“I hope with all my heart that every man and woman in this great congregation today will develop in your hearts a vital testimony of the living God. I hope that you will cultivate in your hearts a testimony of the divine Son of God, who condescended to come to earth, born under the humblest of circumstances, to become the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. Because of His life, and because of His death, each of us is given the opportunity of eternal growth and development and progress. What a blessing we have. I am grateful beyond belief, my brothers and my sisters. Read of His life in the Holy Bible. Read of His life in the Book of Mormon, and seek to follow His commandments. I hope that every man and woman here today has a great feeling in his heart, has a living, vibrant testimony of the truth of this great latter-day work” (meeting, Hermosillo, Mexico, 9 Mar. 1998).
“We have a clear and present answer to the nature of God and of our Savior. We are Christians as followers of Him, regardless of what others say, and the more they talk, the more certain it becomes that a Restoration was necessary if the work of the Lord were to succeed and move forward. We are the beneficiaries of that great Restoration. The First Vision, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the restoration of the priesthood under the hands of John the Baptist and Peter, James, and John, the great keys which came from Moses and Elias and Elijah to bring in the fullness of the priesthood in this the dispensation of the fullness of times. We are the beneficiaries of it all. We can’t afford to be tawdry people. We ought to stand a little taller, be a little better for the great inheritance which we have. We must be as the Saints of God—a good people, a righteous people, a faithful people—loving our neighbors who are not of our faith, helping them in whatever problems arise, yes, by all means, with tolerance and love and respect for them, but at the same time going forward in our faith, the faith of the living God, the truth of the Restoration” (Springville Utah Kolob Second Ward and Fourth Ward chapel rededication, 1 Mar. 1998).
“You dear fathers, be careful. You hold the priesthood of God. There is nothing like it in all the world. This Church is different. Every worthy man may hold the priesthood. You fathers hold that priesthood. There can be no place in your life for anger, for exploding over little things. There can be no place in your life for criticism of your local [leaders] and General Authorities of the Church. There can be no place in your lives for pornography or anything of the kind. There can be no place in your lives for wife abuse or child abuse or anything of the kind” (meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 4 Aug. 1998).
“You mothers, are you the kind to scream at your children, shout with shrill voices? Please don’t. Be quiet in your talk. Soft words. ‘A soft answer taketh away wrath’ (Prov. 15:1). It does. Bless your children with the love that you carry in your hearts. ‘All thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children,’ said Isaiah (Isa. 54:13). How true it is. Be teachers to your children” (meeting, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, 5 Aug. 1998).
“I think the Lord expects of us that we will go to the temple and take advantage of the tremendous opportunities to be found in that holy house. …
“Every temple that we build becomes a memorial to the truth that we believe in the immortality of the human soul. Everything that occurs in those temples is concerned with the eternities, with everlasting life. We wouldn’t need a temple if we were just getting married for this life. We wouldn’t need a temple if all of our efforts were centered in this life. The temple becomes the great bridge from this life to the next and finds expression in the most unselfish kind of service of which I am aware. It is a tremendous opportunity, a marriage for time and all eternity. I don’t know whether we can appreciate it to the degree that we really should” (meeting, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, 5 Aug. 1998).
Retention of New Converts
“Now, my brothers and sisters, you older people, you young men and young women, I plead with you tonight. I plead with every one of you tonight to find out about the converts to the Church and put your arms around them and make friends of them; and you bishops and branch presidents, put them to work. Give them something to do. As they work, they will grow in faith. Faith is like the muscle of my arm. If I use it, if I nurture it, it will grow strong. If I put it in a sling and leave it there, it will grow weak. Brothers and sisters, please, please, reach out to every convert in the Church and help him or her to become established in the faith. It will not help if the missionaries baptize people and we don’t retain them. Their job is to teach and baptize. Your job is to work with all of those who are baptized. The Lord will hold us responsible, my brothers and sisters” (meeting, Guadalajara, Mexico, 10 Mar. 1998).
“I want to plead with you to keep your thoughts clean, the things you think about, the things you dwell on. Get out of the gutter and stand tall and clean and keep yourselves aloof from those things. They will only destroy you. They are just like a terrible poison. They will tear you down and utterly ruin your lives. Stay above them. Keep your thoughts clean and speak clean words” (devotional, Provo Missionary Training Center, 26 June 1998).
“The Lord would have you stay away from drugs, my young brethren and sisters. The body which you have is the temple of God. It is sacred. It is the handiwork of Divinity. You and I cannot afford, under any circumstances, to indulge in the use of illegal drugs. They will absolutely destroy you. They will take away your self-control. They will cause you to do dishonest things to get money to buy them. Stay away from those things proscribed in the Word of Wisdom—no alcohol, no beer, no tobacco. What a blessing! What a blessing is the Word of Wisdom, that the Lord would set before His Church a pattern of living which would bless our lives” (meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 6 Aug. 1998).
“People ask me what my favorite scripture is. I say, ‘Well, I have several of them. One of them is this: “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).’ There is no room for arrogance in our lives. There is no room for conceit in our lives. There is no room for egotism in our lives. We must be humble before the Lord. He has so declared, and if we will do it, He will hear our prayers and answer them with a blessing upon our heads” (meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 4 Aug. 1998).
“There is a power greater than you who can help you. You never need be ashamed of praying. Get on your knees as the day starts. Get on your knees as the day closes and offer prayer unto the Lord, and ask Him to bless you in dealing with your problems, to bless you in your schooling, bless you in all you do, and remember before Him those who are less fortunate than you, others who are in trouble and need and desire His blessings. Be prayerful! There is something wonderful, there is something noble, there is something upstanding and good about an individual who prays. Don’t forget to pray” (meeting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, 4 Aug. 1998).
Followers of Jesus Christ
“What does He [the Lord] expect of us as members of this Church? He expects us to be Latter-day Saints. He expects us to be His followers. He expects us to bring into our lives something of a pattern of the life of the Savior, the only perfect man who ever walked the earth, who condescended to come down, to leave His Father, to walk the dusty roads of Palestine and die on the cross in the great act of Atonement which has brought blessings into our lives that could come in no other way—the blessing of salvation, the blessing of the Resurrection, the opportunity of exaltation, if we will work for it.
“… There is before us a great model of the Redeemer of the world, whose life and precepts and teachings we try to follow. And that will lead to growth and opportunity and exaltation. He has opened the way. And we, His grateful servants, ought to be working at it constantly” (meeting, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada, 5 Aug. 1998).