The Spirit does not get our attention by shouting."

Boyd K. Packer, "How Does the Spirit Speak to Us?" New Era, Feb. 2010, 3

Monday, October 11, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 11, 2010 - Haight on Foundations

"As the foundation of the Salt Lake Temple was being laid, with footings sixteen feet wide, President Brigham Young discovered the workmen were using a soft stone. The work was halted, the soft stone taken out and replaced with giant blocks of granite. He declared: 'We are building this temple to stand through the millennium' (LeGrand Richards, Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 81.) . . . "You Aaronic Priesthood holders are setting your personal foundation stones in place—stones of granite—character stones that hopefully will last forever. Your foundation stones should include principles taught by the Savior: of faith, prayer, obedience, honesty, truth, and accountability for your actions. And, of course, a keystone of your foundation will be the priesthood—the power and authority of God delegated to you to act in matters pertaining to salvation—with its accompanying obligations and blessings."You are a member of a quorum of the priesthood with officers of your peers—with duties, powers, and responsibilities. You are learning how Church members reach out to rescue and assist those who drift away or have a sorrow or a hurt. You are beginning to develop a sensitivity for Christlike service to others that brings joy to one's soul."God our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ determined—just imagine!—that Joseph Smith was old enough at fourteen to begin his instruction that would bring about the mighty work of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Joseph saw the living God! He saw the living Christ! He was trusted with a heavenly task, and he completed it. You, too, are old enough to be trusted with ever-increasing tasks."

David B. Haight, "A Time for Preparation," Ensign, Nov. 1991, 37

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Love to See the Córdoba Argentina Temple

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will preside over the groundbreaking ceremony for the Córdoba Argentina Temple on Saturday, October 30, 2010, at 11:00 a.m. Services will be broadcast live to all stake centers belonging to the future temple district. Attendance at the temple site and the adjoining stake center will be by invitation only to priesthood leaders and special guests.

The Temple was announced at General Conference on October 4, 2008 by President Thomas S Monson. It will be the second Temple in Argentina.

No construction timetable is available.

I Love to See the Dallas Texas Temple

Groundbreaking for the Dallas Texas Temple was held on April1, 1981. The Temple was dedicated as the 30th operating Temple on October 19-24 1984 by Gordon B Hinckley. In 1987, the Temple was closed so that a 22,749 square foot addition could be added. This addition created a larger baptistry and laundry facilities, as well as a cafeteria and an additional ordinance room. The Temple was the rededicated on March 5, 1989 by Gordon B Hinckley.

The Temple now has five ordinance rooms and four sealing rooms in it's 46,956 square feet. It sits on six acres. It is faced with light-colored marble tiles and topped with a dark gray slate roof.

Daily Thought -- October 10, 2010 - Rasband on Missionary Work

"Missionary work is the lifeblood of the Church and the lifesaving blessing to all who accept its message."

Ronald A. Rasband, "The Divine Call of a Missionary," Ensign, May 2010, 51

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 9, 2010 - Scott on Courage

"As an exceptional son or daughter of God, you are sorely needed. There is an urgent need for men and women who will stand for principles against the growing pressures to compromise those very principles. Men and women are required who will act nobly and courageously for what the Lord has defined as right, not for what is politically correct or socially acceptable. We need individuals who have the spiritual, righteous influence that will motivate others to enduring good."

