"God brought forth the Book of Mormon as a second witness that corroborates and strengthens the Bible's testimony of the Savior. The Book of Mormon does not supplant the Bible. It expands, extends, clarifies, and amplifies our knowledge of the Savior. Surely, this second witness should be cause for great rejoicing by all Christians." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Christians in Belief and Action," General Conference, October 1996
"The compassion of Christlike friends deeply touches and changes our lives. We should well remember that the Lord often sends 'blessings from above, thru words and deeds of those who love.' Love is the very essence of the gospel of Christ. In this Church, prayers for help are often answered by the Lord through the simple, daily service of caring brothers and sisters. In the goodness of genuine friends, I have seen the reflected mercy of the Lord Himself." — "Valued Companions," General Conference, October 1997
"The Lord has made it clear that He will not be fooled by appearances, and He has warned us not to be false to Him or to others. He has cautioned us to be wary of those who project a false front, who put on a bright pretense that hides a darker reality. We know that the Lord 'looketh on the heart' and not on the 'outward appearance.'" — "True to the Truth," General Conference, April 1997
"The Lord provides the living water that can quench the burning thirst of those whose lives are parched by a drought of truth. He expects us to supply to them the fullness of the gospel by giving them the scriptures and the words of the prophets and to bear personal testimony as to the truth of the restored gospel to alleviate their thirst. When they drink from the cup of gospel knowledge, their thirst is satisfied as they come to understand our Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness." — "Living Water to Quench Spiritual Thirst," General Conference, April 1995
"The simple fact is this: anything that does not draw us closer to God takes us away from Him. We have no middle ground, no foggy gray area where we can sin a little without suffering spiritual decline. That is why we must repent and come to Christ daily on submissive knees so that we can prevent our bonfires of testimony from being snuffed out by sin." — "Spiritual Bonfires Of Testimony," General Conference, October 1992
"To be without guile is to be free of deceit, cunning, hypocrisy, and dishonesty in thought or action. To beguile is to deceive or lead astray, as Lucifer beguiled Eve in the Garden of Eden. A person without guile is a person of innocence, honest intent, and pure motives, whose life reflects the simple practice of conforming his daily actions to principles of integrity." — "Without Guile," General Conference, April 1988
"Life was made for struggle; and exaltation, success, and victory were never meant to be cheap or to come easily. The tides of life often challenge us. To understand why it has to be this way, we should maintain our understanding, our faith, and our courage by a constant rereading of Second Nephi, chapter two, the substance of which is set forth in this excerpt: 'For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.' (2 Ne. 2:11.)" — "Dikes Versus Living Water," General Conference, October 1976
"There is much we can do to strengthen home and family. Among the most important is to inspire our wives and daughters to take advantage of Relief Society. I am sorry to relate that many of our women are not receiving these blessings. If, through your efforts, you can improve this commitment to Relief Society, your families will be blessed." — "Let Your Light So Shine," General Conference, October 1978
"Pondering, which means to weigh mentally, to deliberate, to meditate, can achieve the opening of the spiritual eyes of one's understanding. Also, the Spirit of the Lord may rest upon the ponderer..." — "Pondering Strengthens The Spiritual Life," General Conference, April 1982
"The rod of iron represents the word of God, that leads us to the love of God (see 1 Nephi 11:25). You must hold firmly to the rod of iron through the mists and darknesses, the hardships and trials of life. If you relax your grip and slip from the path, the iron rod might become lost in the darkness for a time until you repent and regain your grasp of it." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Running Your Marathon," General Conference, October 1989
"Another core principle is moral purity. One of the most pervasive deceptions in recent years is the notion that immorality is normal and acceptable and has no negative consequences. In truth, immorality is the underlying cause of much suffering and many other problems that are prevalent today, including rampant disease, abortion, broken families, families without fathers, and mothers who themselves are children. President Ezra Taft Benson said, 'The plaguing sin of this generation is sexual immorality.' The Lord said, 'Thou shalt not... commit adultery,... nor do anything like unto it.' That means we are to avoid abnormal sexual behavior, including fornication, homosexual behavior, child molestation, or any other perversion of God's plan of happiness." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Deep Roots," "Ensign," Nov. 1994, p. 76
