Refer your friends to join The LDS Daily WOOL (Words Of Our Leaders)
"Those who seek to follow the Savior will understand the importance of the ordinance of baptism. The Lamb without Blemish saw fit to submit himself to baptism by one holding the authority of the priesthood in order to 'fulfill all righteousness.' How much more each of us has need of the cleansing and saving power of this ordinance and the other ordinances of the gospel." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Always Remember Him," General Conference, April 1988
"As in the days of earlier pioneers, those in the lead wagons set the direction and signal onward, but it is the faithful men and women in the wagons which follow that provide the momentum and motive power for this great work." — "Modern Pioneers," Ensign, November 1989
"When we understand our relationship to God, we also understand our relationship to one another. All men and women on this earth are the offspring of God, spirit brothers and sisters. What a powerful idea! No wonder God's Only Begotten Son commanded us to love one another. If only we could do so! What a different world it would be if brotherly and sisterly love and unselfish assistance could transcend all boundaries of nation, creed, and color. Such love would not erase all differences of opinion and action, but it would encourage each of us to focus our opposition on actions rather than actors." — "Powerful Ideas," Ensign, November 1995
"Some people say, 'I can't afford to pay tithing.' Those who place their faith in the Lord's promises say, 'I can't afford not to pay tithing.'" — "Tithing," Ensign, May 1994
"Many think of peace as the absence of war. Everyone wants that kind of peace. Songs celebrate it, and bumper stickers proclaim it. Many good people promote peace by opposing war. They advocate laws or treaties to abolish war, to require disarmament, or to reduce armed forces. Those methods may reduce the likelihood or the costs of war. But opposition to war cannot ensure peace, because peace is more than the absence of war. For over fifty years, I have heard the leaders of this church preach that peace can only come through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am coming to understand why." — "World Peace," Ensign, May 1990
"Music is an effective way to worship our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. We should use hymns when we need spiritual strength and inspiration." — "Worship Through Music," Ensign, November 1994
"We maintain that the concepts identified by such nonscriptural terms as 'the incomprehensible mystery of God' and 'the mystery of the Holy Trinity' are attributable to the ideas of Greek philosophy. These philosophical concepts transformed Christianity in the first few centuries following the deaths of the Apostles. For example, philosophers then maintained that physical matter was evil and that God was a spirit without feelings or passions. Persons of this persuasion, including learned men who became influential converts to Christianity, had a hard time accepting the simple teachings of early Christianity: an Only Begotten Son who said he was in the express image of his Father in Heaven and who taught his followers to be one as he and his Father were one, and a Messiah who died on a cross and later appeared to his followers as a resurrected being with flesh and bones." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Apostasy and Restoration," "Ensign," May 1995, p. 84-85
"This suggested contrast between a sin and a transgression reminds us of the careful wording in the second article of faith: 'We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression'. It also echoes a familiar distinction in the law. Some acts, like murder, are crimes because they are inherently wrong. Other acts, like operating without a license, are crimes only because they are legally prohibited. Under these distinctions, the act that produced the Fall was not a sin--inherently wrong--but a transgression--wrong because it was formally prohibited. These words are not always used to denote something different, but this distinction seems meaningful in the circumstances of the Fall." — Dallin H. Oaks, "The Great Plan of Happiness," "Ensign," Nov. 1993, p. 73
"The theology of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is comprehensive, universal, merciful, and true. Following the necessary experience of mortal life, all sons and daughters of God will ultimately be resurrected and go to a kingdom of glory. The righteous--regardless of current religious denomination or belief--will ultimately go to a kingdom of glory more wonderful than any of us can comprehend. Even the wicked, or almost all of them, will ultimately go to a marvelous--though lesser--kingdom of glory. All of that will occur because of God's love for his children and because of the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ, 'who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands' (D&C 76:43)." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Apostasy and Restoration," Ensign, May 1995, p. 87
"As to salvation from sin and the consequences of sin, our answer to the question of whether or not we have been saved is 'yes, but with conditions.' Our third article of faith declares our belief: 'We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel' (A of F 1:3)." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Have You Been Saved?" Ensign, May 1998, p. 55
"We all know that the Lord has commanded parents who have children in Zion to teach them to understand the fundamentals of the gospel--faith in Christ and the doctrines of repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. If parents fail to do this, the sin is on their heads (see D&C 68:25). Two years after that early revelation, the Lord commanded the Saints to 'bring up [their] children in light and truth' (D&C 93:40)...." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Nourishing the Spirit," Ensign, Dec. 1998, p. 8
"This power of discernment is essential if we are to distinguish between genuine spiritual gifts and the counterfeits Satan seeks to use to deceive men and women and thwart the work of God. The Prophet Joseph Smith said, 'Nothing is a greater injury to the children of men than to be under the influence of a false spirit when they think they have the spirit of God.' (Teachings, p. 205.) He also taught that 'no man nor sect of men without the regular constituted authorities, the Priesthood and discerning of spirits, can tell true from false spirits.' (Teachings, p. 213.)" — Dallin H. Oaks, "Spiritual Gifts," "Ensign," Sept. 1986, p. 71
"First, we should recognize that the Lord will speak to us through the Spirit in his own time and in his own way. Many people do not understand this principle. They believe that when they are ready and when it suits their convenience, they can call upon the Lord and he will immediately respond, even in the precise way they have prescribed. Revelation does not come that way." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Teaching and Learning by the Spirit," Ensign, Mar. 1997, p. 10
"Our thirteenth article of faith commits us to seek after things that are 'virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy.' The language of Latter-day Saints should be reverent and clean. We understand the eternal requirement of cleanliness, and we understand the sacred significance of the names of the Father and the Son." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Reverent and Clean," Ensign, May 1986, p. 52
