“Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, Sept. 2007, 4–8
First Presidency Message
The Last Dispensation
“How wonderful it is that [God] has smiled with favor in this, the last dispensation, the dispensation of the fulness of times, when He has restored His work with all of its powers, with all of its glory and all of the truth and all of the authority of all previous dispensations in this great and final period of time. …
“I know that God our Eternal Father lives and loves us; that Jesus is His Beloved Son, our Redeemer, our Savior, our Lord, our Friend; that Joseph Smith was and is a prophet; that this Church is true; that it is Their work restored to the earth for our blessing and our happiness” (regional conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, May 4, 2003).
I Know the Gospel Is True
“Do I know [the gospel is] true? I want everybody in this hall tonight to realize that you each heard me say to you that I know that God our Eternal Father lives. I know that He lives. I know that He is a being of substance. I know that He is the great God of the universe. I know, however, that I am His child and that you are His children and that He will listen to and hear and answer our prayers.
“I know that Jesus is the Christ. He was the great instrument in the hands of God to create the earth. The Gospel of John says that nothing was made that was not made by Him [see John 1:3]. He was the Creator. He was the Jehovah of the Old Testament. He was the Christ child, who came and was born under humble circumstances. He was the Messiah, who walked a lonely road to His foreordained mission, healing the sick and raising the dead. He was the great Redeemer of the world, who died on Calvary’s hill and was resurrected the third day, ‘the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:20). He it was who visited the Nephites on the American continent and taught them as He had taught in the Holy Land. And He it was who, with His Father, visited the boy Joseph and spoke to him concerning the Restoration of this work.
“I know that the priesthood is here upon the earth and is available to every man who lives worthy of it. I know that the ordinances of the temple are upon the earth, the great sealing ordinances under which we may be bound together as families for time and all eternity. I know that God will not forsake this work, but He will see that there is always someone through whom He can communicate His truths to the people” (meeting, Nairobi, Kenya, Aug. 4, 2005).
“How wonderful it is that we believe in modern revelation. I cannot get over the feeling that if revelation were needed anciently, when life was simple, that revelation is also needed today, when life is complex. There never was a time in the history of the earth when men needed revelation more than they need it now.
“I want to testify to you, my brothers and sisters, that the book of revelation is not closed. God directs this day and time and speaks as certainly today as He did in the days of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob” (meeting, Madrid, Spain, May 29, 2004).
Put It to the Test
“I plead with you, my brothers and sisters, that if you have any doubt concerning any doctrine of this Church, that you put it to the test. Try it. Live the principle. Get on your knees and pray about it, and God will bless you with a knowledge of the truth of this work” (meeting, Paris, France, May 28, 2004).
Stand above Evil
“My dear young friends, never let anything stand in the way of your worthiness to enter the house of the Lord and there engage in a great and marvelous service in behalf of those who have gone beyond.
“You face so much of evil. Stand above it. … I do not know that there was ever a time in the history of the world when there was greater evil in the world than there is today. I want to salute you, you young men and women of this Church who have stood strong in the face of evil. God bless you and give you strength to resist” (meeting, São Paulo, Brazil, Feb. 21, 2004).
The Very Purpose of This Work
“I urge you, dear sisters, to attend the house of the Lord and to encourage your husbands to go with you. If, perchance, there may be some here who have never been or who have not been for a long time, I suggest with love in my heart that you do all that is necessary to qualify to do so. If you have not done so, you have missed, really, what this Church is all about. The very purpose of this work, as declared by the God of heaven, is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of men and women [see Moses 1:39]. Do you love your husband? Do you love your children and your grandchildren and your great-grandchildren? Then do not miss the opportunity to bind them to you in an eternal compact that time cannot destroy and death cannot break. This can be accomplished in no other way. …
“And if these blessings are available to [us] of this generation, would not a just God provide for a way to make them available to your forefathers who did not have such an opportunity?” (stake Relief Society meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, Mar. 20, 2002).
Come to the Temple
“I wish to say to everyone here, come to the temple. Live worthy to come to the temple. Live the commandments of God so that you may come to the temple. Do those things which will make you eligible to serve in the house of the Lord. It has been built for you, my brothers and sisters, that you might have the opportunity of coming here and receiving the wonderful blessings that can be had nowhere else in all the world, except in other temples, where you may be sealed together as husband and wife, where your children may be sealed to you, where you may work in behalf of your forebears, who have gone beyond. That great and marvelous and wonderfully unselfish work occurs in the house of the Lord. Come to the temple” (meeting, Aba, Nigeria, Aug. 6, 2005).
