“Let your minds be filled with the goal of being like the Lord, and you will crowd out depressing thoughts as you anxiously seek to know him and do his will.” President Ezra Taft Benson (1899–1994), “Do Not Despair,” Ensign, Oct. 1986, 5.

In a Word: Grace

The word grace, as used in the scriptures, refers primarily to the divine help and strength we receive through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Because of the Fall, everyone will experience temporal death. Through grace, made available by the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, all people will be resurrected and receive immortality (see 2 Nephi 9:6–13). But resurrection alone does not qualify us for eternal life in the presence of God. Our sins make us unclean and unfit to dwell in God’s presence, and we need His grace to purify and perfect us “after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).

The phrase “after all we can do” teaches that effort is required on our part to receive the fulness of the Lord’s grace and be made worthy to dwell with Him.

(Adapted from True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference, which you can read online at LDS.org in the Gospel Library.)

Top Ten Languages Spoken by Church Members

1. English

5,828,000

2. Spanish

3,681,000

3. Portuguese

907,000

4. Tagalog (Philippines)

165,000

5. Cebuano (Philippines)

126,000

6. Japanese

117,000

7. Ilokano (Philippines)

109,000

8. Samoan

102,000

9. Tongan

76,000

10. Korean

75,000

(Estimates only, based on year-end 2003 data.)

 

Reading for Leading

What’s one of the best ways to encourage others to follow you as a leader? Elder Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy suggests looking to the scriptures for examples of how to lead. “After Solomon’s forty-year reign, his son Rehoboam went to Shechem to be made the king. He sought the counsel of the elders regarding how he should rule. ‘And they spake unto him, saying, If thou wilt be a servant unto this people this day, and wilt serve them, and answer them, and speak good words to them, then they will be thy servants for ever.’ (1 Kings 12:7; italics added.) The Savior gave his disciples similar counsel when he taught them, ‘If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.’ (Mark 9:35.) Within the kingdom of God, to lead is to serve” (“Some Scriptural Lessons on Leadership,” Ensign, May 1990, 27).

What’s an Air Potato?

It’s a weed, that’s what. If you’re really interested, air potatoes are a member of the yam family that get their interesting name from their distinctive, miniature potato-like appearance. They’re non-edible plants that invade native vegetation by out-competing them for sunlight and water, and they eventually take over.

Approximately 50 youth and leaders from the Pompano Beach Florida Stake came together last November for a community service project to remove the invasive weed from Barwick Park in Delray Beach Florida. These young men and women got to know the air potato up close and personal in the process of removing enough of the noxious weeds to fill a dump truck.

“It was fun helping the community,” said Maria Claudia Cabrejos, a Laurel in the West Palm Beach Ward. After picking weeds for over four hours, the youth ended the project with a pizza luncheon in the newly cleaned park—no potatoes on the menu, they had seen enough of those for one day.

[illustration] Prayer in Gethsemane, by Del Parson

[illustration] Illustration by Shauna Mooney Kawasaki

[photo] Photograph by Robert Casey

[photos] Photographs courtesy of the Pompano Beach Florida Stake