We all have our free agency and God holds us accountable for the way we use it in thought and deed. "Kindness, compassion, and love are powerful instruments in strengthening us to carry heavy burdens imposed without any fault of our own and to do what we know to be right." Elder Dallin H. Oaks
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I would like to speak today to the parents of teenagers. Your bright and energetic youth are the future, and for that reason they are a prime target of the adversary. Many of you faithful mothers and fathers are praying for answers to help you guide your children through these important years. There are no perfect parents and no easy answers, but there are principles of truth that we can rely on.
From the book of Joshua. It begins, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid” (Joshua 1:9). This phrase from the scriptures would be a good theme for parents as well. In these last days, what the world really needs is courageous parenting from mothers and fathers who are not afraid to speak up and take a stand.
Imagine for a moment that your daughter was sitting on the railroad tracks and you heard the train whistle blowing. Would you warn her to get off the tracks? Or would you hesitate, worried that she might think you were being overprotective? If she ignored your warning, would you quickly move her to a safe place? Of course you would! Your love for your daughter would override all other considerations. You would value her life more than her temporary goodwill.
Challenges and temptations are coming at our teenagers with the speed and power of a freight train. As we are reminded in the family proclamation, parents are responsible for the protection of their children. That means spiritually as well as physically.
There was a father named Alma who was counseling his wayward son Corianton. Alma loved him enough to speak very directly to the problem. He expressed his deep disappointment that his son had been immoral and explained to him the serious consequences of sin. Alma said to his son, “And now the Spirit of the Lord doth say unto me: Command thy children to do good … ; therefore I command you, my son, in the fear of God, that ye refrain from your iniquities” (Alma 39:12). This early intervention by his father became a turning point for Corianton. He repented and served faithfully thereafter (see Alma 42:31; 43:1–2).
Another father from the scriptures, Eli in the Old Testament. Eli served as the high priest in Israel during the childhood of Samuel the prophet. The scriptures explain that the Lord rebuked him severely “because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not” (1 Samuel 3:13). Eli’s sons never did repent, and all of Israel suffered because of their folly. The story of Eli teaches us that parents who love their children cannot afford to be intimidated by them.
Parenting is not a popularity contest. Sometimes we are afraid of our children—afraid to counsel with them for fear of offending them.
Years ago our 17-year-old son wanted to go on a weekend trip with his friends, who were all good boys. He asked for permission to go. I wanted to say yes, but for some reason I felt uncomfortable about the trip. I shared my feelings with my wife, who was very supportive. “We need to listen to that warning voice,” she said.
Of course, our son was disappointed and asked why we didn’t want him to go. I answered honestly that I didn’t know why. “I just don’t feel good about it,” I explained, “and I love you too much to ignore these feelings inside.” I was quite surprised when he said, “That’s OK, Dad. I understand.”
Young people understand more than we realize because they too have the gift of the Holy Ghost and can discern. They are trying to recognize the Spirit when He speaks, and they are watching our example. From us they learn to pay attention to their promptings—that if they “don’t feel good about something,” it’s best not to pursue it.
It’s so important for husbands and wives to be united when making parenting decisions. If either parent doesn’t feel good about something, then permission should not be granted. If either feels uncomfortable about a movie, a television show, a video game, a party, a dress, a swimsuit, or an Internet activity, have the courage to support each other and say no.
I would like to share with you a letter from a heartbroken mother about her teenage son. She explained: “All throughout my son’s teenage years, I worried and tried to stop him from playing violent video games. I talked to my husband and showed him articles in the newspaper that cautioned about these games. But my husband felt it was OK. He said that our son wasn’t out using drugs and that I should stop worrying. There were times that I would hide the controllers, and my husband would give them back. It began to be easier for me to give in … than to fight it. I really feel that gaming is just as addictive as drugs. I would do anything to prevent other parents from going through this experience.”
If your spouse doesn’t feel good about something, show respect for those feelings. When you take the easy way out by saying and doing nothing, you may be enabling destructive behavior.
Parents can prevent a lot of heartache by teaching their children to postpone romantic relationships until the time comes when they are ready for marriage. Prematurely pairing off with a boyfriend or girlfriend is dangerous. Becoming a “couple” creates emotional intimacy, which too often leads to physical intimacy. Satan knows this sequence and uses it to his advantage. He will do whatever he can to keep our youth from being worthy of having a pure and virtuous lives and worthy of sacred marriages.
It is vital that parents have the courage to speak upand intervene before Satan succeeds. President Boyd K. Packer has taught that “when morality is involved, we have both the right and the obligation to raise a warning voice.”
I have always believed that nothing really good happens late at night and that young people need to know what time they are expected to come home.
There is a great deal of wisdom displayed when parents stay up and wait for their children to return home. Young men and women make far better choices when they know their parents are waiting up to hear about their evening and to kiss them good night.
May I express my personal warning about a practice that is common in many cultures. I am referring to sleepovers, or spending the night at the home of a friend. I discovered that too many youth violated the the law of chastity for the first time as part of a sleepover. Too often their first exposure to pornography and even their first encounter with the police occurred when they were spending the night away from home.
Peer pressure becomes more powerful when our children are away from our influence and when their defenses are weakened late at night. If you have ever felt uneasy about an overnight activity, don’t be afraid to respond to that warning voice inside. Always be prayerful when it comes to protecting your precious children.
Courageous parenting does not always involve saying no. Parents also need courage to say yes to the counsel of modern-day prophets. Our Church leaders have counseled us to establish righteous patterns in our homes. Consider five fundamental practices that have the power to fortify our youth: family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, family dinner together, and regular one-on-one interviews with each child.
It takes courage to gather children from whatever they’re doing and kneel together as a family. It takes courage to turn off the television and the computer and to guide your family through the pages of the scriptures every day. It takes courage to turn down other invitations so that you can reserve that evening for your family. It takes courage and willpower to avoid overscheduling so that your family can be home for dinner.
One of the most effective ways we can influence our sons and daughters is to counsel with them in private interviews. By listening closely, we can discover the desires of their hearts, help them set righteous goals, and also share with them the spiritual impressions that we have received about them. Counseling requires courage.
Try to imagine what the rising generation could become if these five righteous patterns were practiced consistently in every home. Our young people could be like Helaman’s army: invincible (see Alma 57:25–26).
