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Other institutions simply cannot compensate fully for failing families.

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Let the world go its own way on the family. It appears to be determined to do that. But we do not have that option. Our doctrines and teachings on the family are very, very powerful, and they are full of implications for all the people on this planet. Though I murmured as a young man at times with chores, I have acquired in this passage of time a hardened view of the spiritual necessity of work.

Foxhole Promises by Arnold G. Whittaker (Paperback), (AUTOGRAPHED)

Even if work were not an economic necessity, it is a spiritual necessity. What is thus taken for granted, however innocently, tends to underwrite selfishness and a sense of entitlement. I know that having said those things, and having spoken plainly, there are some who have worked exceedingly hard and need no comment from me on that score.

As I look at the rising generation, the gospel of work, which is part of the fulness of the gospel, will need more attention, not less. I am excited to report to you that I am enjoying the scriptures more than ever. But rarely do I do encore reading except for the holy scriptures.

Therefore, I am even more anxiously engaged in the restored gospel than ever because the restored gospel is so engaging. It really does get a grasp on our minds, and there is no end to the exploration that one can make of it. I feel instead this sense of anxious engagement in something that I have yet to take the full measure of.

As I look back across the sweep of this century, I feel that very strongly. The rush to judgment. Now, as already indicated, I am going to be somewhat autobiographical. I mention first of all a small episode involving a large principle. The principle is the need for us to avoid the rush to judgment. During months overseas while in the service, I had saved money to go on a mission. This was part of keeping my promise to the Lord made back in May of , to which I will refer later.

Back then I naively and foolishly thought I could pay God back, and of course I am more and more in His debt with the passing of time. In any event, when I was discharged, I wanted to go on a mission right away. But our bishop did not extend the call to me at once. Finally, somewhat audaciously, I went to his home one night and told him I wanted to go on a mission. Only then did he proceed to process the papers. I impatiently wondered back then why he seemed so slow.

Oh, how quick we are sometimes to judge with so little data! And these experiences are in each of our lives, and they are illustrative of large issues, if we will but learn from them. The rush to judgment continues to be the reflex of the natural man and the natural woman, if we do not guard against it carefully. The holy present. Another insight that seems to recur again and again in confirmation is that the todays of life constitute the holy present. We can fashion the future, and we do that by using what someone has called the holy present, which indeed it is.

Avoiding gloom.

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I share with you again a simple little insight that may help you at certain junctures in your lives. It is that you must not mistake passing local cloud cover for general darkness. They are very different things, and for us to misinterpret local cloud cover, which will soon be blown away, as general darkness is a terrible thing. The restored gospel is so full metaphorically of light. We must not be mistaken about this. I have likewise learned that illness can be a tutoring and sanctifying experience as well as a debilitating thing.

Such is spiritually very, very important. He is so quick to reward us, so quick to reassure us, and so anxious to take delight when we serve Him. So if you puzzle over that verse, as I have in life, including in recent times, the only bottom line I can give you is that the ratio of blessings to our comparatively minuscule obedience is a very, very generous ratio indeed.


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There are political fashions over which people become so excited, and they feel so threatened by them. The kingdom of the devil, brothers and sisters, must be regarded as a collective, generic designation. We must not confuse it with any of its subsets, as ominous and bad as they may be for their season in human history. We must not confuse the subsets with the whole of it. Once again the Book of Mormon and modern revelation give us the guidance we need so that we are not taken out of our places by too much concern over what on the current landscape of history may after all be a very temporary thing, real and menacing though it may be.

The Authenticity Test

As prophesied in the Book of Mormon, full of portent for Latter-day Saints, there will be real turbulence. The ebb and flow of faith. In like manner, as I have watched a few personal friends over the years go through the ebb and flow of faith, I have wondered about the underlying causes.

What happened? A verse in the Book of Mormon offers the most satisfactory explanation. It is an interrogative in Mosiah :. This describes what usually happens: otherwise basically decent people simply get caught up with the cares of the world. If instead of drawing closer to the Master we become a stranger to Him, then we have lost our way.

"Foxhole" - Julia Ross and Little Ruckus

If, on the other hand, we really are drawing closer to Jesus and we are becoming, however incrementally, more like Him, then we are progressing. I am going to preach a hard doctrine to you now. It is a hard doctrine, but it is true. The many other things we give to God, however nice that may be of us, are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. And that hard doctrine lies at the center of discipleship.

There is a part of us that is ultimately sovereign, the mind and heart, where we really do decide which way to go and what to do. And the other things are not very, very important. It is the only possession we have that we can give, and there is no lessening of our agency as a result. Instead, what we see is a flowering of our talents and more and more surges of joy. Submission to Him is the only form of submission that is completely safe.

In Vietnam, he prayed to God to save his life, and when he came home some of his foxhole promises no longer felt so pressing. Kerry, a divorced, pro-choice Democrat with a foreign-seeming wife, ran for president in against an incumbent whose personal Christian-conversion story was intricately woven into his public persona.

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Yet, out of principle or stubbornness, Kerry chose not to expound upon his own faith until late in the race—too late, he says in retrospect. In the spring and summer of '04, a handful of U. Catholic bishops announced they'd refuse Kerry holy communion on the grounds that his stance on abortion went against church teachings, and Kerry suddenly found himself having to answer fundamental questions about who he was and what he stood for.

He gave a big Catholic-values speech in Florida in October, but by then it was too late.