"The immortality and eternal life of man is brought to pass by the atonement of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer. It is 'the most transcendent act that ever has occurred or ever will occur among the children of the Father.' (Bruce R. McConkie, The Millennial Messiah, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982, p. 15) It is an act of love for which we should be more grateful than for any other blessing or gift of God. The Atonement provides immortality to every person; immortality is infinite and universal. It provides the opportunity for eternal life, the kind of life that God lives, to those who have faith in Christ, repent of their sins, and obey the laws of the gospel. In a miraculous way, the Atonement saves and redeems us from the effects of the fall of Adam, both temporal death at the end of mortality and spiritual death, the separation from our Father. " — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Our Lord and Savior," Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 6
"God brought forth the Book of Mormon as a second witness that corroborates and strengthens the Bible's testimony of the Savior. The Book of Mormon does not supplant the Bible. It expands, extends, clarifies, and amplifies our knowledge of the Savior. Surely, this second witness should be cause for great rejoicing by all Christians." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Christians in Belief and Action," Ensign, Nov. 1996, p. 71
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints declares boldly that through another type of window, the windows of heaven, we can access spiritual information from the Source of light and truth. 'We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.' In this dispensation of the fulness of times, the revelation superhighway has been carrying heavy traffic of eternal truth ever since that day in the spring of 1820 when the Lord answered a farm boy's fervent prayer in the Sacred Grove and ushered in the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Windows of Light and Truth," Ensign, Nov. 1995, p. 75
"People today face the same temptations that have been common throughout history, plus many others that were unknown to earlier generations. However, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our ability to resist. (See 1 Corinthians 10:13.) He does not give us challenges that we cannot surmount. He will not ask more than we can do, but may ask right up to our limits so we can prove ourselves. The Lord will never forsake or abandon anyone. We may abandon him, but he will not abandon us. We never need to feel that we are alone. The reason to stay on course in a marathon is obvious. Staying on a course that leads to a righteous life may be less obvious but is much more important. In simple terms, a righteous life is the way-the only way-to happiness, joy and peace." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 152
"The Lord has given us the gift of agency (see Moses 7:32) and instructed us sufficiently to know good from evil (see 2 Nephi 2:5). We are free to choose (see 2 Nephi 2:27) and are permitted to act (see 2 Nephi 10:23; Helaman 14:30), but we are not free to choose the consequences. With absolute certainty, choices of good and right lead to happiness and peace, while choices of sin and evil eventually lead to unhappiness, sorrow, and misery." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 152
"So-called little transgressions are especially serious in our effort to live a life of moral purity. Satan would have us believe that the minor infractions do not need to concern us. Why worry if we do not control our thoughts or if we allow pornographic or immoral entertainment to be part of our lives? Does attending just a few R-rated movies really damage us? Are we so unworthy when we watch just two or three questionable programs on the cable television channels? Are the lewd novels of the day really so bad? These little rationalizations prompted by Satan will become great detriments to our spiritual growth." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 67
"Let us not grow so busy in our daily activities that we thoughtlessly fail to 'feast upon the words of Christ.' (2 Nephi 32:3)" — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 238
"Prepare and perform are the key words in how we will improve our time in this life. This day is the day to perform our labors. We should not just mark time and kill time, for time is too precious to waste. We do not want procrastination to use up our precious time...." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 223
"President David O. McKay focused our thinking on the purpose of our earthly existence in 1969 when he said: 'Keep in mind that man's earthly existence is but a test as to whether he will concentrate his efforts, his mind, his soul upon things which contribute to the comfort and gratification of his physical nature, or whether he will make as his life's purpose the acquisition of spiritual qualities.'" — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 66
"Though we abhor war, peace nearly always is more a dream than a reality. During most of the world's history, strife, dissension, and conflict have flourished and displaced peace. The times when peace has reigned, it has begun in the hearts of righteous, obedient individuals and has grown until it has engulfed a society." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 7
"Visualize in your mind a society in which all are pure in heart and completely free of deceit and dishonesty. Can you imagine a total absence of contention and disputes, with no one ever attempting to deceive another? How would life be if we always were certain, without question, that what others represent to us is true? Theft would be unknown. We would have little use for jails or prisons, and litigation would be rare. The greatest blessing that would come to a society without guile is the personal inner peace that comes to those who know they are doing the right and that their lives are acceptable to the Lord.
