A Love Talk

One of my favorite General Conference talks is “Love–the Essence of the Gospel” by President Thomas S. Monson.I have studied this talk a lot, and I took the opportunity in this month of hearts and love to study it again. I had the opportunity this week to present a talk on the topic of love for our ward Relief Society meeting, and I am sharing it here. I learned a lot in studying and preparing–isn’t that the greatest thing about teaching/speaking? I learn so much in the process

The month of February always turns our minds and hearts to the theme of love. At our house we read love books, we read scriptures about love, and we write love notes. So I have been thinking a lot about the topic of love.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin gave a talk in October 1997 entitled, “The Great Commandment”. He taught:

“Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship.”

“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.”

So, how do we go about developing the trait of love? We begin by understanding what love is. If we substitute charity as a synonym for love, then we can read all about it in Moroni 7:45:

“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

In a classic speech at BYU, titled after Elizabeth Barret Browning’s famous poem, “How Do I Love Thee?, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught:

“Real love is best shown in the “how”.

How do we show our love? We can begin first by saying “I love you”. We have an “I love you” tradition at our home that is centered on sneezing. When someone sneezes, the first response, as is typical, is to say “Bless you”. But sneezes tend to come in multiples, so after the second sneeze the response is “Oh, I love you.” Sneeze again and it is “Oh, I really love you!”.

This tradition started with my husband I when we were first married, and has now grown to include our children. The children usually continue the conversation with fake sneezes. I then respond: “Oh, so much love!” and “Lots of love!” and “Hugs and kisses!” and “Loving you forever!” This is just a silly little thing, but it gets us saying the words.

Elder Bednar in October 2009 taught:

“We can begin to become more diligent and concerned at home by telling the people we love that we love them. Such expressions do not need to be flowery or lengthy. We simply should sincerely and frequently express love.

… when was the last time you took your eternal companion in your arms and said, “I love you”? Parents, when was the last time you sincerely expressed love to your children? Children, when was the last time you told your parents that you love them?

Each of us already knows we should tell the people we love that we love them. But what we know is not always reflected in what we do. We may feel unsure, awkward, or even perhaps a bit embarrassed.

We should remember that saying “I love you” is only a beginning. We need to say it, we need to mean it, and most importantly we need consistently to show it. We need to both express and demonstrate love.”

How else do we show our love? Elder Wirthlin taught:

“the greatest manifestations of love are the simple acts of kindness and caring we extend to those we meet along the path of life.”

President Thomas S. Monson gave a great address in the April 2014 General Conference. The entire talk is worth further study but I just wanted to touch on a few highlights. He taught:

Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar…We cannot truly love God if we do not love our fellow travelers on this mortal journey.”

He shared a poem that clearly demonstrates the value of love and kindness:

I have wept in the night

For the shortness of sight

That to somebody’s need made me blind;

But I never have yet

Felt a tinge of regret

For being a little too kind.

President Monson encourages love as a daily way of being. But, it is always our choice how we will act. He said:

“As we arise each morning, let us determine to respond with love and kindness to whatever might come our way.”

I loved that thought so much that it has been hanging in my bathroom for almost two years. I need that daily reminder of how to act!

Each of us longs to have fulfillment in loving relationships. Elder Wirthlin taught:

“True love blooms when we care more about another person than we care about ourselves.”

As I close, I would like to remind you that at the end of the day, if your Valentine’s Day or week of month or lifetime isn’t quite how you expected, remember what President Dieter F. Uchtdorf taught:

“You are loved. You are dear to your heavenly parents. The infinite and eternal Creator of light and life knows you! He is mindful of you. Yes, God loves you this very day and always…He knows everything about you. He sees you clearly—He knows you as you really are. And He loves you—today and always!…He loves you not only for who you are this very day but also for the person of glory and light you have the potential and the desire to become”.

Additional by H. Burke Peterson

“Some years ago in our ward fast and testimony meeting a young father proudly gave a name and a blessing to his first child. Afterwards the father stood to bear his testimony. He expressed thanks for this, his first son. He then said in a rather perplexed way that since the little fellow didn’t seem to understand anything they said, he wished he knew just how to communicate with him. “All we can do,” said he, “is hold him, cuddle him, gently squeeze him, kiss him, and whisper thoughts of love in his ear.”

After the meeting I went up to the new father and said that in his testimony he had given us a success pattern for raising healthy children. I hoped he would never forget it; even as his children grew to maturity I hoped he would continue the practice.”

