Teachings of Living Prophets

First

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1. Family

Position Statement

The family is the purpose and potential of our existence. Heavenly Father’s plan is for us to become like Him and have an eternal family. The purpose of the Church and the priesthood is to bless families and provide all the necessary ordinances of salvation. Therefore, it is my belief that no earthly thing comes before my family. I treat my family as the most precious gift that I have been given, because they are. Through personal experience I have come to know that my family is what truly matters in this life, and is what brings me the greatest joy. I want to become the best possible husband and father that I can through heeding the following counsel of living prophets and apostles that I have found to be personal to me.

Quotes

“May it be our resolve…to build a gospel-centered home, a safe harbor from the storms of the adversary.”
L. Tom Perry – April 2003 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“In our theology and in our practice, the family and the Church have a mutually reinforcing relationship. The family is dependent upon the Church for doctrine, ordinances, and priesthood keys. The Church provides the teachings, authority, and ordinances necessary to perpetuate family relationships to the eternities.”
Dallin H. Oaks – October 2005 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“In our theology and in our practice, the family and the Church have a mutually reinforcing relationship. The family is dependent upon the Church for doctrine, ordinances, and priesthood keys. The Church provides the teachings, authority, and ordinances necessary to perpetuate family relationships to the eternities.”
Dallin H. Oaks – October 2005 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“The doctrine of the family begins with heavenly parents. Our highest aspiration is to be like them.”
Robert D. Hales – October 1996 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“As your leaders, we call upon members of the Church everywhere to put family first and to identify specific ways to strengthen their individual families.”
M. Russell Ballard – October 2005 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“The ultimate purpose of every teaching, every activity in the Church is that parents and their children are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, and linked to their generations.”
Boyd K. Packer – April 1994 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“First, strengthen relationships through family activities; second, establish reasonable rules and expectations; third, build self-esteem; fourth, set achievable goals; and fifth, periodically evaluate family strengths and needs.”
L. Tom Perry – April 1994 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“In the healthy family, first and best, we can learn to listen, forgive, praise, and to rejoice in the achievements of others. There also we can learn to tame our egos, work, repent, and love. In families with spiritual perspective, yesterday need not hold tomorrow hostage. If we sometimes act the fool, loving families know this is not our last act; the curtain is not rung down.”
Neal A. Maxwell – April 1994 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Oh, brothers and sisters, families can be forever! Do not let the lures of the moment draw you away from them! Divinity, eternity, and family—they go together, hand in hand, and so must we!”
Spencer W. Kimball – October 1980 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“When I hear of a family breaking up, I question if family home evening and family prayers have been regularly held in that home and if the law of tithing has been observed. Has that family reverenced the Sabbath day? Have the parents murmured against Church teachings and leaders? I wonder what could possibly justify the forsaking of eternal promises made in the temple, or what could warrant the breaking up of a family with children of tender years.”
James E. Faust – April 1983 General Conference – Priesthood Session

2. Atonement

Position Statement

The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the greatest act performed on the earth, because it allows all men to not only live here on earth, but for eternity. It is the most important event of history. Through the Atonement, we can be forgiven of all our trespasses and sins, and be cleansed. Through the Atonement, we can receive the strength and comfort we need to overcome all the challenges and obstacles of mortal life. I believe in the Atonement, and in Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and our Savior. He lives today and knows each of us. Through His Atonement, He knows and understands every aspect of our existence.