"Because it raises our spirits and helps us resist evil and seek good, the feeling of uplift that is communicated by reading the scriptures or by enjoying wholesome music, art, or literature is a distinct function (as well as a form) of revelation." — Dallin H. Oaks, "The Lord's Way," Deseret Book Co., p. 25
"A plea to constrain the use of truth provides no justification for lying. The principles of love, unity, righteousness, and mercy do not condone falsehood. The Lord commanded, 'Thou shalt not bear false witness' (Ex. 20:16), and he has not revoked that command. When truth is constrained by other virtues, the outcome is not falsehood but silence for a season. As the scriptures say, there is 'a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.' (Eccl. 3:7)" -- Dallin H. Oaks, "The Lord's Way," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1991], p. 194
"The Savior told the Pharisees, 'God knoweth your hearts' (Luke 16:15). Paul warned the Hebrews that God 'is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart,' and that 'all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do' (Hebrews 4:12-13; see also 1 Corinthians 4:5). Ammon taught his people that God 'knows all the thoughts and intents of the heart; for by his hand were they all created from the beginning' (Alma 18:32; also see Mosiah 24:12; D&C 6:16). And Mormon wrote, 'for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart' (Moroni 7:44). In this dispensation, the Lord has reaffirmed that God 'is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart' (D&C 33:1). Elder John Taylor said: He knows our thoughts and comprehends our desires and feelings; he knows our acts and the motives which prompt us to perform them. He is acquainted with all the doings and operations of the human family, and all the secret thoughts and acts of the children of men are open and naked before him, and for them he will bring them to judgment. (Journal of Discourses 16:301-2.) In other words, God knows who is pure in heart. He can and will judge us not only for our actions but also for our motives, desires, and attitudes. This reality is challenging, not surprising." — Dallin H. Oaks, "Pure in Heart," [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 10
"If we do righteous acts and refrain from evil acts, we have clean hands. If we act for the right motives and if we refrain from forbidden desires and attitudes, we have pure hearts. Those who would 'look up to God,' those who would ascend and stand in the ultimate 'holy place,' must have 'clean hands, and a pure heart.'" — Dallin H. Oaks, "Pure in Heart," p. 1
"The gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to change. "Repent" is its most frequent message, and repenting means giving up all of our practices-personal, family, ethnic, and national-that are contrary to the commandments of God. The purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Repentance and Change," General Conference, 4 October 2003
"The Bible's teachings about the Holy Ghost are reaffirmed and elaborated in the Book of Mormon and in modern revelations. The Holy Ghost is the means by which God inspires and reveals his will to his children (e.g., D&C 8:2-3). The Holy Ghost bears record of the Father and of the Son (see 3 Ne. 28:11; D&C 20:27; D&C 42:17). He enlightens our minds and fills us with joy (see D&C 11:13). By the power of the Holy Ghost we may know the truth of all things (see Moro. 10:5). By his power we may have the mysteries of God unfolded to us (see 1 Ne. 10:19), all things which are expedient (see D&C 18:18; D&C 39:6). The Holy Ghost shows us what we should do (see 2 Ne. 32:5). We teach the gospel as we are directed by the Holy Ghost, which carries our words into the hearts of those we teach (see 2 Ne. 33:1)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Always Have His Spirit," Ensign, Nov. 1996, p. 59
"Each of us should do all that we can, in the spirit of gospel self-reliance, to provide for ourselves and our families in a temporal and a spiritual way. Then, if it is necessary to reach out for help, we know we have first done all that we can. This includes helping the members of our immediate and extended families to the maximum extent possible so that the bishop is not faced with burdens that should be handled in the first instance by the individual or by the extended family." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Bishop, Help!" General Conference, April 1997
"[Natural disasters] are tragedies, but they may have another significance. The Lord uses adversities to send messages to his children. Isaiah prophesied that in the last days the Lord would visit all nations with great natural disasters (see Isa. 29:6; 2 Ne. 27:1-2). In modern revelation, the Lord speaks of calling upon the nations of the earth by the mouth of his servants and also 'by the voice of thunderings, and by the voice of lightnings, and by the voice of tempests, and by the voice of earthquakes, and great hailstorms, and by the voice of famines and pestilences of every kind' (D&C 43:25)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Adversity," Ensign, July 1998, p. 7
"All over the world, faithful Latter-day Saints are protected from the powers of the evil one and his servants until they have finished their missions in mortality. For some the mortal mission is brief, as with some valiant young men who have lost their lives in missionary service. But for most of us the mortal journey is long, and we continue our course with the protection of guardian angels." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Bible Stories and Personal Protection," Ensign, Nov. 1992, p. 39
"Following the prophet is a great strength, but it needs to be consistent and current, lest it lead to the spiritual downfall that comes from rejecting continuous revelation. Under that principle, the most important difference between dead prophets and living ones is that those who are dead are not here to receive and declare the Lord's latest words to his people. If they were, there would be no differences among the messages of the prophets." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall," Ensign, Oct. 1994, pp. 18-19
"If parents receive sufficient spiritual nourishment, does this assure that their children will have it also? While some physical characteristics are inherited, experience teaches that strong faith and spirituality do not pass automatically from one generation to another. Consider the example of King Benjamin, one of the greatest teachers of the Book of Mormon. He taught the purity of the gospel to a generation who were so profoundly affected that they had 'no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.' They had experienced what they called 'a mighty change' in their hearts (Mosiah 5:2). But that marvelous faith and spirituality did not pass automatically to their posterity." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Nourishing the Spirit," Ensign, December 1998, p. 7
"What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow-through our premature death or through His unexpected coming-what would we do today? What confessions would we make? What practices would we discontinue? What accounts would we settle? What forgivenesses would we extend? What testimonies would we bear?
