Wednesday, November 18, 2015

C.S. Lewis and the Path to Absolute Perfection




In his book, The Infinite Atonement, Tad R. Callister shares the following analogy from C.S. Lewis regarding the pursuit of absolute perfection.

C.S. Lewis exposed the one obstacle to "absolute perfection" and godhood--ourselves.  He teaches the principle by way of a childhood experience.  He recalls his repeated toothaches and his desire for relief--but likewise the nagging fear that if he disclosed his pain, his mother would take him to the dentist.  He said, "I knew those dentists; I knew they started fiddling about with all sorts of other teeth which had not yet begun to ache...[I]f you gave them an inch, they took an ell."  Then he made his comparison: "Our Lord is like the dentists....Dozens of people go to Him to be cured of some one particular sin which they are ashamed of....Well, He will cure it all right: but He will not stop there.  That may be all you asked; but if you once call Him in, He will give you the full treatmen.

"...'Make no mistake,' He says, 'if you let Me, I will make you perfect.  The moment you put yourself in My hands, that is what you are in for.  Nothing less, or other, than that.  You have free will, and if you choose, you can push Me away.  But if you do not push Me away, understand that I am going to see this job through.  Whatever suffering it may cost you in your earthly life, whatever inconceivable purification it may cost you after death, whatever it costs Me, I will never rest, nor let you rest, until you are literally perfect--until my Father can say without reservation that He is well pleased with you, as He said he was well pleased with Me.  This I can do and will do.  But I will not do anything less.'

"...You must realize from the outset that the goal toward which He is beginning to guide  you is absolute perfection; and no power in the whole universe, except you yourself, can prevent Him from taking you to that goal.  That is what you are in for.  And it is very important to realize that."

- Lewis, Joyful Christian, 77-78

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Life: The Parable of the (Seemingly Unfair) Football Game

As the world's moral footings come loose and it feels like we are fighting a losing battle, it is comforting to take the longer view.  Despite cultural and legal shifts toward moral degradation and depravity, the knowledge that we are on the Lord's side will strengthen us and allow us to continue forward.  

This week, after the U.S. Supreme Court failed to consider important appeals regarding the legalization of same sex marriage, I came across a talk by Elder Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  The talk is entitled "The Mystery of Life" from the 1983 October General Conference.  In his talk, Elder Packer shares what I term "The Parable of the Football Game."  I think it does a powerful job of explaining our mortal experience and the challenges we will face.



The Parable of the Football Game

Imagine that you are attending a football game.  The teams seem evenly matched.  One team has been trained to follow the rules; the other, to do just the opposite.  They are committed to cheat and disobey every rule of sportsmanlike conduct. 



While the game ends in a tie, it is determined that it must continue until one side wins decisively.



Soon the field is a quagmire.



Players on both sides are being ground into the mud.  The cheating of the opposing team turns to brutality.



 Players are carried off the field.  Some have been injured critically; others, it is whispered, fatally.  It ceases to be a game and becomes a battle.



You become very frustrated and upset.  “Why let this go on?  Neither team can win.  It must be stopped.”



Imagine that you confront the sponsor of the game and demand that he stop this useless, futile battle.  You say it is senseless and without purpose.  Has he no regard at all for the players?



He calmly replies that he will not call the game.  You are mistaken.  There is a great purpose in it.  You have not understood. 



He tells you that this is not a spectator sport—it is for the participants.  It is for their sake that he permits the game to continue.  Great benefit may come to them because of the challenges they face.



He points to players sitting on the bench, suited up, eager to enter the game.  “When each one of them has been in, when each has met the day for which he has prepared so long and trained so hard, then, and only then, will I call the game.”



Until then, it may not matter which team seems to be ahead.  The present score is really not crucial.  There are games within games, you know.  Whatever is happening to the team, each player will have his day.



Those players on the team that keeps the rules will not be eternally disadvantaged by the appearance that their team somehow always seems to be losing.