Quotes

“The Atonement of Jesus Christ became the immortal creation. He volunteered to answer the ends of a law previously transgressed. And by the shedding of His blood, His and our physical bodies could become perfected. They could again function without blood, just as Adam’s and Eve’s did in their paradisiacal form.”
Russell M. Nelson – October 1996 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“And hanging in the balance was the Atonement. Through His willing act, mercy and justice could be reconciled, eternal law sustained, and that mediation achieved without which mortal man could not be redeemed.”
Boyd K. Packer – April 1988 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“There is no greater expression of love than the heroic Atonement performed by the Son of God. Were it not for the plan of our Heavenly Father, established before the world began, in a very real sense, all mankind—past, present, and future—would have been left without the hope of eternal progression. As a result of Adam’s transgression, mortals were separated from God (see Rom. 6:23) and would be forever unless a way was found to break the bands of death. This would not be easy, for it required the vicarious sacrifice of one who was sinless and who could therefore take upon Himself the sins of all mankind.”
M. Russell Ballard – April 2004 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Our understanding of and faith in the Atonement of Jesus Christ will provide strength and capacity needed for a successful life.”
Richard G. Scott – April 2010 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“If you have made no mistakes, then you do not need the Atonement. If you have made mistakes, and all of us have, whether minor or serious, then you have an enormous need to find out how they can be erased so that you are no longer in darkness.”
Boyd K. Packer – October 2012 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“Like the Apostles of old, this knowledge and belief should transform all of us to be confident, settled, unafraid, and at peace in our lives as followers of the divine Christ. It should help us carry all burdens, bear any sorrows, and also fully savor all joys and happiness that can be found in this life.”
James E. Faust – October 1988 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“True, enduring happiness, with the accompanying strength, courage, and capacity to overcome the greatest difficulties, will come as you center your life in Jesus Christ.”
Richard G. Scott – October 2006 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“As you conscientiously study the Atonement and exercise your faith that Jesus Christ has the power to heal, you can receive the same blessed relief. During your journey of recovery, accept His invitation to let Him share your burden until you have sufficient time and strength to be healed.”
Richard G. Scott – April 2008 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“Brothers and sisters, Christ paid such an enormous, enabling price for us! Will we not apply His Atonement in order to pay the much smaller price required for personal progress?”
Neal A. Maxwell – October 1997 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“Many lessons can be learned from the account of the Atonement. It is comforting to know that, though suffering, Jesus Christ was able to look down from the cross and be concerned for His mother, that she should be properly cared for, as He asked for the help of a disciple. This is one of the great messages we have heard this conference—that we turn some of our attention from our own trials and tribulations to concern and caring for others.”
Robert D. Hales – October 1985 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

3. Agency

Position Statement

Agency is one of the key principles that God wants us to have and understand. It is the power to choose. Agency is essential in Heavenly Father’s plan, in that we are tested on what we will choose; good or evil. On this earth agency was initiated in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had to make the choice to begin mortality by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge. As we use our agency with faith and to do good, we become more like God. On the other hand, poor choices further us away from Him. In this life we have use our agency to make our ultimate choice to follow the Lord or not.

Quotes

“Agency used righteously allows light to dispel the darkness and enables us to live with joy and happiness.”
Robert D. Hales – April 2006 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Some who do not understand the doctrinal part do not readily see the relationship between obedience and agency. And they miss one vital connection and see obedience only as restraint. They then resist the very thing that will give them true freedom. There is no true freedom without responsibility, and there is no enduring freedom without a knowledge of the truth.”
Boyd K. Packer – April 1983 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Men and women receive their agency as a gift from God, but their liberty and, in turn, their eternal happiness come from obedience to His laws.”
L. Tom Perry – April 2013 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“Moral discipline is the consistent exercise of agency to choose the right because it is right, even when it is hard.”
D. Todd Christofferson – October 2009 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

” You have that right. It is your agency. The secret to solve problems in your life will be found in understanding and using the eternally beneficial interaction of your agency and His truth.”
Richard G. Scott – October 1992 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“Today, I would like to address both groups, members of our church as well as others, about one of the most important tenets of our faith and one of the most precious of God’s gifts to mankind. It is our freedom, our agency, our inalienable and divine right to choose what we will believe and what we will not believe, and to choose what we want to be and what we want to do. I wish to speak of our responsibility and our opportunity to choose God, and the good, and eternal life; or to select evil, the destructive, and that which leads to painful misery and despair.”
Howard W. Hunter – October 1989 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“If we are anchored to the correct understanding of who we are, why we are here on this earth, and where we can go after this mortal life, Satan cannot threaten our happiness through any form of temptation. If we are determined to live by Heavenly Father’s plan, we will use our God-given moral agency to make decisions based on revealed truth, not on the opinions of others or on the current thinking of the world.”
M. Russell Ballard – April 1995 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“The cost of the Atonement was borne by the Lord without compulsion, for agency is a sovereign principle. According to the plan, agency must be honored. It was so from the beginning, from Eden.”
Boyd K. Packer – April 1988 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Free agency, however, precious as it is, is not of itself the perfect liberty we seek, nor does it necessarily lead thereto. As a matter of fact, through the exercise of their agency more people have come to political, economic, and personal bondage than to liberty.”
Marion G. Romney – October 1981 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“The proper exercise of moral agency requires faith. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel. Because of Him, you have your agency. He must be the very foundation of your faith, and the testing of that faith is a fundamental reason for your freedom to choose.”
Russell M. Nelson – October 1990 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