If we would do those things then, why not now? Why not seek peace while peace can be obtained? If our lamps of preparation are drawn down, let us start immediately to replenish them." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Preparation for the Second Coming," General Conference, April 2004
"We are not saved in our sins, as by being unconditionally saved through confessing Christ and then, inevitably, committing sins in our remaining lives (see Alma 11:36-37). We are saved from our sins (see Hel. 5:10) by a weekly renewal of our repentance and cleansing through the grace of God and His blessed plan of salvation (see 3 Ne. 9:20-22)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Have You Been Saved?" Ensign, May 1998, p. 56
"The contrast between the motive to help and the motive to use can even be seen in some Church service. A missionary with a motive to use 'his' mission for personal growth and 'his' baptisms to gain recognition for 'his' accomplishments is a phony and a failure. His motives and attitudes are transparent. Companions, leaders, and investigators will soon recognize and resent a missionary who sees them as mere objects to be used for his benefit. A missionary who sees himself (or herself) as a servant of the Lord, an instrument in his hands to do his work (Alma 17:9), has the motive to help others. That attitude and motive is transparent also, and its fruits are trust and love from all with whom the missionary associates." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Pure in Heart," [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988], p. 30
"A willingness to sacrifice all we possess in the work of the Lord is surely a strength. In fact, it is a covenant we make in sacred places. But even this strength can bring us down if we fail to confine our sacrifices to those things the Lord and his leaders have asked of us at this time. We should say with Alma, 'Why should I desire more than to perform the work to which I have been called?' (Alma 29:6). Persons who consider it insufficient to pay their tithes and offerings and to work in the positions to which they have been called can easily be led astray by cults and other bizarre outlets for their willingness to sacrifice more than is needful." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall," Ensign, October 1994, p. 14
"Our Creator wants us to be happy in this life. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that 'happiness is the object and design of our existence.' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 255.) The things of the earth were created for our happiness. Modern revelation tells us that 'all things which come of the earth... are made for the benefit and the use of man, both to please the eye and to gladden the heart.' (D&C 59:18.) Even on the Sabbath, a day of worship, the Lord expects us to have 'a glad heart and a cheerful countenance.' (D&C 59:15.) A prophet has called the gospel plan 'the great plan of happiness.' (Alma 42:8.)" - Dallin H. Oaks, "Joy and Mercy," Ensign, November 1991, p. 73
"When the apostle Peter affirmed that Jesus Christ was the Son of the living God, the Savior called him blessed, 'for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven' (Matt. 16:17). This precious revelation can be part of the personal experience of every seeker after truth and, once received, becomes a pole star to guide in all the activities of life." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Revelation," New Era, September 1982, p. 40
"...we should not assume that the desires of our hearts can serve as a substitute for an ordinance of the gospel. Consider the words of the Lord in commanding two gospel ordinances: 'Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' (John 3:5.) And in respect to the three degrees in the celestial glory, modern revelation states, 'In order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage].' (D&C 131:2.) No exception is implied in these commands or authorized elsewhere in the scriptures." - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Desires of Our Hearts," Ensign, June 1986, p. 67
"When first communicated to mankind by prophets, the teachings we now have in the Bible were 'plain and pure, and most precious and easy' to understand (1 Ne. 14:23). Even in the transmitted and translated version we have today, the Bible language confirms that God the Father and his resurrected Son, Jesus Christ, are tangible, separate beings. To cite only two of many such teachings, the Bible declares that man was created in the image of God, and it describes three separate members of the Godhead manifested at the baptism of Jesus (see Gen. 1:27; Matt. 3:13-17)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Apostasy and Restoration," Ensign, May 1995, p. 84
"As Paul told Timothy, 'all scripture is given by inspiration of God' (2 Tim. 3:16; also see 2 Pet. 1:21). This means that in order to understand scripture, our minds need to be enlightened by the Spirit of the Lord. As we learn from the fiftieth section of the Doctrine and Covenants, 'he that receiveth the word by the Spirit of truth receiveth it as it is preached by the Spirit of truth' (D&C 50:21). When this happens, the reader is edified by personal revelation." - Dallin H. Oaks, “Scripture Reading and Revelation,” Ensign, January 1995, p. 9
"Just as continuing revelation enlarges and illuminates the scriptures, so also a study of the scriptures enables men and women to receive revelations. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, 'I sometimes think that one of the best-kept secrets of the kingdom is that the scriptures open the door to the receipt of revelation' (Doctrines of the Restoration, ed. Mark L. McConkie, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1989, p. 243). This happens because scripture reading puts us in tune with the Spirit of the Lord.
"The idea that scripture reading can lead to inspiration and revelation opens the door to the truth that a scripture is not limited to what it meant when it was written but may also include what that scripture means to a reader today. Even more, scripture reading may also lead to current revelation on whatever else the Lord wishes to communicate to the reader at that time. We do not overstate the point when we say that the scriptures can be a Urim and Thummim to assist each of us to receive personal revelation." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Scripture Reading and Revelation," Ensign, January 1995
"We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should [page 14] act upon our best judgment. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation. Revelation from God is a sacred reality, but like other sacred things, it must be cherished and used properly so that a great strength does not become a disabling weakness." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall," Ensign, Oct. 1994, 13–14
"I have been puzzled that some scriptures command us not to judge and others instruct us that we should judge and even tell us how to do it. But as I have studied these passages I have become convinced that these seemingly contradictory directions are consistent when we view them with the perspective of eternity. The key is to understand that there are two kinds of judging: final judgments, which we are forbidden to make, and intermediate judgments, which we are directed to make, but upon righteous principles....
"I speak of the final judgment. This is that future occasion in which all of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged according to our works (see 1 Ne. 15:33; 3 Ne. 27:15; Morm. 3:20; D&C 19:3)....
"In contrast to forbidding mortals to make final judgments, the scriptures require mortals to make what I will call “intermediate judgments.” These judgments are essential to the exercise of personal moral agency....
