Eventually the would-be thief was baptized. Vern later said, “It’s hard now to describe the feelings I had and what I went through in that experience. I, too, was young. I had caught my crook. I was going to extract the utmost penalty. But my father taught me a different way.” A different way? A better way? A higher way? A more excellent way? Oh, how the world could benefit from such a magnificent lesson.
There is enormous power in words. If you have words of kindness, praise or encouragement-speak them now to, and about others. Listen to your heart and respond.
Forgiveness comes more readily when, like the Amish, we have faith in God and trust in His word. Such faith “enables people to withstand the worst of humanity”. It also enables people to look beyond themselves. More importantly, it enables them to forgive.
I received nothing I wanted. I received everything I needed. My prayers have been answered.
A BYU 19-stake fireside address by President Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve came to an abrupt halt for about 10 minutes Feb. 7 when a man walked up to the podium threatening to detonate a bomb. President Hunter was just beginning his address on adversity to 17,000 people in the Marriott Center when the 27-year-old man came out of the audience and walked onto the stand, carrying a briefcase and a toy cellular phone wrapped in black tape. . .
Continued Elder Pratt: “I had listened till I became so disgusted, shocked, horrified, and so filled with the spirit of indignant justice that I could scarcely refrain from rising upon my feet and rebuking the guards; but [I] had said nothing to Joseph, or any one else, although I lay next to him and knew he was awake. On a sudden he arose to his feet, and spoke in a voice of thunder, or as the roaring lion, uttering, as near as I can recollect.
Not long ago, the Church published photos and background information on seer stones. People have asked me, “Do you really believe that Joseph Smith translated with seer stones? How would something like this be possible?” And I answer, “Yes! That is exactly what I believe.” This was done as Joseph said: by the gift and power of God.
A story from the childhood of Heber J. Grant
It was dark and I stood there several minutes before my eyes rose to meet his, and when they did, strangely enough, he seemed as he had before, radiant with power, glowing with love. I knew they could not kill him, not any more than they could kill the love I felt for him. This time, he could barely whisper, “COME UNTO ME.” I fell to my knees and answered his three simple words and said, “Yes, my Savior, I will come.”
A story is told of a retiring pilot, who was asked how he managed to fly nearly 40 years without an accident or even an incident.
Yuri, a Russian Latter-day Saint, sacrificed and saved to take a long trip to the temple. On the train he noticed a beautiful woman with a bright countenance, and he felt that he should share the gospel with her. Not knowing what else to do, he began reading from his Book of Mormon, hoping that she might notice.
In that imaginary instant, I couldn’t help calling out to him: “Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead—a lot of it—30 years of it now, and still counting. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.” . . Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. Of that I personally attest.
God also has an economy, but the currency isn’t money; it is love, often expressed in service. When people in a community need help and allow others to serve them, God’s economy of love grows. People feel an abundance of love, both from serving and from being served, and they desire to serve others.
Elder Wilson continued month after month his precious but painful service as a missionary. Blessings were given; prayers were offered. Because of his example of dedication, his fellow missionaries lived closer to God. Elder Wilson’s physical condition deteriorated. The end drew near, and he was to return home. He asked to serve but one additional month, and his request was granted. He put his faith in God, and He whom Thomas Michael Wilson silently trusted opened the windows of heaven and abundantly blessed him.
Christ did not so rationalize. He positively and promptly closed the discussion, and commanded: “Get thee hence, Satan,” meaning, likely, “Get out of my sight—get out of my presence—I will not listen—I will have nothing to do with you.” Then, we read, “the devil leaveth him.” This is our proper pattern, if we would prevent sin rather than be faced with the much more difficult task of curing it. As I study the story of the Redeemer and his temptations, I am certain he spent his energies fortifying himself against temptation rather than battling with it to conquer it.
The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, “How did you make the falcon fly?” With head bowed, the farmer said to the king, ” It was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting.”
We laid down a rule that every sacrament meeting talk and every lesson in Sunday School, Relief Society, and priesthood meetings must be related to the Atonement of Christ in a direct and express way. Our goal was to have all of our meetings filled with “life [and] substance [and] redemption” by having them connected to “the very root of Christian doctrine”: the Atonement of Christ.
