“Speaking Today,” Liahona, Aug. 2005, N9–N11
President Faust Encourages Members to Keep Church in Heart
During a devotional at Brigham Young University on March 1, President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, taught students that the Church needs to be firmly in place in the hearts of its members.
President Faust told of a time when a visitor to Salt Lake City asked him for directions. “Where is the church of the Mormons?” the traveler asked, not knowing to whom he was speaking.
President Faust pointed to various sites in the city but later realized that he may not have accurately answered the visitor’s question. “I could have pointed to my chest and said that the Church should be first and foremost in our hearts,” he said. “And then the traveler surely would have been somewhat bewildered, but that response would have been more accurate.”
President Faust said members who place the Church in their hearts have stronger families and thus are able to more effectively fight off elements of societal decay.
“Nothing can destroy individuals of our country as quickly as drugs,” President Faust said. “It is not confined to any segment of society, and it has created more damage than anything else I have witnessed in my life. Suffice it to say that government can’t stop it, the police can’t, but the family can.”
President Faust said that one of the reasons the Church exists is to strengthen families, and he emphasized that if the Church is not in the hearts of individuals within the family, family effectiveness weakens.
“So the family is, and must always be, an important part of the Church,” he said. “But the Lord’s kingdom ultimately must be found in our hearts before it can be found anywhere else.”
President Faust stressed to those in attendance that having a strong family can be achieved through perseverance, regardless of how many or which members are in the family unit.
“What seems to distinguish a successful family is that the members of the family continue to care. They don’t give up. They never quit. They hang together through hardships and deaths and other problems,” he said.
President Faust also said the Church is increasingly being asked to fill in for weakened families. “Because of the erosion of family life and family values, we frequently hear urgent pleas requesting the Church as an organization to take over activities formerly considered family activities,” he said. “I wonder if our maturing youth can hold everything together without family home evening, daily family prayer, and daily family scripture study.
“I say this because I am persuaded that family activities can be more effective in fostering the eternal values of love, loyalty, honesty, chastity, industry, and self-worth, and personal integrity than any other institution.”
President Faust also spoke of the importance of extended family to be involved in helping family members through hardships. “I would urge members of extended families … to reach out in concern and to succor,” he said. “Mostly what is needed from grandparents, aunts, and uncles is unreserved love manifest as interest and concern. It builds confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth.”
President Packer Tells Students to Go Forward with Faith
President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, encouraged students at a Brigham Young University–Hawaii devotional on March 1 to continue to go forward in their lives, having faith that the Lord will provide a light and a way for them.
“Some of you who look at yourselves as being less or having less are the ones who are going to succeed most permanently and perfectly in life,” President Packer said. “But as you go ahead in life, you are going to go like Nephi did … who went forward not knowing beforehand the things that he should do.” (See 1 Ne. 4:6.)
President Packer told of a time in his life when he had a goal, but was unsure how to achieve it. After telling President Harold B. Lee (1899–1973) of his problem, he said President Lee told him: “Boyd, you want to see the end from the beginning. You’re going to have to learn to take a few steps in the dark, and then the light will turn on before you.
“With that, I stepped into the unknown—into the dark—and the light went on, as it will with you,” President Packer said. “You move forward, but you move forward on the principles of the gospel, and you have an inner light.”
President Packer promised that although people will make mistakes, if they will listen to the Spirit, those mistakes can be less painful.
“We make all kinds of mistakes; it’s kind of a trial and error in life,” he said. “But as you move forward in life, you cannot make a major mistake—any mistake that will have any lasting consequence in your life—without having been warned and told not to do it.”
President Packer emphasized the importance of obedience in receiving promised guidance. “[Obedience] can be very tough,” he said. “But it’s the most protecting word, the most revealing word—you obey and you cannot go wrong, and you will be provided for.”
President Packer encouraged those in attendance to continue forward, promising that guidance will be given to the obedient. “You who are going ahead—not knowing right now which way you should go—always your life will be that way, but always you’ll know step by step what step you should take.”
Elder Bednar Emphasizes Obedience
Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told students at a Brigham Young University–Hawaii devotional on March 1 of the need for and importance of being obedient to the laws of the Lord.
In his address, Elder Bednar referred to the invocation to the devotional, which included a request for a greater “desire for obedience.” He then told those in attendance about a conversation he once had with Elder Neal A. Maxwell.
He said that Elder Maxwell told him that the thing that distinguishes this generation today from others is a greater capacity to be obedient.
Thanks to that capacity, this generation is responsible to use this obedience to further the work of the Lord, Elder Bednar said. “‘Unto whom much is given much is required’ (D&C 82:3)—not expected but required,” he said. “That greater capacity for obedience is a necessary prerequisite for the work that we are to do in this latter day.”
“It is not a coincidence that we are here,” he said. “There is a divine design such that we are here at this time—with a greater capacity for obedience—to participate in the building of the kingdom of God in all the earth.”
Elder Bednar also warned those in attendance that one of Satan’s “subtle, seductive strategies” is to lead people to believe that we are on the earth to be entertained.
“Given the work that needs to be done, each of us has the responsibility to become a tool that can be used in the hands of the Lord—a sharp, strong, refined instrument.”
In the quest to become an instrument in the Lord’s hands, we will receive help, Elder Bednar said.
“I further testify and promise … that as we consider the perspective of the Restoration, there will come even greater understanding about the tools that we must become and the roles that we must play,” he said. “[This work] is accomplished by the Lord through us … and we are the tools that will be placed in His hands to be able to accomplish that work.”