“Unless you are fully engaged in living the gospel—living it with all of your ‘heart, might, mind and strength’ (D&C 4:2)—you cannot generate enough spiritual light to push back the darkness.” —Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “Out of Darkness into His Marvelous Light,” Ensign, May 2002, 71.

Test Your Prayer I.Q.

Do you ever get confused with the thees and thous of prayer? Here’s a little exercise that can help you practice the special language of prayer. Fill in the blanks using thee, thou, thy, or thine. For the answers, see the references for these two prayers.

From Joseph Smith’s dedicatory prayer at the Kirtland Temple:

“And now, Holy Father, we ask _____ to assist us, _____ people, with _____ grace, in calling our solemn assembly, …

“That _____ glory may rest down upon _____ people, and upon this _____ house, which we now dedicate to _____, that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that _____ holy presence may be continually in this house” (D&C 109:10, 12).

From President Wilford Woodruff’s (1807–98) dedicatory prayer of the Salt Lake Temple:

“Our Father in heaven, _____ who hast created the heavens and the earth, and all things that are therein; _____ most glorious One, … we, _____ children, come this day before _____, and in this house which we have built to _____ most holy name, humbly plead the atoning blood of _____ Only Begotten Son, that our sins may be remembered no more against us forever, but that our prayers may ascend unto _____ and have free access to _____ throne, that we may be heard in _____ holy habitation” (in Gordon B. Hinckley, “The Salt Lake Temple,” Ensign, Mar. 1993, 2).

Recommit to Record It

January is a good time to recommit to regularly write in your journal. Remember that it’s not only the amazing things you do that you could write down, but also the everyday things that really show who you are. If you’re having trouble coming up with topics to write about, try something like this: “The first thing I can remember about my childhood is …” or “My best memory of school is … because …”

For more ideas on what to write, read last January’s Idea List, “Jazz Up Your Journal” (New Era, Jan. 2005, 15) or “Diary and Journal Ideas” (New Era, Mar. 1977, 39), by William G. Hartley. You can find these online in the Gospel Library at www.lds.org.

“Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity. Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies” (President Spencer W. Kimball [1895–1985], “The Angels May Quote from It,” New Era, Oct. 1975, 5).

It Happened in January

January 4, 1852: The Church’s first branch in Australia was organized in Sydney. It had 12 members.

January 10, 1892: The Church organized its first Sunday School for the deaf, in the Salt Lake City 19th Ward.

January 1, 1971: The Taiwan Mission was organized (Taipei Taiwan Temple, left; photograph by Floyd Holdman). There are now three missions in Taiwan: the Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei missions.

January 9, 1999: Ground was broken in the same country for two new temples: the Ciudad Juárez Mexico (left; photograph by Shauna Nielsen) and the Villahermosa Mexico Temples (below, left; photograph by Hermilo Carrillo).

January 1, 2000: The First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles issued “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” (New Era, Apr. 2000, 20), an official declaration of their testimonies of the Savior. This document is included in the pamphlet For the Strength of Youth.

How Well Do You Communicate?

President James E. Faust, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “When the Savior was giving Peter some leadership training he said, ‘When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren’ (Luke 22:32).

“It is interesting that he used the word strengthen. It is very difficult to strengthen without being a good communicator. Often problems develop, not because the plan is faulty, but because the communication is inadequate” (“These I Will Make My Leaders,” Ensign, Nov. 1980, 36).

So when you are planning with your family, class, or quorum, remember to communicate. And to communicate you will not only need to talk, you will need to listen. Listen to those you have a leadership responsibility over, listen to your parents and youth leaders, and most important, listen to the Spirit.

[illustration] Illustration by Paul Mann