4. Pornography

Position Statement

Pornography is one of today’s greatest addictions. It is debilitating to the soul of any person who participates in it. The use of pornography usually leads to more grievous sins, which easily destroy marriages and families. This is Satan’s main goal, and pornography is one of his greatest weapons. I choose to avoid pornography by heeding the words of living prophets and apostles. I will fight the battle against pornography in order to protect my family and others from its harm. I will teach my children about the dangerous and addictive nature of pornography so they will also know and be prepared as to how to avoid it.

Quotes

“What were these grossly wicked “whoredoms”? No doubt some men were already guilty of evil acts. But the main focus of Jacob’s great sermon was not with evil acts completed, but with evil acts contemplated.”
Dallin H. Oaks – April 2005 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“How like the elm is man. From a minute seed, and in accordance with a divine plan, we grow, are nurtured, and mature. The bright sunlight of heaven, the rich blessings of earth are ours. In our private forest of family and friends, life is richly rewarding and abundantly beautiful. Then suddenly, there appears before us in this generation a sinister and diabolical enemy—pornography. Like the bark beetle it too is the carrier of a deadly disease. I shall name it ‘pernicious permissiveness.'”
Thomas S. Monson – October 1979 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Satan has become a master at using the addictive power of pornography to limit individual capacity to be led by the Spirit. The onslaught of pornography in all of its vicious, corroding, destructive forms has caused great grief, suffering, heartache, and destroyed marriages. It is one of the most damning influences on earth.”
Richard G. Scott – October 2009 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Pornography will always repel the Spirit of Christ and will interrupt the communications between our Heavenly Father and His children and disrupt the tender relationship between husband and wife.”
Boyd K. Packer – October 2010 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“First, let each of us resolve this day to keep our minds, our bodies, and our spirits free from the corrupting influence of pornography, including everything that is obscene and indecent. Let it have no place in our homes, our minds, or our hearts.”
David B. Haight – October 1984 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Sexual immorality and impure thoughts violate the standard established by the Savior. We were warned at the beginning of this dispensation that sexual immorality would be perhaps the greatest challenge. Such conduct will, without repentance, cause a spiritual drought and loss of commitment.”
Quentin L. Cook – October 2012 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Why is lust such a deadly sin? Well, in addition to the completely Spirit-destroying impact it has upon our souls, I think it is a sin because it defiles the highest and holiest relationship God gives us in mortality—the love that a man and a woman have for each other and the desire that couple has to bring children into a family intended to be forever. ”
Jeffrey R. Holland – April 2010 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“[Pornography] is like a raging storm, destroying individuals and families, utterly ruining what was once wholesome and beautiful.”
Gordon B. Hinkley – October 2004 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“With this priesthood comes a great obligation to be worthy of it. We cannot indulge in unclean thoughts. We must not partake of pornography. We must never be guilty of abuse of any kind. We must rise up above such things. “Rise up, O men of God!” and put these things behind you, and the Lord will be your guide and stay.”
Gordon B. Hinkley – October 2006 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“The plague of pornography is swirling about us as never before. Pornography brings a vicious wake of immorality, broken homes, and broken lives. Pornography will sap spiritual strength to endure. Pornography is much like quicksand. You can become so easily trapped and overcome as soon as you step into it that you do not realize the severe danger. Most likely you will need assistance to get out of the quicksand of pornography. But how much better it is never to step into it. I plead with you to be careful and cautious.”
Joseph B. Worthlin – October 2004 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

5. Finances

Position Statement

As a priesthood holder, husband, and father, I have the responsibility to provide for my family. Part of this responsibility includes financial provision. I have learned several skills and words of wisdom by listening to counsel from modern prophets and apostles. They teach us to avoid debt, and to live within our means. I will be financially responsible by determining the needs and wants of myself and of my family, and provide for our needs first. I will be wise with saving money for crisis situations. I will teach the principles I have learned to my children so they can be successful in life.