"A society without guile is possible. I cite two examples from the scriptures. The first is the City of Holiness, even Zion, a city in which the inhabitants were pure in heart and dwelt in righteousness. That city, referred to as the city of Enoch, was taken up into heaven. (See Moses 7:18-21.)
"The second example is the society of the Nephites that lasted for about two hundred years after the resurrected Lord visited and taught them. (See 4 Nephi 1.)
"Though we know that we must perfect our lives grace upon grace and line upon line (see John 1:16; 2 Nephi 28:30), these are examples of the goal of perfection that we should strive for." Joseph B. Wirthlin "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 186
"In our own lives today, we receive revelation through the still, small voice that whispers 'Yes, that applies to me.' The Prophet Joseph Smith received this kind of revelation when he read in James 1:5 that he should pray and ask God. It was in a similar circumstance that President Joseph F. Smith, after reading and contemplating the scriptures, had the vision of the redemption of the dead (D&C 138) opened to his mind. Regular study of the scriptures and meditating upon them are essential for continual revelation." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 173
"Those who stand at the threshold of life always waiting for the right time to change are like the man who stands at the bank of a river waiting for the water to pass so he can cross on dry land. Today is the day of decision." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Three Choices," General Conference, 5 October 2003
"'Keep the commandments. In this there is safety and peace.' ('Keep the Commandments,' Hymns, no. 303.) Nothing this world has to offer can surpass the joy of living the gospel! No worldly wealth or possession, no degree of fame or recognition can supplant the satisfaction of feeling the warmth and peace of the Spirit of the Lord in our hearts and in our homes. 'Sweet is the peace the gospel brings.' ('Sweet Is the Peace the Gospel Brings,' Hymns, no. 14.) As we strive for success, we cannot allow 'any vain or foolish thing' to divert us from the path of faith and lead us away from being true to our covenants." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "True to the Truth," General Conference, April 1997
"God's love is complete and without limit for you and for all mankind. (John 3:16.) He is perfectly just (2 Ne. 9:17; Mosiah 29:12.) and merciful. (Deut. 4:31; Alma 42:15.) He is perfectly kind (Isa. 54:8; 3 Ne. 22:8.) and understands your circumstances and condition. He knows you better than you know yourself." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Growing into the Priesthood," Ensign, Nov. 1999, p. 40
"Brothers and sisters, beware of covetousness. It is one of the great afflictions of these latter days. It creates greed and resentment. Often it leads to bondage, heartbreak, and crushing, grinding debt." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts," General Conference, April 2004
"As the sun gives life and light to the earth, a spiritual light gives nourishment to our spirits. We call this the Light of Christ. The scriptures teach us that it 'lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' (John 1:9; see also Moroni 7:16; D&C 84:46.) Thus, all mankind can enjoy its blessings. The Light of Christ is the divine influence that allows every man, woman, and child to distinguish between good and evil. It encourages all to choose the right, to seek eternal truth, and to learn again the truths that we knew in our premortal existence but have forgotten in mortality." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Unspeakable Gift," General Conference, April 2003
"Learn of your Savior. Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane more than you can comprehend. Willingly and lovingly, He took upon Himself not only our sins but the pains, sicknesses, and sufferings of all mankind. (See Alma 7:11-12.) He suffered similarly on the cross, where He gave His life to pay the penalty for our sins if we will repent. And then in His ultimate triumph, He was resurrected and broke the bands of death, making the Resurrection available to all." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Growing into the Priesthood," Ensign, November 1999, p. 40
"Procrastination and indecision can hamper our efforts to prepare for the life after mortality. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith said, 'Procrastination, as it may be applied to Gospel principles, is the thief of eternal life-which is life in the presence of the Father and the Son.' (The Way to Perfection, 10th ed. (1953), 202.) In the Book of Mormon we read Amulek's plea: 'I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end.... For that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.' (Alma 34:33-34.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Time to Prepare," Ensign, May 1998, p. 16