"We must, of course, make judgments every day in the exercise of our moral agency, but we must be careful that our judgments of people are intermediate and not final." - Dallin H. Oaks, "'Judge Not,' and Judging," Ensign, August 1999, p.7
"Restraint is one of the most common functions of revelation. It often comes by surprise. Even though we have not asked for revelation or guidance on a particular subject, if we are keeping the commandments of God and living in tune with his Spirit, a restraining force will steer us away from things we should not do. Though not obviously related to the conventional activities of learning, this function of revelation communicates a message that must rank among the most important lessons we can learn." - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Lord's Way," p.27
"When we think of service, we usually think of the acts of our hands. But the scriptures teach that the Lord looks to our thoughts as well as to our acts. One of God's earliest commandments to Israel was that they should love him and 'serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.' (Deut. 11:13.) When the prophet Samuel was sent to Bethlehem to choose and anoint one of the sons of Jesse as a new king for Israel, the Lord told him to reject the first son, though he was a man of fine appearance. The Lord explained, 'Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.' (1 Sam. 16:7.)" - Dallin H. Oaks, "Why Do We Serve?", Ensign (CR), November 1984, p.12
"Jesus taught about priorities when He said, 'Seek not the things of this world but seek ye first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you' (JST, Matt. 6:38, in Matt. 6:33, footnote a). 'Seek... first to build up the kingdom of God' means to assign first priority to God and to His work. The work of God is to bring to pass the eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39), and all that this entails in the birth, nurturing, teaching, and sealing of our Heavenly Father's children. Everything else is lower in priority. Think about that reality as we consider some teachings and some examples on priorities. As someone has said, if we do not choose the kingdom of God first, it will make little difference in the long run what we have chosen instead of it." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Focus and Priorities," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p.82
"Brothers and sisters, as the Book of Mormon teaches, 'this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God;... the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors' (Alma 34:32). Are we preparing?" - Dallin H. Oaks, "Preparation for the Second Coming," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.7
"We are challenged to move through a process of conversion toward that status and condition called eternal life. This is achieved not just by doing what is right, but by doing it for the right reason—for the pure love of Christ. The Apostle Paul illustrated this in his famous teaching about the importance of charity (see 1 Cor. 13). The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, 'the pure love of Christ' (Moro. 7:47), is not an act but a condition or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes. Thus, as Moroni declared, 'except men shall have charity they cannot inherit' the place prepared for them in the mansions of the Father (Ether 12:34)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become," Ensign (CR), November 2000, p.32
"Similarly, the Savior taught the Nephites that they must always pray to the Father in his name, adding: 'And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you' (3 Ne. 18:20).
"Here the Savior reminds us that faith, no matter how strong it is, cannot produce a result contrary to the will of him whose power it is. The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. That is why we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord's will and in the Lord's timing. When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security in our lives. President Spencer W. Kimball said, 'Security is not born of inexhaustible wealth but of unquenchable faith' (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1982, pp. 72-73)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR), May 1994, p.98
"When one of our daughters was about three years old, she did something that always delighted her parents. When we called her name, she would usually answer by saying, 'Here me is.' This childish reply was among the sweetest things her parents heard. But when she was grown, we expected her to use appropriate language when she spoke, and of course she did. As the Apostle Paul said, 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.' (1 Cor. 13:11.)
"The same is true of prayer. Our earliest efforts will be heard with joy by our Heavenly Father, however they are phrased. They will be heard in the same way by loving members of our church. But as we gain experience as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we need to become more mature in all of our efforts, including our prayers.
"Men and women who wish to show respect will take the time to learn the special language of prayer. Persons spend many hours mastering communication skills in other mediums, such as poetry or prose, vocal or instrumental music, and even the language of access to computers. My brothers and sisters, the manner of addressing our Heavenly Father in prayer is at least as important as these." - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Language of Prayer," Ensign (CR), May 1993, p.15
"There is nothing inherently evil about money. The Good Samaritan used the same coinage to serve his fellowman that Judas used to betray the Master. It is 'the love of money [which] is the root of all evil.' (1 Tim. 6:10; italics added.) The critical difference is the degree of spirituality we exercise in viewing, evaluating, and managing the things of this world and our experiences in it.
"If allowed to become an object of worship or priority, money can make us selfish and prideful, 'puffed up in the vain things of the world.' (Alma 5:37.) In contrast, if used for fulfilling our legal obligations and for paying our tithes and offerings, money can demonstrate integrity and develop unselfishness. The spiritually enlightened use of property can help prepare us for the higher law of a celestial glory." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Spirituality," Ensign (CR), November 1985, p.61
"Many carry heavy burdens. Some have lost a loved one to death or care for one who is disabled. Some have been wounded by divorce. Others yearn for an eternal marriage. Some are caught in the grip of addictive substances or practices like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or pornography. Others have crippling physical or mental impairments. Some are challenged by same-gender attraction. Some have terrible feelings of depression or inadequacy. In one way or another, many are heavy laden. To each of us our Savior gives this loving invitation:
"'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
"'Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
"'For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light' (Matthew 11:28–30)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "He Heals the Heavy Laden," Ensign, November 2006
"Jesus' challenge shows that the conversion He required for those who would enter the kingdom of heaven (see Matt. 18:3) was far more than just being converted to testify to the truthfulness of the gospel. To testify is to know and to declare. The gospel challenges us to be 'converted,' which requires us to do and to become. If any of us relies solely upon our knowledge and testimony of the gospel, we are in the same position as the blessed but still unfinished Apostles whom Jesus challenged to be 'converted.'" - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become," Ensign (CR), November 2000
"To achieve spirituality and to reform our motives and perfect our desires we must learn to control our thoughts. The prophet Alma taught his faithful son Helaman: 'Let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever' (Alma 37:36).
