Sunday, January 24, 2016

Obedience, Sacrifice, and Love - October 1971 General Conference, Friday Afternoon Session

Voilà a few highlights:

  • "Should the commandments be rewritten? No. They should be reread."
  • "Let’s stop quarreling with the commandments and the requirements and just face the facts.
  • "I have a great respect for scholarship, for education and research, for academic excellence, and for the magnificent accomplishments of sincere and searching men. But I also have great respect for the word of God, and his prophets, and life’s purpose; and it comes to a question of where to place our trust.
  • "I have been privileged to know some of the ablest men on earth—men of many faiths, many professions, many accomplishments, in nearly 150 countries. But I’ve never known a man who knew enough that I was willing to trust him with my everlasting life."
  • Many years ago Emerson wrote an essay, “Compensation,” in which he said: “The world looks like a multiplication-table, or a mathematical equation, which, turn it how you will, balances itself. … Every secret is told, every crime is punished, every virtue rewarded, every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty. … “Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, cannot be severed; for the effect already blooms in the cause, … the fruit in the seed. …“What will you have? quoth God; pay for it and take it. … Thou shalt be paid exactly for what thou hast done, no more, no less. …“A man cannot speak but he judges himself. … Every opinion reacts on him who utters it. …“You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong. …“The thief steals from himself. The swindler swindles himself. …“… it is impossible to get anything without its price. …“Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge and fox and squirrel and mole. You cannot recall the spoken word, you cannot wipe out the foot-track, you cannot draw up the ladder, so as to leave no inlet or clew.“… we gain the strength of the temptation we resist. …“Men suffer all their life long under the foolish superstition that they can be cheated. But it is … impossible for a man to be cheated by anyone but himself. …”
  • “Pride,” said John Ruskin, “is at the bottom of all great mistakes.”
  • "At least, pride is one of the principal barriers to repentance, because we can’t correct an error without first admitting a mistake."
ElRay L. Christiansen, The Sifting
  • "This is a time of sifting, a time when, more than ever in the history of the modern world, the adversary and his followers have shown themselves to be enemies of God. Yet as we heard our prophet and president say this morning, we need not fear the fiery darts of the adversary, because each of us has the power to avoid becoming entangled in sin more definitely than ever before. The time has come for each member of the Church to keep close to the Lord, to be steadfast by sustaining and upholding and following the counsel of his divinely appointed servants, avoiding, as the Book of Mormon says, the vainness, the frailties, and the foolishness of men. We must purify our lives and sanctify our homes."
  • "The Lord has made the world a crucible for testing us, a place of sifting from which may come the blessings of a joyous life here and a glorious life to come!"
  • "Let us make sure that we do progress as we should; that we are “on board the good ship,” so to speak! For that ship, the Church, will never fail."
Bernard P. Brockbank, The Ten Commandments
  • "The Ten Commandments were not given for the lower animals but for man, given for those who are in the image and likeness of God, but some pay little more attention to them than do some of the lower animals."
  • "Fathers, if we fail to love the living God and if we show greater love and interest for worldly things and pleasures, God has said that he will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate him. A father’s disrespect for the living God and Creator may be passed on to his posterity. Likewise, a father’s love and respect may be passed on to his children."
  • "President David O. McKay once said, “Reverence for God’s name should be dominant in every home. Profanity should never be expressed in a home in this Church. … If there were more reverence in human hearts, there would be less room for sin and sorrow and increased capacity for joy and gladness. …” (Man May Know for Himself [Deseret Book Co., 1967], p. 29.)"
  • "Ruskin wrote, “Reverence is the noblest state in which a man can live in the world. Reverence is one of the signs of strength; irreverence one of the surest indications of weakness. No man will rise high who jeers at sacred things. …”"
  • "Nobleness and dignity are the fruits of reverence."
  • "Fathers who disrespect that which God hallowed and fail to keep the Sabbath day holy will generally pass this sin on to their posterity. It is a sin to unhallow that which God hath hallowed. Keeping the Sabbath day holy has a hallowing effect on the soul of man, and love for God and his commandments is increased."
  • "Fornication and homosexual acts are inspired by the devil and are grievous sins in the sight of God. Fornication and adultery will destroy man’s Godlike potential and bring man nearer the lower animal status."
  • "Last fall the Lord announced through his prophet that the Church would hold family home evening on Monday nights. It is interesting that about the same time, the other side announced that there would be professional football games on Monday nights. You might be surprised to know how many families tried to work family home evenings in between half time of the football games. Of course it cannot be done. It appears the prophet’s request required too great a sacrifice."
  • "But the eye single to the glory of God is probably the most important of those qualifications. Generally speaking, “an eye single to the glory of God” means sacrifice. It means that instead of endlessly doing what we want to do, we have to do what the Lord wants us to do, but we have to do it in his way when he wants us to do it. This, of course, is not the natural inclination of man."