Richard G. Scott,, "Living Right," Ensign, Jan. 2007, 14

Friday, October 8, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 8, 2010 - Benson on Chastity

"I recognize that most people fall into sexual sin in a misguided attempt to fulfill basic human needs. We all have a need to feel loved and worthwhile. We all seek to have joy and happiness in our lives. Knowing this, Satan often lures people into immorality by playing on their basic needs. He promises pleasure, happiness, and fulfillment. But this is, of course, a deception. As the writer of Proverbs says: 'Whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul' (Prov. 6:32). "

Ezra Taft Benson, "The Law of chastity," New Era, Jan. 1988, 4–5

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 7, 2010 - Aoyagi on Fellowship

"The Lord's work and glory truly is 'to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man' (Moses 1:39). Many around us need spiritual help. As we offer a saving hand to less-active members, to part-member families, and to those not of our faith, we invite all to 'come unto Christ.' "

Koichi Aoyagi, "Helping Hands, Saving Hands," Ensign, May 2010, 36

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 6, 2010 - Faust on Spirituality

"In the marvelous experience of Brigham Young in February of 1847, when the Prophet Joseph appeared to him in a dream or vision, Brigham pleaded to be united with the Prophet. Brigham Young asked the Prophet if he had a message for the Brethren. The Prophet said:" 'Tell the people to be humble and faithful, and to be sure to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead them right. Be careful and not turn away the still small voice; it will teach them what to do and where to go; it will yield the fruits of the kingdom. Tell the Brethren to keep their hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it.'"The Prophet further directed Brigham Young as follows: 'They can tell the Spirit of the Lord from all other spirits; it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God.' (Manuscript History of Brigham Young: 1846–47, Historical Dept., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, pp. 528–31.) . . ."I testify that as we mature spiritually under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, our sense of personal worth, of belonging, and of identity increases. I further testify that I would rather have every person enjoy the Spirit of the Holy Ghost than any other association, for they will be led by that Spirit to light and truth and pure intelligence, which can carry them back into the presence of God."

James E. Faust, "The Gift of the Holy Ghost—A Sure Compass," Ensign, May 1989, 33

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 5, 2010 - Bednar on Obedience

"Obedience opens the door to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. And the spiritual gifts and abilities activated by the power of the Holy Ghost enable us to avoid deception—and to see, to feel, to know, to understand, and to remember things as they really are."

David A. Bednar, "Things as They Really Are" Church Educational System fireside for young adults, May 3, 2009

Monday, October 4, 2010

My two favorite October 2010 Conference talks

Here are my two favorite talks from this weekend's General Conference.

Bishop Richard C. Edgley - The Choice Is Yours (Saturday Afternoon)

President Dieter Uchtdorf - Pride and the Priesthood (Priesthood Session)

What were some of your favorites?

Daily Thought -- October 4, 2010 - Uchtdorf on Patience

"Patience—the ability to put our desires on hold for a time—is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter."Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Continue in Patience," Ensign, May 2010, 56

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Love to See the Concepción Chile Temple

The Concepción Chile Temple was announced on October 3, 2009. It is currently in the design and planning stages, and no timetable for groundbreaking and construction has been set. It is believed that the Temple will be built on a 2.5 acre site in a beautifully forested area on the Biobío River.

I Love to See the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple

The Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple is the Church's 94th Operating Temple. It was announced on October 14, 1998 and dedicated on July 16, 2000 by President Gordon B Hinckley.

The 10,700 square foot temple sits on 6.3 acres and has two ordinance and two sealing rooms. It has an exterior of Imperial Danby White marble from Vermont.

Daily Thought -- October 3, 2010 - McMullin on Comfort

"This is a troubled world. Discord and disaster are everywhere. It sometimes feels as though mankind itself may be hanging in the balance."Foreshadowing our day, the Lord said, 'The heavens shall shake, and also the earth; and great tribulations shall be among the children of men, but my people will I preserve' (Moses 7:61; emphasis added). We should take great comfort in this promise."

