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Parents who really want to receive assistance must return to the basics — the fundamentals of the gospel. Among all that could be said, here are four specific suggestions that, if applied, can make a positive difference: First, do not be afraid to set clear moral standards and guidelines. Be sure to say no when it is needed....
Second, teach your children to work and to take responsibility....
Third, create an environment in your family in which spiritual experiences can occur. For example: Remember family prayer every day. With schedules as they are, you may need to have more than one prayer. Sending children out of your home without the spiritual protection of prayer is like sending them out into a blizzard without sufficient clothing....
Fourth, follow the counsel of the prophets. Listen to their messages at this conference and re-read their counsel to us from prior occasions. If your personal and family practices do not conform to the counsel received, then, for your own family's sake, make some changes. — Joe J. Christensen, "Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment," Ensign, November 1993
"We are commanded to 'feast upon the words of Christ' and not just nibble (2 Ne. 32:3). Remember President Spencer W. Kimball's statement: 'I find that when I get casual in my relationships with divinity and when it seems that no divine ear is listening and no divine voice is speaking, that I am far, far away. If I immerse myself in the scriptures the distance narrows and the spirituality returns' (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, ed. Edward L. Kimball , p. 135). How many times did President Ezra Taft Benson urge us to read from the Book of Mormon daily? There is no other book that provides us with so much opportunity to 'feast on the words of Christ.' It really is another testament of Jesus Christ. Within its pages are 3,925 references to the Savior. On average, every 1.7 verses make reference to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is referred to by 101 different titles: Lord, Savior, Redeemer, the Only Begotten Son, the Good Shepherd, and so on. If you were to start on January 1st reading just two pages a day, by the time you came to September 22nd, you would have read the entire book. Are you reading from the scriptures every day? If not, now, this very day, is a good time to repent." - Joe J. Christensen, "Ten Ideas to Increase Your Spirituality," Ensign, Mar. 1999, p. 58
"I testify that Jesus is the Christ. The tomb was empty on that third day, and 'as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive' (1 Cor. 15:22). Thus with gratitude for the sealing power within the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, we can confidently say with the poet, 'I shall but love thee better after death' (Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 'How Do I Love Thee?')." - Joe J. Christensen, "Marriage and the Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, May 1995, p.44
"In a recent conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer said, “As we test the moral environment, we find the pollution index is spiraling upward” (Ensign, May 1992, p. 66). The Apostle Paul foresaw “that in the last days perilous times shall come” (2 Tim. 3:1). And speaking of the last days, the prophet Moroni declared, “Yea, it shall come in a day when there shall be great pollutions upon the face of the earth” (Morm. 8:31)." - Joe J. Christensen, "Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment,” Ensign, November 1993, p. 11
"Some of the most remarkable personal revelations have been directly related to individual study of the scriptures. For example, the vision of the degrees of glory recorded in Doctrine and Covenants 76 came to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon after the Prophet had been studying the translation of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of John. (D&C 76:headnote, D&C 76:15-24.) Joseph Smith's First Vision came after he had reflected on James 1:5 'again and again.' (JS-H 1:11-17.) And President Joseph F. Smith's vision of the redemption of the dead came as he pondered over questions related to 1 Peter 3:18-20 and 4:6 [1 Pet. 3:18-20; 1 Pet. 4:6]. (D&C 138:1-11.)" - Joe J. Christensen, "Toward Greater Spirituality: Ten Important Steps," Ensign, June 1983, p. 8
"At times it is better to leave some things unsaid. As a newlywed, Sister Lola Walters read in a magazine that in order to strengthen a marriage, a couple should have regular, candid sharing sessions in which they would list any mannerisms they found to be annoying. She wrote:
"'We were to name five things we found annoying, and I started off.... I told him that I didn't like the way he ate grapefruit. He peeled it and ate it like an orange! Nobody else I knew ate grapefruit like that. Could a girl be expected to spend a lifetime, and even eternity, watching her husband eat grapefruit like an orange?...
"'After I finished [with my five], it was his turn to tell the things he disliked about me.... [He] said, 'Well, to tell the truth, I can't think of anything I don't like about you, Honey.'
"'I quickly turned my back, because I didn't know how to explain the tears that had filled my eyes and were running down my face.'
"Sister Walters concluded: 'Whenever I hear of married couples being incompatible, I always wonder if they are suffering from what I now call the Grapefruit Syndrome' (Ensign, Apr. 1993, p. 13).
"Yes, at times, it is better to leave some things unsaid." - Joe J. Christensen, "Marriage and the Great Plan of Happiness," Ensign, May 1995, 65
"The more our hearts and minds are turned to assisting others less fortunate than we, the more we will avoid the spiritually cankering effects that result from greed, selfishness, and overindulgence. Our resources are a stewardship, not our possessions. I am confident that we will literally be called upon to make an accounting before God concerning how we have used them to bless lives and build the kingdom." - Joe J. Christensen, "Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence," Ensign, May 1999, 11
"We live in a world of entertainment in full color with a lot of fast action, a world in which many children grow up thinking that if it isn't fun, it is boring and not worthwhile. Even in family activities, we need to strike a balance between play and work. Some of my most memorable experiences while growing up centered around family activities: learning how to shingle a roof, build a fence, or working in the garden. Rather than being all work and no play, for many of our children it is almost all play and very little work." - Joe J. Christensen, "Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence," Ensign (CR), May 1999, p.9
"If we are to be self-reliant and in a position to share, obviously we must acquire some resources. If we live within our means and avoid debt, resources can be accumulated. There are those with average incomes who, over a lifetime, do amass some means, and there are those who receive large salaries who do not. What is the difference? It is simply spending less than they receive, saving along the way, and taking advantage of the power of compound interest." - Elder Joe J. Christensen, Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence, Ensign (CR), May 1999, p.9
"The Savior is counting on you to be a champion of those who need you, and they are all around you—in your school, in your neighborhood, in your family." - Joe J. Christensen, "The Savior Is Counting on You," Ensign (CR), November 1996, p. 39
It is very unreasonable to suppose that exposure to profanity, nudity, sex, and violence has no negative effects on us. We can't roll around in the mud without getting dirty. - Joe J. Christensen, “The Savior Is Counting on You,” Ensign (CR), November 1996, p.39
The Lord and his living prophets are counting on you to avoid the trash that surrounds you in the media. When anyone chooses to ignore or defiantly go against the counsel of the living prophet, he is on very shaky ground. – Joe J. Christensen, “The Savior is Counting on You,” Ensign (CR) November 1996
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