Quotes

“The love of work is an attitude that members of the Church must develop. In some ways, we have gone through a period of great prosperity which may, when history is written, prove to be as devastating as the Great Depression in its effect upon the attitudes of the people.”
M. Russell Ballard – April 1981 General Conference – Welfare Session

“One must be impressed with the great message of the Lord’s law of the harvest. His system produces growth, multiplication, and abundant rewards. Surely as we watch the blessings of this growth cycle each year, we would expect His children to catch the vision of their mortal potential.”
L. Tom Perry – October 1980 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Tithing is a principle that is fundamental to the personal happiness and well-being of the Church members worldwide, both rich and poor.”
James E. Faust – October 1998 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“My father, a man of great faith and love, supplied the necessary means, with all of the family cooperating at a sacrifice. As I look back upon it, I see all of it as a miracle. Somehow the money was there every month.”
Gordon B. Hinkley – April 1986 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“I realize there are many reasons why you may be hesitating to take that step of getting married. If you are concerned about providing financially for a wife and family, may I assure you that there is no shame in a couple having to scrimp and save. It is generally during these challenging times that you will grow closer together as you learn to sacrifice and to make difficult decisions.”
Thomas S. Monson – April 2011 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“The recent economic crisis has caused significant concern throughout the world. Employment and financial problems are not unusual…We know from the scriptures that some trials are for our good and are suited for our own personal development.”
Quentin L. Cook – April 2008 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“In our search to obtain relief from the stresses of life, may we earnestly seek ways to simplify our lives.”
L. Tom Perry – April 2008 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Remember this: debt is a form of bondage. It is a financial termite. When we make purchases on credit, they give us only an illusion of prosperity. We think we own things, but the reality is, our things own us.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin – April 2004 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“Material blessings are a part of the gospel if they are achieved in the proper way and for the right purpose.”
N. Eldon Tanner – October 1979 General Conference – Welfare Session

“Third, everyone faces financial challenges in life. Through wise budgeting, control your real needs and measure them carefully against your many wants in life. Far too many individuals and families have incurred too much debt. Be careful of the many attractive offers to borrow money. It is much easier to borrow money than it is to pay it back. There are no shortcuts to financial security.”
M. Russell Ballard – April 1987 General Conference – Saturday Morning

6. Parenting

Position Statement

To be a parent is a sacred calling and responsibility. Heavenly Father desires that all of His spirit children receive physical bodies, and pass through mortality so that they can become like Him, and enjoy all the blessings that He enjoys. To fulfill this plan, Heavenly Father has established the family. In a family, a husband and wife use the power of procreation to bring spirit children to the earth. As parents they have the responsibility to provide for their children in every aspect, including physical needs, spiritual provisions, love, and teaching. I want to be the best parent I can be for my children, and I am determined to put forth the great effort to meet this challenge.

Quotes

“Being a father or a mother is not only a great challenge, it is a divine calling. It is an effort requiring consecration.”
James E. Faust – October 1990 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“For every set of parents there are many “first-time” experiences that help to build wisdom and understanding, but each such experience results from the plowing of new ground, with the possibility that errors might be made.”
Howard W. Hunter – October 1983 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“When parents fail to transmit testimony and theology along with decency, those families are only one generation from serious spiritual decline, having lost their savor. The law of the harvest is nowhere more in evidence and nowhere more relentless than in family gardens!”
Neal A. Maxwell – April 1994 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“No matter how evil the world becomes, our families can be at peace. If we do what’s right, we will be guided and protected.”
Robert D. Hales – April 2004 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Parents must bring light and truth into their homes by one family prayer, one scripture study session, one family home evening, one book read aloud, one song, and one family meal at a time.”
L. Tom Perry – April 2010 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“Crisis or transition of any kind reminds us of what matters most. In the routine of life, we often take our families—our parents and children and siblings—for granted. But in times of danger and need and change, there is no question that what we care about most is our families! It will be even more so when we leave this life and enter into the spirit world. Surely the first people we will seek to find there will be father, mother, spouse, children, and siblings.”
M. Russel Ballard – October 2005 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“The key to strengthening our families is having the Spirit of the Lord come into our homes. The goal of our families is to be on the strait and narrow path.”
Robert D. Hales – April 1999 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“In the Lord’s plan, parents are to teach their children during the impressionable and formative years when they develop attitudes and habits that last a lifetime.”
Joseph B. Wirthlin – April 1991 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Parents cannot counsel children adequately from personal experience, fear, or sympathy. But when parents face children as would the Creator who gave them life, parents will be endowed with wisdom beyond that of their own. Wise mothers and fathers will teach members of their family how to make personal decisions based upon divine law. They will teach them that “this life is the time … to prepare to meet God.” 20 They will teach them that decisions of a moral and spiritual character cannot be based on freedom to choose without accountability to God for those choices. With that understanding, parents and children will be rewarded with strength of character, peace of mind, joy, and rejoicing in their posterity.”
Russell M. Nelson – April 1996 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“God bless you goodly mothers and fathers in Zion. He has entrusted to your care His eternal children. As parents we partner, even join, with God in bringing to pass His work and glory among His children. It is our sacred duty to do our very best.”
L. Tom Perry – October 2012 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