Keith B. McMullin, "Our Path of Duty," Ensign, May 2010, 13

Saturday, October 2, 2010

October 2010 Conference Highlights -- Saturday Afternoon

"While our primary effort must be to seek light and truth, we would be wise to black out from our homes the lethal bombs that destroy spiritual development and growth. Pornography, in particular, is a weapon of mass moral destruction. Its impact is at the forefront in eroding moral values. Some TV programs and Internet sites are equally lethal. These evil forces remove light and hope from the world." -Elder Quentin L Cook

"Agency is to act with accountability and responsibility for our actions. Our agency is essential to the plan of salvation. With it, we are 'free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil'" (2 Nephi 2:27). -Elder Robert D Hales

"Because of the conflicts and challenges we face in today's world, I wish to suggest a single choice — a choice of peace, protection, and a choice that is appropriate for all. That choice is faith. ... Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen and choose faith over pessimism." -Bishop Richard C Edgley

"I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But, because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with optimism and hope. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed." -Bishop Richard C Edgley

"The world is full of so many self-help books, so many self-proclaimed experts, so many theorists, educators and philosophers who have advice and counsel to give on any and all subjects. With technology today, information on a myriad of subjects is available with the click of a keystroke. It is easy to get caught in the trap of looking to the 'arm of flesh' for advice on everything from how to raise children to how to find happiness. While some information has merit, as members of the Church we have access to the source of pure truth, even God Himself. We would do well to search out answers to our problems and questions by investigating what the Lord has revealed through His prophets. With that same technology today, we have at our fingertips access to the words of the prophets on nearly any subject." -Elder Kevin R. Duncan

"A miracle of the images we discern in temple mirrors of eternity is they — we — can change. When [my parents] Jean and Walter Gong entered the new and everlasting covenant, they opened the way for ancestors (such as First Dragon Gong) to be sealed and for posterity to be born in the covenant. Please remember, as we reach out to each brother and sister, we bless generations." - Elder Gerrit W Gong

"Will we understand everything? Of course not. We will put some issues on the shelf to be understood at a later time.
"Will everything be fair? It will not. We will accept some things we cannot fix, and forgive others when it hurts.
"Will we feel separated on occasion from those around us? Absolutely.
"Will we be astonished at times to see the anger a few feel toward the Lord's Church, and their efforts to steal the struggling faith of the weak? Yes. But this will not deter the growth or destiny of the Church, nor need it impede the spiritual progress of each of us as disciples of the Lord, Jesus Christ." -Elder Neil L Andersen

"Life may seem difficult now, but hold tightly to that iron rod of truth. You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey Their commandments." -Elder Richard G Scott

"Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used. Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith." -Elder Richard G Scott

Vera Lynn - When The Lights Go On Again.

The song mentioned in Elder Cook's General Conference talk today:

Ezra Taft Benson -- Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet

Since this talk by Ezra Taft Benson has been quoted twice in this year's General Conference, I thought it might be worth posting. Enjoy!

My beloved brothers and sisters, I am honored to be in your presence today. You students are a part of a choice young generation--a generation which might well witness the return of our Lord.

Not only is the Church growing in numbers today, it is growing in faithfulness and, even more important, our young generation, as a group, is even more faithful than the older generation. God has reserved you for the eleventh hour--the great and dreadful day of the Lord. It will be your responsibility not only to help bear off the kingdom of God triumphantly but to save your own soul and strive to save those of your family and to honor the principles of our inspired constitution.

To help you pass the crucial tests which lie ahead I am going to give you today several facets of a grand key which, if you will honor them, will crown you with God's glory and bring you out victorious in spite of Satan's fury.

Soon we will be honoring our prophet on his eighty-fifth birthday. As a Church we sing the song, "We Thank Thee, O God, For a Prophet." Here then is the grand key--follow the prophet--and here now are fourteen fundamentals in following the prophet, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.

In section 132, verse 7, of the Doctrine and Covenants the Lord speaks of the Prophet--the President-- and says: "There is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the keys of this priesthood are conferred."

Then in section 21, verses 4 6, the Lord states:

Wherefore, meaning the church, thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you as he receiveth them, walking in all holiness before me;

For his word ye shall receive, as if from mine own mouth, in all patience and faith.

For by doing these things the gates of hell shall not prevail against you.

