First Presidency Message

Inspirational Thoughts


Gordon B. Hinckley

Inspirational Thoughts

Ideas for Home Teachers

Preparation

After studying this message, think about ways your testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ influences what you do. Prayerfully choose several statements from President Hinckley you feel will most benefit those you teach. Then select a teaching method or activity that is appropriate for the ages and circumstances of the family members. A few examples of how this may be done are listed below.

Suggestions for Teaching

  1. 1.

    Ask family members to look for ideas about Jesus Christ as they take turns reading the thoughts from President Hinckley you have pre-selected for their study. Make a list of the ideas they find. Share your testimony of the Savior and invite them to share their thoughts and feelings of Him.

  2. 2.

    Read the first sentence of 3 Nephi 5:13 [3 Ne. 5:13], substituting family member names and “is” for “I am.” Discuss what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ today. Then read the second sentence of 3 Nephi 5:13, substituting family member names and “has” for “I have”; end the reading at “to.” Ask family members to complete the second sentence using ideas from President Hinckley.

God Bless You

“May the sunlight of faith ever warm your hearts. May you grow in strength and capacity as the years pass. May your outreach to others be as that of the good Samaritan. May the service which you render be fruitful for good in the lives of others. May prayer be a part of your daily activity. May reading enhance your knowledge and increase your understanding. May you be true and faithful one to another, and may the years bring to you that peace which passeth all understanding, the peace which comes of following the precepts of the Master” (devotional, BYU alumni, 12 Sept. 2000).

Sacrament Meeting

“Sacrament meeting, partaking of the sacrament each week—what a glorious blessing that is. What a wonderful privilege to go to sacrament meeting and partake of the sacrament, the emblems of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the great Atonement which was wrought by Him, that makes possible our moving beyond the grave into a glorious future. I hope that all of us attend our sacrament meetings. I hope we recognize it as an opportunity and as a wonderful blessing” (regional conference, Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, 15 Mar. 1998).

Church of Jesus Christ

“We are a church, a church in whose name is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. We bear witness of Him, and it is His example and His teachings we try to follow. We give love. We bring peace. We do not seek to tear down any other church. We recognize the good they do. We have worked with them on many undertakings. We will continue to do so. We stand as the servants of the Lord. We acknowledge that we could not accomplish what we do without the help of the Almighty. We look to Him as our Father and our God and our ever-present helper as we seek to improve the world by changing the hearts of individuals” (remarks to National Press Club, 8 Mar. 2000).

Be True to the Lord

“Be true to the Lord. He is your strength. He is your salvation. It is He who can bless you. It is He who desires to bless you. Look to Him for every gift and grace and blessing. Get on your knees and pray and stand on your feet and do His will and put your trust and faith in Him and God will bless you. I make that promise as His servant” (regional conference, Santiago, Chile, 26 Apr. 1999).

Live the Gospel in the Home

“We must do better than we are doing. All of these things of which we have spoken this day—of courses of study and curriculum and all these other things—become as nothing if we are not living the gospel of Jesus Christ in our homes. That is where things really count. That is where the anchor drops that will hold our families to us and make us worthy of them through time and all eternity” (Woods Cross, Utah, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 10 Jan. 1998).

Family Prayer

“Family prayer—that is a practice, once very common, that is largely disappearing. I believe that the very act of people supplicating the Lord in prayer, night and morning, would have a most salutary effect upon our civilization and our lives” (Houston, Texas, regional conference, 20 Sept. 1998).

Individuals in the Church

“It is the individual with whom we work and must deal, and we must never lose sight of the fact that the Church is made up of individuals, people. The Savior always dealt with individuals. He spoke to the multitude on the mount. He fed the multitude loaves and fishes. But you read His parables. He was always concerned with the individual” (Houston, Texas, regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 19 Sept. 1998).

Promise of Eternal Life

“The Lord in His great mercy, the Lord in His love for us, has made it possible for us to be brought together under the authority of the holy priesthood in a relationship which will last beyond death, and over which death will have no control. No great man or woman of government, no military leader, no great businessman, no great educator, no great professional man can make that kind of promise. He may attain to the highest honors of men, but he will have no control over the destiny of men and women when they pass the threshold of death” (meeting, Guayaquil, Ecuador, 31 July 1999).

Moments of Introspection

“All of us ought to pause once in a while and just stop and think. … We are prone to talk too much and do too little. I think it is a wonderful thing to just indulge once in a while in moments of introspection and see what we are doing with our lives and what contribution we are making and where we could do a little better than we are now doing. I feel we would all benefit from that” (remarks to National Press Club, 8 Mar. 2000).