One night I had a dream– I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord and across the sky flashed scenes from my life. . . “When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.”
Good timber does not grow with ease: The stronger wind, the stronger trees; The further sky, the greater length; The more the storm, the more the strength. By sun and cold, by rain and snow, In trees and men good timbers grow.
We feel only pity for Ali Hafed as we picture him wandering homeless and friendless farther and farther away from the happiness he thought he would find in digging up diamonds in a far-off place. Yet how many times do we look for our happiness at a distance in space or time rather than right now, in our own homes, with our own families and friends?
Suddenly, the plane hit the runway with a thud, bounced 50 feet into the air, hit and bounced again, ran off and landed upside down in a nearby cornfield. The instructor, upside down and still strapped in his seat, exclaimed, “that was the worst landing any student of mine has ever made!” “Me?”, asked the student, “I thought you were landing the plane!”
Borghild Dahl, both before and after her sight was restored, was filled with gratitude for her blessings. In 1982, two years before she died, at the age of 92 her last book was published. Its title: Happy All My Life. Her attitude of thankfulness enabled her to appreciate her blessings and to live a full and rich life despite her challenges.
“I went into that hospital a proud British officer, and I came out a humble Mormon elder. Ever since then I have earnestly tried to remember that there is a power and authority given to man, not from the king or the president, but from the King of Kings, and if we live properly and do not forget that we have been so endowed, we may exercise that authority in behalf of those who need our ministration.”
I queried, “If you don’t raise the bar, how will you ever know your potential?” So we started moving the bar up to five feet, ten inches; then to six feet; and so on, as he sought to improve. Lee became a better high jumper because he was not content with just clearing the minimum standard. He learned that even if it meant missing, he wanted to keep raising the bar to become the best high jumper he was capable of becoming.
The interviewer again stopped him and said, “All of what you have said to me is true.” The man was then invited to leave the room. After he left the door opened and the second man entered. As he approached the interviewer he fell upon his knees and cried, “My Lord, my God.”
After Elder Bruce R. McConkie gave his final General Conference talk and testimony in April of 1985, this experience occurred…
It is easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn’t lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of pain and suffering. Remember, next time your little hut is burning to the ground it just may be a smoke signal that summons the grace of God.
The King picked up the dead bird. “This Falcon, the dearest of all my treasures,” he said sadly, “saved my life twice, and I, by my own act of anger, killed it with one cruel blow!”
It all seemed so strange, and I wondered about it as I was trying to think of what I was going to say in the meeting. And then all at once it came to me like a bolt of lightning. These boys were mimicking me! That day I learned the lesson of my life—that we who are in positions of authority must be careful indeed, because others watch us and find in us their examples.
In our lives, we also have fences. The fences which we must stay within are God’s commandments, which are principles of revealed truth.
After listening, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the back into the ocean. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.”
The monument you make of your life with the help of your problems will be a symbol of your Love for me, Your Father.
Once as General Jackson was discussing strategic options with his associates, a commander began his recommendation with the statement, “I fear we will not find our wagons tonight.” Stonewall responded to the words, “I fear,” in his colleague’s observation with a penetrating truth that ultimately became the general’s trademark: “Never take counsel from your fears”. That is the simple principle I want to discuss with you today: never taking counsel from your fears…
Have you ever been in a car that broke down on the road and would not work? This can be very frustrating. In comparison, as we go through life, we face challenges every day. These are just as frustrating. One cause of a car breaking down is often a weakened battery. In a similar way, our ability to deal with life’s challenges can be affected by a weakened testimony.
Just like the eagle, people who have learned to think of themselves as something they aren’t, can re-decide in favor of their real potential. They can become winners.
“Three eighteen-year-old boys belonging to the relief party came to the rescue, and to the astonishment of all who saw, carried nearly every member of the ill-fated handcart company across the snowbound stream. The strain was so terrible, and the exposure so great, that in later years all the boys died from the effects of it. When President Brigham Young heard of this heroic act, he wept like a child, and later declared publicly, ‘that act alone will ensure C. Allen Huntington, George W. Grant, and David P. Kimball an everlasting salvation in the Celestial Kingdom of God, worlds without end.’”