“We must make an even clearer effort to communicate real love to a questioning child. The giving of love from a parent to a son or daughter must not be dependent on his or her performance. Ofttimes those we think deserve our love the least need it the most.”

“Two weeks ago President Kimball passed me as we were rushing to a meeting. He stopped, took my hand, looked me in the eye, put away all of his other cares, and said simply, “I’m sorry we’re sometimes so busy. I guess I haven’t told you lately how much I love you and appreciate you.”

I felt his spirit; I believed him; my spirit soared to a new height.

If it comes from the heart, it will work, brothers and sisters. It will bring peace and happiness to a troubled soul. Please try again … and again … and again.”

References for Further Study

Moroni 7:45-48

David A. Bednar, “More Diligent and Concerned at Home”. October 2009 General Conference.

Jeffrey R. Holland, “How Do I Love Thee?” BYU Speeches, February 15, 2000.

Thomas S. Monson, “Love—the Essence of the Gospel”. April 2014 General Conference.

H. Burke Peterson, “The Daily Portion of Love”. April 1997 General Conference.

Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment”. October 1997 General Conference.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Living the Gospel Joyful”. October 2014 General Conference.

Be Thou an Example of the Believers (FHE plans and quotes from President Monson)

Our Family Home Evening lesson tonight was focused on President Monson’s Sunday morning talk in the October 2015 General Conference, President Monson asked us to be an example and a light to the world. “We become examples of the believers by living the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity,” he said. “As we do so, our lights will shine for others to see.”

We discussed the two scriptures he shared, Matt 5:16 and 1 Timothy 4:12. We recently had a lesson focused on Letting our Light Shine, so this time we focused more on “Be thou and example of the believers…” We reviewed and discussed the following highlights from his talk.

Be an Example and a Light

In the October 2015 Sunday morning session, President Monson asked us to be an example and a light to the world. “We become examples of the believers by living the gospel of Jesus Christ in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, and in purity,” he said. “As we do so, our lights will shine for others to see.”

Cultivating the following “attributes of a believer” will allow our lights to shine:

Be an example in word and in conversation.

“Let us speak to others with love and respect, ever keeping our language clean and avoiding words or comments that would wound or offend. May we follow the example of the Savior, who spoke with tolerance and kindness throughout His ministry.”

Be an example in charity.

“Throughout [the Savior’s] ministry He reached out in charity to any in need. As we emulate His example, we will bless lives, including our own.”

“I am confident there are within our sphere of influence those who are lonely, those who are ill, and those who feel discouraged. Ours is the opportunity to help them and to lift their spirits.”

Be an example in spirit.

“To me that means we strive to have in our lives kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, and goodwill.”

Be an example of faith.

“We trust in the Lord and in His word.”

“In order to gain and to keep the faith we need, it is essential that we read and study and ponder the scriptures. Communication with our Heavenly Father through prayer is vital.”

Be an example of purity.

“We need to be clean in body, mind, and spirit to be worthy to have the Holy Ghost. “Purity will bring us peace of mind and will qualify us to receive the Savior’s promises.”

“That each of us within the sound of my voice may
pledge to follow Him, thus becoming a shining light to the world, is my prayer.”

“As we make Christ the center of our lives, our fears will be replaced by the courage of our convictions.”

“To each of you, I say that you are a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. You have come from His presence to live on this earth for a season, to reflect the Savior’s love and teachings, and to bravely let your light shine for all to see.”


The Baptismal Covenant (FHE plans)

Lesson Plan

Share the story of Alma teaching and baptizing at the Waters of Mormon (Mosiah 18:8-11). We read the version that was shared in the June 2013 Friend magazine.

Let the children work on a baptism coloring page (here, here, or here) while we discuss the following points.

  • Our baptismal covenant is a sacred two-way promise with Heavenly Father.
  • We promise to keep His commandments and serve Him. We take upon us the name of Jesus Christ and become members of His Church.
  • In return, we receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the promise of eternal life as we repent and prove faithful.

“Making and keeping our covenants is an expression of our commitment to become like the Savior.” Linda K. Burton, “The Power, Joy, and Love of Covenant Keeping”.October 2013 General Conference.

“If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Quick Quotes from the April 2015 General Conference

I mentioned before that I am striving to make the messages from General Conference a part of my everyday life. I went through the April 2015 General Conference and pulled out the key quotes that had the most relevance and significance to me. Having all of the quotes in one place makes it easy to review the important words. I posted the words of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles here, and today I am sharing quotes from the rest of the speakers in the general sessions.