7. Family History

Position Statement

Family History and Temple Work make up the third mission component of the mission of the church. This fact indicates to me the significance and importance to be an active participant in this work. Both ancient and Latter-day prophets have taught us that we cannot be saved without our dead, nor can they be saved without our help. Together we can be sealed back to our Heavenly Father as all of us are His children. This is a huge part of God’s work and glory, because through the saving ordinances of the gospel that we can only receive in the temple we can become clean and worthy to enter back into the Lord’s presence. This is the pattern which He has established, and it must be followed correctly. I will seek to find my ancestors and perform temple ordinances on their behalf.

Quotes

“Today we are reaping a harvest of family love from seeds sown years ago. Preparations to strengthen family ties came in 1823, when the angel Moroni first appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Moroni announced the coming of Elijah, who would cause the hearts of children to be turned to their fathers.”
Russell M. Nelson – April 1998 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“Our inborn yearnings for family connections are fulfilled when we are linked to our ancestors through sacred ordinances of the temple.”
Russell M. Nelson – April 2010 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Through further revelation to Joseph Smith and subsequent prophets, there has come an understanding of and provision for temple work and the family history effort that supports it. Every prophet since Joseph Smith has emphasized the imperative need to provide all ordinances for ourselves and our deceased ancestors.”
Richard G. Scott – October 1990 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Many of you may think family history work is to be performed primarily by older people. But I know of no age limit described in the scriptures or guidelines announced by Church leaders restricting this important service to mature adults. You are sons and daughters of God, children of the covenant, and builders of the kingdom. You need not wait until you reach an arbitrary age to fulfill your responsibility to assist in the work of salvation for the human family.”
David A. Bednar – October 2011 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“This period of time in which we live, the dispensation of the fulness of times, will see the culmination of all of God’s work on the earth. For this reason, we are anxiously engaged in the Lord’s work, which includes the performance of certain ordinances for all who have lived and will live upon the earth.”
David B. Haight – April 1991 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Begin to unlock the knowledge of who you really are by learning more about your forebears.”
James E. Faust – October 2003 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Any work you do in the temple is time well spent, but receiving ordinances vicariously for one of your own ancestors will make the time in the temple more sacred, and even greater blessings will be received.”
Richard G. Scott – October 2012 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“What and how much we do should depend upon personal circumstances and abilities, direction from Church leaders, and guidance from the Spirit. Throughout our lives, each of us can do something significant.”
Russell M. Nelson – October 1994 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“A great responsibility is associated with the supernal work of the redemption of the dead. In a funeral sermon for his close friend, King Follett, Joseph the Prophet said: ‘The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead.’ (History of the Church, 6:313.)”
David B. Haight – April 1993 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“Our family history work goes forward with increasing momentum. There is a tremendous interest in one’s roots everywhere. As the years pass, all of this will lead to the fulfillment of the great purpose for which this work is done. The hearts of the children are being turned to their fathers, that the purposes of the Lord may be fulfilled.”
Gordon B. Hinkley – April 1999 General Conference – Saturday Morning

8. Missionary Work

Position Statement

Another component of the mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to preach the gospel to all the world. The Lord has established the full-time missionary program to fulfill this goal. I chose this topic, because I want to learn from today’s prophets and apostles how I can do my part in this work. I have had the opportunity to serve a full-time mission, and hope to be able to serve more later on. Our leaders have taught us that missionary work is not for the full-time missionaries alone to do. All members can and should be missionaries. We can be examples wherever we are and can help friends, family members, and neighbors come to know and accept the gospel through loving service.