"In the great revelation given in Liberty Jail, the Lord commanded the Prophet Joseph Smith to conform his thoughts to this high standard: 'Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly' (D&C 121:45). This means that in our innermost feelings we should always be 'full of [love] towards all men' and that our thoughts should always be garnished with virtue, which is goodness, purity, and truth. The revelation promises us that when we do this our 'confidence [shall] wax strong in the presence of God' (D&C 121:45; see also 1 John 3:21)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Pure in Heart," p.145
"The Sabbath was blessed and sanctified as a holy day, a day of rest (Genesis 2:3; Moses 3:3; Exodus 20:9-11). But this sanctification and commandment of rest was for a purpose—not that man should refrain from work in order to pursue his own pleasure, but that man should serve God and worship him. The prophet Isaiah taught that principle clearly:
"'If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
"'Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. (Isaiah 58:13-14.)" - Dallin H. Oaks, "Pure in Heart," p.27
"The ultimate Latter-day Saint priorities are twofold: First, we seek to understand our relationship to God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and to secure that relationship by obtaining their saving ordinances and by keeping our personal covenants. Second, we seek to understand our relationship to our family members and to secure those relationships by the ordinances of the temple and by keeping the covenants we make in that holy place. These relationships, secured in the way I have explained, provide eternal blessings available in no other way. No combination of science, success, property, pride, prominence, or power can provide these eternal blessings!" - Dallin H. Oaks, "Focus and Priorities," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p.82
"For faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ, the companionship of the Holy Spirit should be so familiar that we must use care not to take it for granted. For example, that good feeling you have felt during the messages and music of this conference is a confirming witness of the Spirit, available to faithful members on a continuing basis. A member once asked me why he felt so good about the talks and music in a sacrament meeting, while a guest he had invited that day apparently experienced no such feeling. This is but one illustration of the contrast between one who has the gift of the Holy Ghost and is in tune with his promptings and one who has not, or is not." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Always Have His Spirit," Ensign (CR), November 1996, p.59
"A powerful idea with immediate practical application is the reality that we can pray to our Heavenly Father, and he will hear our prayers and help us in the way that is best for us. Most of us have experienced the terrible empty feeling that comes from being separated from those who love us. If we remember that we can pray and be heard and helped, we can always withstand that feeling of emptiness. We can always be in touch with a powerful friend who loves us and helps us, in his own time and in his own way." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Powerful Ideas," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.25
"The qualities of spirituality we have been able to embody in our lives are often evident in the way we react to death or other apparent tragedies or misfortunes. As faithful Latter-day Saints, we can bear the death of loved ones because we have faith in the resurrection and the eternal nature of family ties. We can repent and rise above our mistakes and inadequacies because we know that our Savior suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent. (D&C 19:16.)
"Seen with the perspective of eternity, a temporal setback can be an opportunity to develop soul power of eternal significance. Strength is forged in adversity. Faith is developed in a setting where we cannot see what lies ahead." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Spirituality," Ensign (CR), November 1985, p.61
"We are surrounded by challenges on all sides (see 2 Cor. 4:8-9). But with faith in God, we trust the blessings He has promised those who keep His commandments. We have faith in the future, and we are preparing for that future. To borrow a metaphor from the familiar world of athletic competitions, we do not know when this game will end, and we do not know the final score, but we do know that when the game finally ends, our team wins. We will continue to go forward till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done (History of the Church, 4:540)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Preparation for the Second Coming," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.7
"One of the greatest things about our Heavenly Father’s plan for His children is that each of us can know the truth of that plan for ourselves. That revealed knowledge does not come from books, from scientific proof, or from intellectual pondering. As with the Apostle Peter, we can receive that knowledge directly from our Heavenly Father through the witness of the Holy Ghost.
"When we know spiritual truths by spiritual means, we can be just as sure of that knowledge as scholars and scientists are of the different kinds of knowledge they have acquired by different methods." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Testimony," General Conference, April 2008
"How can we have the Spirit of the Lord to guide our choices so that we will remain 'unspotted from the world' (D&C 59:9) and on the safe path through mortality? We need to qualify for the cleansing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We do this by keeping His commandment to come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and in that wonderful weekly meeting partake of the emblems of the sacrament and make the covenants that qualify us for the precious promise that we will always have His Spirit to be with us (see D&C 20:77)." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Sacrament Meeting and the Sacrament," General Conference, October 2008
"... each of you needs to build a reservoir of faith so you can draw upon it when someone you love or respect betrays you, when some scientific discovery seems to cast doubt on a gospel principle, or when someone makes light of sacred things, such as the name of God or the sacred ceremonies of the temple." - Dallin H. Oaks, "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ", Ensign (CR), May 1994, p.98
"We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families." - Dallin H. Oaks, “Good, Better, Best,” CR October 2007
“It is not enough to know that God lives, that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that the gospel is true. We must take the high road by acting upon that knowledge. It is not enough to know that President Gordon B. Hinckley is God's prophet. We must put his teachings to work in our lives. It is not enough to have a calling. We must fulfill our responsibilities. The things taught in this conference are not just to fill our minds. They are to motivate and guide our actions.” - Dallin H. Oaks, “Be Not Deceived,” Ensign (CR), November 2004, p. 43
“When we have done all that we are able, we can rely on God’s promised mercy. We have a Savior, who has taken upon him not just the sins, but also ‘the pains and the sicknesses of his people … that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities’ (Alma 7:11-12). He is our Savior, and when we have done all that we can, he will make up the difference, in his own way and in his own time.” - Dallin H. Oaks, “The Great Plan of Happiness,” Ensign (CR), November 1993, p. 72