Did you hear what the Lord said about the words of the prophet? We are to "give heed unto all his words"--as if from the Lord's "own mouth."

Second: The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.

President Wilford Woodruff tells of an interesting incident that occurred in the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith:

I will refer to a certain meeting I attended in the town of Kirtland in my early days. At that meeting some remarks were made that have been made here today, with regard to the living oracles and with regard to the written word of God. The same principle was presented, although not as extensively as it has been here, when a leading man in the Church got up and talked upon the subject, and said: "You have got the word of God before you here in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine and Covenants; you have the written word of God, and you who give revelations should give revelations according to those books, as what is written in those books is the word of God. We should confine ourselves to them."

When he concluded, Brother Joseph turned to Brother Brigham Young and said, "Brother Brigham, I want you to take the stand and tell us your views with regard to the living oracles and the written word of God." Brother Brigham took the stand, and he took the Bible, and laid it down; and he took the Book of Mormon, and laid it down; and he took the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and laid it down before him, and he said: "There is the written word of God to us, concerning the work of God from the beginning of the world, almost, to our day. And now," said he, "when compared with the living oracles those books are nothing to me; those books do not convey the word of God direct to us now, as do the words of a Prophet or a man bearing the Holy Priesthood in our day and generation. I would rather have the living oracles than all the writing in the books." That was the course he pursued. When he was through, Brother Joseph said to the congregation: "Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth." [In Conference Report, October 1897, pp. 18 19]

Third: The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.

The living prophet has the power of TNT. By that I mean "Today's News Today." God's revelations to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the ark. Noah needed his own revelation. Therefore, the most important prophet, so far as you and I are concerned, is the one living in our day and age to whom the Lord is currently revealing His will for us. Therefore, the most important reading we can do is any of the words of the prophet contained each week in the Church Section of the Deseret News and any words of the prophet contained each month in our Church magazines. Our marching orders for each six months are found in the general conference addresses, which are printed in the Ensign magazine.

I am so grateful that the current conference report is studied as part of one of your religion classes--the course entitled "Teachings of the Living Prophets," number 333. May I commend that class to you and suggest that you get a copy of the class manual at your bookstore whether you're able to take the class or not. The manual is entitled "Living Prophets for a Living Church."

Beware of those who would pit the dead prophets against the living prophets, for the living prophets always take precedence.

Fourth: The prophet will never lead the Church astray.

President Wilford Woodruff stated: "I say to Israel, The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of the Church to lead you astray. It is not in the program. It is not in the mind of God." (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, selected by G. Homer Durham [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1946], pp. 212-213.)

President Marion G. Romney tells of this incident which happened to him:

I remember years ago when I was a Bishop I had President [Heber J.] Grant talk to our ward. After the meeting I drove him home. . . .Standing by me, he put his arm over my shoulder and said: "My boy, you always keep your eye on the President of the Church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, and it is wrong, and you do it, the Lord will bless you for it." Then with a twinkle in his eye, he said, "But you don't need to worry. The Lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray." [In Conference Report, October 1960, p. 78]

Fifth: The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.

Sometimes there are those who feel their earthly knowledge on a certain subject is superior to the heavenly knowledge which God gives to His prophet on the same subject. They feel the prophet must have the same earthly credentials or training which they have had before they will accept anything the prophet has to say that might contradict their earthly schooling. How much earthly schooling did Joseph Smith have? Yet he gave revelations on all kinds of subjects. We haven't yet had a prophet who earned a doctorate in any subject, but as someone said, "A prophet may not have his Ph.D. but he certainly has his LDS." We encourage earthly knowledge in many areas, but remember, if there is ever a conflict between earthly knowledge and the words of the prophet, you stand with the prophet, and you'll be blessed and time will vindicate you.

Sixth: The prophet does not have to say "Thus saith the Lord" to give us scripture.

Sometimes there are those who haggle over words. They might say the prophet gave us counsel but that we are not obligated to follow it unless he says it is a commandment. But the Lord says of the Prophet Joseph, "Thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments which he shall give unto you" (D&C 21:4; italics added).