Sister Linda K. Burton
Brothers and sisters, we need each other! As covenant-keeping women and men, we need to lift each other and help each other become the people the Lord would have us become. And we need to work together to lift the rising generation and help them reach their divine potential as heirs of eternal life. We could do as Elder Robert D. Hales and his wife, Mary, have done and follow the proverb “Thee lift me and I’ll lift thee, and we’ll ascend together.”

Sisters and brothers, how often do we intentionally “speak kind words to each other”?

Elder L. Whitney Clayton
Every day each of us faces a test. It is the test of our lifetimes: will we choose to believe in Him and allow the light of His gospel to grow within us, or will we refuse to believe and insist on traveling alone in the dark? The Savior provides His gospel as a light to guide those who choose to believe in and follow Him.

The decision to believe is the most important choice we ever make. It shapes all our other decisions.

Elder Wilford W. Andersen
We learn the dance steps with our minds, but we hear the music with our hearts. The dance steps of the gospel are the things we do; the music of the gospel is the joyful spiritual feeling that comes from the Holy Ghost. It brings a change of heart and is the source of all righteous desires. The dance steps require discipline, but the joy of the dance will be experienced only when we come to hear the music.

Our children’s happiness depends on their ability to hear and love the beautiful music of the gospel.

If you’re not hearing the music of the gospel in your home, please remember these two words: keep practicing. With God’s help, the day will come when the music of the gospel will fill your home with unspeakable joy.

Elder Dale G. Renlund
My invitation to all of us is to evaluate our lives, repent, and keep on trying. If we don’t try, we’re just latter-day sinners; if we don’t persevere, we’re latter-day quitters; and if we don’t allow others to try, we’re just latter-day hypocrites. As we try, persevere, and help others to do the same, we are true Latter-day Saints. As we change, we will find that God indeed cares a lot more about who we are and about who we are becoming than about who we once were.

Elder Michael T. Ringwood
In a world where praise, position, power, accolades, and authority are sought on every side, I honor those wonderful and blessed souls who are truly good and without guile, those who are motivated by a love of God and their neighbors, those great women and men who are “more anxious to serve than to have dominion.”

The service that counts most is usually recognized by God alone.

Sister Rosemary M. Wixom
Answers to our sincere questions come when we earnestly seek and when we live the commandments.

Helaman 5:12

Elder Jose A. Teixeira
The Lord said, “[Seek] me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” Seeking the Lord and feeling His presence is a daily quest, a worthwhile effort.

I believe that as we deepen our understanding of the Savior, we will have an increased desire to live joyfully and a conviction that joy is possible. Consequently, we will have a greater ability to go about each day with more enthusiasm for life and for keeping the commandments of God, even in challenging circumstances.

3 habits for healthy online activity: 1)Visit the Church’s Official Websites for Resources 2)Subscribe to the Church’s Official Social Networks 3)Make Time to Set Aside Your Mobile Devices

Bishop Gerald Causse
To marvel at the wonders of the gospel is a sign of faith. It is to recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives and in everything around us. Our amazement also produces spiritual strength. It gives us the energy to remain anchored in our faith and to engage ourselves in the work of salvation.

Elder Brent H. Nielsen
Parable of the prodigal son

We learned in our family that, after all we can do, we love that person with all of our hearts and we watch, we pray, and we wait for the Lord’s hand to be revealed.

Elder Kevin W. Pearson
Enduring to the end is a hallmark of true discipleship and is essential to eternal life. But when trials and challenges come our way, we are often told to simply “hang in there.” Let me be clear: to “hang in there” is not a principle of the gospel. Enduring to the end means constantly coming unto Christ and being perfected in Him.

Search the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets every day, every day, every day! It’s the key to spiritual survival and avoiding deception. Without it, we are spiritually lost.

True disciples continue to awaken unto God each day in meaningful personal prayer, earnest scripture study, personal obedience, and selfless service. Stay by the tree and stay awake.

Lehi’s vision of the tree of life is a powerful parable on enduring to the end: 1) Don’t forget to pray 2)Come unto Christ and be perfected in him 3)Press forward with faith 4) The Book of Mormon is key to spiritual survival 5)Don’t be distracted and deceived  6)Stay by the tree

Enduring to the end is the great test of discipleship. Our daily discipleship will determine our eternal destiny. Awaken unto God, cling to truth, keep your sacred temple covenants, and stay by the tree!

Elder Rafael E. Pino
Understanding the plan will help people keep the commandments, make better decisions, and have the right motivation.

