Peace and Love
Those who have not known love are more likely to have a special struggle in accepting the existence of a God whose greatest attribute is his love, and all of whose laws hang on the first two commandments with their high requirement of love.
Those who have not known forgiveness are more apt to have difficulty forgiving others. Those who have never had to be accountable will have greater difficulty learning to be accountable themselves and are apt to be more shrill in their demands about the accountability of others. Those who have not been trusted will find it more difficult to trust; those who have not earned deserved self-esteem will find it more difficult to esteem others.
Those who have not known peace, both in their homes and in their souls, will find it more difficult to fashion a world in which there is peace—because conflict will seem so normal! Those who do not know specifically what the conditions of righteousness are as described by God will find it more difficult to become righteously indignant at the human conditions that cry out for change.
Elder Of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy Brigham Young University devotional address
The Laboratory of Love
Where the home is, there love should be. The home is the laboratory of love, and in it resides the most important unit of the Church and of society—the family. Recently I was interviewed by a representative of a national magazine who expressed keen interest in a photograph on my desk of Sister Nelson and me with our family. He asked if we had any problems with rebellious youth, drug abuse, and morals among such a large family. When I replied in the negative, his interest seemed to become more intense.
Then he said, “When did you and your wife start to plan for your family and give them such emphasis in your lives?”
I simply replied, “Before we were ever married.” Then I continued, “You see, we believe that our major goal in life is to strengthen our family. Service in the Church, the community, continuing education, and our occupational endeavors all are undertaken to provide development for our family.”
He seemed surprised. He countered; “But earlier in our interview you said you and your wife had always tried to obey the scripture, ‘Seek ye first the kingdom of God.’ (Matt. 6:33.) Now you tell me the family comes first.”
He thought he had me. But I simply reviewed my long-established priorities and said, “I cannot seek the kingdom of God without loving and honoring first that family he has given to me. I cannot honor that family without loving and caring first for my wife!” I love her. She is my highest priority, and our eternal marriage in the temple is our highest commitment. We love our children and their children born and yet unborn. This love we are building in the sanctuary of our home. Here is where we have learned the power of love, and I testify that it is a real, dynamic, all-encompassing power!
General President of the Sunday School Brigham Young University devotional address
So Many Prodigals
Many times I feel a deep sorrow when I think of our brothers and sisters who are Wasting their opportunities in this life after accepting the truth and being baptized in the church of Christ. I ask myself, “Why is it so difficult to follow the Good Shepherd? Why do we harden our hearts and close our minds even after he has given us the opportunity to become part of his flock? Why do we waste our time and lose our gifts in the service of vanity and the vices of the world?”
President, Buenos Aires Argentina East Stake Buenos Aires Area Conference
The Glory of God
For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” (Moses 1:39.) This tremendous scripture summarizes in one sentence the sum and substance, the purpose, of all creation.
When I was young, I always assumed it would be impossible for God to participate further in the great process of eternal progression. After all, he was perfect. All knowledge was his. He had indeed overcome all things. But understanding this scripture, I now know that he is capable of further glorification or exaltation. Indeed, he is added upon through the success of his children. Your failure or my failure diminishes his possibilities. Our success in righteous endeavors adds further glory to his name. Should not that be the perfect motivation? It is perfect because it is without selfish interest.
Elder Of the First Quorum of the Seventy Brigham Young University devotional address