Parenting teenagers in these latter days is a very humbling assignment. Satan and his followers are striving to bring this generation down; the Lord is counting on valiant parents to bring them up. Parents, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid” (Joshua 1:9). I know that God hears and will answer your prayers. I testify that the Lord supports and blesses courageous parents.
Several scriptures back up the role of being good parents and proclaim that worthy husbands and wives who have been properly sealed in marriage in a temple of God may fulfill their role as parents throughout eternity.
The cursing may be upon the heads of your parents:2 Ne. 4:6;
Teach parents that they must repent and be baptized:Moro. 8:10;
Parents are commanded to teach the gospel to their children:D&C 68:25;
All children have claim upon their parents:D&C 83:4;
The sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children:Moses 6:54;
Olive Davis Osmond
A mother’s influence extends from generation to generation.
We honor our mothers and their ever important responsibility to love and nurture our children. Perhaps the reason we respond so universally to our mothers’ love is because it typifies the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Lord has placed upon parents the primary responsibility for the spiritual nurturing of their children. Sometimes this responsibility falls to a single parent. My own mother was relatively young when my father died, leaving her alone with four children. But she faced her adversity with faith and courage, promising us that if we stayed on the road of truth, the end would be better than the beginning.
As a rule the mothers are the very best women that live in the world, the best that can be found anywhere. … The good influence that a good mother exercises over her children is like leaven cast into the measure of meal, that will leaven the whole lump; and as far as her influence extends, not only to her own children, but to the associates of her children, it is felt, and good is the result accomplished by it.
You do not know how far your influence extends. A mother that is successful in raising a good boy, or girl, to imitate her example and to follow her precepts through life, sows the seeds of virtue, honor and integrity and of righteousness in their hearts that will be felt through all their career in life; and wherever that boy or girl goes, as man or woman, in whatever society they mingle, the good effects of the example of that mother upon them will be felt; and it will never die, because it will extend from them to their children from generation to generation. And especially do we hope for this in the Gospel of Jesus Christ he, who is the Son of God was indeed no other than the Only Begotten of God in the flesh, and that, therefore, no other than God the eternal Father is his Father and the author of his existence in the world.
Great responsibility rests upon the mothers.
Motherhood lies at the foundation of happiness in the home, and of prosperity in the nation. God has laid upon men and women very sacred obligations with respect to motherhood.
Women that have the same conception of wifehood and motherhood are not exclusively intended for just this life. … We live for time and for eternity. Our affections and our desires are found fitted and prepared to endure not only throughout the temporal or mortal life, but through all eternity.
We shall prosper and upon the earth; for this is our mission, and the work of your mothers and daughters. Great responsibility rests upon you. Upon you depend the training and the direction of the thoughts and the inspiration of the hearts of your children, for they drink into the spirit of their mothers, and the influence of the mother over the children is the most enduring impression that can be made. There is nothing so imperishable as the influence of the mother; that is when she is good and has the spirit of Christ in her heart, and she has brought up her children in the way they should go.
Our mothers, and the mothers of our children, whose hearts are filled with solicitude for the welfare of their children, having had conferred upon them the gift of the Holy Spirit, can go to their secret chambers and bow down before God and commune with Him as no other mothers on earth can do, if they will only observe the principles they have embraced and will live up to their privileges. By the influence that they will thus gain over the hearts of their children they will lead them in the path of righteousness and truth, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in the love of truth, in obedience to His commands, in such a way as others cannot do who are destitute of these privileges, blessings and endowments, so freely conferred upon our mothers.
There can be no genuine happiness separate and apart from the home, and every effort made to sanctify and preserve its influence is uplifting to those who toil and sacrifice for its establishment. Men and women often seek to substitute some other life for that of the home; they would make themselves believe that the home means restraint; that the highest liberty is the fullest opportunity to move about at will. There is no happiness without service, and there is no service greater than that which converts the home into a divine institution, and which promotes and preserves family life.
… The strongest attachments of childhood are those that cluster about the home, and the dearest memories of old age are those that call up the associations of youth and its happy surroundings.
In the home the mother is the principal disciplinarian in early child life, and her influence and discipline determine in a great measure the ability of her children to assume in manhood and womanhood the larger governments in church and state.
I most sincerely hope that our mothers today will guard very zealously and very carefully the lives of their daughters and of their sons. I would if I had it in my power make it possible for all mothers to have the joy and the unspeakable satisfaction of rearing their sons and their daughters above the reproach of men and above the power of sin.
The love of a true mother comes near to being like the love of God.
No love in all the world can equal the love of a true mother. … I have felt sometimes, how could even the Father love his children more than my mother loved her children? It was life to me; it was strength; it was encouragement; it was love that begat love or liking in myself. I knew she loved me with all her heart. She loved her children with all her soul. She would toil and labor and sacrifice herself day and night, for the temporal comforts and blessings that she could meagerly give, through the results of her own labors, to her children. There was no sacrifice of self—of her own time, of her leisure or pleasure, or opportunities for rest—that was considered for a moment, when it was compared with her duty and her love to her children.
When I was fifteen years of age, and called to go to a foreign country to preach the gospel—or to learn how, and to learn it for myself—the strongest anchor that was fixed in my life, and that helped to hold my ambition and my desire steady, to bring me upon a level and keep me straight, was that love which I knew she had for me who bore me into the world.
Only a little boy, not matured at all in judgment, without the advantage of education, thrown in the midst of the greatest allurements and temptations that it was possible for any boy or any man to be subjected to—and yet, whenever these temptations became most alluring and most tempting to me, the first thought that arose in my soul was this: Remember the love of your mother. Remember how she strove for your welfare. Remember how willing she was to sacrifice her life for your good. Remember what she taught you in your childhood. … This feeling toward my mother became a defense, a barrier between me and temptation, so that I could turn aside from temptation and sin by the help of the Lord and the love begotten in my soul, toward her whom I knew loved me more than anybody else in all the world, and more than any other living being could love me.