In the field of destiny, no team or player will be eternally disadvantaged because they keep the rules.  They may be cornered or misused, even defeated for a time.  But individual players on that team, regardless of what appears on the scoreboard, may already be victorious.



Each player will have a test sufficient to his needs; how each responds is the test.



When the game is finally over, you and they will see purpose in it all, may even express gratitude for having been on the field during the darkest part of the contest. 



I do not think the Lord is quite so hopeless about what’s going on in the world as we are.  He could put a stop to all of it any moment.  But He will not!  Not until every player has a chance to meet the test for which we were preparing before the world was, before we came into mortality.

The Mystery of Life, Boyd K. Packer, 1983 October General Conference



Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Great Plan of Happiness

Last night I had the opportunity to conduct and speak at a funeral.  The memorial service was for a man who is not of our faith.  In fact, I never met him.  He was close friends with a member of our ward.  Both belonged to a national organist guild.  His friend helped to plan the service after his passing.  A beautiful program was put together that included organ music shared by his fellow guild members.  It was wonderful to hear, among other pieces of music, "When You Wish Upon a Star" played on the new organ in the stake center.  Most of those in attendance were not of our faith, but were there to remember a friend and to honor his life.

As part of the program, this man's brother shared a beautiful eulogy that told of a life well lived, of talents shared with family, friends, and strangers.  His pastor, of the Lutheran faith, shared some wonderful memories and a testimony of Christ.  It was my responsibility to share a few closing remarks.  Earlier in the day I had reviewed the doctrine of the plan of salvation and put together some thoughts on what to share.  As the day progressed and the services started, I debated about how much doctrine to share.  Going through the process I wanted to avoid giving any offense to those who were in attendance, yet I felt it was my responsibility to share the comforting doctrine.  When it was my turn to speak I essentially had, in my mind, rewritten what I would say until I ended back where I had started.   I felt prompted rather strongly to share what had been prepared. 

Below are the remarks that I shared.  I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


____________________________

Introduction
Unlike many of you, I did not know _____________________.  I don’t have any memories of him to share with you.  As I contemplated what to say this evening I thought of the comforting doctrines of Christ.  I thought of the love that our Heavenly Father has for each one of us.  Some of what I will share with you tonight will be familiar.  Some of it may not be familiar.  What I hope to share is a message of faith, hope, and love.  When a loved one passes, we often think of the important questions we all face: Who am I?  Why am I here?  Where am I going?  I hope to share the answers to some of those questions with you tonight.

The Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ is captured in what we term the Plan of Salvation, or the Great Plan of Happiness.  It includes our pre-mortal existence, “the Creation, the Fall, the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and all of the laws, ordinances, and doctrines of the gospel.  Moral agency, the ability to choose and act for ourselves, is also essential in Heavenly Father’s plan.”

The purpose of this plan is allow us to become like our Heavenly Father by receiving a physical body, living by faith, and partaking of the blessings of the Atonement.

Pre-Existence
We are spirit children of our Heavenly Father.  We lived with him before coming into mortality.  As the Lord told Jeremiah in the Old Testament:

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”

Creation and The Fall
In order to bring his works to pass, our Savior Jesus Christ, under the direction of His Father, created the earth.  Man and woman, Adam and Eve, were placed on the earth.  They were given commandments to multiply and replenish the earth and not to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

They did, however, partake of the Tree resulting in the Fall.  The Fall introduced spiritual and physical death.  We were promised that through Christ’s resurrection physical death would be overcome for all.  We were also promised that through our individual choices and the grace of Christ we could be cleansed from our own sins.

Mortality
As we entered mortality through birth, our spirits were united with a physical body, which is essential for us to become like our Heavenly Father who has a perfected physical body.  We passed through a veil of forgetfulness and separation from God.  We don’t remember our life and relationship with God.  We are required to live by faith and to use our agency to bring us closer to God.

Death
Each of us who are born into this life is destined to die.  At death our spirit and body are separated to await the resurrection.  The Book of Mormon Prophet Alma taught his son the following:

“Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.

