Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Some Quotes on Obedience

"The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's altar. The many other things we "give," brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God's will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!"
--Neal A. Maxwell, October 1995 general conference


"When you have done the best you can, be satisfied and don't look back. Rather than berate yourself for what you didn't do, congratulate yourself for what you did."
--M. Russell Ballard, October 1991 general conference

"Disobedience is essentially a prideful power struggle against someone in authority over us. It can be a parent, a priesthood leader, a teacher, or ultimately God. A proud person hates the fact that someone is above him. He thinks this lowers his positiong. God will have a humble people. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble."
-- Ezra Taft Benson, April 1989 general conference

"All that the Lord requires of us is strict obedience to the laws of life. All the sacrifice that the Lord asks of his people is strict obedience to our own covenants that we have made with our God, and that is to serve him with an undivided heart."
--Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 18:246


And I need to add another one, that I was just reminded of:
Elder Donald L. Staheli, a member of the Seventy, said “Regardless of our age and stage in life, daily obedience to gospel principles is the only sure way to eternal happiness. President Ezra Taft Benson put it most poignantly when he said, ‘When obedience ceases to be an irritant and becomes our quest, in that moment God will endow us with power.’” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 108; or Ensign, May 1998, 82 ).

Learning to Choose

Another Tender Mercy

Several years ago I remember being impressed with a thought while listening to general conference, and that was that we weren't given the gift of agency so we could choose whatever we wanted, but Heavenly Father bestowed this gift on us so that we could prove to him, and ourselves, that we would choose what he wanted. I was pretty sure that Elder Bednar taught that, but I couldn't find where.

So, fast forward to 2010 when we started having a series of lessons on agency in Sunday School and Relief Society. I tried looking for that quote again, but wasn't successful. Then it became my turn to prepare the lesson and the Spirit said it should be on obedience. One of my favorite scriptures on that subject is D&C 11:20 and I knew that Elder Bednar had talked about that in relation to Moses 1:39. So, I looked up that talk, and, lo and behold, found that "lost" teaching. You can find it yourself, in the "Tender Mercies" talk from the April 2005 general conference. What a wonderful example of the Lord's tender mercies.

Here's the passage so you don't have to read the whole talk if you don't want to:

God does not have a list of favorites to which we must hope our names will someday be added. He does not limit “the chosen” to a restricted few. Rather, it is our hearts and our aspirations and our obedience which definitively determine whether we are counted as one of God’s chosen.

Enoch was instructed by the Lord on this very point of doctrine. Please note the use of the word choose in these verses: “Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands, and I gave unto them their knowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his agency;

“And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father” (Moses 7:32–33; emphasis added).

As we learn in these scriptures, the fundamental purposes for the gift of agency were to love one another and to choose God. Thus we become God’s chosen and invite His tender mercies as we use our agency to choose God.

One of the most well-known and frequently cited passages of scripture is found in Moses 1:39. This verse clearly and concisely describes the work of the Eternal Father: “For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (emphasis added).

A companion scripture found in the Doctrine and Covenants describes with equal clarity and conciseness our primary work as the sons and daughters of the Eternal Father. Interestingly, this verse does not seem to be as well known and is not quoted with great frequency. “Behold, this is your work, to keep my commandments, yea, with all your might, mind and strength” (D&C 11:20; emphasis added).

Thus, the Father’s work is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children. Our work is to keep His commandments with all of our might, mind, and strength—and we thereby become chosen and, through the Holy Ghost, receive and recognize the tender mercies of the Lord in our daily lives.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Faith, Hope & Charity

"Challenging times require greater spiritual power." (3)

FAITH

"Faith is much more than passive belief. You express your faith through action - by the way you live." (2)


"Faith is a principle of power." (1)

"Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: 'Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God's laws the greater will be the endowment of faith.' If we desire more faith, we must be more obedient." (3)

"Faith requires an attitude of exact obedience, even in the small, simple things." (3)

"Faith and fear cannot coexist. One gives way to the other." (3)

HOPE


"When we have hope, we trust God's promises." (2)


"Hope is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance." (1)

"Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness." (4)

"Hope is a gift of the Spirit." (4)

"We grow in our ability to 'abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost,' as we more perfectly live the gospel." (4)

CHARITY


"Charity is a gift from God." (1)


"Charity, like faith, leads to action." (1)

"Nothing you do makes much of a difference if you do not have charity." (5)

"Love is the greatest of all the commandments - all others hang upon it. It is our focus as followers of the living Christ. It is the one trait that, if developed, will most improve our lives." (5)

These are some quotes that I really liked. We found them while discussing "faith, hope & charity" in FHE last night. Our resources were


1 - Preach My Gospel

2 -True to the Faith

and three conference talks
3 - "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Elder Kevin W. Pearson, April 2009
4 - "The Infinite Power of Hope," President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, October 2008
5 - "The Great Commandment," Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, October 2007