… The true mother, the mother who has the fear of God and the love of truth in her soul, would never hide from danger or evil and leave her child exposed to it. But as natural as it is for the sparks to fly upward, as natural as it is to breathe the breath of life, if there were danger coming to her child, she would step between the child and that danger; she would defend her child to the uttermost. Her life would be nothing in the balance, in comparison with the life of her child. That is the love of true motherhood for children. …
I have learned to place a high estimate upon the love of mother. I have often said, and will repeat it, that the love of a true mother comes nearer being like the love of God than any other kind of love.
Perhaps the most perfect ideal in the art of healing is the mother whose tender and gracious love asserts itself in taking away the sting of a deserved or an undeserved punishment. How her love heals every wound! How quick her caresses bind up and soothe! The example of her life is the wisdom which love teaches.
There is nothing between me and the heavens that would compensate for doing something that would grieve or hurt my mother. Why? Because she loved me, she would have died for me over and over again, if such were possible, only to have saved me. Why should I grieve, why should I disappoint her? Why should I take a course contrary to her own life and her life’s teachings to me, for she taught me honor, and virtue, and truth, and integrity to the kingdom of God, and she taught me not only by precept but by example.
I cannot express the joy I feel at the thought of meeting my father, and my precious mother, who gave me birth in the midst of persecution and poverty, who bore me in her arms and was patient, forbearing, tender and true during all my helpless moments in the world. The thought of meeting her, who can express the joy?
God bless the mothers.
God bless the mothers and the sons and daughters; and keep our children from the ways of the world, from transgression and from temptation that will lead them astray. May the power of God be over all the household of faith.
I believe that with the Holy Spirit, every mother has the right to know what to do in her family and in her sphere, over her children, in their guidance and direction; and that mother and every mother possessing that spirit has the gift of revelation, the gift of inspiration and the gift of knowledge, which is the spirit of prophecy, the spirit of discernment, a gift of God to them, to govern their households and lead their children in the path of righteousness and truth.
I feel in my heart to bless you, mothers and sisters, with all my heart and with all the power and right that I possess in the priesthood which is after the order of the Son of God. … I have the right and the authority in the priesthood to bless Israel, and to bless those who are faithful, especially; and I feel in my heart to say I bless you.
Here we are living in ‘a great and dreadful day’ with higher learning and so many comforts of life. We have access to so much information and can advance so fast in society. Yet, there are still so many who struggle and suffer, especially for knowledge and truth about their origin and destiny. One of the most important needs we have is the knowledge of who we are, why we are here and where we came from; religion.
If people would just stop and think about life and see those that are truly happy, they will find it is because they have searched their hearts with prayer and in their minds with studying and reading good books, have found peace within knowing that God is there; realizing He has provided the way to return as His children with with an eternal plan where marriages and families can be together forever! May I share?
Over the history of this world, there have been many religious leaders who felt inspired and caused many people to follow. Each of us has the right to learn with the freedom and power to choose ’The Way’ we wish to live our lives and believe. That’s why we came here. They also become set and immoveable and will not hear or listen to many truths that have come forth. If the world only knew what they were missing!
Here are 10 facts about 12 major religions.
These pages summarise the main features of the 12 largest world religions, which together are followed by almost 80% of the world’s population. These beliefs are described without passing any judgment on their truth or otherwise. Not included here are so-called “tribal” and African religions (6%), spiritism, the Eastern religions Cao Dai and Juche (less than 1% in total) and non religious (16%). Source for numbers is www.adherents.com.
Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism and Islam
K’ung Fu-tzu (Confucius)
Brahmins – the priestly class of the invading Aryans
Place & time
Middle East (Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria), 1860s CE
Nepal, 500 BCE
Palestine, 30 CE
China 500 BCE
India, about 1500 BCE
Arabia, 620 CE
Local religion at the time
Judaism & Roman polytheism
Evolved from more primitive beliefs
Writings of Baha’u'llah & others – principally Kitab-l-Aqdas
Teachings of the Buddha written down much later & not treated as revelation
Bible, especially the New Testament
K’ung Fu-tzu’s writings
Many writings, mainly the Vedas (1000 BCE) & Upanishads (500 BCE)
Qur’an, written down by Muhammed
No. of adherents worldwide
400 million (combined with Taoism)
Nature of religion
Monotheism with revealed teachings – fulfils Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Dharmic. Way of life to achieve enlightenment
Monotheism with revealed teachings – fulfils Judaism
Taoic. Social & political ethics
Dharmic. Devotional rituals & tradition to achieve release from cycle of rebirth.
Monotheism with revealed beliefs – mixture of corporate & personal worship and ethics
Nature of God(s)
Monotheistic, ethical, personal
Pantheistic & impersonal – life force (Brahmin) and many gods/aspects
Monotheistic, personal, ethical
How to please God(s)
Eightfold Path between extremes of asceticism & materialism
Repentance & faith in Jesus
Devotion, good works, knowledge & yoga to reduce karma (caused by bad behaviour) & maya (illusion)
Five Pillars – profession of faith, prayer/worshp, alms, fasting, pilgrimage to Mecca
Rewards & punishments
Life is a preparation for the next life (does this mean everyone enters afterlife?)
Life of acceptance & Nirvana
Life with God in this world and the next (or not)
Cycle of rebirth until karma dissolved & released.
Paradise for believers
Prayer & meditation leading to action – little emphasis on ritual (no churches or priests). Informal meeting every 19 days + festivals
Meditation, disciplined living to reduce suffering (recognising “impermanence, suffering & no-self”)
Weekly meetings, sharing faith & serving others
Respect for ancestors
Temples as homes to deities & shrines,
priests & rituals, individual holy men
Five Pillars, Friday prayers at mosque, ritual washing and prayers
With all of this confusion in the world and deciding what to believe, is there any wonder why there are so many religions today? It is not God’s fault but man’s.
“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” 1 Corinthians 14:33
At some point in each of our lives we will each ask these questions:
Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going?
When God created this world, he gave Adam and Eve all of the knowledge they needed with answers to these questions. He even walked and talked with them in the Garden of Eden. Many of those truths have since been lost, distorted, and misinterpreted over time causing so many people in the world to have no religion at all; athiest.
Many precious parts were taken out of the Bible during the days of Constantine about 300-400 AD and are missing. But are those truths lost? No.