Quotes

“We must prepare ourselves to assist the missionaries in finding those of our Heavenly Father’s children who will embrace the message of the Restoration.”
M. Russell Ballard – April 2003 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“Brothers and sisters, the Lord is opening the way and making it possible to expand His work throughout the world, and what a blessing it is for all of us—each in his own way—to take part.”
David B. Haight – October 1993 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“You and I, today and always, are to bear witness of Jesus Christ and declare the message of the Restoration. … Missionary work is a manifestation of our spiritual identity and heritage.”
David A. Bednar – October 2005 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“From the days of Father Adam to the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his successors, whenever the priesthood has been on the earth, a major responsibility has been the preaching of the saving, eternal principles of the gospel—the plan of salvation.”
Ezra Taft Benson – April 1974 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Be certain that you easily clear the minimum standards for service as a missionary and that you are continually raising the bar.”
L. Tom Perry – October 2007 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“This is God’s work, and God’s work will not be frustrated. But there is still much to be done before the Great Jehovah can announce that the work is done. While we praise and honor those faithful Saints who have brought us to this point of public prominence, we cannot afford, my brothers and sisters, to be comfortable or content.”
M. Russell Ballard – October 2008 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“Opportunities to teach the gospel and baptize are not exclusive to those who wear the badge of a full-time missionary. I wonder why we allow the fire of missionary service to diminish when we return to the activities of our life in the world.”
L. Tom Perry – October 2001 General Conference – Sunday Afternoon

“Missionary work is concerned with providing saving ordinances to our Father’s living children throughout the world.”
Gordon B. Hinkley – October 1995 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“You parents, teachers, and others, catch the wave as you prepare our rising generation to be worthy of missionary service. Meanwhile, your exemplary lives will attract the interest of your friends and neighbors. Be ready to give an answer to those who ask why you live as you do. Be ready to give a reason for the hope and joy that they see in you.”
Russell M. Nelson – April 2013 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“How seriously have you personally taken the Lord’s charge to share His gospel? It is a lifelong responsibility … to be addressed differently according to the various seasons of your life.”
Richard G. Scott – April 1997 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

9. Church Callings

Position Statement

As a member of the church, I feel that it is of great importance to understand what is expected of me in church callings. We have many responsibilities to fulfill that are not related to the church that we must also fulfill in order to provide for our families. I have learned that there needs to be a balance in all of these responsibilities. We must first understand the purpose of the church, and our duties in our individual callings. As we ponder these things we will be personally guided by the Holy Ghost as to how we can magnify our callings. We must not let these things be left undone. We can bless many lives by magnifying our callings correctly.

Quotes

“May we focus on the simple ways we can serve in the kingdom of God, always striving to change lives, including our own.”
M. Russell Ballard – October 2006 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“The full measure of [our] conversion to men and women of God happens best through our labors in His vineyard.”
Dallin H. Oaks – October 2002 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“No calling is beneath us. Every calling provides an opportunity to serve and to grow. The Lord organized the Church in a way that offers each member an opportunity for service, which, in turn, leads to personal spiritual growth. Whatever your calling, I urge you to see it as an opportunity not only to strengthen and bless others but also to become what Heavenly Father wants you to become.”
Dieter F. Uchtdorf – October 2008 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“It is not in the proper spirit for us to decide where we will serve or where we will not. We serve where we are called.”
Boyd K. Packer – October 1997 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Those called, sustained, and set apart are entitled to our sustaining support.”
James E. Faust – October 2005 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“Let us consider our callings, let us reflect on our responsibilities, and let us follow Jesus Christ.”
Thomas S. Monson – April 2010 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“The Lord will guide you by revelation just as He called you. You must ask in faith for revelation to know what you are to do.”
Henry B. Eyring – October 2002 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“And how does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it. An elder magnifies the ordained calling of an elder by learning what his duties as an elder are and then by doing them. As with an elder, so with a deacon, a teacher, a priest, a bishop, and each who holds office in the priesthood.”
Thomas S. Monson – October 2005 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“To raise our families and serve faithfully in the Church, all without running faster than we have strength, require wisdom, judgment, divine help—and inevitably some sacrifice.”
Jeffrey R. Holland – October 2002 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“The Savior will let you feel the love He feels for those you serve. The call is an invitation to become like Him.”
Henry B. Eyring – April 2000 General Conference – Sunday Morning