And speaking of taking counsel from the prophet, in D&C 108:1, the Lord states: "Verily thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant Lyman: Your sins are forgiven you, because you have obeyed my voice in coming up hither this morning to receive counsel of him whom I have appointed" (italics added).

Said Brigham Young, "I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call scripture" (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot], 13:95).

Seventh: The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.

"Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear," complained Nephi's brethren. But Nephi answered by saying, "the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center" (1 Nephi 16:1, 3). Or, to put it in another prophet's words, "Hit pigeons flutter."

Said President Harold B. Lee:

You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church. It may contradict your political views. It may contradict your social views. It may interfere with some of your social life. . . . Your safety and ours depends upon whether or not we follow. . . . Let's keep our eye on the President of the Church. [In Conference Report, October 1970, p. 152-153]

But it is the living prophet who really upsets the world. "Even in the Church," said President Kimball, "many are prone to garnish the sepulchers of yesterday's prophets and mentally stone the living ones" (Instructor, 95:257).

Why? Because the living prophet gets at what we need to know now, and the world prefers that prophets either be dead or mind their own business. Some so-called experts of political science want the prophet to keep still on politics. Some would-be authorities on evolution want the prophet to keep still on evolution. And so the list goes on and on.

How we respond to the words of a living prophet when he tells us what we need to know, but would rather not hear, is a test of our faithfulness.

Said President Marion G. Romney, "It is an easy thing to believe in the dead prophets." And then he gives this illustration:

One day when President Grant was living, I sat in my office across the street following a general conference. A man came over to see me, an elderly man. He was very upset about what had been said in this conference by some of the Brethren, including myself. I could tell from his speech that he came from a foreign land. After I had quieted him enough so he would listen, I said, "Why did you come to America?" "I am here because a prophet of God told me to come." "Who was the prophet;" I continued. "Wilford Woodruff." "Do you believe Wilford Woodruff was a prophet of God?" "Yes, I do." "Do you believe that President Joseph F. Smith was a prophet of God?" "Yes, sir."

Then came the sixty-four dollar question. "Do you believe that Heber J. Grant is a prophet of God?" His answer, "I think he ought to keep his mouth shut about old age assistance."

Now I tell you that a man in his position is on the way to apostasy. He is forfeiting his chances for eternal life. So is everyone who cannot follow the living Prophet of God." [In Conference Report, April 1953, p. 125]

Eighth: The prophet is not limited by men's reasoning.

There will be times when you will have to choose between the revelations of God and the reasoning of men--between the prophet and the politician or professor. Said the Prophet Joseph Smith, "Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof until long after the events transpire" (Scrapbook of Mormon Literature, vol. 2, p. 173).

Would it seem reasonable to an eye doctor to be told to heal a blind man by spitting in the dirt, making clay, and applying it to the man's eyes and then telling him to wash in a contaminated pool? Yet this is precisely the course that Jesus took with one man, and he was healed. (See John 9:6-7.) Does it seem reasonable to cure leprosy by telling a man to wash seven times in a particular river? Yet this is precisely what the prophet Elisha told a leper to do, and he was healed. (See 2 Kings 5.)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. [Isaiah 55:8, 9]

Ninth: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter--temporal or spiritual.

Said Brigham Young:

Some of the leading men in Kirtland were much opposed to Joseph the Prophet, meddling with temporal affairs. . . .

In a public meeting of the Saints, I said, "Ye Elders of Israel, . . . will some of you draw the line of demarcation, between the spiritual and temporal in the Kingdom of God, so that I may understand it?" Not one of them could do it. . . .

I defy any man on earth to point out the path a Prophet of God should walk in, or point out his duty, and just how far he must go, in dictating temporal or spiritual things. Temporal and spiritual things are inseparably connected, and ever will be. [Journal of Discourses, 10:363-364]

Tenth: The prophet may be involved in civic matters.