Jesus Christ gave his words to all that would hear. And for that, He was Crucified. But, after Jesus rose from the dead, He ascended into Heaven, which is Paradise; a holding place where we go after death until judgement day. He also returned and visited several peoples (or ‘sheep‘, He being the Shepherd) of various nations around the world and gave them His word and covenants, letting them know that He was also their Savior and Redeemer. He commanded them to write His words as a record to come forth at such a time as this when He knew there would be much confusion.
Some records have come already come forth and several others will soon be coming forth.
Those records or books have and will reveal many of the ‘lost’ promising truths and covenants, and blessings for which many religions have no answers.
God Created all things spiritually BEFORE He created them physically.
“And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.”Moses 2:27
“… And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;” Moses 3:5
“And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.”Moses 3:7
Many ‘Plain and precious truths and doctrines’ of the gospel have been restored:
‘We are NOThuman beings having Spiritual experiences.
We ARESpiritual beings having human experiences.’
It is my testimony that God lives and that He created this world with its Creation, Fall and Atonement of Jesus Christ, and worlds without number along with God-given laws, ordinances and doctrines. His plan makes it possible for all people to be exalted and live forever with God (2 Ne. 2:9), a glory of the celestial, which excels in all things – where God, even the Father, reigns upon his throne forever and ever. D&C 76:92. The scriptures also refer to this plan as the plan of salvation, the plan of happiness, and the plan of mercy.
We lived before as spirit children of God and battled in heaven over good and evil. One third of those spirit children followed Satan and were cast out of heaven with Satan into everlasting darkness. Those that won that war chose to come to this earth, to progress and become more like our Heavenly Parents by gaining a physical body and becoming creators of life ourselves.
We are here on earth to be tested as a ‘natural man’ (which is an enemy of God), to gain intelligence (which is the Glory of God), and to be tempted by Satan once again over good and evil and to make choices that will directly effect one’s future; and mansion in heaven where one goes to live after we die, and are judged on condition of living forever in a resurrected state, not subject to physical death. Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 1 Corinthians 3:13
This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, John 17:3 (D&C 132:24). We must fight the good fight of faith and lay hold on eternal life. (1 Tim. 6:12) People are free to choose liberty and eternal life, (2 Ne. 2:27) (Hel. 14:31). To be spiritually minded is life eternal. (2 Ne. 9:39) Then are ye in the narrow path that leads to eternal life. (2 Ne. 31:17–20) God gives eternal life to the obedient, (Moses 5:11).
To believe in Christ and endure to the end is life eternal,2 Ne. 33:4 (3 Ne. 15:9). He that hath eternal life is rich, D&C 6:7 (D&C 11:7). Eternal life is the greatest of all the gifts of God, D&C 14:7 (Rom. 6:23). The righteous will receive peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come, D&C 59:23 Those who endure to the end shall have a crown of eternal life, D&C 66:12 (D&C 75:5). If the marriage of a man and a woman has been sealed in the house of the Lord, they and their offspring will be together eternally as a family.
All who die without the gospel who would have received it had they lived are heirs of the celestial kingdom, D&C 137:7–9. This is all a part of God’s eternal Plan of life for His children because “God’s work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, Moses 1:39; ’man’ refers to all mankind, both male and female. All men and women are the literal, spiritual offspring of a Heavenly Father. When they are born into mortality, they receive physical, mortal bodies. These bodies were created in God’s image (Gen. 1:26–27). Men and women who are faithful in receiving the necessary ordinances, keeping their covenants, and obeying God’s commands will enter into their exaltation and become as God. And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality, and eternal life in the mansions which I have prepared in the house of my Father. D&C 81:6.
Have you ever seen a baby chick that didn’t become a chicken? A pony always becomes a horse? We as children become like our parents. ”Like Father like son; like Mother like daughter”.
I hope this has made you think about what you might be missing and that you will reach within for answers that are real. Again remember, ‘God is NOT the author of confusion’. I invite you to pray with real intent that you may enter into the rest of the Lord. The Spirit of Christ can be with you and enable you to know good from evil. Satan persuades men to deny Christ and do evil. The prophets manifest the coming of Christ with faith, miracles are wrought and angels will minister unto you. All mankind shoud hope for eternal life and cleave unto charity always doing good.
This I know to be true,
Strengthening The Family – Spiritually
The Plan of Happiness – It’s Heavenly Father’s Plan Of Life
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
What you have seen and heard with this film is of most importance. It is something that each of us try to share with one another because as the Lord said, “where much is given, much is expected.” We truly have been blessed!
My family and I have tried to share with our music and word, the ‘Plan of Happiness’ to individuals and families all over the world. The message is the same for all of us; that we are children of God who loves us and has placed us here on earth in families to prove ourselves and to give us the “power” to choose ‘the way’ we wish to live our lives. Free agency is something we fought for even before we came to this world and we continue to do so today. Good and Evil are the choices.
Yes, we will make mistakes. Jesus knew we would and that is why He came to this world to show us the way to love one another and to follow Him. He knew that some of our debts would require much more than we alone would be able to pay and so He died for us and took upon Himself our sins. In return He has asked us to follow Him and to repent and take upon ourselves His name by being baptized even as He was and receive the Holy Ghost.
I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the Holy Ghost will lead and guide us through life just as our GPS systems lead us on unfamiliar highways. I know that Jesus is to return again soon. Even though the angels of heaven know not when He shall return, the Lord has given us “signs of the times” that we might be warned and prepared. Those signs are now upon us and I pray that everyone who watched this video, those who heard our album called “The Plan”, those who have felt Him calling you and those that have prayed for guidance and are seeking answers may know in your hearts that we are NOT ALONE!
Read your scriptures and pray with all your hearts seeking for answers for therein lies the keys to further truth and knowledge. If you seek, ye shall find. If you knock, it shall be opened up unto you. If you would like to know more about what we believe, click here.
With life there is ‘The Plan’. There is also ‘The Way; The Way to get back to our Heavenly Father. Jesus is ‘The Way‘, the one who will bring us together. He is the One, He is ‘The Way’!
Have you ever thought about the amount of light and energy generated by our sun? The amount is almost beyond comprehension. Yet the heat and light that we receive come as a free gift from God.
The light from the sun breaks through space, bathing our planet as it encircles the sun with life-giving warmth and light. Without the sun, there could be no life on this planet; it would be forever barren, cold, and dark.
