“If there is one message I have repeated to my brethern of the Twelve it is that it’s the Spirit that counts. It is the Spirit that matters. I do not know how often I have said this, but I never tire of saying it - it is the Spirit that matters most.” (Ezra Taft Benson, mission presidents’ seminar, 3 April 1985)
“... the Lord’s periodic whisperings to my mind. Over the years, these whisperings have guided me and reassured me. They give me, from time to time, in the words of the Prophet Joseph, sudden strokes of ideas and occasionally the pure flow of intelligence (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 151).... These are inward things, often taking the form of a directing phrase. I have found that the Lord gives more instructions than explanations.” (Neal A Maxwell, Becoming a Disciple, Ensign, June 1996, p. 12-19)
“We cannot hope to influence others in the direction of virtue unless we live lives of virtue. The example of our living will carry a greater influence than will all the preaching in which we might indulge. We cannot expect to lift others unless we stand on higher ground ourselves.” (Gordon B. Hinckley, in Conference Report, Oct. 1975, 57; or Ensign, Nov. 1975, 38–39)
The contrast between the motive to help and the motive to use can even be seen in some Church service. A missionary with a motive to use "his" mission for personal growth and "his" baptisms to gain recognition for "his" accomplishments is a phony and a failure. His motives and attitudes are transparent. Companions, leaders, and investigators will soon recognize and resent a missionary who sees them as mere objects to be used for his benefit. This same principle applies to presidents and bishops, to teachers and temple workers. All must seek to serve as instruments of God's purposes rather than as promoters of their own. (Dallin H. Oaks, Pure in Heart, p.30)
“There are no slick tricks, and quickie campaigns usually fail, for “a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.” (Prov. 18:19.) Further, while we must stand on higher ground in order to lift another, there must be no condescension or suggestion that our concern is statistical rather than spiritual. Nor are souls to be dropped soon after they have been painstakingly lifted. How many times are we supposed to find the elect anyway? “There are no slick tricks, and quickie campaigns usually fail, for “a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.” (Prov. 18:19.) Further, while we must stand on higher ground in order to lift another, there must be no condescension or suggestion that our concern is statistical rather than spiritual. Nor are souls to be dropped soon after they have been painstakingly lifted. How many times are we supposed to find the elect anyway? (Neal A. Maxwell, in Conference Report, Apr. 1982, 55; or Ensign, May 1982, 37)
Alma 18:10 Astonished because of the faithfulness...
Mosiah 28:1-3 they could not bear that any human soul should perish...
“Love is one of the chief characteristics of Deity, and ought to be manifested by those who aspire to be the sons of God. A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race. This has been your feeling, and caused you to forgo the pleasures of home, that you might be a blessing to others, who are candidates for immortality, but strangers to truth; and for so doing, I pray that heaven’s choicest blessings may rest upon you.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 175)
Alma 17:11 establish my word; yet ye shall be patient...
“The Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child, communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways as they can bear it.” “The Lord deals with this people as a tender parent with a child, communicating light and intelligence and the knowledge of his ways as they can bear it.” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, Section Six 1843–44, p.305)
"Obedience to God can be the very highest expression of independence. Just think of giving to him the one thing, the one gift, that he would never wrest from you. You know these lines of the poet: "Obedience to God can be the very highest expression of independence. Just think of giving to him the one thing, the one gift, that he would never wrest from you. You know these lines of the poet: Know this, that every soul is free To choose his life and what he'll be, For this eternal truth is given That God will force no man to heav'n. He'll call, persuade, direct aright, And bless with wisdom, love, and light, In nameless ways to good and kind, But never force the human mind. (LDS Hymn "Know This, That Every Soul Is Free" by William C. Clegg.) (Boyd K. Packer, Obedience, [Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Prove, 7 Dec. 1971].)
Alma 18:20, 22-23 Thou mayest speak boldly...wilt thou hearken...
lift up you voice as with the sound of a trump... D&C 24:12; 33:2; 34:6; 36:1; 42:6; 75:4
“... your personal testimony is the strongest arrow in your quiver.” (James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1996, 42) (James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1996, 42)
From this we can see that the whole human family... had this knowledge disseminated among them...so that God became an object of their faith. “From this we can see that the whole human family... had this knowledge disseminated among them...so that God became an object of their faith. And the evidences which these men had of the existence of a God, was the testimony of their fathers in the first instance.... we have seen that it was human testimony, and human testimony only, that excited this inquiry...in their minds. It was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers, this testimony having aroused their minds to inquire after the knowledge of God.” (Joseph Smith, Lectures 2:33-34, 56.) (Joseph Smith, Lectures 2:33-34, 56.)
“I have learned that strong, impressive spiritual experiences do not come to us very frequently. And when they do, they are generally for our own edification, instruction, or correction. Unless we are called by proper authority to do so, they do not position us to counsel or to correct others. I have come to believe also that it is not wise to continually talk of unusual spiritual experiences. They are to be guarded with care and shared only when the Spirit itself prompts you to use them to the blessing of others...