When a people are righteous they want the best to lead them in government. Alma was the head of the Church and of the government in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith was mayor of Nauvoo, and Brigham Young was governor of Utah. Isaiah was deeply involved in giving counsel on political matters and of his words the Lord Himself said, "Great are the words of Isaiah" (3 Nephi 23:1). Those who would remove prophets from politics would take God out of government.

Eleventh: The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.

The learned may feel the prophet is only inspired when he agrees with them; otherwise, the prophet is just giving his opinion--speaking as a man. The rich may feel they have no need to take counsel of a lowly prophet.

In the Book of Mormon we read:

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.

And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches--yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them. [2 Nephi 9:28, 29, 42; emphasis added]

Twelfth: The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.

As a prophet reveals the truth it divides the people. The honest in heart heed his words, but the unrighteous either ignore the prophet or fight him. When the prophet points out the sins of the world, the worldly either want to close the mouth of the prophet, or else act as if the prophet didn't exist, rather than repent of their sins. Popularity is never a test of truth. Many a prophet has been killed or cast out. As we come closer to the Lord's second coming, you can expect that as the people of the world become more wicked, the prophet will be less popular with them.

Thirteenth: The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency--the highest quorum in the Church.

In the Doctrine and Covenants, the Lord refers to the First Presidency as "the highest council of the Church" (107:80) and says, "whosoever receiveth me, receiveth those, the First Presidency, whom I have sent" (112:20).

Fourteenth: The prophet and the presidency--the living prophet and the first presidency--follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.

President Harold B. Lee relates this incident from Church history:

The story is told in the early days of the Church--particularly, I think, at Kirtland--where some of the leading brethren in the presiding councils of the Church met secretly and tried to scheme as to how they could get rid of the Prophet Joseph's leadership. They made the mistake of inviting Brigham Young to one of these secret meetings. He rebuked them, after he had heard the purpose of their meeting. This is part of what he said: "You cannot destroy the appointment of a prophet of God, but you can cut the threat that binds you to the prophet of God and sink yourselves to hell." [In Conference Report, April 1963, p. 81]

In a general conference of the Church President N. Eldon Tanner stated:

The Prophet spoke out clearly on Friday morning, telling us what our responsibilities are. . . .

A man said to me after that, "You know, there are people in our state who believe in following the Prophet in everything they think is right, but when it is something they think isn't right, and it doesn't appeal to them, then that's different." He said, "Then they become their own prophet. They decide what the Lord wants and what the Lord doesn't want."

I thought how true, and how serious when we begin to choose which of the covenants, which of the commandments we will keep and follow. When we decide that there are some of them that we will not keep or follow, we are taking the law of the Lord into our own hands and become our own prophets, and believe me, we will be led astray, because we are false prophets to ourselves when we do not follow the Prophet of God. No, we should never discriminate between these commandments, as to those we should and should not keep. [In Conference Report, October 1966, p. 98; emphasis added]

"Look to the Presidency and receive instruction," said the Prophet Joseph Smith (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938], p. 161). But Almon Babbitt didn't, and in the Doctrine and Covenants section 124, verse 84, the Lord states: "And with my servant Almon Babbitt, there are many things with which I am not pleased; behold, he aspireth to establish his counsel instead of the counsel which I have ordained, even that of the Presidency of my Church."

In conclusion, let us summarize this grand key, these "Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet," for our salvation hangs on them.

First: The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything.

Second: The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works.

Third: The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet.

Fourth: The prophet will never lead the Church astray.

Fifth: The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time.

Sixth: The prophet does not have to say "Thus saith the Lord" to give us scripture.

Seventh: The prophet tells us what we need to know, not always what we want to know.

Eighth: The prophet is not limited by men's reasoning.

Ninth: The prophet can receive revelation on any matter, temporal or spiritual.