The Lord knows what He wants to accomplish with each one of us. He knows the kind of reform He wants to achieve in our lives, and we do not have the right to counsel Him. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

Elder Jorge F. Zeballos
Let us press forward by learning our duty, making correct decisions, acting according to those decisions, and accepting the will of our Father.

Elder Joseph W. Sitati
Heavenly Father has charged and blessed us to be fruitful, to multiply, and to subdue the earth that we might become like Him. He has made help available that we may each, according to our individual choosing, actually grow to become like Him.

Parents are responsible to teach their children the gospel

This talk was inspiring to me, as a reminder to take seriously my role as a teacher of gospel principles to my children. My daughter Lily is turning eight next month, so we are currently planning lessons and discussions focused on the importance of baptism, making covenants, and the Holy Ghost.

“The scriptures speak of the role of parents—that it is their duty to teach their children “the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost” (D&C 68:25).”

As parents, we are to be the prime gospel teachers and examples for our children—not the bishop, the Sunday School, the Young Women or Young Men, but the parents. As their prime gospel teachers, we can teach them the power and reality of the Atonement—of their identity and divine destiny—and in so doing give them rock foundation upon which to build. When all is said and done, the home is the ideal forum for teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

We might all ask ourselves: do our children receive our best spiritual, intellectual, and creative efforts, or do they receive our leftover time and talents, after we have given our all to our Church calling or professional pursuits? In the life to come, do not know if titles such as bishop or Relief Society president will survive, but do know that the titles of husband and wife, father and mother, will continue and be revered, worlds without end. That is one reason it is so important to honor our responsibilities as parents here on earth so we can prepare for those even greater, but similar, responsibilities in the life to come.”

Tad R. Callister, “Parents: The Prime Gospel Teachers of Their Children.” October 2014 General Conference.

Let Your Light Shine (FHE plans)

With the start of a new school year I have been thinking of the lessons that I want my children to remember and take with them as they head out into the world. One important lesson I wanted them to understand is the concept of letting our light shine. I was thrilled to discover today that the First Presidency message in the August 2015 Ensign was focused on this theme. My daughter and I put together a FHE lesson that drew primarily from President Monson’s words, along with the great scripture from Matthew 5:16.

Lesson Plan

Share and discuss the following quotes from President Thomas S. Monson, “Stand as a Light”. August 2015 Ensign.

I would like all of the youth of the Church to know that they are children of light. As such, they have a responsibility to be “as lights in the world” (Philippians 2:15). They have a duty to share the truths of the gospel. They have a calling to stand as a temple beacon, reflecting gospel light to an increasingly dark world. They have a charge to keep their light aflame and burning brightly.

“In order for us to be “an example of the believers” (1 Timothy 4:12), we ourselves must believe. We must develop the faith necessary to survive spiritually and to project a light for others. We must nurture our testimony until it becomes an anchor to our lives.

Among the most effective ways to gain and keep the faith we need today is to read and study the scriptures and to pray frequently and consistently. To the youth of the Church, I say, if you haven’t done so, develop now a habit of daily scripture study and prayer. Without these two essential practices, outside influences and the sometimes-harsh realities of life can dim or even extinguish your light.”

Discussion and Personal Reflection: Do I have a daily habit of scripture study and prayer? Encourage everyone to work on this habit!

Scripture: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

“As you follow the example of the Savior, yours will be the opportunity to be a light, as it were, in the lives of those around you. When you are a light to the world, people around you will feel a special spirit that will make them want to associate with you and follow your example.”

Activity: Complete the worksheet included with the Ensign article, discussing ways that we can each shine our light.

Surprise: Present each child with a small flashlight to help them remember to let their light shine.

Conclusion: Remind the children how much they are loved!

“To our youth, I say, our Heavenly Father loves you. May you feel also the love which Church leaders have for you. May you ever have a desire to serve your Heavenly Father and His Son. And may you always walk in truth and stand as a light among God’s children.”

Other resources

fr11mar10_posterBright Idea Scripture Poster

Listen to “Child of Light” by Mindy Gledhill (find it here).

“Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5).

Quick Quotes from the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles (April 2015 General Conference)

It is a great blessing to have a living prophet and apostles on the earth today. Their messages given at General Conference every six months are inspiring, and constitute as modern scripture and the Lord’s word for us in this day. I have made studying their words an active part of my life, and I am working to share their messages with my family also. We quite often have FHE lessons that are based from conference talks, and we review their themes and key scriptures during breakfast. I recently went through the conference talks and pulled out the key quotes and scriptures from each talk that stood out to me. I made them into a poster and laminated it for durability; now we have a quick reference guide to remember the important themes of the apostles. You might focus on entirely different aspects of their message, but this is what stood out to me.