“And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.”
Alma 40:11-12

The Atonement of our Savior
In the meridian of time the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was born to a mortal mother.  He lived a life free of sin and full of service to his fellow man.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, and while nailed to the Cross, he bore the price of our sins and transgressions.  He suffered all of our trials, pains, and sorrows.  He willingly gave up his life for us.  His body was laid in the tomb.  After three days he took that body up again loosing the bands of death, removing the sting of death.  Through his Atonement and Resurrection, everyone born into this world will be resurrected.  All those who choose to accept him, his gospel, the saving ordinances, and will repent, will be cleansed from their sins and made pure and worthy to return to that God who gave us life. 


Resurrection
As the Savior took up his body on the third day and burst the bands of death, so we to shall have our spirits reunited with our bodies, never to be separated again.  Our Father has prepared different degrees of glory for our eternal inheritance.  The Savior said, as recorded by John the Beloved:

“In my Father’s house are many mansions…I go to prepare a place for you.”
John 14:2

We will be judged according to our knowledge and obedience.  Based on our obedience and the depth of our conversion we will inherit the appropriate degree of glory. 

We are left behind this veil of forgetfulness.  We must continue to live by faith.  It is our responsibility to hold to the faith that we have; to keep the covenants that we have made; and to make sure that we have taken all the necessary steps toward our own salvation.  Then, we must endure to the end faithfully so that we might be reunited with our Father and His son and our loved ones who have gone before us.  Take the time now to make the needed changes in your life.  Move forward with hope, love and appreciation for a loving Heavenly Father. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trust in the Lord:The Key to Remaining Faithful


Complete trust in God requires that we exercise faith and surrender our will to His.  I think of the parable of the sower wherein the word of God was accepted on the stony ground and in the thorny place.  The truth is accepted with joy but it is unable to gain root because the ground, or the heart, is offended because of the tribulation and persecution from others.  Or, the truth is accepted but care for worldly things strangles the word and it fails to take hold.

How often do we find ourselves, having felt the Spirit and accepted the truths of the Restoration, beginning to question our need to obey certain commandments or the counsel of the Lord’s servants?  How often do we begin to think that maybe the brethren got it wrong and that we know better?

As a very young boy I watched as my father gained a testimony of the Restoration.  He shared the story of the young Joseph Smith and the First Vision and of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.  The change in his life was visible and contagious.  I dedicated myself to finding out the truth for myself.  I studied the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.  I studied the words of the Prophet Joseph, Brother Brigham, and our modern day prophets and apostles.  When I turned 8 years old I was ready and excited to get baptized.  My father pulled me aside to ask me a simple question before he would let me go forward with my baptism.  He asked if I had a testimony of the restored gospel, a testimony of my own.  He understood better than I what I was promising to the Lord.

Statue of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum

At the time I felt sure that it was true, but I hadn’t ever asked Heavenly Father directly.  So, I resolved to do so.  To this day I remember kneeling and leaning on the lower bunk bed in my bedroom.  I prayed out loud, asking Heavenly Father to let me know if Joseph Smith had seen Him and His Son.  I asked if the Book of Mormon was true.  I asked if the Church was true.  I received an answer through the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost that it was true.  Since the time my father had accepted the gospel and baptism, I had felt the Holy Ghost and recognized his confirmation.  I accepted baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and made covenants to take upon myself the name of Christ and to obey his commandments.

Growing older I continued to study the gospel, learning more and doing more.  Questions and the temptations of the world also began to beset me.  My commitments and covenants began to demand real choices.  When I was fifteen years old I decided to commit myself again to reconfirming the truthfulness of the gospel.  Once again I devoured the Book of Mormon.  Prayer became part of my routine as I sought strength, wisdom, and reassurance.  Again my prayers were answered.  My behavior as a teenager wasn’t perfect.  I made mistakes but I knew I needed to change my behavior.