  • "On the other hand, Abraham was told by God to sacrifice his “only” son Isaac as a burnt offering to the Lord. I presume Abraham could not have received a more disagreeable commandment from his Heavenly Father. "
  • "From this it is apparent that sacrifice, no matter how disagreeable it may be, is absolutely vital, for it is the only means the Lord has provided for his children to gain the faith and assurance necessary to successfully return to his presence in condition to enjoy eternal life."
  • "May we serve with an eye single to the glory of God and do what the Lord wants us to do instead of endlessly doing what we want to do, and may we do it because we love the Lord."
S. Dilworth Young, By Love, Serve One Another
  • "And this help is badly needed. All about us are those in need of encouragement, assistance, and help—help of a kind we can all give, not money, but time and attention and personal encouragement, especially to those who must bear great responsibility for loved ones and who cannot pass it to others for the simple reason there are no others to whom to pass it."
  • "There are many lonely people, people whose loneliness is hidden. We need to seek them out and relieve them. There are those who feel they are not accepted, who need to be built up in spirit and helped to find themselves. There are unmarried girls away from home who think no one cares. There are those troubled in spirit. It occurs to me that family home evening could occasionally be timed to bring in some of the lonely ones, some of the fearful, some of the downhearted, some of those troubled in spirit."
  • "The needy neighbor could be next door. The one in need may not be a member of the Church. It can be anybody who stands in need. I know of no one who is exempt from the responsibility of constant succor and personal encouragement to many who never report their difficulties to the bishop, but who, in spite of pride, and even of means, badly need the help, understanding, and love we all can give as individuals."
Milton R. Hunter, The Vitality of Love
  • "The devil is mustering his forces to full strength to bring about discord, sin, and sorrow among the human family. These calamities can be averted to the extent that people live the basic principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is love."
  • "Our Eternal Father and his Only Begotten Son both have intense, comprehensive, and full love for us. They have much greater intelligence and understanding than we have, and so their feelings of love go far beyond our capabilities to love. The attribute of love is so highly developed in these divine Beings that the scriptures state: “God is love.” (1 John 4:16.) In fact, Deity’s transcendent love is above and beyond our deepest feelings and keenest conception. At times of great spiritual experience when we feel an abundance of the Spirit, we have a greater realization of the magnitude of God’s love."
  • "Among the entire human family, there is no example where the principle of love was demonstrated as perfectly as was shown in the life of Jesus in Palestine and in his ministry among the Nephites following his resurrection. He healed the sick, raised the dead, restored sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, and cleansed those who were afflicted with leprosy. His heart was filled with compassion upon the poor and any who suffered afflictions. He lifted them spiritually with his deep understanding."
  • "The central theme and the most dynamic force of the gospel of Jesus Christ is love."
  • "A husband and wife should always be gracious and kind to each other. Neither of them should ever say or do anything to hurt the feelings of the other. Deepest love and affection should be shown toward each other continuously. At all times each should make a conscious effort to do everything possible to bring joy and happiness into the life of the other. A husband should show and express appreciation for the accomplishments of his mate, and she should do likewise. We should look for ways to build each other up and make each other happy. Neither the husband nor the wife should let a day pass without expressing love for the other. We should not assume that our mate knows and that it is not necessary to express it."
  • "President David O. McKay, always an advocate of love and harmony in the home, stated: “Homes are made permanent through love.” (Pathways to Happiness [Bookcraft], p. 114.)"
  • "Controlling the tongue is one of the greatest contributing factors to concord in the home, and one which too many of us fail to develop."
  • "Love should also characterize the center of the family life. Each child should be made to feel at all times by his parents that he is of great importance in the family. Parents should express their love to their children and show them in numerous ways that they love them dearly. Then the Spirit of the Lord will reside in the home. The family will be love-centered and thereby God-centered. The children in turn will reciprocate the love to the parents and strive to please them."
  • "The goal of families who are actuated deeply by love will be to keep the commandments of our Savior in every detail and someday come back into the presence of the Eternal Father and his Only Begotten Son to dwell."
Howard W. Hunter, Elijah the Prophet
  • "I bear witness that the same prophet who was fed by the ravens, by the never-depleting handful of meal and cruse of oil, who brought back life to the widow’s son, whose sacrifice was consumed by an unkindled fire, who was taken into heaven in a chariot of fire, has appeared in this day, as foretold by Malachi. He is turning the hearts of this and the past generations toward each other."
  • "Prior to the building of temples in this dispensation and the appearance of Elijah, there was little interest in seeking out and identifying families of the past. Since temples have been built, genealogical interest in the world has increased at an accelerating rate. The gathering of hundreds of people to Salt Lake City, representing forty-five nations, for the World Conference on Records is a demonstration of this great interest."

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