As the sun gives life and light to the earth, a spiritual light gives nourishment to our spirits. We call this the Light of Christ. The scriptures teach us that it “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Thus, all mankind can enjoy its blessings. The Light of Christ is the divine influence that allows every man, woman, and child to distinguish between good and evil. It encourages all to choose the right, to seek eternal truth, and to learn again the truths that we knew in our premortal existence but have forgotten in mortality.
The Light of Christ should not be confused with the personage of the Holy Ghost, for the Light of Christ is not a personage at all. Its influence is preliminary to and preparatory to one’s receiving the Holy Ghost. The Light of Christ will lead the honest soul to “hearkeneth to the voice”.
The Holy Ghost is a personage of Spirit, a separate and distinct member of the Godhead. He is a witness or testifier of the power of God, the divinity of Christ, and the truth of the restored gospel. Many throughout history in all nations have sought diligently to commune with the heavens and gain the light of gospel truth. They have felt the influence of the Holy Ghost confirm the truth of the gospel.
“There is a difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost. Cornelius received the Holy Ghost before he was baptized, which was the convincing power of God unto him of the truth of the Gospel, but he could not receive the gift of the Holy Ghost until after he was baptized. Had he not taken this … ordinance upon him, the Holy Ghost which convinced him of the truth of God, would have left him.”
The Lord calls the gift of the Holy Ghost “the unspeakable gift.” It is the source of testimony and spiritual gifts. It enlightens minds, fills our souls with joy, teaches us all things, and brings forgotten knowledge to our remembrance. The Holy Ghost also “will show unto us all things what we should do.”
It is the greatest guarantor of inward peace in our unstable world.
How great a blessing it is to have the ministering influence of a member of the Godhead.” Think of what this means, the ability and the right to receive the ministrations of a member of the Godhead, to commune with infinite wisdom, infinite knowledge, and infinite power!
As with all gifts, this gift must be received and accepted to be enjoyed. Scriptures warn us that the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. The Holy Ghost will warn us of danger, and it will inspire us to help others in need. We watch. We wait. We listen for that still, small voice. When it speaks, wise men and women obey. Promptings of the Spirit are not to be postponed.”
I once had the opportunity to tour a large cave. While there, the guide turned off the lights for a moment to demonstrate what it was like to be in total darkness. It was an amazing experience. I put my hand an inch from my eyes and could not see it. It was frightening in a way. I was relieved when the lights were turned back on.
As light penetrates the darkness and makes physical things visible, so does the Holy Ghost penetrate the spiritual darkness that surrounds us and make plainly visible spiritual things that once were hidden. The Apostle Paul taught that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
Some are distracted by the things of the world that block out the influence of the Holy Ghost, preventing them from recognizing spiritual promptings. This is a noisy and busy world that we live in. Remember that being busy is not necessarily being spiritual. If we are not careful, the things of this world can crowd out the things of the Spirit.
Some are spiritually deadened and past feeling because of their choices to commit sin. Others simply hover in spiritual complacency with no desire to rise above themselves and commune with the Infinite.
If they would open their hearts to the refining influence of this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, a glorious new spiritual dimension would come to light. Their eyes would gaze upon a vista scarcely imaginable. They could know for themselves things of the Spirit that are choice, precious, and capable of enlarging the soul, expanding the mind, and filling the heart with inexpressible joy.
More than ever before we need to keep the spirit of the Lord and it will lead us right. Be careful and not turn away the small still voice; it will teach you what to do and where to go. Keep hearts open to conviction, so that when the Holy Ghost comes to them, their hearts will be ready to receive it.
Do we turn away the still, small voice? Do we do things that offend the Holy Ghost? Do we allow influences into our homes that drive the Spirit from our homes? The type of entertainment that we permit into our homes will certainly have an impact on the power of the Holy Ghost. Much of the entertainment of the world is offensive to the Holy Ghost. Surely we should not watch movies or television shows that are filled with violence, vulgar language, and immorality.
I invite you to ponder individually in a humble and prayerful manner and ask yourself: “Do I have the Spirit in my life? Am I happy? Am I doing anything in my life that is offensive to the Spirit and preventing the Holy Ghost from being my constant companion?” Have the courage to repent, if needed, and again enjoy the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
Do we enjoy the influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes? Are we doing anything as a family that is offensive to the Spirit? Can we more effectively invite the Holy Ghost into our homes?
Our homes need to be more Christ-centered.
We should spend less time in the pursuit of pleasure. We should lower the noise level in our homes so that the noise of the world will not overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes. We should pray and study the scriptures. We could sing the hymns to invite the Holy Ghost into our home. Regular family home evening together will also help.
In these perilous times, we need this unspeakable gift in our lives. We need not live in fear of the future. We have every reason to rejoice and little reason to fear. If we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we will be safe, whatever the future holds. We will be shown what to do.
We can distinguish the gift of the Holy Ghost from all other spirits, for “it will whisper peace and joy to their souls; it will take malice, hatred, strife and all evil from their hearts; and their whole desire will be to do good, bring forth righteousness and build up the kingdom of God.”
A friend of mine once told me about his experience in coming to know and understand the gift of the Holy Ghost. He had prayed often and longed to know the truth.
Although he felt at peace with his beliefs, he had never received the certain knowledge for which he hungered. He had reconciled himself to the fact that he might be one of those who would have to walk through this life relying upon the faith of others.
One morning, while pondering the scriptures, he felt something surge through his body from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. “I was immersed in a feeling of such intense love and pure joy,” he explained. “I cannot describe the measure of what I felt at that time other than to say I was enveloped in joy so profound there was no room in me for any other sensation.”
I urge you with all the tenderness of my heart—do not resist the truth any longer. Give place in your hearts to this heavenly light. Have faith, repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins, and you too shall receive this unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost.
If we would open our hearts to the refining influence of this unspeakable gift, a glorious new spiritual dimension would come to light.
The Spirit can prompt you and protect you . . . but you have to LISTEN!
The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit, without a body of flesh and bones. He is often referred to as the Spirit, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, or the Comforter.