One more time in high school I had questions arise.  This time it wasn’t so much about the truthfulness of the gospel, but about the Lord’s church, its earthly leaders, and my role in the church.  Could I trust the counsel and decisions made and provided by my bishop, by the prophet, by the general authorities?  It had become obvious to me that they were men who made mistakes.  Maybe they had made mistakes in their callings, mistakes that didn’t remove my requirement to listen to them.

With some doubts I pressed onward.  I made additional covenants in the temple.  I served a full-time mission, returned home and married in the temple.  As the years have gone by, I have watched as friends and loved ones have allowed some aspect of the gospel or the actions and decisions of some in the church to weaken their resolve to be obedient.  Often they would claim to have a testimony of the Restored Gospel but that church leadership had gone astray in some way, that some teaching or program was incorrect. 

It is always painful to me when someone I know and love struggles with trust and struggles with faith in the Lord and his church.  Looking ahead I can see the pains and sorrows, the missed opportunities for joy and happiness that will be part of their future.  Sometimes doubts will begin to play at the edges of my mind when I begin to wonder how someone who had been so strong and so valiant could begin to doubt.

I have come to realize a few key truths, about the gospel, about human nature, and about myself.

First, I know that the Book of Mormon is true.  I know that it is the word of God as delivered through ancient prophets and translated by Joseph Smith.  The Book of Mormon testifies and teaches of Christ, confirming the sacred truths taught in the Holy Bible. 

Second, because the Book of Mormon is true I know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the Restoration.  I know that he did see the Father and the Son in the sacred grove.  I know that through him the truths, authority, and organization of the church were restored to the earth in accordance with the will of God.  I know that the priesthood, the authority to act in God’s name in order to do His work was restored. 

Third, I have a testimony that the priesthood authority that was restored to Jospeh Smith and Oliver Cowdery remains on the earth and is active today.  With that priesthood comes the right and authority to receive revelation, to come to know the mind and will of the Lord concerning His kingdom and church upon the earth.  Under the direction the Prophet Joseph and each of his duly authorized successors, the Lord has put in place the organizations and teachings that will bring about the “immortality and eternal life of man.”

President Thomas S. Monson
We have a living prophet on the earth today.  We have had a living prophet and apostles since the time that the Prophet Joseph organized the Church under the direction of the Savior.  The living prophet has a sacred and solemn responsibility to teach us what God would have us know in this day and to serve as a steward over the Lord’s Church.  I know that the Lord has prepared, called, and qualified each prophet in this dispensation and will do so for those who are to come.  Regarding the prophet’s sacred duty to teach us the Lord’s will, President Harold B. Lee stated:

“You may not like what comes from the authority of the Church.  It may conflict with 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.”

And President Ezra Taft Benson wisely taught us:

“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.”

Fourth, I know that God is perfect.  I know that my Savior is perfect.  I know that they are infinitely wiser than me and that they are infinitely wiser than anyone else with whom I may come into contact in this life.  I know that God loves me perfectly, wants what is best for me, and knows what is best for me.  I know that his love extends to all of his children.  I know that He knows the future from the past.  Nothing that will happen as pertains to His kingdom will come to Him as a surprise or a shock.  In the laying out of His great plan, He has taken into account all of our actions, good and bad, so that He might bring about the greatest good.

Fifth, I know that we have agency.  Our Heavenly Father will not force us to accept all of his blessings or his plan.  We may not be able to choose the consequences of our actions and thoughts, but we can choose our actions and thoughts.  Some blessings and knowledge will come to us only as we are obedient and faithful as required.

Sixth, I have learned the importance of trusting God completely.  My trust in God must accompany my faith and that I must be willing to turn my will completely over to him.  The prophets teach us and exhort us to trust in God.

As Nephi taught us:
“O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever.  I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh.  Yeah, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” (2 Nephi 4:34)

Or as the Psalmist taught:

“They that trust in the LORD shall be as the mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.” (Psalms 125:1)

“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” (Psalms 62:8)

Central to that trust is the precept that it is not my place to counsel God in His work.  President Marion G. Romney explained:

“…seeking to counsel the Lord generally means disregarding the Lord’s counsel, either knowingly or unknowingly, and in place thereof substituting our own counsel or the persuasions of men.  Doing this is a very common human weakness.  But until we are able to conquer it, real closeness to the Spirit of the Lord eludes us regardless of our other gifts and attainments.”