Live Worthy of the Priesthood
“God has given you [priesthood holders] something of power and divinity and reality and usefulness. He has blessed you with the very essence of His power, with the authority to speak in His sacred name and bring to pass His work to bless, to teach, to encourage, to help, to govern in the affairs of His kingdom—the power of the royal priesthood. There is nothing simple or nothing to be taken for granted concerning this. This is His divine power. It is the power by which the earth was created and His work is carried forward. And He has deigned, as it were, to bestow upon you and me, out of His goodness and generosity, that power and authority. Oh, how we ought to strive to live worthy of it, to never do anything which would destroy our effectiveness as His sons in exercising this divine, sacred, and remarkable thing which we call the holy priesthood” (regional conference, Pleasant Grove, Utah, Jan. 19, 2003).
Blessings of Church Membership
“What a wonderful thing it is to belong to this Church. Have you ever stopped to think how empty your lives would be without it? How grateful we ought to be … for the tremendous blessings that come through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank you … for being faithful Latter-day Saints and for seeking to raise your children in light and truth, with a love for the Lord and His great and holy work” (stake conference, West Valley City, Utah, Nov. 10, 2002).
Divine Mission of Jesus Christ
“We are a great family bound together in a unity of love and faith. Our blessing is great, as a people and as individuals. We carry in our hearts a firm and unshakable conviction of the divine mission of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“He was the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Creator who, under the direction of His Father, made all things and ‘without him was not any thing made that was made’ (John 1:3). He was the promised Messiah, who came with healing in His wings. He was the worker of miracles, the great healer, the Resurrection and the Life. His is the only name under heaven whereby we must be saved [see Acts 4:12]. …
“He came as a gift of His Eternal Father. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life’ (John 3:16).
“He condescended to leave His throne on high and come to earth to be born in a manger, in a conquered nation. He walked the dusty roads of that land, healing the sick, teaching the doctrine, blessing all who would accept Him. …
“On Calvary’s hill He gave His life for each of us. That is the greatest gift that any of us can ever receive. It is the gift of the Resurrection and eternal life.
“We honor His birth. But without His death, that birth would have been but one more birth. It was the Redemption which He worked out in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the cross of Calvary which made His gift immortal, universal, and everlasting. His was a great Atonement for the sins of all mankind. He is the Resurrection and the Life, ‘the firstfruits of them that slept’ (1 Corinthians 15:20). Because of Him all men will be raised from the grave.
“We love Him. We honor Him. We thank Him. We worship Him. He has done for each of us and for all mankind that which none other could have done. God be thanked for the gift of His Beloved Son, our Savior, the Redeemer of the world, the Lamb without blemish, who was offered as a sacrifice for all mankind” (missionary devotional, Dec. 15, 2002).
The Blessings of the Atonement
“[Jesus Christ’s] Atonement is the greatest event in human history. There is nothing to compare with it. It is the most fundamental part of our Father’s plan for the happiness of His children. Without it, mortal life would be a dead-end existence with neither hope nor future. The gift of our divine Redeemer brings an entirely new dimension to our lives. Because of our Savior’s sacrifice, instead of dismal oblivion, death becomes only a passage to a more glorious realm. The Resurrection becomes a reality for all. Eternal life becomes available to those who walk in obedience to His commandments” (Australia stake conference satellite broadcast, Feb. 12, 2005).
Ideas for Home Teachers
After prayerfully studying this message, share it using a method that encourages the participation of those you teach. Following are some examples:
Show the article and a picture of President Hinckley. Explain that one of the prophet’s main roles is to teach and testify. Invite family members to take turns reading aloud a section that interests them. Testify of the importance of following the prophet.
Invite one family member to stand in a place where he or she can see things that no one else can. Ask that person to describe what he or she sees. Explain the role of a seer (see Mosiah 8:15–17). Read selections from the article. How do these statements from our prophet improve our spiritual vision?
Bring objects to represent sections in the article (the scriptures, a picture of a temple or of the Savior, and so on). Read the corresponding sections, and discuss how we can know these concepts came from our Heavenly Father. Testify that we can know the truth through the power of the Holy Ghost.