"The Lord's standards for building a temple apply also to building spiritual strength in our homes: 'Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.' (D&C 88:119.) Do we heed this counsel from the Lord? Do we do what he asks? We would do well to build our homes according to this plan, or they are destined to fail." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 53
"If we are to fulfill the Lord's command to open the windows of heaven to all of our brothers and sisters, we must prepare to teach the gospel. With study of the scriptures, fasting, and prayer, we fortify our testimonies. We cultivate Christlike attributes of 'faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, [and] diligence.' (D&C 4:6.) Through exemplary obedience, we can 'let [our] light so shine before men, that they may see [our] good works, and glorify [our] Father which is in heaven.' (Matt. 5:16.) By keeping the commandments, we can light our gospel candle and put it 'on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.' (Matt. 5:15; emphasis added.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Windows of Light and Truth," Ensign, November 1995, p. 76
"As He knew Peter, the Lord understands you and me when our testimonies may not be the brightly burning bonfire you may think they are or want them to be. Perhaps in some cases, that testimony is constructed unwisely, built on a social foundation of programs and personalities instead of the sure rock of personal revelation. Or perhaps you have allowed your testimony to flicker gradually through the years of disuse and spiritual complacency. Regardless of the reason your testimony may be growing dim, the Savior lovingly urges you to come unto Him and become strengthened in Him. Said He to Moroni: 'If men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble;... for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.' (Ether 12:27.) - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony," Ensign, November 1992, p. 34-35
"Our faith in the Lord moves us to the third principle of the gospel, which is 'baptism by immersion for the remission of sins' by one who has priesthood authority. (A of F 1:4.) The Savior commanded that we all must be born again: 'Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.' (John 3:5.) Latter-day Saints accept baptism as an essential saving ordinance that is required of all people. Through baptism we covenant to take upon us the Lord's name and honor it by keeping His commandments. He, in turn, promises us the guiding and enlightening presence of His Spirit." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Christians in Belief and Action," Ensign, November 1996, p. 72
"Considering all that Jesus is and all he does for us, what should we be doing to show our appreciation? We should go far beyond knowing about Jesus and about his attributes and mission. We should come to 'know... the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent' (John 17:3). 'It is one thing to know about God and another to know him. We know about him when we learn that he is a personal being in whose image man is created; when we learn that the Son is in the express image of his Father's person; when we learn that both the Father and the Son possess certain [specific] attributes and powers. But we know them, in the sense of gaining eternal life, when we enjoy and experience the same things they do. To know God is to think what he thinks, to feel what he feels, to have the power he possesses, to comprehend the truths he understands, and to do what he does. Those who know God become like him, and have his kind of life, which is eternal life.' (Bruce R. McConkie, 'Doctrinal New Testament Commentary,' 3 vols., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-73, 1:762.) In other words, to possess a knowledge of Christ, we must become as he is. We become 'partakers of the divine nature' (2 Pet. 1:4). He instructed his Nephite disciples: 'What manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am' (3 Ne. 27:27)." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Our Lord and Savior," Ensign, Nov. 1993, p. 7
"Surely we live in troubled times, but we can seek and obtain the good despite Satan's temptations and snares. He cannot tempt us beyond our power to resist. (See 1 Cor. 10:13.) When we seek 'anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy,' we are seeking to emulate the Savior and follow his teachings. Then we are on the path that can lead us to eternal life." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Seeking the Good," Ensign, May 1992, p. 88
"The rewards of integrity are immeasurable. One is the indescribable inner peace and serenity that come from knowing we are doing what is right; another is an absence of the guilt and anxiety that accompany sin.
"Another reward of integrity is the confidence it can give us in approaching God. When virtue garnishes our thoughts unceasingly, our confidence is strong in the presence of God. (See D&C 121:45.) When we are doing what is right, we will not feel timid and hesitant about seeking divine direction. We will know the Lord will answer our prayers and help us in our need.
