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"Good Samaritanism starts in the home as parents teach children by example and precept. Acts of assistance, kindness, and concern among family members reinforce the desire to 'go, and do thou likewise.' (Luke 10:37)" - H. David Burton, "Go, and Do Thou Likewise," General Conference, April 1997
"President Wilford Woodruff recalled a meeting at which the Prophet Joseph Smith said to Brigham Young, 'Brother Brigham I want you to take the stand and tell us your views with regard to the written oracles and the written word of God.' Brigham Young is reported to have laid the scriptures, one by one, before him and then indicated he felt the words of the living prophet were more important than the writings before him because the words of the living oracles convey the word of God to us in our day. President Woodruff went on to say, 'When he was through, Brother Joseph said to the congregation: Brother Brigham has told you the word of the Lord, and he has told you the truth' (in Conference Report, Oct. 1897, pp. 22-23)." - H. David Burton, "I Will Go," Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 43
"A successful baseball pitcher is able to hurl the ball with velocity and accuracy. His pitches are disguised in order to deceive the batter. A pitcher, by changing his grip on the ball or the way he releases it from his hand, makes the ball curve, slide, drop, wobble, or slow down as it approaches the batter. In baseball, good pitchers, like Nolan Ryan, are masters at deceiving batters.
"In life, he who is the greatest deceiver of all has tremendous influence. He has many names but is best known as Satan, or the devil. And he knows that 'ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood.' (1 Pet. 2:9.)
"Make no mistake about it, my young brethren, Satan is the commander in chief of deception. He is not satisfied with just taking prisoners; he wants the souls of men. One of his insidious strategies is to progressively soften our senses regarding what is right and wrong. Satan would have us convinced it is fashionable to lie and cheat. He encourages us to view pornography by suggesting that it prepares us for the real world. He would have us believe immorality is an attractive way of life and that obedience to the commandments of our Father in Heaven is old-fashioned. Satan constantly bombards us with deceptive propaganda desirably packaged and carefully disguised. Satan creates false heroes which, if emulated, will lead us to the depths of sin." - H. David Burton, "Heroes," Ensign, May 1993, 46
"The season of opportunity that awaits us today, in temple service, is different from that of the past. We are not expected to pound nails, carve stone, mill lumber, pour concrete, or physically participate in the construction of temples. We are, however, extended a marvelous opportunity to faithfully pay our tithes so temple construction and the work of the Lord may go forward. We are also challenged to be worthy to offer ourselves in the service of providing sacred saving ordinances for those who have preceded us. Very simply stated, the great opportunity of Latter-day Saint families is to see that the lights of our temples burn early and late in the day. Perhaps we could create the need for them to burn all night as they do presently on weekends in several temples." - H. David Burton, "A Season of Opportunity," Ensign, Nov. 1998, 11
"In a recent training meeting for stake and ward councils held as a part of a stake conference I attended, well-prepared presentations centered on the opportunities to be inclusive rather than exclusive in reaching out and touching new and less-active individuals, as well as those not members of our church. Sister Laura Chipman, a stake Young Women president, suggested five Is to help us to be inclusive in our outreach. They are: (1) Introspection—Are we inadvertently communicating an exclusionary attitude? (2) Identify—Do we know the recently baptized, the less-active, or nonmembers who reside in our neighborhoods and communities? (3) Individualize—Do we seek to know the interests, talents, and skills of those we wish to fellowship? (4) Invite—Do we include neighbors and friends in appropriate activities? (5) Involve—Are there ways we can utilize the skills, talents, and abilities of those we wish to include?" - H. David Burton, "A Season of Opportunity," Ensign (CR), November 1998, p.9
"I overheard a conversation between golfing great Arnold Palmer and a young caddie he was using for the first time. The young caddie, while handing Mr. Palmer his club, told him the distance to the flag was 165 yards, there was an unseen stream on the left, and a long and treacherous rough on the right. In a very kind but firm way, Mr. Palmer reminded the young man that the only information he required was the distance to the hole. He further suggested he didn't want to lose focus by worrying about what was on the right or left.
"It is easy to lose sight of the really important objectives of life. There is much to distract us. Some are floundering in the water hazards on the left, and others are finding the long, treacherous rough on the right insurmountable. Safety and success come when focus is maintained on the important opportunities found by driving the ball straight down the middle—priesthood advancement, temple worthiness, and missionary service. And that's the way it is." - H. David Burton, "And That's the Way It Is," Ensign (CR), May 2003, p.48
“Brothers and sisters, we need not be a part of the virtue malaise that is penetrating and infecting society. If we follow the world in abandoning Christian-centered virtues, the consequences may be. Individual faith and fidelity, which have eternal consequences, will diminish. Family solidarity and spirituality will be adversely impacted. Religious influence in society will be lessened, and the rule of law will be challenged and perhaps even set aside. The seedbed for all that plagues the natural man will have been planted, to the sheer delight of Satan.
“We need to stand tall and be firmly fixed in perpetuating Christlike virtues … in our everyday lives. Teaching virtuous traits begins in the home with parents who care and set the example. A good parental example encourages emulation; a poor example gives license to the children to disregard the parents’ teachings and even expand the poor example. A hypocritical example destroys credibility.” – H. David Burton, “Let Virtue Garnish Your Thoughts,” Ensign, November 2009
"The virtues expressed in 'More Holiness Give Me' fall into several groups. Some are personal goals, like more holiness give me; more strivings within; more faith, gratitude, and purity; more fit for the kingdom; more purpose in prayer; and more trust in the Lord. Others center on adversity. They include patience in suffering, meekness in trial, praise for relief, strength to overcome, freedom from earth stains, and longing for home. The rest firmly anchor us to our Savior: more sense of His care; more pride in His glory; more hope in His word; more joy in His service; more tears for His sorrows; more pain at His grief; more blessed and holy; and more, Savior, like Thee. More of these virtues is better. Less is not desirable." - David Burton, "More Holiness Give Me," Ensign (CR), November 2004, p.98
Jesus Christ is the magnificent example of courage in hearkening to the will of the Father.
The wise Psalmist said, “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord” (Ps. 31:24; emphasis added).
President Thomas S. Monson explained courage by saying, “Courage becomes a living and attractive virtue when it is regarded not as a willingness to die manfully, but the determination to live decently” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1972, p. 72). - H. David Burton, "Courage to Hearken," Ensign (CR) May 1994
If you find yourself entrapped in the pursuit of material things, now is the time to courageously stand tall. If you worship the items that money can buy more than you cherish the love of God, now is the time to stand tall. If you have been blessed with abundance beyond your needs, now is the time to stand tall in sharing with those whose needs remain unfulfilled. - H. David Burton, "Standing Tall," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p. 65
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