Stand a Little Taller

“Stand a little taller and work a little harder and value a little greater the marvelous blessing which you have as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That membership will bring with it a strong and moving testimony of the divinity of the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Lord Jesus Christ.

“You and I are sons and daughters of God, with something of divinity within us. Let us stand tall, my brothers and sisters. Let us live the gospel. Let us be busy in the Church. Let us learn of its doctrine. Let us feed upon its teachings. Let us grow in faith and faithfulness before the world” (meeting, Cairns, Australia, 26 Jan. 2000).

True Gospel of Jesus Christ

“The true gospel of Jesus Christ never led to bigotry. It never led to self-righteousness. It never led to arrogance. The true gospel of Jesus Christ leads to brotherhood, to friendship, to appreciation of others, to respect and kindness and love” (devotional, BYU alumni, 12 Sept. 2000).

Live Worthy of a Temple Recommend

“Live worthy to hold a temple recommend. There is nothing more precious than a temple recommend. … Whether you can go there frequently or not, qualify for a temple recommend and keep a recommend in your pocket. It will be a reminder to you of what is expected of you as a Latter-day Saint” (meeting, Guam, 31 Jan. 2000).

Importance of Temples

“Every temple that this Church has built has in effect stood as a monument to our belief in the immortality of the human soul, that this phase of mortal life through which we pass is part of a continuous upward climb, so to speak, and that as certain as there is life here, there will be life there. That is our firm belief. It comes about through the Atonement of the Savior, and the temple becomes, as I have indicated, the bridge from this life to the next. The temple is concerned with things of immortality. We wouldn’t have to build a temple for marriages if we didn’t believe in the eternity of the family. We build it so the family may be eternal. All of the ordinances which take place in the house of the Lord become expressions of our belief in that fundamental and basic doctrine. The temple therefore becomes the ultimate in our system of worship and therefore is of great and significant importance to us” (interview with Vern Anderson of the Associated Press, 20 Apr. 1999).

Baptism for the Dead

“When you are 12 years of age, you may go to the Lord’s house and there stand as a living proxy in behalf of someone who is dead. What a marvelous thing that is that you, an ordinary boy or girl, can stand in the place of some great man or woman who at one time lived upon the earth but who is now powerless to move forward without the blessing that you can give to him or her. … There is no greater blessing that you can have than to stand as a proxy in a great service to those who have gone beyond. And it will be your privilege and your opportunity and your responsibility to live worthy to go to the temple of the Lord and there be baptized in behalf of someone else” (meeting, Guayaquil, Ecuador, 31 July 1999).

Immortality

“This life is a part of eternity. This is one stage of our eternal lives. When we die, we will go on to purposeful, active, challenging living. The life on the other side of the veil will be somewhat like the life here. If we have been clean and decent and good here, we will go on in that same spirit. If we have been rascals, we will go in that same spirit. I believe that. I believe in the eternity of life. It is as much a part of my belief as anything that I know of, that this is not the end, that there will be another life, that we will be accountable to God our Father and to our Lord Jesus Christ, that we will have work to do, and that sometime we will all participate in the resurrection. That is my hope, my faith, my testimony” (interview with Ignacio Carrión, El País newspaper, 7 Nov. 1997).

Life after Death

“I know as surely as anything in this world that someday I shall die as to the life of this world. But I have an absolute certainty in my heart that I shall go on living and doing good and having the association of my beloved companion and my children” (meeting, Guayaquil, Ecuador, 31 July 1999).

Faith in the Lord

“Faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ—I hope there is no one here today who isn’t constantly cultivating that faith through reading the scriptures, the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and building the faith which he or she carries in his heart or her heart concerning the Son of God, our Redeemer and our Lord” (meeting, Columbus, Ohio, 25 Apr. 1998).

The Savior Jesus Christ

“We belong to this great and marvelous organization which is established on principles which the Lord Himself laid down when He walked the dusty roads of Palestine—the Son of God, who condescended to come to earth, born in a lowly manger in Bethlehem. … The miracle of His life is beyond description. He gave that life for each of us on Calvary’s hill in an act of Atonement greater than we can ever really understand. He alone shed His blood for the sins of which we are guilty, that we might have the opportunity of repenting and expecting forgiveness” (meeting, Jerusalem Center, 21 Mar. 1999).

[illustration] O Jerusalem, by Greg Olsen, courtesy Mill Pond Press

[illustration] The Good Samaritan, by Walter Rane

[illustration] First Sacrament, by Gary Smith