"The consummate reward of integrity is the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. (See D&C 121:46.) The Holy Ghost does not attend us when we do evil. But when we do what is right, he can dwell with us and guide us in all we do." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Personal Integrity," Ensign, May 1990, p. 33
"The Lord has provided for us prophets, scriptures, parents, and other wise leaders to teach us the course we should be following. They can help us monitor our progress and correct the direction we are going when necessary, much the same as tracking stations monitor a satellite's progress and keep it on the right path. Our course on earth is so important. It is determined by the decisions we make each day. We cannot separate our thoughts and actions now from their effects on the future." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Time to Prepare," Ensign, May 1998, p. 16
"We do not have to protect ourselves from wolf packs as we travel the road of life today, but, in a spiritual sense, we do face the devious wolves of Satan in the forms of temptation, evil, and sin. We live in dangerous times when these ravenous wolves roam the spiritual countryside in search of those who may be weak in faith or feeble in their conviction. In his first epistle, Peter described our 'adversary the devil, as a roaring lion [that] walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.' (1 Pet. 5:8.) The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith that 'enemies prowl around thee like wolves for the blood of the lamb.' (D&C 122:6.) We are all vulnerable to attack. However, we can fortify ourselves with the protection provided by a burning testimony that, like a bonfire, has been built adequately and maintained carefully." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony," Ensign, Nov. 1992, p. 34
"The Church is not a place where perfect people gather to say perfect things, or have perfect thoughts, or have perfect feelings. The Church is a place where imperfect people gather to provide encouragement, support, and service to each other as we press on in our journey to return to our Heavenly Father.
"Each one of us will travel a different road during this life. Each progresses at a different rate. Temptations that trouble your brother may not challenge you at all. Strengths that you possess may seem impossible to another.
"Never look down on those who are less perfect than you. Don't be upset because someone can't sew as well as you, can't throw as well as you, can't row or hoe as well as you.
"We are all children of our Heavenly Father. And we are here with the same purpose: to learn to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. (Mark 12:30-31.) " - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Virtue of Kindness," General Conference, April 2005
"As you pray, occasionally take a personal inventory to see how you measure up in your righteousness, in meeting the standards of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We each can know for ourselves, as the Lord knows, where we need to improve. We must hold to the standards. If we have advanced in material, outward things, how are we doing inwardly? Are our lives acceptable to the Lord? Are we willing to acknowledge our sins and then make the effort to forsake them, repent, and make the course correction that will return us to the straight and narrow path?
"I know that each of us has much to do. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed by the tasks we face. But if we keep our priorities in order, we can accomplish all that we should. We can endure to the end regardless of temptations, problems, and challenges. Those who remain faithful will receive God's greatest blessing, eternal life, and the privilege of living with our Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son in the celestial kingdom." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Straight and Narrow Way," Ensign, Nov. 1990, 66
"To be without guile is to be pure in heart—an essential virtue of those who would be counted among true followers of Christ. He taught in the Sermon on the Mount, 'Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God' (Matt. 5:8; see also 3 Ne. 12:8). He revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith that Zion is the pure in heart (see D&C 97:21) and that a house is to be built in Zion in which the pure in heart shall see God (see D&C 97:10–16).