Periodically, the ship must go into dry dock, where with great effort the barnacles are chiseled or scraped off. It’s a difficult, expensive process that ties up the ship for days. But not if the captain can get his ship to Portland. Barnacles can’t live in fresh water. There, in the sweet, fresh waters of the Willamette or Columbia, the barnacles loosen and fall away, and the ship returns to its task lightened and renewed. Sins are like those barnacles. Hardly anyone goes through life without picking up some. They increase the drag, slow our progress, and decrease our efficiency. Unrepented, building up one on another, they can eventually sink us.
April 17, 1898: The Provo Tabernacle is dedicated after 15 years of construction by Mormon pioneers. December 17, 2010: A fire guts the historic building, leaving only the four walls and corner towers standing. October 1, 2011: President Thomas S. Monson announces that the tabernacle will be converted to the Provo City Center Temple. “When we’re restored or converted, we’ll be the best that we ever were and a little bit better.”
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all. And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall. And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face, another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”
He took the Bible and went through it page by page. He was convinced that our Heavenly Father was and is a just God. He was convinced that in some of the 800 or so different beliefs and sects listed in the almanac that one represented the truth and the whole truth. He took a page of the Bible at a time and went to work on this chalkboard. It took him almost eight weeks; he had both sides of the chalkboard filled. Then he asked a secretary to come in, write down the information, summarize it, and type it on a five-by-seven card. He gave each of us a card and presented a plan to us. He said, “I have taken from the Bible all the evidences I could locate that would help a person identify the true Church. I’m convinced that Jesus Christ was sent here to organize his Church, and I believe that it is somewhere on the earth today.” So every Wednesday night and every Sunday, we went out looking for this Church.
The spiritual sextant, which each of us has, also functions on the principle of light from celestial sources. Set that sextant in your mind to the word covenant or the word ordinance. The light will come through. Then you can fix your position and set a true course in life.
The Guru said, “I got a question for you. When you were under water, what was the only thing you wanted to do? More than anything?” He said, “I wanted to breathe.” The guru said “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful”.
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin, Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin, A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; a game – and he travels on. “He is going” once, and “going twice, He’s going and almost gone.” But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.
“Ruvolo then stood, and the victim and her assailant embraced, weeping. She stroked his head and patted his back as he sobbed, and witnesses, including a Times reporter, heard her say, ‘It’s OK. I just want you to make your life the best it can be.’ According to accounts, hardened prosecutors, and even reporters, were choking back tears”. What a great story that is, greater because it actually happened, and that it happened in tough old New York. Who can feel anything but admiration for this woman who forgave the young man who might have taken her life?
“‘You can’t tell the character of an individual by the way he does his daily work. Watch him when his work is done. See where he goes. Note the companions he seeks, and the things he does when he may do as he pleases. Then you can tell his true character.”
He took just a moment to make his decision. The train sped swiftly and safely on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny, broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of a sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locked lever long after the train had passed. They didn’t see his walking home more slowly than he has ever walked – to tell his wife how he had sacrificed their son. Now if you can comprehend the emotions which went through this man’s heart, you can begin to understand the feelings of our Heavenly Father when he sacrificed His son to bridge the gap between us and eternal life.
When the Lord used the expression ‘savor of men,’ he was speaking of those who represent him. He was referring to those who have repented, who have been washed clean in the waters of baptism, and who have covenanted to take upon them his name and his cause. Moreover, he was speaking of those who would share by covenant his priesthood power. He was speaking of you and me.
Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.
“You said something that started me to think. It touched me and stayed with me and stirred me. I decided to alter my course. I turned my life around. I am now living here in California. I have a good job, for which I am grateful. I hope I am a good husband and father. And I am now serving as a counselor in the bishopric of my ward. I am happier than I have ever been at any time in my life.” I thanked him, and when I left him I said to myself, shaking my head: “You never know. You never know whether you do any good. You never know how much good you do.”