“We also need focus to avoid what is harmful. The abundant information and images accessible on the Internet call for sharp focus and control to avoid accessing the pornography that is an increasing scourge in our society. As the Deseret News noted in a recent editorial, ‘Images that used to be hidden in out-of-the-way store counters now are as close as a mouse click’ (Staying ahead of Pornography, 21-22 Feb. 2001, A12). The Internet has made pornography accessible almost without effort and often without leaving the privacy of one’s home or room. The Internet has also facilitated the predatory activities of adults who use its anonymity and accessibility to stalk children for evil purposes. Parents and youth, beware!” - Dallin H. Oaks, “Focus and Priorities,” Ensign (CR), May 2001, p. 82
“There is no greater evidence of the infinite power and perfection of God’s love than is declared by the Apostle John: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son’ (John 3:16). Another Apostle wrote that God ‘spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all’ (Romans 8:32). Think how it must have grieved our Heavenly Father to send His Son to endure incomprehensible suffering for our sins. That is the greatest evidence of His love for each of us!” – Dallin H. Oaks, “Love and Law,” Ensign, November 2009
"Our knowledge of the literal divinity, resurrection, and atonement of Jesus Christ is more certain and more distinctive with each passing year. That is one reason the Lord inspired his prophet, Ezra Taft Benson, to have us reemphasize our study and testimony of the Book of Mormon, whose mission is 'the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God.' (Book of Mormon, title page.)" - Dallin H. Oaks, "Witnesses of Christ," Ensign (CR), November 1990, p. 29
"Faith is essential for healing by the powers of heaven. The Book of Mormon even teaches that 'if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them' (Ether 12:12). In a notable talk on administering to the sick, President Spencer W. Kimball said: 'The need of faith is often underestimated. The ill one and the family often seem to depend wholly on the power of the priesthood and the gift of healing that they hope the administering brethren may have, whereas the greater responsibility is with him who is blessed. . . . The major element is the faith of the individual when that person is conscious and accountable. 'Thy faith hath made thee whole' [Matthew 9:22] was repeated so often by the Master that it almost became a chorus.'" - Dallin H. Oaks, "Healing the Sick," Ensign (CR) May 2010
The values of the world wrongly teach that 'it’s all about me.' That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth. It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for His children. The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that this life is all about what we can become. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Unselfish Service," Ensign (CR) April 2009
"Most of us experience some measure of what the scriptures call 'the furnace of affliction' (Isa. 48:10; 1 Ne. 20:10). Some are submerged in service to a disadvantaged family member. Others suffer the death of a loved one or the loss or postponement of a righteous goal like marriage or childbearing. Still others struggle with personal impairments or with feelings of rejection, inadequacy, or depression. Through the justice and mercy of a loving Father in Heaven, the refinement and sanctification possible through such experiences can help us achieve what God desires us to become." - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Challenge to Become," Ensign (CR), November 2000, p.32
If our service is to be most efficacious, it must be accomplished for the love of God and the love of his children. The Savior applied that principle in the Sermon on the Mount, in which he commanded us to love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that despitefully use us and persecute us. -
Satan seeks to discredit the sacred names of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, the names through which their work is done. He succeeds in a measure whenever he is able to influence any man or woman, boy or girl, to make holy names common and to associate them with coarse thoughts and evil acts. Those who use sacred names in vain are, by that act, promoters of Satan’s purposes. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Reverent and Clean," Ensign (CR) April 1986
Are we our brothers’ keepers? In other words, are we responsible to look after the well-being of our neighbors as we seek to earn our daily bread? The Savior’s Golden Rule says we are. Satan says we are not. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Brother's Keeper," Ensign (CR) October 1986
Fortunately, our Savior has given us a direction finder and guide that will help us even when we cannot see beyond discouraging obstacles. I refer to the gift of the Holy Ghost. But we must be willing to use and rely on this divine gift, and we must keep it in good repair. - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Gospel Culture," Liahona, March 2012
Those who engage in self-congratulation over a supposed strength have lost the protection of humility and are vulnerable to Satan’s using that strength to produce their downfall. In contrast, if we are humble and teachable, hearkening to the commandments of God, the counsel of his leaders, and the promptings of his Spirit, we can be guided in how to use our spiritual gifts, our accomplishments, and all of our other strengths for righteousness. And we can be guided in how to avoid Satan’s efforts to use our strengths to cause our downfall. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall," Ensign, October 1994
I know that God expects us to work to purify our hearts and our thoughts so that we may serve one another for the highest and best reason, the pure love of Christ. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Why Do We Serve?" New Era, March 1988
Just as the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ is at the center of the plan of salvation, we followers of Christ must make our own sacrifices to prepare for the destiny that plan provides for us. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Sacrifice," Ensign (CR) May 2012
I know that God expects us to work to purify our hearts and our thoughts so that we may serve one another for the highest and best reason, the pure love of Christ. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Why Do We Serve?" Ensign (CR) November 1984
But despite all we can do, we cannot have a fulness of joy in this world or through our own efforts. (See D&C 101:36.) Only in Christ can our joy be full. This is why the angel proclaimed: “I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
“For unto you is born this day … a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11.) - Dallin H. Oaks, "Joy and Mercy," Ensign (CR) November 1991
A speaker who employs profanity or vulgarity to catch someone’s attention with shock effect engages in a babyish device that is inexcusable as juvenile or adult behavior. Such language is morally bankrupt. It also progressively self-defeating, since shock diminishes with familiarity and the user can only maintain its effect by escalating its excess. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Reverent and Clean," Ensign (CR) May 1986
If we are practicing our faith and seeking the companionship of the Holy Spirit, His presence can be felt in our hearts and in our homes. A family having daily family prayers and seeking to keep the commandments of God and honor his name and speak lovingly to one another will have a spiritual feeling in their home that will be discernible to all who enter it. I know this, because I have felt the presence or absence of that feeling in many LDS homes. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Always Have His Spirit," Ensign (CR) November 1996