"If we are without guile, we are honest, true, and righteous. All of these are attributes of Deity and are required of the Saints. Those who are honest are fair and truthful in their speech, straightforward in their dealings, free of deceit, and above stealing, misrepresentation, or any other fraudulent action. Honesty is of God and dishonesty of the devil; the devil was a liar from the beginning. Righteousness is living a life that is in harmony with the laws, principles, and ordinances of the gospel." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Without Guile,” Ensign, May 1988, 80-81
"We should follow Paul's counsel to the Ephesians: 'Be no more... tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine.' (Eph. 4:14.) The winds of false doctrine that are blowing today both outside and a few within the Church are far more dangerous to the ultimate salvation of mankind than are earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters. These winds can uproot people if their roots are not firmly anchored to the Rock of our salvation, which is the teachings and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"We, as a people, are to live our religion and its principles and follow the leadership of our prophet, seer, and revelator regardless of what the world does. We should strive always to be obedient to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and should keep in mind these words of the Savior: 'I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.' (D&C 82:10.) - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Deep Roots," Ensign, Nov. 1994, 77
"We are commanded to pray (Alma 34:17-27) both vocally and in secret. Secret prayer is a personal, private communication that God has provided between us. Elder Francis M. Gibbons wrote: 'Satan and his followers, who have been cast out of God's presence and are dead to His spirit, are excluded from those who, by the spirit of prophecy and revelation, may know the thoughts and the intents of our hearts. So, in his wisdom and mercy, God has provided a channel of communication between him and his children on earth that Satan, our common enemy, cannot invade. This is the channel of secret prayer. The significance of this to the Latter-day Saint is profound, for by this means we are able to communicate with our Heavenly Father in secrecy, confident that the adversary cannot intrude.' (Francis M. Gibbons, "The Dual Aspects of Prayer," Ensign, November 1991, p. 78)
"As parents, if we teach the importance of prayer in our homes, we must pray ourselves. We must have our family prayers morning and night, a blessing on the food at each meal, as well as our personal, private prayers." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives" [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995], p. 163
"As you build your lives in obedience to the gospel and strive to achieve your goals, do not become discouraged by temporary setbacks and disappointments. Remember that 'it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things.' (2 Ne. 2:11) You will grow and learn by overcoming obstacles. The Lord has admonished all of us to 'keep [His] commandments and endure to the end.' (D&C 14:7)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Live in Obedience," Ensign (CR), May 1994, p.39
"The Lord's standards for building a temple apply also to building spiritual strength in our homes: 'Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.' (D&C 88:119.) Do we heed this counsel from the Lord? Do we do what He asks? We would do well to build our homes according to this plan or they are destined to fail." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Spiritually Strong Homes and Families," Ensign (CR), May 1993, p.68
"Pride and vanity, the opposites of humility, can destroy our spiritual health as surely as a debilitating disease can destroy our physical health." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Straight and Narrow Way," Ensign (CR), November 1990, p.64
"'Be not weary in well-doing' (D&C 64:33), my brothers and sisters. Being true to ones duty is a mark of true disciples of the Lord and the children of God. Be valiant in your duty. Stay in step. Do not fail in your most important task, that of keeping your second estate. Be true to your duty, for it will bring you to God." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Let Every Man Learn His Duty," Ensign (CR), November 1980, p.69
"The windows of heaven are open wide to the faithful and righteous; nothing closes them faster than disobedience. The unworthy cannot access fully the network of revealed truth. 'The powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.' (D&C 121:36.) 'Obedience is the first law of heaven.' (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988), p. 26.) That is why Alma exhorted us to 'be humble,... submissive and... diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times.' (Alma 7:23.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Windows of Light and Truth," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.75
"Every one of you can read something in the scriptures each day. You should spend some time pondering and studying the scriptures. It is better to read and ponder even one verse than none at all.... Few things you do will bring you greater dividends." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Growing into the Priesthood," Ensign (CR), November 1999, p.38
"An obvious parallel between life and a marathon is the necessity to run diligently and endure to the end. Among his final words to his people, Nephi told them: 'And now,... after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done? Behold, I say unto you, Nay;... Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ... and endure to the end.' (2 Ne. 31:19-20.) I think of this promise of the Lord: 'But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.' (Isa. 40:31.) You have that promise." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Running Your Marathon," Ensign (CR), November 1989, p.73