10. Patriarchal Blessings

Position Statement

I believe that a patriarchal blessing is crucial to our eternal success as individuals and families. What a marvelous opportunity it is that the Lord has established for us to obtain personal revelation into our past, current, and possible future that will help us be successful, and ultimately lead us back to His presence. Such revelation in a patriarchal blessing is precious and sacred. Heavenly Father wants us to keep them sacred, which means that we should not publicize them in irreverent or competitive ways. We are encouraged by the leaders of the church to read our patriarchal blessings often, and to ponder their meaning. They can help us compare our situation and assure us of being on the right path in life.

Quotes

“Patriarchs do not advertise for blessings. Members should seek blessings as they feel inspired to do so. There is no fixed age at which one may receive a patriarchal blessing. The bishop ensures that the member is of sufficient age and maturity to understand the meaning and significance of the blessing.”
Boyd K. Packer – October 2002 General Conference – Priesthood Session

“The same Lord who provided a Liahona Lehi provides for you and for me today a rare and valuable gift to give direction to our lives, to mark the hazards to our safety, and to chart the way, even safe passage—not to a promised land, but to our heavenly home. The gift to which I refer is known as your patriarchal blessing.”
Thomas S. Monson – October 1986 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“Further, I would encourage you brethren of the Aaronic Priesthood to receive a patriarchal blessing. Study it carefully and regard it as personal scripture to you—for that is what it is. A patriarchal blessing is the inspired and prophetic statement of your life’s mission together with blessings, cautions, and admonitions as the patriarch may be prompted to give.”
Ezra Taft Benson – April 1986 General Conference – Priesthood Meeting

“In the first place, a patriarchal blessing is a sacred document to the person who has received it and is never given for publication and, as all patriarchal blessings, should be kept as a private possession to the one who has received it.”
Harold B. Lee – October 1972 General Conference – Priesthood Meeting

“Help in maintaining the proper perspective in these permissive times can come to you from many sources. One valuable resource is your patriarchal blessing. Read it frequently. Study it carefully. Be guided by its cautions. Live to merit its promises. If you have not yet received your patriarchal blessing, plan for the time when you will receive it, and then cherish it.”
Thomas S. Monson – April 2009 General Conference – General Young Women Meeting

“I have great confidence in the patriarchs and in their blessings. When the patriarch is a faithful Latter-day Saint and remains close to the Lord and is a student of the scriptures, the promises which he makes under his special authority and calling will be fulfilled, if the recipient of the blessing is faithful and true.”
Spencer W. Kimball – October 1977 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“As you respond in faith to this invitation, your hearts shall turn to the fathers. The promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob will be implanted in your hearts. Your patriarchal blessing, with its declaration of lineage, will link you to these fathers and be more meaningful to you. Your love and gratitude for your ancestors will increase.”
David A. Bednar – October 2011 General Conference – Saturday Afternoon

“When I was a young man, a mere boy of 11, I received a patriarchal blessing from a man I had never seen before and never saw thereafter. It is a remarkable document, a prophetic document. It is personal, and I will not read extensively from it.”
Gordon B. Hinkley – April 2006 General Conference – Sunday Morning

“In each stake there is an ordained patriarch who has the spirit of prophecy and the spirit of revelation. He is authorized to give personal and private blessings to those who come recommended by their bishops.”
Boyd K. Packer – October 2011 General Conference – Saturday Morning

“The details of the communication are sacred and, like a patriarchal blessing, were for my individual benefit. I was given specific directions, instructions, and conditioned promises that have beneficially altered the course of my life.”
Richard G. Scott – October 2009 General Conference – Saturday Morning


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