With General Conference approaching, I though I would share some remarks from the October 2006 General Conference that touched me recently. We are truly blessed and loved to have a Heavenly Father who blesses us with counsel that pertains to our day and to our lives.
|Salt Lake Temple|
To each of us our Savior gives this loving invitation:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
“Take my yoke up one you, and learn or me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
…At times we may despair that our burdens are too great. When it seems that the tempest is raging in our lives, we may feel abandoned and cry out like the disciples in the storm, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38). At such times we should remember His reply: “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” (v. 40)
The healing power of the Lord Jesus Christ—whether it removes our burdens or strengthens us to endure and live with them like the Apostle Paul—is available for every affliction in mortality.
…The Atonement also gives us the strength to endure “pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind, because our Savior also took upon Him “the pains and the sicknesses of his people” (Alma 7:11). Brothers and sisters, if your faith and prayers and the power of the priesthood do not heal you from an affliction, the power of the Atonement will surely give you the strength to bear the burden.
In the lonely hours I have spent a great deal of time thinking about eternal things. I have contemplated the comforting doctrines of eternal life.
To become worthy, we make choices that will enable us to return to our Heavnenly Father’s presence. We do those things which will qualify us to claim all the blessings that He has in store for us. This is the reason we are here on earth—“to see if [we] will do all things whatsoever the Lord…shall command.” It is through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ that we can resist temptation. Our faith will enable us to shun evil. It will be repulsive to us because “light cleaveth unto light” and “virtue loveth virtue.”
To become unspotted from the world requires not only faith but repentance and obedience. We must live the standards and do those things which will entitle us to the constant companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost—for the Spirit cannot dwell in unholy temples.
Thirty-eight years ago my husband and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple by President Gordon B. Hinckley. The counsel and direction he gave us that day have become a beacon for our lives…[He] counseled us to remain worthy. He said, “Always live in such a way that when you need the Lord’s blessings, you can call upon Him and receive them because you are worthy.” He said: “There will come times in your life when you will need immediate blessings. You will need to live in such a way that they will be granted—not out of mercy but because you are worthy.”
We who hold the priesthood of God cannot afford to drift. We have work to do. We must arise from the dust of self-indulgence and be men! It is a wonderful aspiration for a boy to become a man—strong and capable; someone who can build and create things, run things; someone who makes a difference in the world. It is a wonderful aspiration for those of us who are older to make the vision of true manhood a reality in our lives and be models for those who look to us for an example.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, speaking in this meeting in April 1998, gave specific counsel for young men:
“The girl you marry will take a terrible chance on you…[You] will largely determine the remainder of her life…
“Work for an education. Get all the training that you can. The world will largely pay you what it thinks you are worth. Paul did not mince words when he wrote to Timothy, ‘But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel’ (1 Tim. 5:8)
Good men sometimes make mistakes. A man of integrity will honestly face and correct his mistakes, and that is an example we can respect. Sometimes men try but fail. Not all worthy objectives are realized despite one’s honest and best efforts. True manhood is not always measured by the fruits of one’s labors by the labors themselves—by one’s striving.
Though he will make some sacrifices and deny himself some pleasures in the course of honoring his commitments, the true man leads a rewarding life. He gives much, but receives more, and he lives content in the approval of his Heavenly Father. The life of true manhood is the good life.
Circumstances change, but our message does not change. We bear testimony to the world that the heavens have been opened, that God, our Eternal Father, and His Son, the risen Lord, have appeared and spoken. We offer our solemn witness that the priesthood has been restored with the keys and authority of eternal blessings.