Jacob, the Book of Mormon prophet, taught:

“Wherefore…seek not to counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand.  For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in wisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.”  (Jacob 4:10)

Seventh, I have a testimony of the Atonement.  Not only do I know that I can be cleansed of my sins, but I know that our shortcomings and mistakes will be made to work for our mortal and eternal welfare.  Our Heavenly Father does His work through us imperfect mortals.  We make mistakes, some intentional and some otherwise.  In those instances where a priesthood or other church leader may make a mistake in the execution of their office, the Lord is aware of the mistake before it takes place and will through His infinite wisdom and the power of His Atonement, cause them to work in accordance with His plans.

I take comfort, especially as I serve in various callings in the church, in the word of President Wilford Woodruff:

“I say to Israel, the Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as president of this Church to lead you astray.  It is not in the program.  It is not in the mind of God.  If I were to attempt that the Lord would remove me out of my place, and so He will any other man who attempts to lead the children of men astray from the oracles of God and from their duty.”

Eight, I am responsible for my own actions and decisions.  It is my responsibility, in accordance with the testimony that I have received, to trust in the Lord.  This means trusting in His duly called and ordained priesthood leaders.  This means trusting in His organization, in His infinite wisdom to know what is best.  It means that I do not seek to counsel the Lord’s servants when it is not my place.  To do so is to counsel God.  This doesn’t mean that I can’t ask questions of the Lord’s servants.  I can and should ask questions if I don’t understand or fully agree.  When the Lord counsels me not to “trust in the arm of flesh”, he is referring first to me.  I am not wiser than the Lord.  My friends, family, and associates are not wiser than the Lord.  I must trust in the Lord and bring my will into agreement with his will. 

This Church is the Lord’s.  He is in control.  He knows whom he has called.  He knows how to speak to those whom he has called.  He knows how to move His work forward.  He knows how to work with our strengths and with our weaknesses.  He knows how to turn our weaknesses into strengths.  He knows how to compensate for any mistakes His servants may make in the execution of their duties. Who am I to question the wisdom of the Lord as though I know more than Him, as though I love more than Him?

The Church is true.  It is organized according to the pattern set by the Lord.  A living prophet is upon the earth today with the priesthood keys necessary to move the kingdom of God forward.  The Lord has the power to save and exalt each one of us.  The price has been paid and the pathway paved.  It is up to us to enter the strait gate with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, to have the trust and humility necessary to receive the celestial blessings that He has in store for each one of us. 


Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson

Seek Not to Counsel the Lord, President Marion G. Romney

Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father, Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Because of Him: Testimonies of Christ

We had a wonderful fast and testimony meeting today.  It was a continuation of the amazing spirit I felt listing to General Conference last weekend.

With Easter approaching the Christian world prepares to celebrate the miracle of our Savior's resurrection, his victory over death.  Tomorrow night, for Family Home Evening, our family will spend some time looking at the website the Church put together to help us remember Jesus Christ and the last week of his life.  Check it out when you have a moment.  Share it with your friends.  I hope to share a few more thoughts about it after I have a chance to look at it and watch the video.

Because of Him


During this past General Conference we had the opportunity to hear powerful testimony borne of our Savior.  President Boyd K. Packer shared the following:

The Witness


“Like most things of great worth, knowledge which is of eternal value comes only through personal prayer and pondering.  These, joined with fasting and scripture study, will invite impressions and revelations and the whisperings of the Holy Spirit.  This provides us with instruction from on high as we learn precept upon precept.”

“Your secret yearnings and tearful pleadings will touch the heart of both the Father and the Son.  You will be given a personal assurance from Them that your life will be full and that no blessing that is essential will be lost to you.”