If you would like a pdf of the poster I made you can download it here: 2015 Apr apostle highlights

President Monson
The blessings of the temple are priceless.

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

President Eyring
Is not this the fast that I have chosen?

When we offer succor to anyone, the Savior feels it as if we reached out to succor Him.

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40).

President Uchtdorf
With the gift of God’s grace, the path of discipleship does not lead backward; it leads upward.

God loves us deeply, perfectly, and everlastingly.

“For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25: 23).

“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins” (2 Nephi 25:26).

President Packer
The end of all activity in the Church is to see that a man and a woman with their children are happy at home, sealed for eternity.

Elder Perry
The family is the center of life and is the key to eternal happiness.

“Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, paragraph seven).

Elder Nelson
A sacred Sabbath truly is a delight.

No other work transcends that of righteous, intentional parenting!

“Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then … are ye sanctified in Christ.” (Moroni 10:32)

Elder Oaks
Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival.

We have the seed of the gospel word. It is up to each of us to set the priorities and to do the things that make our soil good and our harvest plentiful. We must seek to be firmly rooted and converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We achieve this conversion by praying, by scripture reading, by serving, and by regularly partaking of the sacrament to always have His Spirit to be with us.

The Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:3-8)

Elder Ballard
Balance your life with spiritual experiences that remind and prepare you for continued, daily ministering to others.

What we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the Church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint.

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;”(D&C 58:27).

Elder Hales
How we live our religion is far more important than what we may say about our religion.

4 Cornerstones of religious freedom: freedom to believe, share our freedom and our beliefs, form a religious organization, live our faith.

What can we do to safeguard religious freedom? 1-become informed 2-join with others
3-be a good example

Elder Holland
That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life.

“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Elder Bednar
Fear is dispelled through a correct knowledge of and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Look to Christ- Build upon the Foundation of Christ-Press Forward with Faith in Christ

“Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).

Elder Cook
Like the young sunflower, when we follow the Savior of the world, the Son of God, we flourish and become glorious despite the many terrible circumstances that surround us. He truly is our light and life.

It is vitally important that our children know they are loved and safe at home.

We can thrive and bloom if we are rooted in our love of the Savior.”

The Church has never been stronger.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?”
(Psalm 27:1).

Elder Christofferson
A family built on the marriage of a man and woman supplies the best setting for God’s plan to thrive.

“We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).

Elder Andersen
We see God’s miracles in His wondrous work and in our own personal lives.

Can you see the hand of God moving His work forward? Can you see the hand of God in your own life?

“Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 5:36).

The Fall of Adam and Eve (FHE plans and quotes from Elder Holland)

My husband taught our Family Home Evening lesson tonight about the Fall of Adam and Eve. He based the lesson on Elder Holland’s April 2015 General Conference talk.

Doctrine: The Fall of Adam and Eve

Scripture: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22).

Story: two brothers rock climbing, “brotherly hands and determined arms that reached into the abyss of death to save us from our fallings and our failings, from our sorrows and our sins”.

Quote: “That first Easter sequence of Atonement and Resurrection constitutes the most consequential moment, the most generous gift, the most excruciating pain, and the most majestic manifestation of pure love ever to be demonstrated in the history of this world. Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, suffered, died, and rose from death in order that He could, like lightning in a summer storm, grasp us as we fall, hold us with His might, and through our obedience to His commandments, lift us to eternal life.”

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “Where Justice, Love, and Mercy Meet”. April 2015 General Conference.

Follow the Living Prophet (Teachings of President Benson)

“Learn to keep your eye on the prophet. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece and the only man who can speak for the Lord today. Let his inspired counsel take precedence. Let his inspired words be a basis for evaluating the counsel of all lesser authorities. Then live close to the Spirit so you may know the truth of all things.”

The most important prophet, so far as we are concerned, is the one who is living in our day and age. This is the prophet who has today’s instructions from God to us. God’s revelation to Adam did not instruct Noah how to build the ark. Every generation has need of the ancient scripture, plus the current scripture from the living prophet. Therefore, the most crucial reading and pondering that you should do is of the latest inspired words from the Lord’s mouthpiece. That is why it is essential that you have access to and carefully read his words. …”

“As members of the Church we have some close quarters to pass through if we are going to get home safely. We will be given a chance to choose between conflicting counsel given by some. That’s why we must learn—and the sooner we learn, the better—to keep our eye on the Prophet, the President of the Church”

Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Ezra Taft Benson. Chapter 11.