He is the Comforter (John 14:26). As the soothing voice of a loving parent can quiet a crying child, the whisperings of the Spirit can calm our fears, hush the nagging worries of our life, and comfort us when we grieve. The Holy Ghost can fill us “with hope and perfect love” and “teach [us] the peaceable things of the kingdom” (Moroni 8:26; D&C 36:2).
He is the Holy Spirit of Promise (see Ephesians 1:13; D&C 132:7, 18–19, 26). In this capacity, He confirms that the priesthood ordinances we have received and the covenants we have made are acceptable to God. This approval depends on our continued faithfulness.
In this ever trying world, may we choose well and listen to that “still small voice” or the Spirit and be led to safety, success, answers to your questions, and eventually to The Way of Everlastin g life with our Heavenly Parents once again.
“It hasn’t always been easy to stay morally clean but it has been far easier than the alternative. I have never spent one second worrying about an unwanted pregnancy or disease. I have never had a moment’s anguish because a man used and then discarded me. When I do marry, I will do so without regret. I have yet to meet the man or woman who is happier because he or she was dishonest or because they were addicted to something or because they were immoral.” – Sheri Dew
To commit sin is to willfully disobey God’s commandments or to fail to act righteously despite a knowledge of the truth (James 4: 17).
The Lord has said that He “cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance” (D&C 1: 31). Sin results in the withdrawal of the Holy Ghost. It makes the one who sins unable to dwell in the presence of Heavenly Father, for “no unclean thing can dwell with God” (1 Ne. 10: 21).
Other than Jesus Christ, each person who has ever lived on earth has broken commandments or failed to act according to knowledge of the truth. The Apostle John taught: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, [Jesus Christ] is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John. 1: 8-9). Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, each person can repent and be forgiven of these sins.
You are growing up in enemy territory. When you become mature spiritually, you will understand how the adversary has infiltrated the world around you. He is in homes, entertainment, the media, language — everything around you. In most cases, his presence is undetected. Pornography is just one example.
There are things that are the most desirable and of the most worth that youth can do to stay strong, even in enemy territory.
For young men and young women the process is the same. Discovering how the Holy Ghost operates in your life is the quest of a lifetime. Once you have made that discovery for yourself, you can live in enemy territory and will not be deceived or destroyed. No one will ever make a serious mistake without first being warned by the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
It is through using the Holy Ghost as a guide and protective influence that individuals are able to do good and stay away from harm.
You can quickly learn to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost. This power of revelation from the gift of the Holy Ghost operates on principles of righteousness.
The important role of righteousness is in keeping the lines of communication with the Spirit open.
You cannot lie or cheat or steal or act immorally and have those channels remain free from disruption. Do not go where the environment resists spiritual communication. You must learn to seek the power and direction that is available to you, and then follow that course no matter what.
Here is a “to do” list for the youth with things individuals can do in their lives to have the direction of the Spirit.
Most of the time, your prayers will be silent.
“You can think a prayer.”
Parents and teachers are oftentimes concerned about the day that their children or youth are left on their own. It is through understanding that the influence of God is always there, that youth are able to have extra strength in their lives.
Sometimes it is hard for young people to confide in their parents. You can always have a direct line of communication with your Father in Heaven. Do not allow the adversary to convince you that no one is listening on the other end. Your prayers are always heard. You are never alone!
Part of being clean is following the Word of Wisdom (no smoking, tea or coffee, drugs or stimulants) and taking care of one’s own body. It does not promise perfect health but that the spiritual receptors within you might be strengthened. Stay away from tattoos and similar things which deface your body. Do not do that which would dishonor yourself, your parents, or your Father in Heaven. Your body was created in His image.
Unworthy people can be uncomfortable in the presence of someone who is virtuous. You must not be embarrassed by the teasing they might get from others around them because, in the end, many will understand and respect them for their values.
Another important topic is that gender is set in the pre-mortal world.
You always have a choice to follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost and live a morally pure and chaste life, one filled with virtue. If you try to uphold and defend and live in a so-called pre-marital or same-sex marriage situation, God will not stand idle if you indulge in immoral activity. To permit such would be to make light of the very serious and sacred foundation of God-sanctioned marriage and its very purpose, the rearing of families.
Just as Adam and Eve had the ability to choose for themselves, so do individuals today.
You have that same agency. Use it wisely to deny acting on any impure impulse or unholy temptation that may come into your mind. Just do not go there, and if you are already there, come back out of it. ‘Deny yourselves of all ungodliness.’
Do not tamper with the life-giving powers in your body alone or with members of either gender. That is God’s standard, and it will not change. As you mature, there is a temptation to experiment or explore immoral activities. Do not do that!
Are you are doing all in your power to overcome immoral conduct, however difficult that may be?
The key word is discipline — self discipline. The word ‘discipline’ comes from the word ‘disciple’ or follower. Be a disciple/follower of the Savior, and you will be safe.”
If you are guilty of serious mistakes, it is “never too late, as you probably have been taught at home and in church about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
The Atonement is like an eraser. It can wipe away guilt and the effect of whatever it is that is causing you to feel guilty. Guilt is spiritual pain. Do not suffer from chronic pain. Get rid of it. Be done with it. Repent, and, if necessary, repent again and again and again until you — not the enemy — are in charge of you.
Because life is a succession of trials and errors, it is important for all to repent often.
This will bring you lasting peace that cannot be purchased at any earthly price. Understanding the Atonement may be the one most important truth that you can learn in your youth.
If you are associating with others who drag you down instead of building you up, stop and change company. You may be alone and lonely at times. The important question may be asked then, ‘When you are alone, are you in good company?’ If you are doing something that you know is wrong, stop it. Stop it now.
Unwinding a habit that you have allowed to entangle you can be difficult. But the power is in you. Do not despair.
It is through choosing to repent that individuals are able to receive a testimony and know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
You are not ordinary. You have a very special life. You are exceptional. You were born at a time and in a place where the gospel of Jesus Christ can come into your life through the teachings and activities in your home and the Church.
It is through doing what one knows to be right that individuals will bless their own lives, as well as their posterity.
Do not squander these years of your youth and religious instruction. Learn that which is of most worth. It will bless you and your posterity for many generations.”
We warn the youth about entitlement.
They expect that everything will be freely provided for them. If that pattern is in your thinking, get rid of it. If you want to be happy, you must pay the price through obedience. The restraints that you face against wrongdoing are an enormous protection for you.