Tenth: The prophet may be involved in civic matters.

Eleventh: The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.

Twelfth: The prophet will not necessarily be popular with the world or the worldly.

Thirteenth: The prophet and his counselors make up the First Presidency--the highest quorum in the Church.

Fourteenth: The prophet and the presidency--the living prophet and the First Presidency--follow them and be blessed; reject them and suffer.

I testify that these fourteen fundamentals in following the living prophet are true. If we want to know how well we stand with the Lord, then let us ask ourselves how well we stand with His mortal captain. How closely do our lives harmonize with the words of the Lord's anointed--the living prophet, the President of the Church, and with the Quorum of the First Presidency?

May God bless us all to look to the prophet and the presidency in the critical and crucial days ahead is my prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

October 2010 Conference Highlights -- Saturday Morning

All quotes are courtesy of the Deseret News.

"... to young men of the Aaronic Priesthood and to you young men who are becoming elders, I repeat what prophets have long taught — that every worthy, able young man should prepare to serve a mission. Missionary service is a priesthood duty — an obligation the Lord expects of us who have been given so very much. Young men, I admonish you to prepare for service as a missionary. Keep yourselves clean and pure and worthy to represent the Lord. Maintain your health and strength. Study the scriptures. Where such is available, participate in Seminary or Institute. Familiarize yourself with the missionary handbook, Preach My Gospel." -President Thomas S Monson

" message today is to say that we sustain you, that we return to you those same heartfelt prayers and that same expression of love. We all know there are special keys, covenants and responsibilities given to the presiding officers of the Church, but we also know that the Church draws incomparable strength, a truly unique vitality, from the faith and devotion of every member of this Church whoever you may be. 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." -Elder Jeffrey R Holland

"In our day, the prophet of God has told us to love our fellow man, to serve, to take care of the rising generation, to rescue the inactive or less-active, to do the many things that we call Prophetic Priorities. We need to understand that these priorities are God's priorities, and the prophet is His voice in communicating it to all of the Church and the world." -Elder Claudio R.M. Costa

"We begin to make the plan known to our children when we hold tight to the iron rod ourselves. When we are holding tight to the iron rod, we are in a position to place our hands over theirs and walk the strait and narrow path together. Our example is magnified in their eyes and they will follow our cadence when they feel secure in our actions. We do not need to be perfect — just honest and sincere. Children want to feel as one with us. When a parent says, 'We can do it! We can read the scriptures daily as a family,' the children will follow." -Sister Rosemary M Wixom

"Successful gospel teachers love the gospel. They are excited about it. And because they love their students, they want them to feel as they feel and to experience what they have experienced. To teach the gospel is to share your love of the gospel." -Brother David M McConkie

"One who lives a consecrated life does not seek to take advantage of another. ... Hypocrisy is terribly destructive, not only to the hypocrite, but to all who observe or know of his conduct, especially children. It is faith-destroying, whereas honor is the rich soil in which the seed of faith thrives." -Elder D Todd Christofferson

"Slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials." -President Dieter F Uchtdorf

Daily Thought -- October 2, 2010 - Kimball on Prayer

"You who pray sometimes, why not pray more regularly, more often, more devoutly? Is time so precious, life so short, or faith so scant? . . . Do you pray occasionally when you should be praying regularly, often, constantly? . . . Do you just speak, or do you also listen? . . . Do you give thanks or merely ask for favors?"

Spencer W. Kimball, "Prayer, New Era," Mar. 1978, 17

Friday, October 1, 2010

Daily Thought -- October 1, 2010 - Holland on Trust

"What your leaders and I are saying to you is 'trust us.' We are trying to call out to you back over the years, looking back to the path we walked and that you are now walking. We are still walking it too, but we are doing so now with the advantage of a little more experience and a little more wisdom. We want to help."

Jeffrey R. Holland, "We Want the Best for You," New Era, Jan. 2010, 5