Tag Archives: Thomas S. Monson

This way to Safety

A message to youth from the prophet of the Lord:

Looking Through Windows

How do you view other people?  Or how other people act?

I invite you to watch this short inspirational clip and to discuss with me what it makes you think about:

A lesson of Charity

The prophet, President Thomas S Monson, has said:

“Charity is having patience with someone who has let us down.  It is resisting the impulse to become offended easily.  It is accepting weaknesses and shortcomings.  It is accepting people as they truly are.  It is looking beyond physical appearances to attributes that will not dim through time.  It is resisting the impulse to categorize others.”

What does this teach us about charity?  What does this teach about how we personally are cleaving unto charity?  Are there some of the things in the prophet’s description of charity that we have left to work on?

Facing Rejection and Making Paradise

President Monson had this to say to students at BYU-Hawaii.  It can be true for each of us:

“The second lesson, Elder Holland warned students, is that they will not always live, work, or raise their children in righteous environments.

“As graduates you will be pushed out of this nest, this little academic Garden of Eden, and you will spend some time—a lot of time—in the Cold and Dreary secular world. Don’t resent that.  Don’t resist it.  Don’t resist it any more than Adam and Eve did. It is part of ‘the plan’ and that world out there … desperately needs you,” Elder Holland said.

Instead, Elder Holland counseled that the graduates see their life away from school as “the next step, as an opportunity, a chance to have an impact, part of your ‘mission’ in life.”

Elder Holland said that he mentioned “mission” intentionally, because the same issue is faced by missionaries who leave the MTC and go out into the field to do the hard work they were called to do.

“They must be ready to face rejection. They must be prepared to have some uncomfortable confrontations. They must be prepared to deal with unkindness, unfortunately. In a case of two … they have to contend even with some brutality.” he said. “That is a sad fact, but it is a fact. So as new graduates we can’t buckle or give up when life is not as ideal as it was at BYU-H. The idealized life you have had here is not to be permanent but is to fortify us for the world we have been trained to enter and which needs our life, our learning, and our example. … It’s easy to talk about paradise in Laie; we talk about it a lot on the BYU-Hawaii Campus. The reality is that we can make paradise wherever we go.”

The Words of a prophet

These are a couple of the words that the prophet, President Thomas S. Monson recently spoke to us:

“Brothers and sisters, I assure you that our Heavenly Father is mindful of the challenges we face in the world today. He loves each of us and will bless us as we strive to keep His commandments and seek Him through prayer.

How blessed we are to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It provides answers to the questions concerning where we came from, why we are here, and where we will go when we depart from this life. It gives meaning and purpose and hope to our lives.

I thank you for the service you so willingly give to one another. We are God’s hands here on this earth, with a mandate to love and to serve His children.

I thank you for all that you do in your wards and your branches. I express my gratitude for your willingness to serve in the positions to which you are called, whatever they may be. Each is important in furthering the work of the Lord.

Conference is now over. As we return to our homes, may we do so safely. May we find all has been well during our absence. May the spirit we have felt here be and abide with us as we go about those things which occupy us each day. May we show increased kindness one toward another. May we ever be found doing the work of the Lord.

May heaven’s blessings be with you. May your homes be filled with harmony and love. May you constantly nourish your testimonies, that they might be a protection for you against the adversary.

As your humble servant, I desire with all my heart to do God’s will and to serve Him and to serve you.

I love you; I pray for you.”

Living the Abundant Life

This message is from President Thomas S. Monson, the prophet of God on the Earth today:

Living the Abundant Life

At the advent of a new year, I challenge Latter-day Saints everywhere to undertake a personal, diligent, significant quest for what I call the abundant life—a life filled with an abundance of success, goodness, and blessings. Just as we learned the ABCs in school, I offer my own ABCs to help us all gain the abundant life.

Have a Positive Attitude

A in my ABCs refers to attitude. William James, a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher, wrote, “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”1

So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to others makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment.

Charles Swindoll—author, educator, and Christian pastor—said: “Attitude, to me, is more important than … the past, … than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.”2

We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude.

Believe in Yourself

B is for believe—in yourself, in those around you, and in eternal principles.

Be honest with yourself, with others, and with your Heavenly Father. One who was not honest with God until it was too late was Cardinal Wolsey who, according to Shakespeare, spent a long life in service to three sovereigns and enjoyed wealth and power. Finally, he was shorn of his power and possessions by an impatient king. Cardinal Wolsey cried:

Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, He would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.3

Thomas Fuller, an English churchman and historian who lived in the 17th century, penned this truth: “He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.”4

Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities.

You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith.

Face Challenges with Courage

C is for courage. Courage becomes a worthwhile and meaningful virtue when it is regarded not so much as a willingness to die manfully but as a determination to live decently.

