The Spoken Word

Richard L. Evans

“Home, sweet home”

“The Spoken Word” from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System May 9, 1971. © 1971 by Richard L. Evans.

Not long since, I sat with a family who had lost a precious loved one, among the most precious in the whole length of life: their mother—so precious, so loved, so needed, that except for their faith in a future where loved ones wait, this would have been all but unbearable. And then I heard a grateful son say what others have also said: “Our mother gave us everything that money couldn’t buy.” The same could be said of many mothers, of many fathers, of many families—that they give what money can’t buy: love and loyalty; learning, listening; trust, understanding; a wholesome humor; fair and firm discipline; a sense of being loved and wanted, counseled and encouraged; belonging; someone to confide in; someone to talk to; a living example of unselfish service; someone who could always be counted on. You can fashion all manner of social entities and institutions; you can substitute something less under circumstances of necessity, but there isn’t anything that can replace the love of parents, or improve upon this God-given relationship of life: mother, father, family. And when it is respected and faithfully preserved, this family love and loyalty can offer everything that money cannot buy. Well, of course, the family is people, and people are not perfect. And to those who have struggled, disagreed, and have sometimes all but pulled apart, yet somehow have endured and solved their differences, to these the years bring peace, assurance, satisfaction, and a kind of heroism in having done what should be done, in having preserved a home. Oh, let us live to find ourselves with loved ones—always and forever. And wherever life takes us, God bless us to have happy, hallowed homes—homes that we can turn to—“Home, sweet home.”

The process of prevention

“The Spoken Word” from Temple Square, presented over KSL and the Columbia Broadcasting System May 23, 1971. © 1971 by Richard L. Evans.

There is much to be said concerning the process of prevention, but in general it should be said that it is less costly to prevent than it is to try to mend or correct or cure—to prevent disease; to prevent regrets; to prevent broken hearts and broken homes; to prevent bankruptcy and going too deeply into debt; to prevent the consequences that follow when we fail to do what we should do. We would well remember that men were meant to be healthy and happy, physically, mentally, morally. And what we think, what we do, what we eat and drink, what we learn, and how we live are all part of the process. And why deliberately do anything—ever—that we know we’ll be sorry for? Why run against the laws of life? against conscience? Why run headlong into ill health and unhappiness? Why not prevent all the mistakes and ill health and unhappiness we can? The science of medicine has taught us much—much more than we use. The rules of safety have taught us much more than we use. The experience of the past, the conventions of society, have taught us much more than we use or pay attention to. The commandments of God can teach us much, but now we try to tell ourselves they are outdated and old-fashioned. The best remedy is first to recognize causes rather than merely try to run away from consequences. If we don’t want the physical penalties and remorse of immorality, we’d better stay away from immorality. If we don’t want the embarrassment and difficulties of debt, we’d better not let ourselves be led more deeply into debt. If we don’t want ill health and unhappiness, we’d better do our best to learn to live the laws of health and happiness. Some things we simply cannot ignore without realizing results—and among them are the commandments, the laws of life, and the physical and moral facts. In the process of prevention we should face up to what we should do, more than what we wish we hadn’t done. And instead of trying so hard to teach our young people how to get out of some things, we well would teach them how not to get into them.