“A supernal truth that I have gained in my life is my witness of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“Foremost and underpinning all that we do, anchored throughout the revelations, is the Lord’s name, which is the authority by which we act in the Church.  Every prayer offered, even by little children, ends in the name of Jesus Christ.  Every blessing, every ordinance, every ordination, every official act is done in the name of Jesus Christ.  It is His Church, and it is named for Him—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

“After all the years that I have lived and taught and served, after the millions of miles I have traveled around the world, with all that I have experienced, there is one great truth that I would share.  That is my witness of the Savior Jesus Christ.

“Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon recorded the following after a sacred experience: ‘And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

‘For we saw him.’

“Their words are my words.”

I believe and I am sure that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that He lives.  He is the Only Begotten of the Father, and ‘by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.’

“I bear my witness that the Savior lives.  I know the Lord.  I am His witness.  I know of His great sacrifice and eternal love for all of Heavenly Father’s children.  I bear my special witness in all humility but with absolute certainty, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”
______________________________________

And from the talk given by Elder Carlos H. Amado:


“…in the most sublime show of His love for humankind, and in the full exercise of His will, He walked bravely and determinedly to face His most demanding trial.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, in utter loneliness, He suffered most intense agony, bleeding from each pore.  In total submission before His Father, He atoned for our sins and also took upon Him our illnesses and afflictions in order to know how to succor us.”

“Christ was the first to be resurrected and never die again, to possess forever a perfect, eternal body.  In His resurrected state, He appeared to Mary, who as soon as she recognized Him, began to worship Him.”
 _______________________________________________________

After listening to President Packer during the last General Conference, I decided to go back to listen to the last General Conference address by Elder Bruce R. McConkie.  Here is a link for those who are interested:


I love to bear my testimony of the Savior.  Because of Him we can receive peace and joy in this life.  Because of Him we can receive the strength we need to make it through trial and tribulations.  He willingly suffered "our illnesses and afflictions in order to know how to succor us."  He willingly gave up His life and took it up again.  Because of Him we will be resurrected.  Because of Him we can return to our Heavenly Father and obtain eternal life. 

I am grateful for a living prophet and for living apostles.  I am grateful for the Holy Scriptures that testify and teach of Jesus Christ--the Holy Bible, The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price.  I am grateful for the Holy Ghost whose mission it is to bear testimony to each of us of the divinity of our Savior and His atoning sacrifice.

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Love of the Father and the Son: April Conference 2014


Listening to General Conference this past weekend, I couldn’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of God’s love for me.  He loves me enough to know me personally.  He loves me enough to send me messages through his servants and through the Holy Ghost that are specific to my needs and condition.  Experiencing the individual and personal love that God has for us is one of the truly powerful miracles in this existence.  Even more than the big surprising miracles, these small, tender mercies let us know that we are known and loved.





The messages that were delivered provided desperately needed encouragement and strength that pertain to my current challenges and struggles.  Calls to actions, in many cases, applied directly to my weaknesses and things that I should do better.  The teachings and counsel offered also help me know how to better serve in my current church calling and how I can serve more effectively and with greater love.  I am so appreciative of the warnings of current and pending dangers that were given.



My plan for the next couple of weeks is to review the talks and my notes from conference and set some specific goals to help me do better. 



Going through this mortal experience it is so easy to get wrapped up in our daily struggles.  It is easy to forget why we are here and that we are not alone.  General Conference, the words of inspired leaders, is proof that we are loved, that we are not alone.



Here are a few gems that many have shared already:



“There are no endings, only everlasting beginnings.” – President Dieter F. Uchtdorf



“Your secret yearnings and tearful pleadings will touch the heart of both the Father and the Son.”  - President Boyd K. Packer



“Who we are is not who we can become.”  Elder Donald Hallstrom



“Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today,  but the recipient will remember them for a lifetime.”  - President Thomas S. Monson



“I would never have asked for this trial, but I would never give it away.”  - Sister Jean A. Stevens



“Faith requires work.”  - Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis