The Bishop's Message

Salt Lake City, Utah Ensign 3rd Ward 1957 - 1961

PREFACE
The Bishop's Message is a compilation of messages written for the Sunday School program of the Ensign 3rd Ward over a period of four years (19571961) by Bishop Nathaniel A. Smith who presided as Bishop during this time. The messages were written with the Ward membership in mind on the request of the first editor of the Sunday School Program, Sister Irma Gottfredson and the Sunday School Superintendent Addison B. Cheney. I humbly acknowledge the inspiration received from the many quotes, and short poems and especially some illustrations from Elder Sterling W. Sill's writings. It is my hope and desire that my posterity will cherish these precious truths and mould them into their characters for good. The fact that good ideas and thoughts may have belonged to someone else does not lessen their value. If they are good they are good they should be used many times until we get possession of them. Sincerely,

~2~

TABLE OF CONTENTS
PREFACE ............................................................................... 2 UPS AND DOWNS ......................................................................... 9 THE HUMAN SPIRIT ...................................................................... 9 BE A PRODUCER ........................................................................ 10 THE HIGHEST SERVICE .................................................................. 10 WITH AL OUR HEARTS ................................................................... 11 A PRECIOUS FELLOWSHIP THROUGH SERVICE ................................................ 11 OUR FUTURE ........................................................................... 12 ENDURANCE ............................................................................ 12 DESIRE ............................................................................... 13 THE MAN WHO WINS ................................................................... 13

NOT QUITE READY ...................................................................... 14 GLORY ................................................................................ 14 GIFTS AND BLESSINGS .................................................................. 15 NO MATTER WHAT ELSE .................................................................. 15 OPPORTUNITIES ........................................................................ 16 ROOM IN THE HEART ................................................................... 17

A FATHER'S PRAYER .................................................................... 18 FRIENDSHIP ........................................................................... 19 HARK, THE HERALD ANGELS SING ......................................................... 20 CONTENT .............................................................................. 20 TAKE TIME TO WORSHIP ................................................................. 21 DECISION ............................................................................. 22 ATTITUDES ............................................................................ 22 ONLY THEFAITHFUL REMAINED ........................................................... 23

PUNCTUALITY .......................................................................... 23 DON'T BE A SCRUB .................................................................. 24

IT CAN BE TO LATE TO CHANGE THE MIND ................................................. 24

~3~

A

TEACHER ........................................................................... 25

THE BIRD WITH THE BROKEN PINION ...................................................... 25 GRATITUDE ............................................................................ 26 BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS ............................................................ 26 BIG BUSINESS ......................................................................... 27 INNER PRESSURE ....................................................................... 27 THEY COME AND GO ..................................................................... 28 WHY THE CHURCH? ...................................................................... 29 PERSONAL WORK ........................................................................ 29 I WALKED TODAY WHERE JESUS WALKED .................................................... 30 EASTER ............................................................................... 31 TIME ................................................................................. 31 THE HUDDLE ........................................................................... 32 AIM AT THE STARS ..................................................................... 32 A CALL TO ACTION ..................................................................... 32 SKILLS COME FROM DRILLS .............................................................. 33 EXAMPLE .............................................................................. 33 SUNDAY SCHOOL ........................................................................ 34 WHY RELIGION ......................................................................... 34 BE FORWARD THINKING .................................................................. 35 MURMURING ............................................................................ 35 LOVEST THOU ME ....................................................................... 36 CLEANLINESS .......................................................................... 36 THE WORLD IS MINE .................................................................... 37 IMPRESSIONS .......................................................................... 38 THE LAW OF THE LORD .................................................................. 38 HOW WILL YOU FINISH .................................................................. 39 ARE WE GENEROUS ...................................................................... 39 DO NOT BE DECEIVED ................................................................... 39 THE HANDS ............................................................................ 40

~4~

THE RIGHT ROAD ....................................................................... 40 THE ECHO ............................................................................. 41 LOST ................................................................................. 41 THE GREATEST LIFT .................................................................... 42 UNPREPARED ........................................................................... 42 THE LORD'S DAY ....................................................................... 43 MORALE ............................................................................... 43 SPIRITUALITY ......................................................................... 44 ALWAYS BE READY ...................................................................... 44 FOOD FOR THOUGHT ..................................................................... 45 GIVE GIVE GIVE ....................................................................... 45 MEN IN STEP .......................................................................... 46 OLD GLORY ............................................................................ 46 Selected ............................................................................. 47 THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF ..................................... 47 THE REAL TEST ........................................................................ 47 JUDGE NOT ............................................................................ 48 ACCOMPLISHMENTS ...................................................................... 48 TITHING, A DIVINE LAW ................................................................ 49 OUR BOYS ............................................................................. 49 THANKSGIVING ......................................................................... 50 THANKSGIVING ......................................................................... 50 PREPARATION .......................................................................... 51 FATHER'S DAY ......................................................................... 51 DEATH BY DISUSE ...................................................................... 52 YOUR MEMBERSHIP RECORD ............................................................... 52 SACRAMENT MEETING .................................................................... 52 FAITH IS A GIFT OF GOD ............................................................... 53 OUR MOTHERS .......................................................................... 54 WARD CONFERENCE TIME ................................................................. 55

~5~

INDIFFERENCE ......................................................................... 55 IGNORANCE ............................................................................ 56 A FATAL DOCTRINE ..................................................................... 56 THE WORK OF THE WORLD ................................................................ 56 PEACE ................................................................................ 57 THE SECOND GREAT COMMANDMENT ......................................................... 57 MOTIVES .............................................................................. 58 WORTH OF THE SOUL .................................................................... 58 TESTIMONY AND FAITH COME FROM WORKS .................................................. 59 PRESENT CRISIS ....................................................................... 59 STUMBLING BLOCKS ..................................................................... 60 FRIENDS AND ENEMIES .................................................................. 60 GET THEE UP .......................................................................... 60 FIND THAT KEY ....................................................................... 61

OUR CHOICE ........................................................................... 61 KEEPING IN TUNE ...................................................................... 62 SPIRITUAL DROWSINESS ................................................................. 62 PARABLES ............................................................................. 63 BE SLOW TO ANGER ..................................................................... 63 SEEK ENDURING HAPPINESS .............................................................. 63 TRUE NOBILITY ........................................................................ 64 Selected ............................................................................. 65 SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE ................................................................... 66 THERE IS STRENGTH IN FAMILY PRAYERS .................................................. 66 NEGATIVE THINKING .................................................................... 66 INDECISION ........................................................................... 67 THE PURPOSE OF MOTHER'S DAY .......................................................... 67 HONOR THY FATHER ANd THY MOTHER ...................................................... 68 COME FOLLOW ME ....................................................................... 68 BE PREPARED .......................................................................... 69

~6~

KINDNESS ............................................................................. 69 THE LANGUAGE OF PRAYER ............................................................... 70 NOT MINE BUT THINE ................................................................... 70 HAPPINESS ............................................................................ 70 THE KEY TO HAPPINESS ................................................................. 71 DUTY ................................................................................. 71 THE FIRSt STEP ....................................................................... 72 GLORY TO GOD ......................................................................... 72 THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS .............................................................. 73 THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE ............................................................... 73 THE GREATEST FAULT ................................................................... 73 GOOD COUNCIL ........................................................................ 74

DARKNESS ............................................................................. 74 INCITE ACTIVITY ...................................................................... 75 OUR FAITH IN THE UNIVERSE ............................................................ 75 AS A MAN THINKETH .................................................................... 76 KING BENJAMIN'S LAST WORDS ......................................................... 76

MANY ARE CALLED ...................................................................... 76 EfFORT ............................................................................... 77 REVERENCE IN OUR CHAPELS ............................................................ 77

THE STANDARDS OF THE CHURCH .......................................................... 77 MIA CONFERENCE TIME .................................................................. 78 DO WE SEE THE SIGNS? ................................................................. 79 FASTING AND PRAYER ................................................................... 80 PRAY ALWAYS .......................................................................... 80 ABRAHAM LINCOLN ...................................................................... 81 GEORGE WASHINGTON .................................................................... 81 GUIDANCE ............................................................................. 81 HAPPINESS ............................................................................ 82 AN INSPIRING THOUGHT ................................................................. 82

~7~

THANKSGIVING ......................................................................... 82 THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS ................................................................ 82 SEASON'S GREETINGS ................................................................... 83 CHRISTMAS THEME ...................................................................... 83 ENTHUSIASM ........................................................................... 84 THE ENEMY LIES WITHIN ................................................................ 84 WHAT DOES GOD HATE ................................................................... 85 LEARN TO LABOR ....................................................................... 85

~8~

UPS AND DOWNS
The Apostle Paul was something of an authority on the ebb and the flow of life. At a very young age, Paul had become a popular and influential member of the Sanhedrin. Then he had become a humble and persecuted missionary who was often starved, whipped, and ridiculed. But Paul learned to take the upbeat and the down-beat in stride without losing any ground. Said he, "...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content, I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where, and in all things, I am instructed, both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me,," (Philippians:11,13) What a great philosophy of power! Paul was a great master at handling life's down-beat. It has often been pointed out that it is not against one to fall down, but to lie there is the disgrace. We all have our ups and downs, but, like Paul, "we can do all things through Christ which strengthens us," if we put our trust and faith in him.

THE HUMAN SPIRIT
The great intangible---the human spirit---is a thing of many facets. It is the most beautiful, profound, terrible force, in existence. It is so strong, persecution and threat of death cannot destroy its intensity. It is indeed the driving force through a lifetime. It is the divine part of us. It links us with Deity. Thus we realize the closeness to our Creator that we are his spirit children. Is it any wonder that we call upon our heavenly Father for spiritual guidance? Each day we are faced with trials and challenges against the spirit. None is exempt from temptation. Great demands are made upon each of us for courage. We alone have the power to nurture that spirit and keep it in tune with the all-ruling power of a loving Father who has promised to strengthen and guide us through life.

~9~

BE A PRODUCER
George Bernard Shaw said, "We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than we do to consume wealth without producing it." Most people of necessity go to their day's work on their own power, but too many of us in the Church have to be lured or coaxed or reminded to attend the affairs of eternal life. In our material affairs, necessity pushes us from behind, but in our religious affairs where this pressure is absent, we sometimes drift toward becoming mere consumers, We sometimes hear the remark, "I don't go to Mutual because I get nothing out of it," or "I didn't get much out of the meeting." Does it ever occur to us to ask ourselves how much we put into the meeting? or how active we are in any Church organization? In other words, are we producing or just consuming? James said that even "Faith without works is dead," As important as faith is, and as powerful as it may become in our lives, it can't survive when separated from works. And almost everything else of value also dies without works. Production is a result of work everyone in the Church should be a producer.

THE HIGHEST SERVICE
The highest service is not only helpful to those who receive it, but also beneficial to those who render it. To give this service, we must make ourselves strong so we can impart strength to others; overcome our own weaknesses, so we can help others overcome theirs, Ue like to contact people who stimulate our faith and awaken our hope. There are people into whose presence we cannot come without being made stronger and better. Somehow when we cleans our own souls and purify our own lives, we are unafraid. When we confess our own weaknesses, we are made strong. This seems to be the manner of life that inspires confidence in God, that imparts courage and re-kindles faith. Only when the fire of the Holy Ghost burns in our own hearts can he kindle that divine fire in the hearts of others. "And they said one to another; did not our hearts burn within us while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?" The highest form of service is based upon a righteous life and a settled faith in God. This is the eternal test.

~ 10 ~

WITH AL OUR HEARTS
"We are not sent into the world," said Ruskin, "to do anything into which we cannot put our hearts." Neither can we get anything out of this life unless we put our hearts into it. Even peace of mind, security of spirit, and genuine joy in living come from the heart and love of God. The great Elijah of old asked, "Oh, that I knew where I might find him, that I might even come before his presence." And his answer came, "If with all your hearts ye truly seek me, ye shall surely find me," thus saith our God. To work with all our hearts in the kingdom of God is the best birthright we still retain, and the "spur of necessity" has goaded us to keep our hearts in tune for this beautiful achievement. Then with the prayer of the Psalmist, let us say, "With my whole heart have I sough thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments." (Psalm 119:10)

A PRECIOUS FELLOWSHIP THROUGH SERVICE
One of the most satisfying rewards for working in the Church is the privilege of coming to know fully how wonderful a companionship grows out of the mutual devotion to volunteer service in the interest of our fellowmen. There is a rare joy in joining hands with friends in the service of our Father in heaven. The apostle Paul said, "But this I say, he which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly, and he that soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver." (II Corinthians 9:6-7)

~ 11 ~

OUR FUTURE
Charles F. Kettering once said, "My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." It is well that we take a little more interest in the future, that we do not live too much in the temporary present. Nothing could be more important than a well-thought-out plan to promote our eternal future. The first step is to believe in it, and have faith in the moving power of the gospel, for God has already planted within our hearts the seeds of faith, waiting only for us to make them grow. Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." He must have worked for that perfection, never ceasing. We are admonished to do likewise. Someone has written: "We serve no God whose work is done Who rests within his firmament. Our God, whose work has just begun, Toils ever more with powers unspent.

ENDURANCE
Endurance has been called the fifth principle of the Gospel. Without it, even the other four lose much of their significance. Jesus gave the formula when he said, "He that endureth to the end shall be saved." He might have added, "He that endureth to the end shall be happy." Solomon was blessed with greater wisdom than any one who ever lived in his time. He saw God twice. He had every advantage of health, wealth, prestige, and power. But he lacked endurance. The end found him unfaithful and fallen from the favor of the Lord. He could not maintain his righteousness nor his wisdom while enjoying wealth and popularity. E. H. Chapin, expressing this thought, said, "Not in the achievement, but in the endurance of the human soul, does it show its divine grandeur, and its alliance with the infinite God." If we can properly live this "Fifth Principles,!' then no distraction can throw us off our course. We might say with Tennyson: "That which we are, we are-One of equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." ~ 12 ~

DESIRE
The Lord gave us the key when he said, "If ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work." (D & C 4:3) Desire is the pilot of the soul. If our desires are not strong enough, then we may let personal interests crowd out eternal considerations. The Lord doesn't like us to wait until we are "commanded in all things," The work of salvation is not only his cause; it is our cause, also. "Desire" is the most important qualification. Perhaps, more than anything else, we need to develop within ourselves an enthusiasm patterned 'after the volunteer spirit of Christ, who said, "Father, here am I, send me. Thy will be done and the glory be thine forever." This, and the extent to which we can develop this spirit in ourselves, will determine our blessings and usefulness.

THE MAN WHO WINS
The man who wins is an average man—Not built on any particular plan. Not blessed with any particular luckJust steady and earnest and full of pluck. When asked a question, he does not guess, He knows and answers, no or yes. When set to a task the rest can't do, He buckles down till he's put it through. Three things he knows! That the man who tries Finds favor in his employer's eyes, That it pays to know more than one thing well, That it doesn't pay all he knows to tell, For the man who wins is the man who works, Who neither labor nor trouble shirks, Who uses his hands, his head, his Eyes, The man who wins is the man who tries. --Anonymous I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I did! Now read it again--it's worth it.

~ 13 ~

NOT QUITE READY
A shepherd's daughter as a child went with her father out into the mountains to tend the sheep. It was one of her greatest delights to hear her father give the shepherd's call when the sheep were scattered. It sounded loud and clear across the mountains, and the sheep seemed to understand that the call was in their interest, and that they must always obey it. It was certain that at times some of the sheep had not finished their grazing, or for some other reason, were "not quite ready" when the call came, but they responded just the same.

Just suppose that one of the sheep decided not to answer the call but to spend the night in the wilds. It would not be long before the wolves or lions would make short work of the unwise sheep. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice.1' Righteousness has a familiar spirit to those who follow the Master. Only in continued obedience is there safety.

GLORY
Julia Ward Howe wrote these beautiful words: In the beauty Df the lilies Christ was born across the sea With a glory in his bosom That transfigures you and me; As he died to make men holy, Let us die to make men free While God is marching on." This song was written for the union soldiers during the Civil War, and it is said the effect produced was the equivalent of one hundred thousand additional troops, A glory in one's bosom transfigures all those who have it. It changes people and circumstances. A glory gives one a vigorous, positive attitude of mind. It gives vitality of purpose. We are assisting in the creation when we create enthusiasm, faith, understanding and devotion that will determine our future. Doing more than is expected of us is one of the best ways to get glory.

~ 14 ~

GIFTS AND BLESSINGS
Jacob of old wrestled with an angel all night, and would not let go until he gave him a blessing. Assignments in the kingdom of our Lord are like angels, designed to bless us if we hold on to them until we receive the blessings intended for us. Changes are made and new assignments given that many may partake of the blessings offered in the service in the Church. In fact, the Church has been called a "changing church." It changes people; its very purpose is to change evil into good. It changes people from failure to success. It touches lives with love, faith and ideas. Jesus said "What does it profit a man if a gift is bestowed, but he received not the gift?" To be associated with one who has received this gift and blessing is to be lifted up by one whose touch is good. Someone has written; I'm glad that I live, that I battle and strive For the place that I know I must fill; I am thankful for sorrows; I'll meet with a grin What fortune may send, good or ill.

NO MATTER WHAT ELSE
No matter what else you are doing From cradle days through to the end, You're writing your life's secret story; Each night sees another page penned, Each month ends a thirty day chapter, Each year the end of a part; And never an act is misstated, Nor even a wish of the heart. Each morn when you wake, the book opens Revealing a page clean and white. What words, and what thoughts and what doings Will cover its surface by night. God leaves that to you; you're the writer; And never one word will grow dim, Until some day you write the word "finished," And give your life's book back to him.

~ 15 ~

OPPORTUNITIES
Please accept my good wishes for a Happy New Year. The Lord has blessed us abundantly during the past year. The great program of social and spiritual enjoyment the Church offers is unsurpassed, and the spirit of brotherhood that is felt in the ward is a great factor in the success we have attained. Today we face a New Year—full of opportunities, full of joy that comes from service to others, assurance of that peace of mind that comes from living the gospel. A constant challenge is before us as expressed by Lee Shippey: Burdens, God bless 'em, are hard to bear, That's part of the all-wise plan. Each man gets a chance his shoulders to square And lift the load of a man. Battles, God bless 'em, are hard to fightYet who could his courage prove And his loyal faith, had we not the right To battle for those we love? Trials, God bless 'em, are hard to face, And weary the heart sometimes, But naught else can file us to fit a place Worth winning with deeds or rhymes Yes, burdens, battles and trials, these are a man's true opportunities. One reason why few recognize opportunity is because it is disguised as a hard job.

~ 16 ~

NEW YEARS RESOLUTION
Benjamin Franklin said "Resolve to perform what you ought, perform without fail what you resolve." This makes for a good suggestion for us to live by during I960. The most acceptable resolution we could make would be to do good to one another. Wouldn't this ole world be better- If the folks we met would say I know something good about you And treat us just that way. Wouldn't life be lots more happy If the good that is in us all Were the only things about us That folks bothered to recallWouldn't life be lots more happy If we praised the good we see For there is-such a lot of goodness In the worst of you and me. Wouldn't it be nice to practice That fine way of thinking, "You know something good about me--I know something good about you. —Anonymous The right spirit of love and willingness to show it and express it to all mankind are most commendable, and will contribute towards peace and good will to all the world.

ROOM IN THE HEART
"And she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no room in the inn." These words seem to leap at us, "No room" on the first Christmas for the very heart of Christmas. And now on this Christmas so many years later, so many of us are prone to say, "Thank goodness it only comes once a year." It's such a busy time, making the gift list, addressing scores of Christmas cards, planning menus, parties, programs, etc. We find ourselves so busy we have no room in our hearts for the real essence of Christmas, for its wonder, its beauty, its magic. On this Christmas, let there be room in our hearts for love. Not just love for our families and friends, but for all people. This is a season when selfishness, bitterness, and hatred should surrender to higher thoughts. Our hearts echo the words of the angel on that night long ago, "Peace on earth, good will to men."

~ 17 ~

A FATHER'S PRAYER
On this Father's Day, I submit a father's prayer as published in the Chicago Daily Tribune A Father’s Prayer Dear God, my little boy of three Has said his nightly prayer to Thee; Before his eyes were closed in sleep He asked that Thou his soul would keep. And I, still kneeling at his bed, My hand upon his tousled head, Do ask, with deep humility That Thou, dear Lord, remember me. Make me kind, Lord, a worthy dad, That I may lead this lad In pathways ever fair and bright, That I may keep his steps aright. O God, his trust must never be Destroyed or even marred by me. So, for the simple things he prayed With childish voice so unafraid, I trembling, ask the same from Thee. Dear Lord, kind Lord, remember me. -Anonymous

The Lord loves a good father. If all the fathers were all that their children think they are, our children would be better men and women.

~ 18 ~

FRIENDSHIP
New Year resolutions and strengthening the bonds of friendship are appropriate at the beginning of another year. I commend to you this poem written many years ago by Dr. George UJ. Middleton (father of our own Dr. A. Id. Middleton)Oh, It is very fitting that we ponder his beautiful thoughts. FRIENDSHIP I send you another greeting As the curtain falls once more, On the passing year which has came and gone, As the other years before. There is nothing much to distinguish The drifting years apart Except that the grip of friendship Draws closer 'round the heart. I lost one friend in the shuffle; A friend who I thought was true. In the surging sweep of the passing year-I am glad that it was not you, I would have my friends as constant As the planet in its sphere With eternal faith and fidelity As the watchwords of the year. Like wine of the ancient vintage, Which mellows year by year, In which all the subtle flavors And the sparkling bead appear. So friendship gains its flavor, As the fitful seasons roll, By a subtle distillation Of the essence of the soul. From the throngs who cross your pathway, You choose a favored few, who reflect your thoughts and emotions And became all the world to you. To the rest of the world you are courteous To Caesar you give his due, But the boon of an infinite friendship, You keep for the intimate few If I may be one of the chosen, I shall ever take it to be The greatest kind of a compliment, That you should believe in me. I hold that the thing most vital Is the sacred name of friend; I pledge anew that my faith in you Shall be constant to the end. —Dr. George L J. Middleton ~ 19 ~

HARK, THE HERALD ANGELS SING
The bishopric sincerely wishes you happiness and joy in this season of the year and, in the words of Charles Ulesley, proclaim— Joyful, all ye nations rise, Join the triumph of the skies. With the angelic hosts proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem. Hark, the herald angels sing - Charles Ulesley Glory to the newborn King. May this Christmas season be filled with a simple joy and spiritual beauty, a kindly, sincere hope that this Christmas may more nearly approach the lovely, holy thing it should be, in your house and in my house. At this Christmas season, may your hearts be filled with the love of God and your fellowman. May peace abide in your homes always. Open your doors and make room at your tables and in your hearts for the Christmas Guest of Honor, the Prince of Peace, the Savior of the world. May we always be grateful for the great gift of eternal life that he gave to us. May we continue to dedicate our lives to his service, and may we merit the sweet assurance of his love at this Christmas time.

CONTENT
Carl Erskine, the famous Dodger baseball pitcher, says, "I never pray to win. I just pray to be in my best form." What a great ideal If all of us were always in our best form and always did exactly as we should, what a tremendous future we would have. Wouldn't it be a thrilling experience to have enough courage and faith, and determination to bring about the perfection Jesus spoke about in referring to his Father in heaven? Paul probably had this picture in mind when he said, "Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report--think on these things." He meant to hold them in our mind until they become part of us. "Couldst thou in vision see Thyself, the man God meant, Thou never then would be The man thou art,— content."

~ 20 ~

TAKE TIME TO WORSHIP
It is a natural instinct for man to worship. It develops the noblest qualities of the soul. He feels a kinship to deity. William Jennings Bryan once said, "Man is a religious being; the heart instinctively seeks for a God, whether he warship on the banks of the Ganges, prays with his face upturned to the sun, kneels toward Mecca, or regards all space as a temple, communes with the Heavenly Father according to the Christian creed, man is essentially devout." This timely message contributed by Brother Lyle B. Nicholes in his message to the ward teachers is very fitting: Take time to worship - it is the highway to eternal life. Take time to think - it is the source of power. Take time to read - it is the foundation of knowledge. Take time to work - it is the price of success. Take time to play - it is the secret of youth. Take time to give to others - it is the key to happiness. Take time to love - it is the sacrament of life. Take time to dream - it hitches your soul to a star. Take time to plan - and you will have time for the rest. Brother Lyle B. Nicholes

Shakespeare would add this thought, "My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words without thoughts never to heaven go." “I may not have wealth, and I may not be great, But I know I shall always be true, For I have in my life that courage you gave When I once rubbed shoulders with you."

~ 21 ~

DECISION
Sometimes we confuse an intention with a good decision. An intention no matter how good, is no substitute for decision. Almost everyone intends to do right. It is said that hell is paved with good intentions. But decisions have power and sometimes far-reaching effects either for good or evil. The right kind of decisions are sometimes difficult to make. Even the Apostle Paul seemed to have trouble. He said, "When I would do good, evil is present with me." We need to develop a strong, vigorous partiality for the things that are right. We need to make all the issues in our lives clear-cut and then make firm decisions about each one of them. The smallest issues are far too important to be left undecided. Our greatest hour is this hour. It is the hour of decision.

ATTITUDES
William James said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that you can change your circumstances by changing your attitudes." Everyone wants to change his circumstances, but few are willing to change themselves. We find ourselves weak when it comes to changing our attitude and our habits, especially when they are contrary to the teachings of the gospel. Weakness is a gift from God. He has said, "I give unto men weakness that they might be humble, and if they humble themselves before me, I will make things stronger unto them," (Ether 12:27) The great sin in the misuse of the gift of weakness is that we do not use it to prod us on to greater things. But when humility comes, then strength and power also. Lincoln was not great because he was born in a log cabin, but because he got out of it, and Alma was not great because of his sins but because he threw them overboard. The best way to change our circumstances is to dress ourselves up in our best thoughts and best attitudes and our best habits.

~ 22 ~

ONLY THE FAITHFUL REMAINED
A non-Mormon writer was discussing the persecutions which led up to the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum Smith and eventually to the trek of the Pioneers across the plains to Utah,, He said, "Their persecutions were like a fire to a crucible—it separated the gold from the dross. It forced the unfaithful to leave the Church" And then he said;, "When the journey of the pioneers was begun, only the faithful remained,," What a meaningful comment: "only the faithful remained." There is nothing like adversity to prove the stamina of men. There is nothing like persecution to help people make up their minds about their religion. These questions point at us. Were the persecutions endured by our forefathers in vain? Do we need adversity to make us more faithful? Are we willing to put our all upon the altar of God for the sake of the gospel as our pioneer forefathers did? At this anniversary commemorating the arrival of the pioneers, it is well that we think upon the motivating force behind it all and dedicate our lives to the cause.

PUNCTUALITY
What difference does it make if we fall down in our punctuality? One of our greatest and most important problems is found in this fault of tardiness. It reaches out in many directions. I know a man who was not baptized until he was eleven; he was two years late being ordained a deacon; he did not receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in time to get married in the temple. All of his children were born and one had died before he finally got around to going to the temple. He had the best of intentions, but the good was not accomplished because he was always behind schedule. He was usually late for school and never prepared for exams. In all probability, he will not be ready when the last call comes. Punctuality is the father of many wonderful traits and abilities. It is one of the greatest of all virtues. Shakespeare said, "Better be three hours too soon than one minute late."

~ 23 ~

DON'T BE A SCRUB
One of the most oft-quoted expressions from the lips of one of Utah's great educators, Dr. Karl G. Maeser, was this: "Don't be a scrub," Dr. Maeser was an inspired teacher. He always tried to lift his ' students up, to raise their sights. He tried to bring out the best in them. When Dr. Maeser instructed his faculty at Brigham Young University, he told them never to teach without the spirit of the Lord, and he urged the students to obtain that spirit as their companion; that it required no effort to be a "scrub." It takes no planning, no intelligence, and there is no achievement in it. Everyone is a child of God. Everyone is commanded to be like him. With such a goal, can anyone be content to be a "scrub?" Among the poorest of all men, measured in terms of this world's goods, was the Savior himself who had not where to lay his head. True success is not to be measured in terms of wealth and popularity but in the souls of men.

IT CAN BE TO LATE TO CHANGE THE MIND
Recently a popular minister of the world published an auto-biography in which he apologized for the book he had written a number of years before when he opposed one of the principles of the gospel. Now he had changed his mind, but the thousands of copies of his book with its false philosophy could not be taken out of circulation. They still continue to lead people astray, bring confusion and disobedience into their lives. Now he has convinced himself that he was wrong, but the damage is done. Someone has said, "Fraud generally lights a candle for justice to get a look at it, and a rogue's pen indicts the warrant for his own arrest." The Lord must get pretty weary of all the discord and confusion in the world, because so many trust in their own ignorance and prejudices. How much better it is just to trust in God and march in step with Him and His program. To obey is still better than sacrifice, and it is also a lot safer.

~ 24 ~

A TEACHER
A teacher of today must be a giver of vision, that vision without which people perish, the vision which is a well of water springing up within a person unto everlasting life. The teacher must open the eyes of mortal men until they comprehend the light of truth and know the Eternal God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. They who teach must open a vision of the full gospel so that it captures the motives and behavior of men and draws them steadfastly toward life eternal. The souls of your students cry out as it were to each of you, "Teacher, open my eyes that I may see."

THE BIRD WITH THE BROKEN PINION
I submit this beautiful poem and commend it to all young people. The Bird with the Broken Pinion I walked through the woodland meadows Where the sweet thrushes sing. I found on a bed of mosses A bird with a broken wing. I healed its wound, and each morning It sang its old sweet strain, But the bird with the broken pinion Never soared as high again. I found a young life stricken With sin's seductive art, And, touched with a Christlike pity, I took him into my heart. He lived with a noble purpose; He struggled not in vain. But the life that sin had stricken Never soared as high again. Each loss has its compensationThere is healing for every pain, But the bird with the broken pinion Never soars as high again. —H. Butterworth

~ 25 ~

GRATITUDE
As we pass through this Thanksgiving season, it is fitting that we consider the words of the Psalmist?J"0 give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name; make known his deeds/among the people, sing out unto him, talk ye of his wondrous works," (Psalm 105-1-2.) Giving thanks means in this case, a fullness of thanks which is the outward expression of a grateful feeling. Gratitude is the feeling, itself. In the words of Frank L. Stranton, "This world of God's is brighter Than we ever dream or know; Its burdens growing lighter,— And it's love that makes them so And I'm thankful that I'm living where love's blessedness I see, Beneath the heaven that's forgiving Where the bells ring home to me." Let's paraphrase a familiar song, "Count our many blessings, name them one by one, And it will surprise us what the Lord has done."

BE THANKFUL IN ALL THINGS
We take so much for granted these days that we seldom stop to appreciate what we have, to say nothing of giving thanks for it all. As we approach Thanksgiving Day this year, why not take stock and add up the many things for which we may well be glad, and especially the privilege of belonging to the kingdom of God and to enjoy all its blessings? Think what the Church does for each of us. No matter which way we turn in our many and varied walks of life, we find the wonderful and understanding influence of the Church there to help us, to encourage us, and to make us glad. Be thankful in all things.

~ 26 ~

BIG BUSINESS
We marvel many times at the so-called "wonders of the world," and "modern conveniences.” They have raised our standards of living, and lifted the burden of toil and drudgery from many people. We now have a higher standard of living than any king had just a hundred years ago. All of this has become "big business." But if you would like to think of "big business" in its most stupendous terms, think of that great enterprise which Jesus called "my father's business." The largest corporation in the world has assets of some eighteen billion dollars. Compare this in importance with even the most humble church worker who helps- to mold the soft clay in the lives of immortal souls. It is the- responsibility of an effective church worker to raise the standard of thinking and the standard of activity in such a way as to bring about the highest standard of living. Teaching spiritual truths is what Jesus had in mind when he talked about "treasures in heaven."

INNER PRESSURE
Peter and John of old were once accused and brought before the leaders of the Jews. They said to their captors, "Whether it be right in the sight of God to harken unto you more than unto God, judge ye, for we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." (Acts:19-20.) They felt impelled to go forward. This quality gave them power, and it will do the same for us. We can also develop this sense of urgency this helpful inner pressure in our lives by living true to the Master's teachings so as to guarantee our every success, happiness, and peace of mind.

~ 27 ~

THEY COME AND GO
President McKay has said, "To no other group of men in all the world is given a better opportunity to engage in the noblest calling in life than that which is afforded the elders in the church, to establish salvation and peace to the extent of their individual efforts. Their lives are dedicated to make the world a better and fitter place for man. Their talents and means are consecrated. Just to be associated with men striving toward such an aim is a joy; and to assist them in their quest, an inspiration. Unselfishly they are trying to serve their fellow men in love. Thus far at least, they are true followers of the Master." William James said, "The greatest discovery of my generation is that we can change our personalities by altering our attitudes of mind." Sometimes a single idea can change one's whole life. I'm sure this idea of the editors of this bulletin, that the Bishop have a message for all Ward members in it, is going to alter my attitude by placing another responsibility upon me which if met with humility will prove to be a blessing especially to me and I hope to all of you. The Apostle Paul said, "All things work together for good of them that love God." To understand that is worth almost everything to one devoting himself to Church work, or anything else for that matter. Everything is planned for good if we have the right attitude about it. Nothing can hurt us but ourselves. The Bible says that Jacob wrestled with an angel and would not let him go until the angel gave Jacob a blessing. Likewise, there is a blessing hidden for us in every experience. All we have to do is distill it out. Attending Sunday School, teaching a class, presiding over an auxiliary organization or priesthood quorum, or presiding over a ward each experience is a potential benefactor. It depends on our attitudes. May our attitudes always be in tune with our duties in the Church is my sincere prayer. Your Bishop

~ 28 ~

WHY THE CHURCH?
We cannot escape the problems of life nor live among our neighbors without a code to live by. If living is worthwhile, then teaching the best: way of live is worthwhile. He who enters the Church accepts it not only as a way of life and a code of living, but also has faith in the Lord and Savior. Such a faith accepts the teachings he gave concerning our dealings with our neighbors. The Church is not an end in itself. We do not exist for the sake of the Church, but rather the Church exists for the welfare of its members. It is one important means through which the principles of the gospel are to be taught— or our code of living is developed. President Joseph F. Smith said, "The mission of the Church is to save men. We have been laboring all these years to bring men to a knowledge of the gospel, to bring them to repentance, to obedience to the requirements of God's laws." So the Church plays a particular part in our salvation.

PERSONAL WORK
One of the most instructive parables in the New Testament has to do with a lost sheep. Jesus pointed out that if a man had a hundred sheep, one of which was lost, any good shepherd would leave the ninety and nine that were safe in the sheepfold and go out into the mountains to look for the one that was in trouble. The wisdom and application of this parable are perfectly clear and very timely, for if we were to bring this parable, up to date and apply it to our own situation we might find that there were only forty sheep in the sheepfold each Sunday morning and sixty out in the mountains. When Jesus said to Peter,"Feed my sheep," he certainly didn't mean to feed just those that were safe in the sheepfold. Those that are lost usually get just as hungry as those that are safe. Our responsibility applies to every sheep of the flock. Our thanks and blessings to the faithful leaders and teachers are now given. Through their personal work the blessings of the gospel are made available to all members of the Ensign Third Ward area. We invite all to, come and partake.

~ 29 ~

I WALKED TODAY WHERE JESUS WALKED
Daniel Tuohig has written a sacred song entitled, "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked." Let your mind follow each word where it leads you. I walked today where Jesus walked in days of long ago; I wandered down each path He knew with reverent step and saw. Those little lanes, they have not changed; a sweet peace fills the air. I walked today where Jesus walked and felt His presence there. My pathway led through Bethlehem, ah, memories ever sweet; The little hills of Galilee that knew those childish feet. The Mount of Olives, hallowed scene, that Jesus knew before; I saw the mighty Jordan roll as in the days of yore. I knelt today where Jesus knelt, where all alone He prayed In the Garden of Gethsemane; my heart felt unafraid. I picked my heavy burden up, and with Him by my side, I climbed the hill of Calvary where on the crass He died. I walked today where Jesus walked and felt Him by my side.

We may not only walk where he walked, but in our minds we can also think what he thought, and, to some degree, feel what he felt and live as he lived. We can get his point of view. Then we tend to become like him.

~ 30 ~

EASTER
Each Easter we participate with the world in the observance of the resurrection of the Christ. Christianity has taken over Easter and applied it to the resurrection. Yet in spite of that, many Christians today still do not accept the resurrection as a fact, but the true Christian concept is that Jesus died an the crass. His body was carefully and tenderly placed in the tomb, and while it lay there, his immortal personal spirit went, as Peter said, and preached to the spirits in prison which were disobedient in the days of Noah. On the third day after the crucifixion his spirit re-entered the body and the glorified Christ came forth from the tomb once again a personage of spirit and flesh, no mare subject to death. The resurrection was so real that he could eat food and be handled and felt. So as we celebrate Easter, let us recall, if we will, that to us Jesus is the Christ. He had power over death. He is the author of the resurrection; and as he was resurrected, so all other human beings will be resurrected in their own time and according to their obedience to the gospel while here.

TIME
Socrates said, "He is idle who might be better employed." That statement has particular significance to us who waste our time while men and women are losing their blessings. The prodigal son masted his time. He did as he pleased to his downfall. One of Shakespeare's characters said, "I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." That is the law. The chief beauty about the constant supply of time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are waiting for us to use them, as if we had never wasted a moment in all our career. We can only waste the passing moment. Brother R. B. Baird wrote: "Improve each shining moment In this you are secure, For promptness bringeth safety And blessings rich and pure. Let prudence guide your actions; Be honest in your heart; And God will love and bless you And help to you impart." If time be of all things most precious, then wasting time must be grievous in the sight of the Lord.

~ 31 ~

THE HUDDLE
We do the work of the Church by common consent; it is "one for all and all for one." No one can say to another, "I have no need of thee." We learn two great lessons from the football game that may be applied to our work in the Church: Teamwork—no player can win the game alone. The huddle, here the members of the team get their heads together and decide on a program, and all work together to accomplish that end. We need the communication that comes to us from regular attendance at our meetings. We need to know the program of the Lord; in other words we need to get in the huddle.

AIM AT THE STARS
On the walls of the Library of Congress is written, "He aims too low who aims beneath the stars." If this is true of ordinary success, what would we say of a low aim when the celestial kingdom is at stake? Suppose we miss by just a narrow margin. That may not be much difference, but how important that difference may be throughout eternity. One of the greatest lessons ever taught by the master was to go the extra mile, to do a little more, to do it with a little more faith, a little more energy, a little more devotion. The results are tremendous, though the difference may be as fine as a razor's edge.

A CALL TO ACTION
"Oh, ye elders of Israel, ye ambassadors of the Great King, ye heralds of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and, oh, ye who call yourselves Saints, think deeply and prayerfully of the duties of the hour, the day, the year! And having thought, fail not to act. Bear the torch of truth to the millions yet sitting in darkness- Let us repent, every one of us— for there is none among us who is perfect—and then call, invite, and persuade others to repent, and to seek remission of sins through their repentance, inseparably associated with faith in the Redeemer of mankind, and fallowed by effective baptism, that thereby they may receive the companionship of the Holy Ghost, which is the greatest gift of God to mortals."—From an editorial in the Millennial Star,by Dr.James E.Talmage

~ 32 ~

SKILLS COME FROM DRILLS
A great musician is constantly perfecting his presentation by drills, practice, study, and correction, and more practice. The way we learn to skate is to put on our skates and get out on the ice. The way to become effective in Church work is to get on the job. The Lord has told us, "If you will do the work, you will have the power." That means practice. Someone has said, "There is no excellence without labor," and Menander said, "To know thyself means this; that you get acquainted with what you know and what you can do." The Church offers all of us the opportunity to get acquainted with what we know by participation and activity. Our skills and knowledge in the gospel are strengthened by the service we render, and by our service to others our testimony is sure.

EXAMPLE
Every day we are urged by the brethren to be more diligent in living the principles of the gospel We may preach, we may write and publish books but the most effective way of showing the real value of the gospel upon our lives is by our example, "Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine," said the Savior "and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock. And the rains descended and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell not for it was founded upon a rock. "And everyone that heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand, and the rain descended and the flood came and the winds blew and beat upon the house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." Our most important possession is the gospel. It has no counterpart. It is the only plan of life and salvation that is eternal and applies to all of us. Obedience to its principles is our only hope for protection and peace in a troubled world.

~ 33 ~

SUNDAY SCHOOL
Sunday School is a friendly place. The warm welcome at the door gives one a genuine lift and tends to banish cares and worries. In the quiet and peace of the chapel, what sweet communion, what radiated friendliness! Here truly lasting friendships are made. In Sunday School, spiritual values, rather than dollar values, are developed and intensified, one learns tD walk by the golden rule, tD put service before self, to be humble and prayerful before God. Great are the advantages of those persons who are privileged to become Sunday School teachers. Theirs is the unique opportunity of leading the thoughts of men and women and boys and girls to know God, to love him, and to became a partner with God in the accomplishments of his purposes.

WHY RELIGION
Ue still hear it said, "Why religion? What good is religion to me?" And the answer is always the same—it comes from life, itself. Religion may be said to be a way of life based on a system of thought concerning the relationship of man to God. Only the fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." So long as individuals live and converse with each other, there will be religion. To grasp the right view of religion, we should realize that a way of life involves rules to enable us to get more out of the game of living. The Ten Commandments sum up the wisdom of God and of man as to how we should act if we are to win. At times, these rules of life seem to cramp our style, but in the long run, the man who keeps the commandments gets more out of living.

~ 34 ~

BE FORWARD THINKING
During the depression days of the early 1930"s, a newspaper reporter is said to have asked Henry Ford, "What would you do if you should suddenly lose all of the holdings you have built up over the years?" Of course, the question was a hypothetical one, but the reporter testified he would never forget the answer, "Give me ten years and I will build it all back again," was the reply. This statement contains the spirit of the gospel. The Savior proclaimed to the woman who had made a mistake, "Go thy way and sin no more," To bury our past mistakes with all their vice and sin and hatreds and build a new life is the philosophy Jesus taught., He who will not bury the past and live in the future has already invited oblivion. Edwin Markham, on his eightieth birthday said, "I have bidden the past adieu. I laugh and lift hands to the years ahead. Come on - I am ready for you."

MURMURING
While father Lehi was in the wilderness with his family, he was commanded of the Lord to send his sons back to Jerusalem to obtain the plates of brass. He called Nephi, Laman and Lemuel to perform this mission. But the two older boys, Laman and Lemuel complained that was a hard thing that had been required of them, and they did murmur. Lehi said, "I have not required it of thee, but it is a commandment of the Lord," and turning to his son Nephi, said;, "Therefore, go, my son, and thou shalt be favored of the Lord because thou hast not murmured." (1 Nephi 3-6.) It is easy to murmur, especially when our assignments seem hard. Murmuring is contagious, and if permitted, will go through the rank and file like a plague. It is a tool of the devil,, But through his prophet, the Lord has said, "Thou shalt be favored of the Lord because thou hast not murmured." This promise is worth living for, so why murmur?

~ 35 ~

LOVEST THOU ME
Following the crucifixion of the Savior, his disciples were depressed in their feelings, their hopes were shattered. Their future, so far as Christ's triumph on earth was concerned, seemed to be frustrated. They had been called and set apart to be fishers of men, and to Peter had been given the keys of the kingdom. Notwithstanding all this, in that hour of despondency, Peter turned to his old vocation and said, "I go afishing," and the others replied, "We go also with thee." (John 21:3-15.) While they were in this state of mind, the resurrected Christ appeared to the discouraged leader of the twelve and said, "Simon Peter, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?" Peter answered, "Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee." Then said the Lard, "Feed my sheep." What a great lesson and effective teaching! How easy it is to turn aside from our callings and duties and fallow the line of least resistance. And at times, great temptations appear before us to shirk and "go afishing" even as Peter. How important that we sense our responsibilities and remember the promises and covenants we have made with the Lord. The stern injunction he gave to Peter is just as applicable to us today, "Lovest thou me? feed my sheep."

CLEANLINESS
The great psalmist sang, "Create in me a clean heart, 0 God; and renew a right spirit within me." David Star Jordan said, "He is the wise man who for all his life can keep his mind and soul and body clean." And there is that old maxim, "Cleanliness is next to godliness." There are several ways of being clean, and conversely, several ways of being unclean. We may be scrupulously clean about our person and still be unclean if we think unclean thoughts. To be really clean, we must be clean physically, mentally and morally; and if we are clean physically and mentally, we need have no worry about our morals. It is said that ninety per cent of the human woes, including disease, crime, etc., are due to uncleanliness, either mental, moral or physical. Uncleanliness affects not only us but those around us and those who come after us. The Lord said, "The sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their children until the third and fourth generation of them that hate me. Is it any wonder that the Lord should strongly admonish, "Let all things be done in cleanliness before me?" (C & C 42:44))

~ 36 ~

THE WORLD IS MINE
—Dr. Tennyson Guyer Today upon a bus, I saw a girl with golden hair: She seemed so gay, I envied her, and wished that I were half so fair; I watched her as she rose to leave, and saw her hobble down the aisle She had one leg and wore a crutch, but as she passed— a smile. Oh, God, forgive me when I while, I have two legs—the world is mine. Later on I bought some sweets, the boy who sold them had such charm, I thought I'd stop and talk awhile, if I were late 'twould do no harm. And as we talked, he said, "Thank you, sir, you've really been so kind. It's nice to talk to folks like you because, you see I'm blind." Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes—the world is mine. Later walking down the street I met a boy with eyes so blue, But he stood and watched the others play; it seemed he knew not what to do. I paused and then I said, "Why don't you join the others, dear?" But he looked straight ahead without a word, and then I knew. Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two ears--the world is mine. Two legs to take me where I go, Two eyes to see the sunset’s glow, Two ears to hear all I should know, Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I’m blest, indeed, the world is mine.

~ 37 ~

IMPRESSIONS
Some words and some thoughts make "impressions." The good ones are not to be used just once but many times- We would not listen to a stirring piece of music just once and then throw it away; nor would we just take one look at a beautiful painting and then discard it. Rather, we try to get possession of them where they could lift us up many times. These good impressions can serve us again and again to instruct us and inspire us. The fact that an idea may have belonged to someone else originally does not lessen its value to us. We do not write our own music; yet the beautiful hymns we sing each Sunday tend to lift us up and inspire us to live the great truths they teach, and he who lives a great truth is even ahead of him who first expresses it. H. W. Longfellow wrote; "I breathed a song into the air; It fell to earth I knew not where And the song from beginning to end I found again in the heart of a friend.” H. W. Longfellow

THE LAW OF THE LORD
"Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work, but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy Bod, in it thou shalt do no work; thou nor thy son nor thy daughter, thy manservant nor thy maid servant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates; for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day. Wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it. (Exodus 20:8-11.) The Savior said, "The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath." (Luke 2:27-28.)Isaiah said, "Set thine house in order."(38:1.) The trend to commercialize the sabbath is alarming in our city. By patronizing and supporting businesses and institutions that violate the law of the Lord, we become a party to the same offense. Sabbath day operations are successful; only because they know all mankind are weak. It is another way the devil has of doing his work. I commend to you the counsel Moses gave to Israel: "Be strong and of a good courage; fear not nor be afraid, for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee, he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."(Deut. 31:6.)

~ 38 ~

HOW WILL YOU FINISH
It is nothing short of a tragedy to see strong men surrender after a long and hard struggle, whether it be against poverty or defeated hope, wealth or moral weakness, disappointment or broken health or what not, and you have seen them. A man who for fifty years led a blameless life was trusted with public funds and in the handling of these funds8 some of them "stuck to his fingers," and now he is serving time in a federal prison. All that people remember is his mistake. Fifty years of fine living forgotten, blotted out—he failed to finish. How many there are! Now what is it that will best enable one to finish strong? The knowledge that a divine purpose runs through the universe; that the world is built upon moral law; that right and truth and justice will triumph in the end; that, as Carlyle said, "A lie cannot live." A clear and settled faith in God, his purposes, the knowledge that he lives and rules this universe in the interests of his children and their salvation is the answer.

ARE WE GENEROUS
Men sometimes grow mellow and generous in the thought of what they would do if great wealth came to them. "If I were a millionaire," they say, "I would subsidize genius; I would found a college; I would build a great hospital; I would show the world what real charity is." It's all so easy to spend other people's fortunes; few of us according to the latest statistics, have a million; but we all have something, some part of it. Are we living up to our part? Are we generous with what we have? The Lord offers many benefits and blessings through the Church, convenient places of worship with all the comforts of the day, he depends upon our generosity to maintain them. Let's remember the ward budget and keep up our part.

DO NOT BE DECEIVED
Have you ever heard expressions on this order? "I don't go to Church, but I consider myself just as good as many of those who do." "The leaders of the Church “expect too much." "The Lord will not be “so exacting." "He will overlook many of our faults if our hearts are right." This type of rationalizing by those who would justify their faults, assuming that the laws of God will be modified. No man will write his own passport to heaven. Read 1 Nephi 22:8-21. ~ 39 ~

THE HANDS
The hands are soft and pliable,, and yet in them and by them are forged the great instruments and machinery by which we carry on the work of the world. With the hands we build great buildings,, we perform delicate operations. The sensitive nervous system picks up the slightest impulse and transmits it to the brain. Many people even use their hands for their eyes and through the tips of their fingers., they receive light and knowledge thanks to the great Braille system. In the Church we are asked at specified times to hold up our hands to support and sustain those who hold positions in the Church. It is an expression of unity of faith. But we really sustain others best when we do our own assignments well. When we hold up our hands to support others we also take our own oath of office and promise that we will be faithful to God to whom we have already sworn allegiance. When we hold up our hands with all that it means, the Church moves forward. "In unity9 there is strength."

THE RIGHT ROAD
Our country is engaged in building a new, modern highway streamlined to the most modern engineering standards known so we will be able to travel from coast to coast without a stop light. This road has controlled access which means there will be no cross roads or intersections in the road. We can get off at certain locations., if we desire. Our Church offers a straight, streamlined road through modern-day revelation which leads to our heavenly home whence we came. We can get off also, if we choose, but let's stay on that road once we have found its and not get off until we have reached our goal.

~ 40 ~

THE ECHO
‘Twas a sheep not a lamb that strayed away in the parable Jesus told, a grown-up sheep that strayed from the ninety and nine in the fold. "And why for the sheep should we seek and as earnestly hope and pray? "Because there is danger when sheep go wrong. They lead the lambs astray. Lambs will follow sheep you know, wherever the sheep may stray. When sheep go wrong it won't take long till the lambs are as wrong as they. And so with the sheep we earnestly pleads for the sake of the lambs today— for when sheep are lost what a terrible cost the lambs will have to pay. " (Author unknown) As a father is, so a son. Yes, and as a mother is, so a daughter. They step in our footsteps all the way.

LOST
One is not always "lost" because he does wrong; he may be "lost" merely because he does nothing. Neglect itself is often fatal, just as a man who has been poisoned needs only to neglect to take the antidote, and he will die. Faith without works is dead; when we try to isolate faith from its appropriate task, it always dies. Faith cannot survive without activity. When the proper activity is absent, death comes to our leadership, our convictions, our faith, our knowledge, our skills, our good habits, and our testimonies. And every man who refuses activity loses the benefit that goes therewith. We generate doubts, negative attitudes, and bad habits in periods of inactivity. Degeneration of the spirit is the failure to use properly the faculties that God has implanted within us.

~ 41 ~

THE GREATEST LIFT
One great man once said that when he wants to give himself a lift, "he always turns to some select ideas and thoughts that have been given by spiritual leaders while they were in the spirit." The Savior said, "The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." When the Lord was giving the great revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith contained in the Doctrine and Covenants, he instructed Joseph to write them down "while he was still in the spirit." Spiritual thoughts are food for the soul, and things of the spirit are everlasting. That is why spirituality is refreshing, and the greatest lift we can get in a busy world is found in attending Sacrament Meeting and partaking of the things of the spirit.

UNPREPARED
When Jesus appeared upon this continent after his resurrection,, the people were unprepared to receive him. For many years, prophets had told of his coming to redeem the world; this would be the greatest event ever to take place upon the earth. But when he came, they were not ready. They were even unprepared to learn. Jesus said to them, "I perceive that ye are weak, and that ye cannot understand the words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time. Therefore, go ye unto your homes and ponder the things which I have said, and ask the Father in my name, that ye may understand and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I will come unto you again." (3 Nephi 17:2-3.) What a great thing it is to have gospel classes that we may prepare our minds to understand Jesus' message, and not be numbered among those that keep him waiting. Everyone needs to get prepared for that day.

~ 42 ~

THE LORD'S DAY
Thirty four centuries ago came the voice of God from Mount Sinai saying, "Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it Holy." (Ex. 2D.8.) The importance of this great day is indicated by the frequency of its recurrence. In his wisdom, the Lord has set aside one seventh of all the days to honor him. This day is also set aside primarily for our benefit, for this one day in seven that we call Sunday is the day we try to reach a pinnacle in our lives by living at our best. We put on our best clothes and think our best thoughts. This is the day when we associate with the people we love the most. Ue lay aside the cares that usually concern us during the other six days of the week, Dn this day we go to the house of warship and let our minds reach upward to try and understand the things of God. The proper observance of the Sabbath is the process by which we put our lives in harmony with our Father in heaven.

MORALE
Ernie Pyle, the late war correspondent, said, "Nine tenths of morale is made up of pride in your outfit and confidence in your leaders." What a wonderful situation we have in the Church for pride in our outfit. We work in the organization that has been set up by the Creator himself. It has as its aim the most important accomplishment ever undertaken upon the earth. It is the work which God spends his entire time doing, and its purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. What a thrilling idea! We want to be on the team that has prestige and effectiveness, where all work together for a common goal. We enjoy the consciousness of good work. Robert Lewis Stevenson said, "I know what pleasure is because I have done good work." That is one of the main factors of morale—Good Work.

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SPIRITUALITY
Some time ago, a group of people prayed for rain. One man remarked that if the Lord took as long in complying with their request as they had taken in complying with his, the rain would be far too late to do them any good. A little boy once explained that the reason he didn't say his prayers every night was because, "There were some nights when he didn't want anything." We know that if we do not plant, we will not be able to reap. Or if we plant thorns, we will reap thorns. It is the same law which applies to this enterprise where in each is permitted to work out his own salvation. No one else can work it out for us. No one can do our learning or our growing. We develop our own spirituality by taking advantage of the spiritual blessings the Church offers.

ALWAYS BE READY
A great champion once said that he owed more credit for his success to the habit of "always being ready" than to all of his natural abilities combined. When we are not preparing to succeed, we are automatically preparing to fail. Abraham Lincoln said, "I'll prepare now and take my chances when the opportunities arrive," Lincoln began building his character when he was a child, and even then, he was hardly ready when the need came. Each of us is preparing for something. Is it failure or success? And in what degree? All the principles of the gospel were given to prepare us for the celestial kingdom. No principle of the gospel was given to get us ready for the lower kingdoms, We qualify for the lower kingdoms by default. Those who inherit the lower kingdoms are those who failed to prepare for the higher, We need to think ahead and plan ahead so that we will be ready when the time comes.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT
As we plod along through life, we find many moments of discouragement, times when we wonder what is the use of it all. Sometimes, some tasks seem unusually hard and tiresome - even appear to have no justification for their doing. And then a bright ray of sunshine for our soul in the pride of a job well done - or a word of praise from a friend. This is the Almighty's way of compensating us for the drudgery of life. It is his inspiration to encourage us to embark upon new and even greater projects. Therefore, take pride in your accomplishments, for it will lighten your burden. And help your brethren, too. A word of commendation will help him along life's trail, and you will be assisting in Jesus' work, too.

GIVE GIVE GIVE
Someone has complained that "Mormonism is an organization of Give, Give, Give." What a wonderful definition of the religion of Jesus. The Lord is a producer. He "created" the heavens and the earth. He "created" the great miracle of human life. He has a program of activity, and He is its center. He wants us to be like him, to stand on our own feet and work our own way. The greatest pleasures do not come from a free ride or from bread that is not earned. The Church is likened to a giant gymnasium where we develop our spirituality by our own exercise. The person who only sits in a comfortable chair looking at others exercise never develops very much. The gospel is not just a set of ideas. It is also a set of feelings and activities. One of our biggest national worries is unemployment. That is also the biggest of our spiritual worries. The greatest spiritual growth comes from giving. Giving of one's self and one's means. The Savior rightly said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive."

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MEN IN STEP
The greatest invention of all time is said to have taken place 2,500 years ago when an obscure Greek perfected the process of marching men in step. When it was found that the efforts of a large group of people having different motives and different personalities could be organized and co-ordinated to function as one, that day civilization began. Certainly this quality of unity and harmonious joint action has proved to be one of the most important elements in any accomplishment. So important is this quality that God has described the Presidency of heaven as being "One." They are one in purpose, one in understanding, and one in method. Now the Lord has set up his organization upon the earth. He has staffed it with workers and has given each a definite assignment to fill, and one of the most important requirements of the Lord is that we should be "One," even as he and his Father are "One." To be "in step" is one of the greatest devices of success, but it is also one of the most important commandments of God.

OLD GLORY
Since the first Stars and Stripes was made in 1777, stars have been added as new states entered the Union until the last two representing Arizona and New Mexico were added July 4, 1912—thus totaling fortyeight stars—fifty now that Alaska and Hawaii have been admitted to the Union. The number of stripes has been reduced to the original thirteen— seven red and six white. The flag symbolizes our aspirations and achievements as Americans— our struggles and sacrifices—our devotion to the ideals expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Each star in the flag is an emblem that records a great event in the history of the country. Each tells the story of a great sovereign state which has entered the Union. The first thirteen represent the original thirteen states. The other stars stand for the work of those who have followed in their footsteps. Utah was admitted to the Union January 4, 1896. The red stripes proclaim courage—the white stripes liberty—and the field of blue stands for loyalty. Old Glory is truly our symbol of liberty.

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SELECTED
For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a e; and blessed are those who harken. unto my precepts, and lend an ear my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them be taken away even that which they have. (2 Nephi 28s30.) by at with I wish to suggest that a man may be very industrious, and yet not spend his time well...I believe that the mind can be permanently profaned tending to trivial things, so that all our thoughts shall be tinged triviality. Henry David Thoreau Life without Principle

THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF
In acknowledgment of the supreme possessor-ship so declared, the great landlord required of his tenants a rental of their time and substance. In acknowledgment of our relation as tenants to him as Owner, we are commanded to devote specifically one-seventh of our time, one day in seven, to his exclusive service. Of our substance and the increase there of, the Lord calls for a tenth. This is the tithe. This is inventory time. Have we given of our time and talents to the upbuilding of the kingdom of God? Have we given of our tithes and offerings in acknowledgment of the many blessings we have received during the year?

THE REAL TEST
Many are called upon to live their lives under situations that require the constant practice of patience,courage, faith, and fortitude. There are hard experiences in the lives of each of us--times when we need added strength and inward fortification to overcome outward circumstances. Sooner or later we will have hard things to meet, difficult situations to pass through. This is the common lot of all mankind. These experiences either embitter us--leaving us resentful, discouraged, and skeptical, or they make us bigger, better, and nobler than we were. When they leave us humbler, with a deeper and purer spiritual insight and a firmer faith in God, then they are blessings.

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JUDGE NOT
President McKay tells the story of a poor old French woman who was walking along the banks of the Seine River. She had a threadbare shawl around her shoulders. She stopped and picked up something and put it under her shawl. A policeman a short distance away saw the act. He hurried over to her and said,, "Let me see what you are hiding under your shawl." She drew out a broken piece of glass saying,, "It is only a broken piece of glass. I picked it up because perhaps some barefoot boy might cut his foot on it." What a lesson to the policeman who misjudged her! I know he was doing his duty, but he thought she was taking something which did not belong to her, when instead her act reflected the nobility of a great soul. How prone we are to judge. How true are the words of Southey. Said he, "How little do they see what really is who frame their hasty judgment upon that which seems."

ACCOMPLISHMENTS
A man obtains employment in order to earn a living, but by means of his work, he develops his abilities, builds his character, and discovers his happiness. He starts out to find one thing, but in addition, he finds something even more valuable. Someone said, "The best way to rest is to work more effectively." We never get tired when we are winning. We never last interest when we are ahead. The most tiresome thing in the church is inactivity. When one does his church work effectively, he helps the ones he has taught, but the teacher always ends up with more than he had before. Jesus said, "He that loseth his life shall find it, and he that findeth his life shall lose it." To lose ourselves in the work of the Lord is the thing that brings added blessings. Then we enjoy the wonders of everlasting accomplishment,.

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TITHING, A DIVINE LAW
Through adherence to this eternal principle,, the tithe payers of the Church are making this a better world to live in„ Of course, it is the individual tithe payer who is blessed. He is blessed because he gains strength of character. He is blessed because he is keeping the commandments of the Lord. He is blessed because he receives the benefit, either directly or indirectly, of those things which are brought about through the use of the tithing fund. and he is blessed because his faith in the promises of the Lord made to each of us through a prophet many years ago when he said, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse that there may be meat in my house;, and prove me now herewith, sayeth the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” (Malachi 3s.I0.) Faithful tithe payers are blessed with that testimony that the Lord always keeps his promise, and if anyone doubts,, we invite them to "try him and see."

OUR BOYS
When parents see a boy reach 21s they always hope they have helped him acquire the habits, attitudes, skills, and social amenities necessary to become a successful adult. For some parents this is a time of great hope and pride, and for some parents as well as boys, a time of regret. By the time he is 21 „ we hope he has learned the difference between "being a character;," and "having a character,," When we say a young man has character, we mean he stands for something; he is good company; he is friendly, honesty and above reproach. Lincoln said, "Character is the development of our best self. It is the better angel in each of us." By this times we also hope a boy has developed a strong religious faith built on truth, that he has learned that he is part of a carefully designed universe governed by a God who personally loves him. How great the reward of parents who were blessed with a boy who really tried. It makes Mom and Dad know that it was ail worthwhile. Someone has said, "Raising boys is a partnership between parents and God; how much better to build men than mend them!"

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THANKSGIVING
Three hundred and thirty-nine years ago, a proclamation was issued to a little group on the bleak shores of Plymouth, to meet and worship and render thanksgiving unto God. That was the first thanksgiving in America. I think those blessings consisted of faith and confidence in an overruling power. Truly the Lord had overseen their journey. Many changes have taken place since then, but the theme of that sacred day has come down through the years and somehow touched the lives of nearly every soul that lives in this great land. "Thought for Thanksgiving" appeared in a current publication; "On this Thanksgiving let us turn Our thoughts to how the day began— Of Pilgrims reaping their first crops And sharing with their fellow man. In this same spirit make us, Lord Aware of others' needs, thus Let us be moved to share with them As Thou hast shared Thy grace with us. Now let us express gratitude for opportunities to share with him, O sustain his Church and give service to our fellow men. If we are to be happy, we must make others happy. This is a fundamental law of Christ.

THANKSGIVING
This Thanksgiving Day let us remember that we are blessed far more than any other people on the face of this earth; that we can enjoy the blessings of the gospel in its fulness if we seek and live for them. M Let us give thanks to Almighty God for a living prophet and inspired leaders to direct the affairs of his Church and kingdom which he has set upon the earth. Let's remember that we have the opportunity of free enterprise, freedom of worship, freedom of the press, and freedom to be able to possess part of this great world. Where else would we be permitted to live such a life of luxury and have so many opportunities? Let us give thanks to our forefathers that they have the foresight to establish the Constitution which gives to the people the guarantee of the above-mentioned freedoms. We should be thankful for the leadership of this great nation of ours at the present time and for the statesmanship of him who is at the helm. This Thanksgiving should mean more than the luscious turkey dinner and all the jubilant celebration. Let's bow our heads and pray our expressions of gratefulness to the One Most High, and remember that not just on the last Thursday of November, but that every day of our life is Thanksgiving.

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PREPARATION
One of the most useful and effective words in our language is the word "preparation,," The habit of being prepared has brought more success, been responsible for more happiness, done more good,, and saved more souls than any other thing. The most productive workers, the best Church leaders are those who are always prepared,, How well we prepare determines almost every success. We prepare for school, we prepare for marriage; we prepare far life itself; we prepare for death. The future belongs to him who prepares for it„ It also applies to our eternal exaltation in the celestial kingdom. The word "unprepared" is tragic because it implies that the failure was preventable. Every day we see the tragedies of young men with untrained minds and unschooled spirits. The benefits were available, but they received not the gift.

FATHER'S DAY
The word "honor" is one of the richest in the language. It implies esteem, reverence, respect, courtesy, integrity, purity, chastity—and much more. To honor also requires obedience—to obey and respect those we would honor. Let's begin with the little things. How long has it been since you thanked your mother for countless kind deeds she has performed for you? the

When did you last thank Dad for food, clothing, home, education, use of the car, and wise counsel? Do you honor your parents in your choice of good companions, in your seen and unseen conduct, in church attendance, in the sharing of home work, in self-improvement, in keeping the faith? These are the daily ways you can please and honor parents. You will be rewarded by joy and inward satisfaction. These blessings will come automatically. You will be obeying the commandment of our heavenly Father, honor thy father and mother.

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DEATH BY DISUSE
If we fail in our activity, we automatically bring ourselves under the sentence of "death by disuse." Spirituality withers when, like an unused arm, it is tied constantly to a sling. In all of nature, disuse is as mortal a sin as abuse. The mole refuses to use its eyes and thereby loses its sight, just as surely as if its sight were shot out by a bullet. Everyone is under bond for the effective use of his talents. The law says, "Use them or lose them." The penalty is, "From him that hath not, shall be taken away even that which he hath." To everyone who buries his talents, life says, "Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents." It is a great sin tD hide one's light under a bushel, and it is one of the greatest Christian virtues to "arise and shine," for our light will come only as our need, desire, and activity shall call forth.

YOUR MEMBERSHIP RECORD
Every Latter-day Saint should understand the worth of his membership record. Without this document we cannot obtain a recommend for ordinance work or marriage in the temple, a recommend for a patriarchal blessing, receive appointment tD serve as a stake or ward officer; authority to ordain anyone to the priesthood? perform baptisms and confirmations, or bless babies. This certificate is of divine origin. (D & C 72:17-19.) This record is a positive means of our identification (For greater spiritual blessings attend sacrament meeting.)

SACRAMENT MEETING
Regular attendance at Sacrament meeting is an essential principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and no member of the Church (except those engaged in special church assignments) can keep God's commandments fully if he does not abide by this principle. A commandment was given to the Church in this dispensation which requires all members to attend Sacrament meeting. (D & C 59:8-21.) An important portion of the gospel in all dispensations has been the observance of Sabbath day laws, the Master having continuously admonished true worshipers to "remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8} In this dispensation, church members have received the following commandment: ...the inhabitants of Zion shall also observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (Ibid., 68:29.)

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FAITH IS A GIFT OF GOD
Faith must be used to be of service to man. The Lord lets it rain upon the just and unjust alike, but he whose field is well plowed is most benefited by the moisture from the sky. Faith in the gospel is much like a living organism. To be healthy and vigorous it must be fed. If starved, it sickens, weakens, and may die. Loss of faith may be traced always to neglect, mistreatment, or sin. The food of faith is simple but imperative. Knowledge of the gospel must be maintained and increased by regular, continuous study; and this knowledge must be made alive by active obedience to the practices and requirements of the Church. Hence our great Sunday School provides us with many of the foods for faith.

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OUR MOTHERS
This day we salute you. These words of the poet echo our thoughts: Whose soul is serenest? Whose sorrows are keenest? Who loves and who suffers the deepest? Who builds the foundations of empires and nations? Our peace and our praise to Mothers of men."

Whose hand is the lightest? Whose smile is the brightest? Who comes to our rescue again and again? Whose arm is the nearest?

Whose vision the clearest? The centuries answer: "The mothers of men.

Whose heart is the purest? Whose word is the surest? More potent, whose power, than the sword or the pen? Whose faith is the strongest? Whose love lives the longest? Praise God evermore for the mothers of men. May each of us cherish our mothers, not only this day, but always. May we show our love, with tender kindness and gratitude, with true appreciation of the great love they have shown for us.

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WARD CONFERENCE TIME
A time to report stewardship of assignments, A time to appraise accomplishments, A time to express gratitude and love for loyal and devoted services, A time to build unity and strengthen our faith. No one lives unto himself alone, no one can say, "I have no need of thee." Someone said: "No man is an island. No man stands alone Each man's joy is a joy to me. Each man's grief is my own." The Prophet Malachi said that if our hearts were not turned to each other, "the whole earth would be smitten with a curse." When the ward officers and teachers reach new high levels, they draw us upward. We absorb their inspiration and receive courage from their example. There are no one-man teams in the Church. We all depend on each other and on the other hand, no one can uplift someone else without himself being made better. How appropriate the following lines: "For life is a mirror of king and of slave. Tis just what you are and do; Then give to the world the best you have, and the best will come back to you.”

INDIFFERENCE
The worst sin of many people is not that they disbelieve in God. Their skepticism is more serious,, they just haven't thought about him one way or another. It isn't that they disbelieve the doctrines of the Church; what is worse, they just don't care, It is one thing to lack faith but still worse to lack interest. Edison said "There is no limit to which man will not go to avoid thinking," and the great Psalmist reminds us that "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." Now if we are what we think, and then if we don't think, the seriousness of our situation is evident. One cried out "0 God, why dost thou take so much interest in our welfare when we take so little in our own?" Our greatest thrill will come when we have learned to free ourselves from the degradation of indifference.

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IGNORANCE
It is largely our ignorance that stands between us and our blessings. The religion of Jesus has always suffered more from those who did not understand than from those who opposed it. Upon the cross Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." The sin of the Jews was the sin of ignorance. They did not understand. Most of the sins of the world are in one way or another sins of ignorance. The man or woman who fails to develop his spirituality by not obeying the word of the Lord doesn't know what he is doing, nor does he realize what the consequences are going to be. Some sins may be forgiven, but who can forgive us our ignorance? They only fail to find who fail to seek.

A FATAL DOCTRINE
"Eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die," is a fatal doctrine. More lives have been wrecked through it than from any other cause, no matter how alluring a thing may be, if it is not good in the "light of eternity," it is never good. To know that little things are little and that big things are big before it is too late is the highest wisdom. How many brilliant lives have been lost in trivial things? How often one becomes entangled in little things, his spirit dulled, his vision blurred, his hope destroyed. To pull one's self out, and to view things in the "light of eternity" is to emerge into a larger and brighter world. Truth alone can stand.

THE WORK OF THE WORLD
The work of the world has been divided up; some people do the inventing; some fight the battles; some do the research work; some teach the lessons; some preach the sermons; the South grows the cotton; Detroit makes the automobiles; Florida, California, Arizona, and Texas supply the citrus fruit; the midwest produces the corn, etc. And then as Isaiah has foretold, the mountain of the Lord's house has been established in the tops of the mountains, whence the word of the Lord shall go forth to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. This is the responsibility to which we are called, to assist in the work of human salvation. It is our job, and a most important one. If we undertake it with high ambition and a sense of responsibility, it will be our blessing.

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PEACE
"Take my yoke upon you and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:29-30.) To accept this divine invitation of the Savior of the world, with faith that peace and rest will come to your soul is the test of devotion to his work. It is the testimony of those who have accepted, that these blessings follow. In the teachings of Jesus we read that spiritual force underlies everything and without it nothing worthwhile can be accomplished.

THE SECOND GREAT COMMANDMENT
"The reason people pass one door To patronize another store Is not because the second place Has finer silks or gloves or lace Or cheaper prices - but it lies In friendly words and smiling eyes. The great big difference we believe Is in the treatment folks receive." Edgar A, Guest When we go to church and enjoy its wonderful influence, try to determine what it is that makes the occasion so pleasant. It may be because of something the speaker says or because you enjoy the music, or feel uplifted by your own feeling of devotion and warship. But quite likely, it will also be because some wonderful friends gave you the pleasant feeling of worth-whileness. Jesus has placed this friendly interest in our fellow men second in importance only to our relationship to God, himself. It is our responsibility to help put this quality of love and friendliness in force in our lives and in the lives of others. That is, we need more "practice" in the second great commandment.

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MOTIVES
Think of some of the motivating factors of the gospel. Every principle has attached to it a blessing for obedience and a punishment for disobedience. As the Lord said to ancient Israel, "Behold I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; a blessing if ye obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, and a curse if ye will not obey but turn aside out of the way." (Deut. 11:26-29.) We need to understand these blessings as well as the cursings. Think of the blessings of faith, the blessings of repentance, the blessings of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. There is a blessing for paying tithing, and for keeping the Word of Wisdom, and for every other thing that God has commanded. And these blessings are far out of proportion to any other rewards that we know anything about. But at the same time, we are working directly and entirely in our own interests. The first soul that anyone should bring unto God is his own soul. The Lord has indicated that the most profitable way that we can spend our time in mortality is in bringing souls unto him. This carries blessings beyond our comprehension.

WORTH OF THE SOUL
Jesus reminded his disciples that the soul of man was worth more than bread, more even .than the wealth of the world. He said, "For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world and lose his own sou!7 or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" A man's soul is too exorbitant a price to pay for bread alone, even if the whole world is the loaf. The supreme joy of living cannot be measured by a man's financial rating. It can be measured only by his willingness to accept a divine influence as the controlling force in his life. Neither the millionaire nor the pauper can live by bread alone, but both can live and enjoy living to the fullest degree if they will accept the spiritual influences that sustain the soul of men.

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TESTIMONY AND FAITH COME FROM WORKS
Jesus said, "If ye shall do my will, ye shall know my doctrine." Someone has said, "to get a man through college is one thing, and to get college through the man is another." Similarly, to get a man into the Church has. many benefits, but to get the Church into the man is the ultimate aim. This can best be done by appropriate activity. Think of the activity the Lord has provided for us, through the priesthood quorums, and all the other church organizations--that we may strengthen our testimony by our works, ours is a religion of action. When there is no activity, faith dries up. "Faith without works is dead."

PRESENT CRISIS
In our lives we are forced to make many decisions. By our answers to life's questions, we determine our own destiny. James Russell Lowell wrote: Once to every man and nation Comes a moment to decide In the strife of truth and falsehood For the good or evil side. Some great cause, God's New Messiah Offering each the bloom or blight, Parts the goats upon the left hand And the sheep upon the right, And the choice goes on forever 'Twixt the darkness and the light." Certainly the greatest question to be decided by any man during his lifetime is the one suggested by Pilate, "What shall I do with Jesus?" In other words, what are we doing with his teachings? Are we supporting his Church? These are good questions in this present crisis.

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STUMBLING BLOCKS
The Lord has indicated the great joy that will be ours if we bring one soul unto him. Isn't it logical to believe that the pain will be in proportion if we lose one soul through our negligence or mislead one soul through our bad example? The Lord says, "...Wo to him by whom this offense cometh." (D&C 5<*:5.) Our own weakness or lack of integrity or inferior leadership may prove a more effective stumbling block to others than any deliberate opposition that could be given; and if we are not conscious of our problems, our offenses may grow larger and more numerous. We should make sure that the work of the Lord will not be cut down from within, by us.

FRIENDS AND ENEMIES
Friends and enemies, like "blessings," sometimes come in disguise. But even without any disguise, our batting average has not been very good in identifying either. We don't always recognize our parents or our teachers or our religious leaders in their true light. And at the same time, we allow enemies in the most flimsy disguises to infiltrate our ranks and rob us of our blessings without even realizing that they are being lost. "Who is my enemy?" is a timely question. To think about it may sharpen our skills in the processes of identification.

GET THEE UP
An explorer was once traveling through a cold Arctic winter night. He was not particularly uncomfortable, but as he proceeded he felt a sluggish, drowsy feeling coming over him. He decided to lie down and rest. Then all of a sudden he realized he was freezing to death. The thought so startled him that he got up and began to run with all his might. The excitement and vigorous exertion quickened the heart action, and he soon had a good supply of warm blood circulating through his body. Then the danger was past. His life had been saved because he "gat up" and increased his activity. This experience has its counterpart in our spiritual affairs. It is the inspired formula of Isaiah, "Get thee up — be illuminated." Be active. Use your talents to the utmost.

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FIND THAT

KEY

When Alice was exploring the mysteries of Wonderland, she met a strange looking lock in the garden, with feet and hands that made it resemble a human being. It was running around frantically looking behind trees and bushes and under stones, as if searching for something. At length, overcome by curiosity, Alice asked, "What are you searching for?" The lock said, "I am searching for the key with which to unlock myself. If I do not find that key, I am doomed to remain shut up within myself all of my life. I shall never get out, therefore, I must find the key to unlock myself." We need to get ourselves unlocked and release that God-given potential with which each of us has been endowed. Probably the most bitter denunciation that Jesus ever heaped upon anyone was upon him who hid his talents in the ground. He said, "Thou wicked and slothful servant."' What a great sin is sloth, and how effortlessly we bring its penalties upon ourselves.

OUR CHOICE
We have been taught the doctrine of free agency all of our lives. It is such an essential part of the gospel that there could really be no gospel without it. Choices are put before us every day, the good and the evil, right and wrong. We may choose to perfect ourselves and follow the pattern the Savior set to become perfect, or wb may choose to follow a path which will lead us away from God and put us in the power of Satan. The poet expressed it this way: " Some ships go east and some go west By the self same wind that blows, It's the set of the sail and not the gale That determines the way they go. So the ships on the sea are the storms of fate As we journey on through life. It's the set of the soul that determines the goal And not the calm or the strife." To obey is merely to exercise one's agency for his own greatest benefit. We are judged by the things we choose to do.

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KEEPING IN TUNE
If we could only learn the art of always keeping ourselves in harmony, we could multiply our effectiveness immeasurably. Nothing could induce a great violinist to play his instrument in public unless it was in perfect tune. They say the least discord will ruin the sensitiveness of the ear and lower the musical perception and standard. Whatever we do, be it singing, playing, working or serving in some capacity in the Church, if there is discord, it will spoil our mental appreciation and effectiveness. Lack of harmony is fatal to quality in work. Harmony is the secret of all effectiveness; harmony is simply keeping ourselves in tune with the infinite. It is strange that men who are very shrewd in other matters should be so shortsighted and out of harmony with matters pertaining to their spiritual well-being.

SPIRITUAL DROWSINESS
Recently a man was priding himself an how successfully he had resisted appointments to church assignments. He acted as if this mere his greatest virtue. Like the Laodiceans9 he was not even aware of his own poverty. Most of our problems come from this partial awareness of things. Even when we are supposed to be awake, sleep partially possesses most of us. Even the chosen disciples could not stay awake to sustain the Son of God in the very hour when, under the burden of their sins, he sweat great drops of blood at every pare. Following that example, we often make common jokes about sleeping in Church where we have gone to worship God and learn his will. How appropriate, therefore, are the timely words of Isaiah, coming down across the centuries to inspire us to throw off this spiritual drowsiness and produce within ourselves that kind of spiritual ambition which foretells a happy immortality and glorious exaltation.

~ 62 ~

PARABLES
The Lord went to great pains to provide us with opposites. All around us we see good and evil side by side. The parables of Jesus are themselves comparisons. It is the contrast that makes the lesson easy. We understand the comparative merits of the Levite and the good Samaritan when we see them together; likewise with the wise and foolish virgins. The experience of the Prodigal Son is intended to show us how to adjust and adorn our own lives, and stamp on our minds a little deeper the need for a more loving and forgiving spirit. It also might give thought to the condition of the home that produced the prodigal son. The older brother teaches us something; his loyalty and industry are in sharp contrast to that of his younger brother. And so we may go on and on. The greatest teacher the world has ever known taught great truths in a simple way that we might incorporate them in our lives.

BE SLOW TO ANGER
Are you guilty of being impatient, touchy, or easily irritated? The components of ill temper are made up of jealousy, envy, anger, conceit, harshness, cruelty, and unkindness. These imperfections produce misery, lay waste to homes, destroy friendships, embitter people, and generate disunity. It is imperative that we demonstrate greater consideration for our families and friends. To every man is given the power to conquer the wrath of his spirit. Such a triumph strengthens the soul.

SEEK ENDURING HAPPINESS
Man was created to be happy. "Adam fell that man might be; and men are, that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2s25„) Unfortunately some confuse happiness with fleeting worldly pleasure. Indulging in the ways of the world cultivates appetites for things forbidden. Selfish acquisition of wealth, political power, social position, scholarly achievement, or a professional career without giving the Lord first consideration followed by concern for our fellowmen prohibits enduring happiness.

~ 63 ~

TRUE NOBILITY
Summertime and vacation time we are tempted to let down a little and neglect our assignments and responsibilities. I commend these words of Edgar A. Guest. I hope they strengthen you as they do me. Who does his task from day to day And meets whatever comes his way, Believing God has willed it so, Has found true greatness here below. Who guards his post, no matter where Believing God must need him there, Although but lowly toil it be, Has risen to nobility. For great and low there's but one test— 'Tis that each man shall do his best. Who works with all the strength he can Shall never die in debt to man.

~ 64 ~

SELECTED
Nearly two thousand years ago a child was born to an unknown peasant woman, in an obscure village of the far east. He grew up in another obscure village. He worked in a carpenter shop until he was thirty and then for three years he was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to school. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place he was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompanies greatness. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of his divine manhood. While still a young man the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away: one of them denied hims another, betrayed him. He was turned over to his enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon tie cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property he had on earth while he was dying, and that was his coat. When he was dead he was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. More than nineteen wide centuries have come and gone, and today he is the center of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that were ever built, and all the parliaments that ever sat, and all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has this one solitary life. THE STRANGER OF GALILEE Selected In fancy I stood on the shore one day of the beautiful murmuring sea; I saw great crowds as they thronged the way of the Stranger of Galilee. I saw how the man who was blind from birth in a moment was made to see; The lame were made whole by the matchless skill of the Stranger of Galilee. His look of compassion, his words of love shall never forgotten be, When sin-sick and helpless he saw me there--this Stranger of Galilee. He showed me his hands and his riven side, and he whispered it was for me; My burden fell off at the pierced foot of the Stranger of Galilee. I heard him speak peace to the angry waves of that turbulent, raging sea; And lo, at his words are the waters stilled by this Stranger of Galilee. Come, ye who are driven and tempest-tossed and his gracious salvation see; He will quiet life's storms with his "Peace be still," this Stranger of Galilee. ~ 65 ~

SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE
When you get up in the morning," said Brigham Young, "before you suffer yourself to eat one mouthful of food, call your wife and children together, and bow down before the Lord and ask him to forgive your sins, and to protect you through the day, preserve you from temptations and all evil, to guide your steps aright, that you may do something that shall be beneficial to the kingdom of God on earth. A father—the head of the family—should never miss calling the family together and dedicating him-self and them to the Lord of Hosts, asking the guidance and direction of his Holy Spirit to lead them through the day—that very day... if we do this every day, we mill be prepared to live a higher glory."

THERE IS STRENGTH IN FAMILY PRAYERS
Every home needs the blessings and the strength that came from daily communion with God. In his sermon to the Nephites, the Savior instructed them to "pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed." (3 Nephi 18:21.) Yes, there is power in prayer. Let us help to provide the members of our household the power and strength they need to meet each day's problems, temptations, and labors, through family prayer. It is true, indeed, that if parents would pray more with their children while they are young, they would need to pray less for them when they are older.

NEGATIVE THINKING
"Why build these cities glorious If man unbuilded goes? In vain we build the world unless the builder grows," said Edwin Markham. The poet might have been speaking of us. Since it is estimated that the average person uses very little of his potentialities, our powers are not only unused, but undiscovered. Lie know how to fly through the air faster than the speed of sound. We have solved our problems of food supplies, housing, and transportation; we have made fantastic discoveries in science. But we have not discovered enough power to stop our negative thinking or overcome our lethargy or conquer our sins. Paul said, "That which I would, I do not, and that which I would not, that I do." This vexing situation confronts most of us. We can heed the council of Emerson who said, "What I need is someone to get me to do the things that I ought to do."

~ 66 ~

INDECISION
Some sins are committed because we do wrong; others are committed because we do nothing. Procrastination is a part of indecision. When we can't or won't make up our minds, we just postpone action, sometimes permanently. Just think how many people lose their blessings because of procrastination. No one would deliberately choose to miss the celestial kingdom, but a great many do just that because of a series of postponements. The same infirmity holds some of us back in our church work; we have difficulty in making firm decisions, whether or not we are going to accept the assignments and responsibilities that go with being a true Latter-day Saint. We wait to see what pressure will be applied by circumstances. For as no one can be saved in ignorance, just so, no one can be saved in indecision.

THE PURPOSE OF MOTHER'S DAY
It is most fitting that our attention should be called to the fact that we are prone not only to undervalue mother's presence and love, but also often neglect to express the appreciation and love we do feel for her. "To every son and daughter in the Church," said President McKay, "you need no suggestions on how to make your mother happy on Mother's Day as on every day of the year. If you order a white carnation to be given her, she will be pleased; if you tell her in a letter of your appreciation and love, she will shed tears of happiness; but if you keep the spotless character and purity of soul she has given you and give her assurance thereof, she will thank God for her child and rejoice as the most blessed of mothers." To be worthy of our mothers and their love for us is our great obligation to them.

~ 67 ~

HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER
The intricacies and problems of family life are greatly stressed in the first book of Nephi in the Book of Mormon. The entire family of Lehi, consisting of Lehi, Sarah, Lemuel, Laman, Sam, Nephi, and Jacob plus the daughters were obedient to the mandate of their father and left their great gold, silver, fine homes, friends, and relatives, and plunged alone into the great wastes of the desert. Lehi's boys, without hesitation, married the daughters of Ishmael in obedience to the suggestion of their father. In spite of some grumblings, they faced death to obtain the plates and genealogy of their forefathers. In spite of hunger, thirst, fatigue, they continued steadily on until they reached the seashore. They helped in the building of the ship, and as long as they were obedient to their father, they were blessed. The Jews are perhaps the wealthiest people in America, and their main formula for obtaining wealth is to honor their father and mother so they will be prospered in the land. Perhaps the greatest danger facing America at this time is the disobedience and disrespect of children to their parents, schoolteachers, and Church teachings. Constant vigilance on the part of parents is the price we pay for obedient children—and happy homes.

COME FOLLOW ME
The greatest sermon ever preached is composed of just three words in which Jesus said, "Come follow me," a sermon that we can see is the easiest one to follow. The strongest power in the world4is the power of example. The power of good example is not only the strongest influence in the world, it is also one of the most highly contagious. Think of the uplifting influence of a good home where children may absorb the ideals and standards of conduct of those around them. This absorption often takes place without our even being aware of it. Think of the effect that the life of Jesus had upon Simon Peter and the other disciples who followed him. That is the same effect he will have upon us if we learn to follow the pattern. It is easy to become great in the company of great men because we have the pattern to go by.

~ 68 ~

BE PREPARED
The great Boy Scout slogan "Be Prepared" is doubtless the most meaningful slogan to be found in all our language. We ought to stamp these words into our minds and see to it that they are practiced every day of our lives. Everyone knows the importance of having his piano tuned before the concert. We see to it that the automobile engine is functioning harmoniously before we take a long journey. It is also important to have the human spirit tuned and the mind harmonious. We get the spirit of the gospel through preparation. Jesus told us to "prepare our minds." We need minds that are peaceful and quiet and unconfused. If we are not prepared to understand, we are not prepared to teach. The Lord will probably be very pleased with what we do, if we do our utmost during the "preparation." But we ought to make sure that we do not ask the Lord to wait while we are getting prepared.

KINDNESS
There is no virtue which does not increase in luster by sincere contemplation. Kindness is one of the choicest gems. The prophets of all ages have declared its value. Isaiah makes "everlasting kindness" an attribute of the Lord. Paul classifies it among the choicest of virtues to be cultivated. Christ's short life was replete with acts reflecting this divine principle. "Kindness" said President McKay, "is a principle of the gospel too seldom taught and more seldom practiced. It is the forerunner of love. It prepares the heart for reverence and true worship." He prayeth best who loveth best All things both great and small For the dear Lord who loveth us, He made and loveth all." There are great blessings awaiting all who would only cultivate the art of just being kind.

~ 69 ~

THE LANGUAGE OF PRAYER
The late President Steven L. Richards made a very important observation on the language of prayer. It seemed so significant to me I pass it along to you. Said he, "I do not know that it is a matter of vital importance, but I think that in the quorums and in the classes, you would do well, as in the homes, also, to teach the language of prayer — ‘thee’ and 'thou’ rather than 'you.' It is surprising how much we see of this in the mission field among the young men who come to serve there. I think you might take note of it yourselves to take every opportunity that you may have to teach the sacred and reverential language of prayer." This is good and timely counsel from our leader. I commend it to you.

NOT MINE BUT THINE
One of the most inspirational pieces of scripture in holy writ comes from the prayer of our Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. There he prayed mightily to his Father, concluding with the expression, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done." Brigham Young, great pioneer President of the Church, was a strong advocate of this doctrine. Said he, "When a man wishes tD give anything to the Lord, let him give the best he has got. The Lord has given to me all that I possess. I have nothing in reality. Not a single dime is mine. The coat I have on my back is not mine and never was. The Lord put it in my possession honorably, and I wear it, but if he wishes for it, and all that is under it, he is welcome to the whole." This is the pattern for every true follower of the Lord. He expects us to manifest an attitude of such humility that we will be willing to set aside our selfish feeling and do his will.

HAPPINESS
All happiness that is worthy of the name is the result of keeping the commandments of God. If each day of our lives we do something to bless others, we will continue to accumulate peace, happiness, satisfaction, and it will be a great joy to us when in the kingdom of our Heavenly Father, we go on through the ages of eternity. He has made it plain to us that all our blessings are predicated upon observance of the law. "Happiness" said the Prophet Joseph Smith, "is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it."

~ 70 ~

THE KEY TO HAPPINESS
One of the greatest of all the paradoxes is that almost everyone wants to improve his circumstances, but so many do not want to improve themselves. And yet our personal preparation is the key to all our success; it is the key to happiness; it is the way to multiply our abilities; it is the way to please God. Only by effective preparation can we make full use of our God-given talents. If we lack for anything, it is for thoroughness in our preparation. The Church offers us the great opportunity of participating in all its activities and thus improving our talents and preparing us for a fuller life.

DUTY
Duty is what one is bound to do because it is right to do. It is our duty to pray because God has commanded it„ It is our duty for the same reason to honor our parents, keep the Sabbath day, tell the truth, and love our fellow men to the extent that we will treat them as we wish to be treated. Thomas Paine said, "The duty of man is plain and simple. It consists but of two points; his duty to God, which every man must feel; and his duty to his neighbor, to do as he would be done by." Longfellow condensed this thought by saying, "Do thy duty that is best, leave unto the Lord the rest„" It is our duty to help — to lend assistance and be useful to others, everybody loves the person who says, "Let me help." We invite all to subscribe — as all will benefit. Someone said, "God always has an angel of help for those who are willing to do their duty; he who escapes duty avoids a gain,,"

~ 71 ~

THE FIRST STEP
There is an old Chinese proverb that says, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." It is intended to indicate the importance of getting started doing the things we ought to do. The first step is the most important. Sometimes it is most difficult, especially after we have been going to some degree in the opposite direction. It means to begin; it means to originate, to make the first move in the right direction. It means to set high objectives. Think of the objectives given us by Solomon of old. Said he, "Fear Gad and keep his commandments, far this is the duty of man." To believe in and work for same cause in which God himself spends his entire time is the noblest work of man0 Someone said; "Great God, I ask Thee for no meaner pelf Than that I may not disappoint myself."

GLORY TO GOD
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lard shone round them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them. Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ, the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising Gad, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goad will toward men." (Luke 2:8-10 Love far God and for one another should be the Christmas theme. Such was the divine announcement by the Heavenly Hast that first heralded the "glad tidings of great joy. Glory to God in the highest, peace an earth, good will toward men. Merry Christmas to all.

~ 72 ~

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS
The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of peace. UJe can best let our influence for peace be felt by living in peace and harmony with our families and neighbors. At this Christmas season we should once again evaluate all fundamental Christian principles. It was said of Jesus, "he went about doing good." This is within the reach of all of us. Lave, sympathy, understanding, faith, and strength are same of the things we should give.

THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE
The spirit of the gospel leads men to righteousness, to love their fellow men and to labor for their salvation and exaltation; it inspires them to do good and not evil, to avoid even the appearance of sin, much more to avoid sin itself. This is indeed the spirit of the gospel, which is the spirit of this latter-day work, and also the spirit that possesses those who have embraced it; and the aim and purpose of the gospel is the salvation, the exaltation, and the eternal happiness of man, both in this life and in the life to come.

THE GREATEST FAULT
It is so easy to fall a victim of that serious weakness of human nature wherein we tend to "justify ourselves" in the things we do, whether good or bad. We pass very lightly over our own shortcomings, We have a. a most serious blind spot which prevents us from seeing our own weaknesses. One reason we should "love our enemies" is because they tend to point out our faults and sting us into activity. At least they keep us on our toes;, whereas our "friends" sometimes lull us into the sin of self-delusion where disaster lurks. Carlyle says that "the greatest fault is to be conscious of none." Almost more than anything else we need to be able to analyze and criticize and look objectively at ourselves,

~ 73 ~

GOOD COUNCIL
We will always marvel at the great philosophy of Abraham Lincoln. Said he, "I am not bound to win9 but I am bound to be true; I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the best light I have, I will stand with anybody that stands for the right; I will part from anybody when he goes wrong,," That sounds almost like scripture, for the Lord has said that his Spirit will not always strive with men. "Draw near unto me, and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently, and ye shall find me. Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you." (D&C 88:63.) Good council!

DARKNESS
Darkness has been one of the central problems Df the world ever since the first day of creation. In the beginning "God saw the light and pronounced it good, and God divided the light from the darkness." And he has been pleading with men ever since to turn their faces toward the light. But some have turned about and have loved darkness rather than light. In Dickens CHRISTMAS CAROL, Scrooge said "Darkness is cheap; therefore I love it," but Scrooge was wrong; darkness is never cheap. In fact, darkness is the mast expensive thing in the world. With awful meaning, Isaiah proclaimed, "Darkness shall cover the earth and gross darkness the minds of the people." The darkness that sometimes covers the minds of men is oppressive and stifling. The master, himself said, "Men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil." The greatest opportunity provided for us is to join in the program of bringing about God's first and probably most important decree of "Let there be light." By letting our light shine we can assist in pushing back the bounds of darkness.

~ 74 ~

INCITE ACTIVITY
Jesus was the great Master in changing the lives of people- By the use of stimulating and motivating ideas,, he helped publicans and sinners to rise to the rank of saints. He said, "Blessed are they mho hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled." It is natural that hunger always seeks to satisfy itself. It was the mission of Jesus to increase spiritual hunger in people. It is our mission to stimulate greater accomplishment in ourselves and in others through the aid we receive from the spiritual food we receive from serving and living the teaching Jesus gave us. Thomas Huxley said, "The great end of life is not knowledge but action, We will be judged not only by what we believe but also by what we have done. Activity is the basis for all accomplishments. You can lead a running stream, but what can you do with a stagnant pool? An inactive man sometimes suffers a kind of spiritual death. God has placed within us the great power of stimulation, which is associated closely with activity which is the saving element of our soul. What a thrilling pattern we have to follow!

OUR FAITH IN THE UNIVERSE
Ue all believe in the stability of the outward world and walk by that faith. We all go to bed at night and fall asleep—which is just like dying —believing that we shall wake in the morning, and that there will be a morning, and that there will be a morning to wake in. We expect to find our houses and furniture and families tomorrow just as they were today. We shall sit down to breakfast tomorrow believing that it will feed us and not poison us. We shall go to our business expecting to find people to deal with and work to do, as we found them yesterday. We all repose in perfect security, on this firm faith in the stability of the universe. We walk by it, live by it, are saved by it. THE SOBER SECOND THOUGHT The longer you dwell on your misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm you. Education covers a great deal of ground, but it doesn't cultivate it.

~ 75 ~

AS A MAN THINKETH
"You never can tell what your thoughts will do, In bringing you hate or love. For thoughts are things, and their airy wings Are swift as a carrier dove. They follow the law of the universe -Each thing must create its kind -And they speed o'er the track to bring you back Whatever went out from your mind." —Ella Wheeler Wilcox That which goes out from us to others in word or deed calls out from them the same kind of qualities. Good will comes out to meet good; hatred comes out to meet hatred; and love to meet love. There is something within all of us that seems to leap forth to meet kindness and gentleness. We tend to grow more and more like that which we cherish and love. To love the gospel and cherish our membership in the Church and to radiate its value to us by being shining lights to others is the essence of the teachings of the Savior.

KING BENJAMIN'S LAST WORDS
Let us consider the final words of King Benjamin to his people which were, as is stated, "delivered to him by an angel of the Lord." They could be applied to our generation and are very fitting for us today. "But behold this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lard, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember and perish not." (Mosiah 4:30.) This plain language and these strong words were also emphasized by the Savior when he said, "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:31-32).

MANY ARE CALLED
"Many are called but few are chosen"(D & C 121) and why are they not chosen? Because their minds have been on other things, and they are not prepared. When we are not preparing to succeed, we are automatically preparing to fail. When we stop getting better, we start slipping in the other direction. Someone once asked. Admiral Farragut if he was prepared for defeat. He said, "I certainly am not - I am prepared far victory." Victory comes by design, defeat comes by default. The Lord wants all to be victorious, and stands ready to assist us if we will but come unto him. ~ 76 ~

EFFORT
"Things don't turn up in this world until somebody turns them up," said Garfield. Likewise, things don't get done in our ward unless we all pitch in and do them, thanks to the willing hands. By the same token, our financial obligations are not met unless we meet them. Once again, we call on all ward members for all-out support in our budget drive.

REVERENCE IN OUR CHAPELS
Latter-day Saints are charged with being careless in their behavior at worshiping assemblies. Every member of the Church should be concerned with the problem of overcoming lack of reverence. We do not give enough attention to forethought. We should prepare the heart before going to meeting. Ue should be cognizant of the purpose of each meeting we attend and objectively profit thereby. As parents we should conscientiously train our children to be reverent.

THE STANDARDS OF THE CHURCH
Compromise is frequently suggested to members living according to the standards of the Church. This type of compromise means to give up something to lower our standards. Those who suggest compromise justify it by saying changing times and conditions warrant modification of old standards. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the standard of the Church and the gospel is unchanging. The happiest people are those who continue to live by unchanging standards. (Attend Sacrament meeting and be blessed).

~ 77 ~

MIA CONFERENCE TIME
The MIA has been given the charge to look after the recreational and social needs of the young people of the Church, and at the same time build testimonies and develop a love for God and his work—such is the importance of our youth. David of old was only a shepherd boy, but the Lord appointed him in his early youth to become king over Israel. Through his lineage the Savior was born. Who can estimate the worth of a boy? Mary was just a girl; she lived in a square flat-roofed house, high up in the hills of Nazareth. Yet to her the angel appeared and told her she was the most blessed of all womankind. She had been chosen to be the mother of the Son of God. Who can estimate the value of just one girl? Joseph Smith was a boy fourteen years of age, but the Father and Son appeared to him in answer to prayer and called him to be the instrument through which the Church of Jesus Christ would be established on the earth. Who can estimate the value of the life of the boy Joseph Smith? There are over 20Q,000 young people in the Church between the ages twelve to twenty. They cannot all be kings or prophets, but their souls are very important to the Lord. What a great challenge to the MIA — surely they merit our support.

~ 78 ~

DO WE SEE THE SIGNS?
A poor boy from the country looking for work in the city, saw a sign hanging outside a store saying, "Boy wanted." He took the sign down, put it under his arm, and walked in to the proprietor. Said he, "You won't need this sign anymore. I'm going to take the job," and he took it and kept it. There are other signs hanging around today that need to be taken down by willing hands, especially in the work of building up the kingdom of God. One may say, "Wanted: a boy to be president of the deacons quorum, a boy who is dependable, has initiative, and faith, who can lead his associates to lives of godliness and duty to their office." Another sign may say, "Woman wanted to teach a Sunday School class, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and by her own inspiration, start them toward eternal exaltation." These and many other signs are out every day asking for men and women inspired by a noble purpose to heed the call for the work of the Lord. But not every sign is heeded. "Behold, there are many called but few are chosen, and why are they not chosen? Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world." God give us faith to take our proper place, that we may not leave our call unanswered or our work for someone else to do. Everyone must create his own desire to serve, and everyone must be responsible for making the most of every opportunity,

~ 79 ~

FASTING AND PRAYER
Fasting and prayer is a principle that has great spiritual significance. It is a source of strength, a source of power, a source of blessings that perhaps as a people we are not using enough. The Savior, as he fasted, was tempted of Satan, but his Spirit was humbled, and he had the moral strength to resist him. Said he, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." (Matt. if-O We read in the Book of Mormon that in the fifty-first year the people of Nephi enjoyed peace, prosperity, and plenty. The account reads, "Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in their faith in Christ, unto the filling of their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yielding their hearts unto God." (Hel, 3-35.) If we fast and pray, I'm sure we, too, can wax stronger and stronger in our faith, and our hearts will be filled with joy and consolation.

PRAY ALWAYS
We cannot overestimate the value of sincere prayer. The inspiration and strength that come cannot be denied. Neither can we do the work of the Lord without it. The Lord has said, "Behold I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint, that ye must not perform anything unto the Lord, save in the first place ye shall pray unto the father in the name Df Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul." (2 Nephi 32-9.) To perform anything unto the Lord is a great privilege. But to do so under the influence of his Spirit which comes only by drawing near to him in prayer, is one of the greatest blessings and soul-satisfying experiences of a lifetime. Therefore, if we would follow his council, we would "pray always."

~ 80 ~

ABRAHAM LINCOLN
"In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity." From Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address: "With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan—to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

GEORGE WASHINGTON
"Observe good faith and justice towards all Nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and Morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it? It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and, at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a People always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence."

GUIDANCE
Guidance is a beautiful word; it is a meaningful word. We all need to be guided and directed and inspired in our work and in our responsibilities. I recall a poem I learned as a boy: "Hand in hand with angels through the world we go. Brighter eyes are on us than we blind ones know. Tenderer voices greet us than the deaf will own. But never walking heavenward can we walk alone." Those who dislike guidance, it seems to me, lack humility. Jesus believed in guidance, and promised it to all those who believed and kept his commandments. Said he, "When he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth, for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear that shall he speak, and he will show you things to come." (John 16:13.)

~ 81 ~

HAPPINESS
Tyrone Edwards said, "Happiness is like manna; it is to be gathered in grains, and enjoyed everyday. It will not keep; it cannot be accumulated;nor have we got to go out of ourselves or in remote places to gather it, since it has rained down from heaven at our very doors." If we seek happiness for its own sake, we will not find it, but if we seek to do our duty in any assignment that comes to us, then happiness will follow. Loyal and true service to the Church rewards the worker with more real happiness and satisfaction than any other venture in life.

AN INSPIRING THOUGHT
Some folks claim that they can do Better work than me and you And they could most likely, too, But they don't. Seems a shame, as you'll agree That the world's work has to be Done by such as you and me, But it does.

THANKSGIVING
Thanksgiving Day, if observed in the proper spirit, will include grateful acknowledgment for the blessing of the harvest, and recognition of the hand of Providence. Ue should recognize the spiritual aspects of the day. Latter-day Saints should not only express thanks on this specially appointed day, but also should be conscious of the need to return thanks daily. Let us not be guilty of failure to express our appreciation daily for the bounties of life.

THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS
Here is a Holiday that commemorates no hero, celebrates no battlefield. No lobby is behind it; no group or sect or party. It doesn't even fall on the same date twice. Yet Christmas cannot dim it nor the Fourth of July seal its glory. And all America loves it with a quiet and intense affection that is reserved for no other day of the year.

~ 82 ~

SEASON'S GREETINGS
This joyful season brings to each of us a measure of happiness that corresponds to the degree in which we have tuned our minds, feelings, and actions to the spirit of Christmas as it is expressed on the song of the angels, "Peace on earth, good will toward men." Because it is almost impossible for us to visit each home and leave our Christmas wishes, we are using this means of greeting you, UJe are truly grateful to a kind Providence for our neighborly association and opportunity to work together. May we have a love for one another which will increase from day to day throughout the coming years. Our Christmas wish is that you may have health and abundant blessings. May the New Year be one of happiness and prosperity.

CHRISTMAS THEME
For a Christmas message I give you the inspired words of President David 0. McKay. "Love for God and for one another should be the Christmas theme, such was the divine announcement by the heavenly host that first heralded the 'glad tidings of great joy, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, and good will toward men.' (Luke 2-1*+.) "At Christmas we celebrate his birth in whose mission on earth God is glorified; earth is promised peace; and all men are given assurance of God's good will toward them. "Christmas is a fitting time to renew our desire and to strengthen our determination to do all that lies within our power to make real among men the message heralded by the angels when the Savior was born. Let us glorify God by seeking the good, the true, the beautiful! Let us strive to establish peace on earth by exercising that same good will toward one another which God has shown toward us..." I send to you all the old but treasured greeting: A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

~ 83 ~

ENTHUSIASM
It has been discovered that there are ways to make fires of faith burn more brightly in human hearts,, Everyone is more or less like a thermometer, as far as enthusiasm is concerned* Sometimes we are high and sometimes we are low. Oscar Hammerstein said "a heart can inspire others with its fire." Said he "Give me some men who are stout-hearted men Who will fight for the right they adore, Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men, And I'll soon give you ten thousand mare." The Church started out with only six members, but enthusiasm, testimony, and knowledge has transmitted to others over the years until now it stands at more than a million and a half. Truly, a heart can inspire other hearts with its fire with enthusiasm.

THE ENEMY LIES WITHIN
Thomas B. Marsh, one of the early leaders of the Church, apostatized as a result of a dispute over a few pints of milk. Others throw their blessings away with no better excuse. Probably no one was ever "reasoned" out of his faith. It is usually lost because of offense, sins, sloth, and idleness. As far back as 183^, the Lord said, "Were it not for the transgressions of my people...they might have been redeemed even now." The serious weakness is that we tend to justify ourselves in the things we do that are wrong. We have a most serious blind spot which prevents us from seeing our own weaknesses. How fitting are these words on this subject: "All the water in the world However hard it tried Can never sink the smallest ship Unless it gets inside. "All the evil in the world The blackest kind of sin Can never hurt you the least bit Unless you let it in."

~ 84 ~

WHAT DOES GOD HATE
Generally we think in terms of love when we think of the Lord; he is the personification of all that is good. Although "God is love," there are some things which he is said to hate. Some of these things are mentioned in the Ten Commandments, but Solomon declared, "These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him, "A proud look, A lying tongue, Hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, Feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, He that soweth discord among the brethren," (Prov. 6:17-19.) The peculiar thing about all these practices is that they are not limited to the so-called wicked people, often we find ourselves indulging in some of these practices, not fully realizing the evil of them. The Lord loves the virtues taught by his Beloved Son, and has told us to follow after him.

LEARN TO LABOR
"I'm glad to think"—said Jean Ingelow— "that I'm not bound to make the world go 'round; But only to discover and do With cheerful heart The work that God appoints me to." One of the important virtues in the Church is the work we do for it and the means and support we give to it. Someone has said, "For what do you live, For what you get or what you give? What is the dynamo that makes you go? Getting or giving? Get you must, if you would give, But give you must if you would live, For getting without giving Is existence without living. So get, give, and live." We could apply this thought to so many things that we take for granted, and some of them are the blessings we receive from membership in the Church. I like these fitting words: "Let us then be up and doing with a heart for any fate. Still achieving, still pursuing, learn to labor and to wait."

~ 85 ~

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