Let us remember that desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. In addition, it is our actions and our desires that cause us to become something, whether a true friend, a gifted teacher, or one who has qualified for eternal life. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Desire," Ensign (CR) May 2011
We need to make more use of our hymns to put us in tune with the Spirit of the Lord, to unify us, and to help us teach and learn our doctrine. We need to make better use of our hymns in missionary teaching, in gospel classes, in quorum meetings, in home evenings, and in home teaching visits. Music is an effective way to worship our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. We should use hymns when we need spiritual strength and inspiration. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Worship through Music,” Ensign (CR) November 1994
The gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to change. “Repent” is its most frequent message, and repenting means giving up all of our practices—personal, family, ethnic, and national—that are contrary to the commandments of God. The purpose of the gospel is to transform common creatures into celestial citizens, and that requires change. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Repentance and Change,” Ensign (CR) November 2003
Consider the power of the idea taught in our beloved song “I Am a Child of God” (Hymns, 1985, no. 301), sung so impressively by the choir at the beginning of this session. Here is the answer to one of life’s great questions, “Who am I?” I am a child of God with a spirit lineage to heavenly parents. That parentage defines our eternal potential. That powerful idea is a potent antidepressant. It can strengthen each of us to make righteous choices and to seek the best that is within us. Establish in the mind of a young person the powerful idea that he or she is a child of God and you have given self-respect and motivation to move against the problems of life. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Powerful Ideas,” Ensign (CR) November 1995
Whoever exercises priesthood authority should forget about their rights and concentrate on their responsibilities. That is a principle needed in society at large. The famous Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is quoted as saying, “It is time … to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.” Latter-day Saints surely recognize that qualifying for exaltation is not a matter of asserting rights but a matter of fulfilling responsibilities. - Dallin H. Oaks, “The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood,” Ensign (CR) May 2014
At this conference we have seen the release of some faithful brothers, and we have sustained the callings of others. In this rotation—so familiar in the Church—we do not “step down” when we are released, and we do not “step up” when we are called. There is no “up or down” in the service of the Lord. There is only “forward or backward,” and that difference depends on how we accept and act upon our releases and our callings. - Dallin H. Oaks, “The Keys and Authority of the Priesthood,” Ensign (CR) May 2014
The principle is not whether we have other priorities. The question posed by the second commandment is “What is our ultimate priority?” Are we serving priorities or gods ahead of the God we profess to worship? Have we forgotten to follow the Savior who taught that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments? (see John 14:15). If so, our priorities have been turned upside down by the spiritual apathy and undisciplined appetites so common in our day. - Dallin H. Oaks, “No Other Gods,” Ensign (CR) November 2013
Joy and misery are eternal emotions whose ultimate extent we are not likely to experience in mortality. In this life we have some mortal simulations, which we call happiness or pleasure and unhappiness or pain. In the midst of these emotions is suffering. Some suffering comes from our own sins or those of others, but much suffering is simply an inevitable part of the mortal condition, like an accidental injury. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Joy and Mercy,” Ensign (CR) November 1991
Throughout my life I have been blessed by the doctrine and teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As taught in the scriptures and by the leaders and teachers of this Church, the gospel has been a light to my path and the impetus for my temporal and spiritual progress. As Brigham Young taught, the gospel laws “teach men to be truthful, honest, chaste, sober, industrious, frugal and to love and practice every good word and work, … they elevate and ennoble man, [and] if fully obeyed, [they] bring health and strength to the body, clearness to the perceptions, power to the reasoning faculties as well as salvation to the soul.” - Dallin H. Oaks, “The Gospel in Our Lives,” Ensign (CR) May 2002
Even as we seek to be meek and to avoid contention, we must not compromise or dilute our commitment to the truths we understand. We must not surrender our positions or our values. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the covenants we have made inevitably cast us as combatants in the eternal contest between truth and error. There is no middle ground in that contest. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Loving Others and Living with Differences,” Ensign (CR) November 2014
Whatever the physical changes over time, the nature of our local leaders’ callings has not changed, nor has their compensation. They are totally uncompensated by the coin of mortality. For the reward of their labors, all rely on the Lord’s deferred compensation plan. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Bishop, Help!” Ensign (CR) April 1997
All of us have family members or friends who need the gospel but are not now interested. To be effective, our efforts with them must be directed by the Lord so that we act in the way and at the time when they will be most receptive. We must pray for the Lord's help and directions so we can be instruments in His hands for one who is now ready—one He would have us help today. Then, we must be alert to hear and heed the promptings of His Spirit in how we proceed. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Sharing the Gospel," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.7
The Savior’s warning against having the cares of this world choke out the word of God in our lives surely challenges us to keep our priorities fixed—our hearts set—on the commandments of God and the leadership of His Church. - Dallin H. Oaks, “The Parable of the Sower,” Ensign (CR) April 2015
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares you for whatever life brings. This kind of faith prepares you to deal with life's opportunities—to take advantage of those that are received and to persist through the disappointments of those that are lost. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR), May 1994, p. 98
We should also seek learning by faith in God, the giver of revelation. I believe that many of the great discoveries and achievements in science and the arts have resulted from a God-given revelation. Seekers who have paid the price in perspiration have been magnified by inspiration. - Dallin H. Oaks, "Alternate Voices," Ensign (CR), May 1989, p. 27
Tithing is a commandment with a promise. The words of Malachi, reaffirmed by the Savior, promise those who bring their tithes into the storehouse that the Lord will open "the windows of heaven, and pour [them] out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." The promised blessings are temporal and spiritual. The Lord promises to "rebuke the devourer," and he also promises tithe payers that "all nations shall call you blessed, for ye shall be a delightsome land" (3 Ne. 24:10-12; see Mal. 3:10-12). - Dallin H. Oaks, “Tithing," Ensign (CR), May 1994, p. 33
Our Savior experienced and suffered the fulness of all mortal challenges “according to the flesh” so He could know “according to the flesh” how to “succor [which means to give relief or aid to] his people according to their infirmities.” He therefore knows our struggles, our heartaches, our temptations, and our suffering, for He willingly experienced them all as an essential part of His Atonement. And because of this, His Atonement empowers Him to succor us—to give us the strength to bear it all. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Strengthened by the Atonement of Jesus Christ,” Ensign (CR) November 2015
Jesus healed many from physical diseases, but He did not withhold healing from those who sought to be "made whole" from other ailments. Matthew writes that He healed every sickness and every disease among the people (see Matthew 4:23; 9:35). Great multitudes followed Him, and He "healed them all" (Matthew 12:15). Surely these healings included those whose sicknesses were emotional, mental, or spiritual. He healed them all. - Dallin H. Oaks, "He Heals the Heavy Laden,” Ensign (CR) October 2006
The assurance of immortality also helps us bear the mortal separations involved in the death of our loved ones. Every one of us has wept at a death, grieved through a funeral, or stood in pain at a graveside. I am surely one who has. We should all praise God for the assured resurrection that makes our mortal separations temporary and gives us the hope and strength to carry on. - Dallin H. Oaks, “Resurrection," Ensign (CR), May 2000, p.14
We need to remember the purpose of our service to one another. If it were only to accomplish some part of His work, God could dispatch "legions of angels," as Jesus taught on another occasion (see Matt. 26:53). But that would not achieve the purpose of the service He has prescribed. We serve God and our fellowmen in order to become the kind of children who can return to live with our heavenly parents. - Dallin H. Oaks, "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go," Ensign (CR), November 2002, p.67
To illustrate the opposition of temptation, the Book of Mormon describes three methods the devil will use in the last days. First, he will “rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good” (2 Nephi 28:20). Second, he will “pacify, and lull [members] away into carnal security,” saying “Zion prospereth, all is well” (verse 21). Third, he will tell us “there is no hell; and … I am no devil, for there is none” (verse 22), and therefore there is no right and wrong. Because of this opposition, we are warned not to be “at ease in Zion!” (verse 24). - Dallin H. Oaks, “Opposition in All Things,” Ensign (CR) May 2016
In all of this, we should remember King Benjamin's caution to "see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength" (Mosiah 4:27). I think of that inspired teaching whenever I feel inadequate, frustrated, or depressed. - Dallin H. Oaks, "The Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign (CR), November 1993, p.7
Spiritual food is necessary for spiritual survival, especially in a world that is moving away from belief in God and the absolutes of right and wrong. In an age dominated by the Internet, which magnifies messages that menace faith, we must increase our exposure to spiritual truth in order to strengthen our faith and stay rooted in the gospel. – Dallin H. Oaks, “The Parable of the Sower,” Ensign (CR) May 2015
There are three things all members can do to help share the gospel, regardless of the circumstances in which they live and work. All of us should do all of these.
First, we can all pray for desire to help with this vital part of the work of salvation. All efforts begin with desire.
Second, we can keep the commandments ourselves….
Third, we can pray for inspiration on what we can do in our individual circumstances to share the gospel with others. – Dallin H. Oaks, “Sharing the Restored Gospel,” Ensign (CR) November 2016
As we look about us, we see many who are practicing deception. We hear of prominent officials who have lied about their secret acts. We learn of honored sports heroes who have lied about gambling on the outcome of their games or using drugs to enhance their performance. We see less well-known persons engaging in evil acts in secret they would never do in public. Perhaps they think no one will ever know. But God always knows. And He has repeatedly warned that the time will come when “[our] iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and [our] secret acts shall be revealed” (D&C 1:3; see also Morm. 5:8; D&C 38:7). – Dallin H. Oaks, “Be Not Deceived,” Ensign (CR) November 2004
We do not serve our Savior well if we fear man more than God. He rebuked some leaders in His restored Church for seeking the praise of the world and for having their minds on the things of the earth more than on the things of the Lord (see D&C 30:2; 58:39). Those chastisements remind us that we are called to establish the Lord’s standards, not to follow the world’s. Elder John A. Widtsoe declared, “We cannot walk as other men, or talk as other men, or do as other men, for we have a different destiny, obligation, and responsibility placed upon us, and we must fit ourselves [to it].” That reality has current application to every trendy action, including immodest dress. As a wise friend observed, “You can’t be a life saver if you look like all the other swimmers on the beach.” – Dallin H. Oaks, “Unselfish Service,” Ensign (CR) May 2009
We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming. And the preparation most likely to be neglected is the one less visible and more difficult—the spiritual. A 72-hour kit of temporal supplies may prove valuable for earthly challenges, but, as the foolish virgins learned to their sorrow, a 24-hour kit of spiritual preparation is of greater and more enduring value. – Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” Ensign (CR) May 2004
The second of the Ten Commandments elaborates the direction to have no other gods and identifies what should be the ultimate priority in our lives as His children. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing” in the heavens or the earth (Exodus 20:4). The commandment then adds, “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them” (Exodus 20:5). More than merely forbidding physical idols, this states a fundamental priority for all time. Jehovah explains, “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, … shewing mercy unto … them that love me, and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:5–6). The meaning of jealous is revealing. Its Hebrew origin means “possessing sensitive and deep feelings” (Exodus 20:5, footnote b). Thus we offend God when we “serve” other gods—when we have other first priorities. – Dallin H. Oaks, “No Other Gods,” Ensign (CR) November 2013
What does it mean to be “valiant in the testimony of Jesus”? Surely this includes keeping his commandments and serving him. But wouldn’t it also include bearing witness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and our Redeemer, to believers and nonbelievers alike? As the Apostle Peter taught the Saints of his day, we should “sanctify the Lord God in [our] hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh [us] a reason of the hope that is in [us].” (1 Pet. 3:15.) – Dallin H. Oaks, “Witnesses of Christ,” Ensign (CR) November 1990
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