Once individuals have self-control in their lives, they will not need to be told what to do all of the time, and will find their way and know where they fit in.
Some of you are floundering about and struggling to find what you will do. It does not really matter what you choose to do for a living. What matters most is what and who you will be. You have the guidelines to know that. Remember, the Spirit is always with you to teach you. Do not fear the future. Do not fear what is ahead. Go forward with hope and faith. Remember that supernal gift of the Holy Ghost. Learn to be taught by it. Learn to seek it. Learn to live by it. Learn to pray always in the name of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of the Lord will attend you, and you will be blessed. We have deep and profound faith in you.
The most important ‘great things’ are the great things that have happened in the lives of millions of students over the years as they have been willing to do some small things. Small things like attending class and studying the scriptures daily and then living the principles of the gospel in their daily lives. As they have done these small things, great things have been brought to pass in their lives.
From a talk by President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as he spoke to the youth of the Church.
“We invest in our youth. We know of your worth and potential. I speak as one who has seen the past and would prepare you for the future.”
On this, Merrill Osmond’s Birthday, The Osmond Brothers take their final Bow and share their Testimony to their dear fans and friends in their United Kingdom’s Final Tour.
I know that Wayne and I so wish that we could have been there to perform and say thank you to the most wonderful fans and friends any musical artiist could ever wish to have.
I, Alan Osmond, was the oldest of the group and had to leave the group a few years ago due to having Multiiiple Sclerosis. Wayne Osmond, the second oldest of the group just recently had to leave the group due to health conditions.
We always said a word of prayer before each and every performance we did asking for the Lord’s blessings and for the Holy Spirit to touch those among the audience that they might feel our love and testimony through our music that we have for life, for family, and for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We know that Jesus Christ isThe Way to everlasting happiness and that He has restored His Gospel here upon the earth with all the power and authority to bless us with everlasting life in the world and heavens to come.
We usually always end our shows with a musical testimony via a song that we love so much; a song we wrote for The Plan Album called, “Are You Up There”, and ending it with the classic song, “I Believe”. These shows that we have done for about 55+ years have always started with a word of prayer backstage and usually ended with a song of gratitude and belief on stage.
In behalf of all of my brothers and sister Marie, myself and all of the Osmond families, may we say thank you for accepting us and our music, and especially for all of those tender words, hugs, kisses and eternal friendships that will never go away. We love our fans and call them friends knowing that there is purpose in life.
We Osmonds are all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are not ashamed of the fullness of His gospel. We sing His name, we take upon ourselves His Name, and always remember Him and strive to keep His Commandments.
If you have felt that ‘Spirit’ and love in our concerts, our music, our TV and media moments, or wonder why we are the way we are . . . then we invite you to click this link and ask of those who respond to share with you “what it is that you felt” and then ask them any questions. Ask them to explain and to give you answers to “the reason for the hope that is within us” Osmonds. Or, if you see us, just ask us personally and we will share with you the glad message of Jesus Christ and His Plan of Life that includes The Way to return back to our Heavenly Parents and what is needed to be able to live in the highest mansions of Heaven with them for all eternity.
“Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness.” We believe in being honest. To be honest means to be sincere, truthful, and without deceit at all times.
When we are honest in every way, we are able to enjoy peace of mind and maintain self-respect. We build strength of character, which allows us to be of service to God and others. We are trustworthy in the eyes of God and those around us.
On the other hand, if we are dishonest in our words or actions, we hurt ourselves and often hurt others as well. If we lie, steal, cheat, or neglect to give the full amount of work for our pay, we lose our self-respect. We lose the guidance of the Holy Ghost. We may find that we have damaged relationships with family members and friends and that people no longer trust us.
Being honest often requires courage and sacrifice, especially when others try to persuade us to justify dishonest behavior. If we find ourselves in such a situation, we can remember that the lasting peace that comes from being honest is more valuable than the momentary relief of following the crowd.
Learning How To Learn And Learning To Love Learning
The Glory of God Is Intelligence
“If a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience … , he will have so much the advantage in the world to come” (D&C 130:19).
You and I are here on the earth … to learn things that are temporally important and eternally essential.
Knowing how to learn prepares us to discern and act upon opportunities that others may not readily recognize.
When I was younger, I thought education meant going to school, taking tests, and getting good grades. But as I grew older, I began to learn the difference between doing well in school and becoming educated. A person can do well on tests and still not be educated. True education is learning how to learn. Once I discovered that lesson, learning became fun.
One of the primary purposes of mortality is to learn—to gain knowledge and intelligence. D&C 93: 36 states, “The glory of God is intelligence.” You might think intelligence means being gifted in academic work, but intelligence also means applying the knowledge we obtain for righteous purposes.
Knowledge, both temporal and spiritual, comes in steps. My testimony grew line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little (see Isaiah 28:10)—the way it does for almost all members of the Church. As a boy, I recall my mother reading religious stories to me. I felt a sweet, peaceful, reassuring feeling that what I was learning was true. This feeling developed into a sincere desire to learn more by studying the scriptures. Nothing has had a greater impact upon my life than reading, studying, and searching the scriptures in order to gain more knowledge and intelligence.
I grew up in California as a teenager during a time when evil influences, such as drugs and bad music, became increasingly popular. Because of the knowledge I had been blessed to receive, I chose not to participate in those things. I was preparing to become a missionary and serve the Lord. The knowledge that I was serving the Lord strengthened my determination to work hard in building His kingdom which is perhaps one of the greatest ways to learn and obtain spiritual knowledge.
The real value of learning is that it enables you in any situation to be resourceful—to figure out what to do when you have no idea what to do! We are frequently taught in the scriptures to seek learning by study and by faith (see D&C 88:118). In our own lives, in our families, and in the Church, we can receive blessings of spiritual strength, direction, and protection as we seek by faith to gain intelligence and apply spiritual knowledge in righteousness.
Understanding who we are, where we came from, and why we are on the earth places upon each of us a great responsibility both to learn how to learn and to learn to love learning.
It is vital to our on going spiritual and personal development, and is an absolute necessity in the world in which we do now and will yet live, serve, and work.
The importance of learning to love learning in three aspects of our lives.