Said the American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide on, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”5

There will be times when you will be frightened and discouraged. You may feel that you are defeated. The odds of obtaining victory may appear overwhelming. At times you may feel like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember—David did win!

Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve.

Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.”

May we remember these ABCs as we begin our journey into the new year, cultivating a positive attitude, a belief that we can achieve our goals and resolutions, and the courage to face whatever challenges may come our way. Then the abundant life will be ours.”

Standing up for the right

As I was studying this talk by Thomas S. Monson, entitled “Stand in Holy Places” this morning, I thought I would share it with you.  It is so true that by following God and His ways we allow ourselves to have great peace and comfort.

“My beloved brothers and sisters, we have heard fine messages this morning, and I commend each who has participated. We’re particularly delighted to have Elder Robert D. Hales with us once again and feeling improved. We love you, Bob.

As I pondered what I would like to say to you this morning, I have felt impressed to share certain thoughts and feelings which I consider to be pertinent and timely. I pray that I may be guided in my remarks.

I have lived on this earth for 84 years now. To give you a little perspective, I was born the same year Charles Lindbergh flew the first solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris in a single-engine, single-seat monoplane. Much has changed during the 84 years since then. Man has long since been to the moon and back. In fact, yesterday’s science fiction has become today’s reality. And that reality, thanks to the technology of our times, is changing so fast we can barely keep up with it—if we do at all. For those of us who remember dial telephones and manual typewriters, today’s technology is more than merely amazing.

Also evolving at a rapid rate has been the moral compass of society. Behaviors which once were considered inappropriate and immoral are now not only tolerated but also viewed by ever so many as acceptable.

I recently read in the Wall Street Journal an article by Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s chief rabbi. Among other things, he writes: “In virtually every Western society in the 1960s there was a moral revolution, an abandonment of its entire traditional ethic of self-restraint. All you need, sang the Beatles, is love. The Judeo-Christian moral code was jettisoned. In its place came [the adage]: [Do] whatever works for you. The Ten Commandments were rewritten as the Ten Creative Suggestions.”

Rabbi Sacks goes on to lament:

“We have been spending our moral capital with the same reckless abandon that we have been spending our financial capital. …

“There are large parts of [the world] where religion is a thing of the past and there is no counter-voice to the culture of buy it, spend it, wear it, flaunt it, because you’re worth it. The message is that morality is passé, conscience is for wimps, and the single overriding command is ‘Thou shalt not be found out.’”1

My brothers and sisters, this—unfortunately—describes much of the world around us. Do we wring our hands in despair and wonder how we’ll ever survive in such a world? No. Indeed, we have in our lives the gospel ofJesus Christ, and we know that morality is not passé, that our conscience is there to guide us, and that we are responsible for our actions.

Although the world has changed, the laws of God remain constant. They have not changed; they will not change. The Ten Commandments are just that—commandments. They are not suggestions. They are every bit as requisite today as they were when God gave them to the children of Israel. If we but listen, we hear the echo of God’s voice, speaking to us here and now:

“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. …

“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. …

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. …

“Honour thy father and thy mother. …

“Thou shalt not kill.

“Thou shalt not commit adultery.

“Thou shalt not steal.

“Thou shalt not bear false witness. …

“Thou shalt not covet.”2

Our code of conduct is definitive; it is not negotiable. It is found not only in the Ten Commandments but also in the Sermon on the Mount, given to us by the Savior when He walked upon the earth. It is found throughout His teachings. It is found in the words of modern revelation.

Our Father in Heaven is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The prophet Mormon tells us that God is “unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.”3 In this world where nearly everything seems to be changing, His constancy is something on which we can rely, an anchor to which we can hold fast and be safe, lest we be swept away into uncharted waters.

It may appear to you at times that those out in the world are having much more fun than you are. Some of you may feel restricted by the code of conduct to which we in the Church adhere. My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments. That Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates. The Apostle Paul declared the truth: “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”4The term natural man can refer to any of us if we allow ourselves to be so.

We must be vigilant in a world which has moved so far from that which is spiritual. It is essential that we reject anything that does not conform to our standards, refusing in the process to surrender that which we desire most: eternal life in the kingdom of God. The storms will still beat at our doors from time to time, for they are an inescapable part of our existence in mortality. We, however, will be far better equipped to deal with them, to learn from them, and to overcome them if we have the gospel at our core and the love of the Savior in our hearts. The prophet Isaiah declared, “The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.”5

As a means of being in the world but not being of the world, it is necessary that we communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer. He wants us to do so; He’ll answer our prayers. The Savior admonished us, as recorded in 3 Nephi 18, to “watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation; for Satan desireth to have you. …

“Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name;

“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.”6