A prominent judge was asked what we, as citizens of the countries of the world, could do to reduce crime and disobedience to law and to bring peace and contentment into our lives and into our nations. He thoughtfully replied, ‘I would suggest a return to the old-fashioned practice of family prayer.’
There is much that is difficult and challenging in the world today, my brothers and sisters, but there is also much that is good and uplifting. As we declare in our thirteenth article of faith, 'If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.' May we ever continue to do so.
Let us have the courage to defy the consensus, the courage to stand for principle. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval. Courage becomes a living and an attractive virtue when it is regarded not only as a willingness to die manfully, but also as a determination to live decently. A moral coward is one who is afraid to do what he thinks is right because others will disapprove or laugh. Remember that all men have their fears, but those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well.
Your Heavenly Father loves you-each of you. That love never changes. It is not influenced by your appearance, by your possessions, or by the amount of money you have in your bank account. It is not changed by your talents and abilities. It is simply there. It is there for you when you are sad or happy, discouraged or hopeful. God's love is there for you whether or not you feel you deserve love. It is simply always there.
There are many out there who plead and pray for help. There are those who are discouraged, those who are beset by poor health and challenges of life which leave them in despair. I’ve always believed in the truth of the words, ‘God’s sweetest blessings always go by hands that serve him here below.’ Let us have ready hands, clean hands, and willing hands, that we may participate in providing what our Heavenly Father would have others receive from Him.
Clearly, one primary purpose of our existence upon the earth is to obtain a body of flesh and bones. We have also been given the gift of agency. In a thousand ways we are privileged to choose for ourselves. Here we learn from the hard taskmaster of experience. We discern between good and evil. We differentiate as to the bitter and the sweet. We discover that there are consequences attached to our actions.
As we attend the temple, there can come to us a dimension of spirituality and a feeling of peace which will transcend any other feeling which could come into the human heart. We will grasp the true meaning of the words of the Savior when He said: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. ... Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Gracias, danke, merci - whatever language is spoken, "thank you" frequently expressed will cheer your spirit, broaden your friendships, and lift your lives to a higher pathway as you journey toward perfection. There is a simplicity - even a sincerity - when "thank you" is spoken.
A grateful heart, then, comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives. This requires conscious effort-at least until we have truly learned and cultivated an attitude of gratitude. Often we feel grateful and intend to express our thanks but forget to do so or just don't get around to it. Someone has said that "feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."
Let us open wide the windows of our hearts, that each family member may feel welcome and 'at home.' Let us open also the doors of our very souls, that the dear ________ may enter. Remember His promise: 'Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him' (Revelation 3:20).
The problems of our day loom ominously before us. Surrounded by the sophistication of modern living, we look heavenward for that unfailing sense of direction, that we might chart and follow a wise and proper course. He whom we call our Heavenly Father will not leave our sincere petition unanswered.
This is my philosophy on all life, not just when it comes to love. All the best things are terrifying, but that's why they're the best things. Nothing worth having comes easy. You have to be afraid to want it, afraid to lose it, afraid to try. If you feel that, then you know you're on to a winner.
Sometimes we can take offense so easily. On other occasions we are too stubborn to accept a sincere apology. Who will subordinate ego, pride, and hurt-then step forward with 'I am truly sorry! Let's be as we once were: friends. Let's not pass to future generations the grievances, the anger of our time'? Let's remove any hidden wedges that can do nothing but destroy.