Learning to Love Learning Is Central to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Savior said, “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).
We are assisted in learning of and listening to the words of Christ by the Holy Ghost, even the third member of the Godhead. The Holy Ghost reveals and witnesses the truth of all things and brings all things to our remembrance (see John 14:26, 16:13; Moroni 10:5; D&C 39:6). The Holy Ghost is the teacher who kindles within us an abiding love of and for learning.
We repeatedly are admonished in the revelations to ask in faith when we lack knowledge (see James 1:5–6), to “seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118), and to inquire of God that we might receive instruction from His Spirit (see D&C 6:14) and “know mysteries which are great and marvelous” (D&C 6:11).
A hierarchy of importance exists among the things you and I can learn. Indeed, all learning is not equally important. The Apostle Paul taught this truth in his second epistle to Timothy as he warned that in the latter days many people would be “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7)
Some facts are helpful or interesting to know. Some knowledge is useful to learn and apply. But gospel truths are essential for us to understand and live if we are to become what our Heavenly Father yearns for us to become. The type of learning I am attempting to describe is not merely the accumulation of data and facts and frameworks; rather, it is acquiring and applying knowledge for righteousness.
The revelations teach us that “the glory of God is intelligence” (D&C 93:36). We typically may think the word intelligence in this scripture denotes innate cognitive ability or a particular gift for academic work. In this verse, however, one of the meanings of intelligence is the application of the knowledge we obtain for righteous purposes.
You and I are here on the earth to prepare for eternity, to learn how to learn, to learn things that are temporally important and eternally essential, and to assist others in learning wisdom and truth (see D&C 97:1). Understanding who we are, where we came from, and why we are on the earth places upon each of us a great responsibility both to learn how to learn and to learn to love learning.
Learning to Love Learning Is Vital to Our Ongoing
Spiritual and Personal Development
“The object of [our mortal] existence is to learn.”2
“We are in the school [of mortality] and keep learning, and we do not expect to cease learning while we live on earth; and when we pass through the veil, we expect still to continue to learn and increase our fund of information. That may appear a strange idea to some; but it is for the plain and simple reason that we are not capacitated to receive all knowledge at once. We must therefore receive a little here and a little there.”6
Learning to Love Learning Is an Absolute Necessity in the World
in Which we Do Now and Will Yet Live, Serve, and Work
On the landmark sign located at the entrance to Brigham Young University,
the following motto is found: “Enter to learn; go forth to serve.”
This expression certainly does not imply that everything necessary for a lifetime of meaningful service can or will be obtained during a few short years of higher education. Rather, the spirit of this statement is that students come to receive foundational instruction about learning how to learn and learning to love learning. Furthermore, students’ desires and capacities to serve are not “put on hold” during their university years of intellectual exploration and development. We should “Enter to learn to love learning and serving”; but go forth to continue learning and serving.”
Academic assignments, test scores, and a cumulative GPA do not produce a final and polished product. Rather, students have only started to put in place a foundation of learning upon which they can build forever. Much of the data and knowledge obtained through a specific major or program of study may rapidly become outdated and obsolete. The particular topics investigated and learned are not nearly as important as what has been learned about learning. As we press forward in life—spiritually, interpersonally, and professionally—no book of answers is readily available with guidelines and solutions to the great challenges of life. All we have is our capacity to learn and our love of and for learning.
I believe a basic test exists of our capacity to learn and of the measure of our love of learning. Here is the test:
When you and I do not know what to do or how to proceed to achieve a particular outcome—when we are confronted with a problem that has no clear answer and no prescribed pattern for resolution—how do we learn what to do?
This was precisely the situation in which Nephi found himself as he was commanded to build a ship. “And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto me, saying: Thou shalt construct a ship, after the manner which I shall show thee, that I may carry thy people across these waters” (1 Nephi 17:8).
Nephi was not a sailor. He had been reared in Jerusalem, an inland city, rather than along the borders of the Mediterranean Sea. It seems unlikely that he knew much about or had experience with the tools and skills necessary to build a ship. He may not have ever previously seen an oceangoing vessel. In essence, then, Nephi was commanded and instructed to build something he had never built before in order to go someplace he had never been before.
I doubt that any of us will be commanded to build a ship as was Nephi, but each of us will have our spiritual and learning capabilities tested over and over again. The ever-accelerating rate of change in our modern world will force us into uncharted territory and demanding circumstances.
For example, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s college graduates will have between 10 and 14 different jobs by the time they are 38 years old. And the necessary skills to perform successfully in each job assignment will constantly change and evolve.
For much of my career as a professor, there was no Internet, no Google, no Wikipedia, no YouTube, and no telepresence. The Internet only began to be widely used by the general public in the mid-1990s. Prior to that time, no courses were taught about and no majors were offered in Internet-related subjects. I remember teaching myself HTML and experimenting with ways student learning could be enhanced through this new and emerging technology. In contrast, most students today have never known and cannot imagine a world without the Internet and its associated technologies. Can we even begin to imagine how much things will continue to change during the next 15 years?
Because vast amounts of information are so readily available and sophisticated technologies make possible widespread and even global collaboration, we may be prone to put our “trust in the arm of flesh” (2 Nephi 4:34; see also 28:31) as we grapple with complex challenges and problems. We perhaps might be inclined to rely primarily upon our individual and collective capacity to reason, to innovate, to plan, and to execute. Certainly we must use our God-given abilities to the fullest, employ our best efforts, and exercise appropriate judgment as we encounter the opportunities of life. But our mortal best is never enough.
“My knowledge is, if you will follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and his Apostles, as recorded in the New Testament, every man and woman will be put in possession of the Holy Ghost. … They will know things that are, that will be, and that have been. They will understand things in heaven, things on the earth, and things under the earth, things of time, and things of eternity, according to their several callings and capacities.”8
Learning to love learning equips us for an ever-changing and unpredictable future. Knowing how to learn prepares us to discern and act upon opportunities that others may not readily recognize. I am confident we will pass the test of learning what to do when we do not know what to do or how to proceed.
I witness the living reality of God the Eternal Father; of our Savior and Redeemer, even the Lord Jesus Christ; and of the Holy Ghost. I also declare my witness that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth in these latter days.
Elder David A. Bednar
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
Re-published for The Family