I heard President Marion G. Romney once counsel mission presidents and their wives in Geneva, “I do not tell all I know; I have never told my wife all I know, for I found out that if I talked too lightly of sacred things, thereafter the Lord would not trust me.” We are, I believe, to keep these things and ponder them in our hearts, as Luke said Mary did of the supernal events that surrounded the birth of Jesus. (See Luke 2:19.) (Boyd K. Packer, The Candle of the Lord [From a talk given at a seminar for new mission presidents, 25 June 1982] in Ensign, Jan. 1983, 51-56).
Alma 18:36, 39; 22:12-14 Teach the Plan of Salvation...
“People wonder 'why?' --Why are we commanded to do some things, and why we are commanded not to do other things? A knowledge of the plan of happiness, even in outline form, can give... minds a 'why'... Providing your students with a collection of unrelated truths will hurt as much as it helps. Provide a basic feeling for the whole plan, even with just a few details, and it will help them ever so much more. Let them know what it’s all about, then they will have the 'why'”
... Alma said this, and this is, I think of late, my favorite scripture, although I change now and again: ‘God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption’ (Alma 12:32). Let me say that again: ‘God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption.’ Now, let me say it again: ‘God gave unto them commandments, after having made known unto them the plan of redemption.’ (Boyd K. Packer, The Great Plan of Happiness, Religious Symposuim, BYU, 10 August 1993).
Oh, if I could teach you this one principle. A testimony is to be found in the bearing of it! Somewhere in your quest for spiritual knowledge, there is that “leap of faith,” as the philosophers call it. It is the moment when you have gone to the edge of the light and stepped into the darkness to discover that the way is lighted ahead for just a footstep or two. “The spirit of man,” is as the scripture says, indeed the candle of the Lord.” (Prov. 20:27.) It is one thing to receive a witness from what you have read or what another has said; and that is a necessary beginning. It is quite another to have the Spirit confirm to you in your bosom that what you have testified is true. Can you not see that it will be supplied as you share it? As you give that which you have, there is a replacement, with increase!” (Boyd K. Packer, The Candle of the Lord, Ensign, Jan. 83, p. 51)
Alma 20:14-15 “know that they are just men and holy prophets...”
“I honor and revere the name of Joseph Smith. I delight to hear it; I love it. I love his doctrine. What I have received from the Lord, I have received by Joseph Smith; he was the instrument made use of.... I feel like shouting Hallelujah, all the time, when I think that I ever knew Joseph Smith, the Prophet whom the Lord raised up and ordained, and to whom he gave keys and power to build up the Kingdom of God on earth” (Discourses of Brigham Young, 458).
“How thankful we ought to be... how thankful we are, for a prophet to counsel us in words of divine wisdom as we walk our paths in these complex and difficult times. The solid assurance we carry in our hearts, the conviction that God will make his will known to his children through his recognized servant is the real basis of our faith and activity. We either have a prophet or we have nothing: and having a prophet, we have everything” (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p. 499-500).
Alma 22:15-18 “what shall I do...” [see also Acts 2:37; 4:13-17]
"I have come to know, in interviewing people who have made mistakes in their lives, that a very convincing evidence of repentance is that they are willing to do whatever is required of them. Occasionally, when a bishop is hesitant to issue a temple recommend, a member will resist the bishop and perhaps argue with him. That very attitude is a signal that the bishop may well need to consider very, very carefully whether or not someone with that spirit should be given the privilege of entering the house of the Lord. It indicates that member may not be quite ready." (Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple, p. 54-55)
Alma 23:16; 27:27 “that thereby they might be distinguished...”
“It makes sense to me that the Lord would choose out of the world those who are (or who could become) different from the world and, therefore, could lead the world to a different outcome. We must be different in order to make a difference.” (Neal A Maxwell, Disposition of a Disciple, p. 54-55)
One of the trials of life is that we do not usually receive immediately the full blessing for righteousness or the full cursing for wickedness. That it will come is certain, but ofttimes there is a waiting period that occurs, as was the case with Job and Joseph... The righteous must continue to love God, trust in His promises, be patient, and be assured, as the poet said, that --
Who does God's work will get God's pay, However long may seem the day, However weary be the way. No mortal hand God's hand can stay, He may not pay as others pay, In gold, or lands, or raiment gay, In goods that perish and decay; But God's high wisdom knows a way, And this is sure, let come what may-- Who does God's work will get God's pay. (Author unknown) (Author unknown)
I testify to you that God's pay is the best pay that this world or any other world knows anything about. And it comes in full abundance only to those who love the Lord and put Him first. (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 352) (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, 352)
Alma 26:9, 27:4 “who have so dearly beloved us...”
Alma 26:11, 35; 27:18 “my joy is full...” [see D&C 18:10-16]
Alma 26:12 “I am nothing...in [God’s] strength I can do all things...” [see D&C 35:13-14]
Alma 26:16 “I cannot say the smallest part which I feel...”
Alma 26:22 “it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance...”
“An old saying teaches that you can count the number of seeds in a single apple, but you can’t count the number of apples in a single seed.” (James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1996, 42) (James E. Faust, Ensign, May 1996, 42)
Alma 26:27-30 “we have suffered every privation...”
Alma 26:37 “we see that God is mindful of every people...”
Alma 28:14 “we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards...”
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