"To open the windows of heaven, we must conform our will to God's will. Diligent, enduring obedience to God's laws is the key that opens the windows of heaven. Obedience enables us to be receptive to the mind and will of the Lord. 'The Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient' (D&C 64:34.) are those who receive the blessings of revelation through the open windows of heaven." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Windows of Light and Truth," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.75
"We have earthly debts and heavenly debts. Let us be wise in dealing with each of them and ever keep in mind the words of the Savior. The scriptures tell us, 'Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven.' (Matt. 6:19-20.) The riches of this world are as dust compared to the riches that await the faithful in the mansions of our Heavenly Father. How foolish is he who spends his days in the pursuit of things that rust and fade away. How wise is he who spends his days in the pursuit of eternal life." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.40
"During his mortal ministry, as the Only Begotten of the Father in the flesh, Jesus again taught the gospel. At the beginning of this ministry, we see his perseverance in one of the most stirring dramas ever recorded. He completely overcame every temptation that the cunning of Satan could devise (see Matt. 4:1-11). After Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights, gathering miraculous inner strength, came a battle of opposing powers in the wilderness of Judea. First, Satan tempted Jesus by appealing to the basic appetite of hunger, asking him to transform stones into bread. Jesus held to his divine course and refused. Satan next tempted the Savior to cast himself down from a pinnacle of the temple, saying angels would protect him if he were the Son of God. Jesus refused this request to misuse his divine power, saying, 'Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God' (Matt. 4:7). Satan seldom gives up. He next appealed to a drive that causes the downfall of otherwise invulnerable individuals—the almost irresistible hunger to have great possessions. Satan showed all the kingdoms of the world and offered them to Jesus if he would worship him. Jesus commanded Satan to leave, saying, 'Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve' (Matt. 4:10). This is the type of perseverance in the face of temptation that each of us can and must exercise if we are to avoid the misery of sin." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Never Give Up," Ensign (CR), November 1987, p.8
"When we are filled with kindness, we are not judgmental. The Savior taught, 'Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.' (Luke 6:37.) He also taught that 'with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.' (Matt. 7:2.)
"'But,' you ask, 'what if people are rude?'
"'If they are obnoxious?'
"'But what if they offend? Surely I must do something then?'
"The answer is the same. Be kind. Love them.
"Why? In the scriptures Jude taught, 'And of some have compassion, making a difference.' (Jude 1:22.) - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Virtue of Kindness," Ensign (CR), May 2005, p. 26
"Each of you has an eternal calling from which no Church officer has authority to release you. This is a calling given you by our Heavenly Father Himself. In this eternal calling, as with all other callings, you have a stewardship, and 'it is required of the Lord, at the hand of every steward, to render an account of his stewardship, both in time and in eternity.' (D&C 72:3.) This most important stewardship is the glorious responsibility your Father in Heaven has given you to watch over and care for your own soul." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "True to the Truth," Ensign (CR), May 1997, p.15
"Each of us will have our own Fridays—those days when the universe itself seems shattered and the shards of our world lie littered about us in pieces. We all will experience those broken times when it seems we can never be put together again. We will all have our Fridays.
"But I testify to you in the name of the One who conquered death—Sunday will come. In the darkness of our sorrow, Sunday will come." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Sunday Will Come," Ensign, November 2006
"My ability to run is not so swift now. While I am looking forward to that future time when, with a resurrected body, I can once again sprint over a field and feel the wind blowing through my hair, I do not dwell on the fact that I cannot do it now.
"That would be unwise. Instead, I take the steps that I can take. Even with the limitations of age, I can still take one step at a time. To do what I can is all my Heavenly Father now requires of me. And it is all He requires of you, regardless of your disabilities, limitations, or insecurities." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "One Step after Another," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.25
"As you build your lives in obedience to the gospel and strive to achieve your goals, do not become discouraged by temporary setbacks and disappointments. Remember that it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. (2 Ne. 2:11) You will grow and learn by overcoming obstacles. The Lord has admonished all of us to keep [His] commandments and endure to the end. (D&C 14:7)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Live in Obedience," Ensign (CR), May 1994, p.39
"The value of peace within our hearts cannot be measured. When we are at peace, we can be free of worry and fear, knowing that with the Lord's help, we can do all that is expected or required of us. We can approach every day, every task, and every challenge with assurance and confidence in the outcome. We have freedom of thought and action, freedom to be happy. Even those incarcerated for lengthy periods of time as war prisoners can be at peace in their own minds. Many of them have learned from their captors that they cannot deprive them of freedom to think, even when the most harsh limitations are imposed. Few, if any, blessings from God are more valuable to our spiritual health than the reward of peace within. In modern-day revelation the Savior said, 'But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.' (D&C 59:23.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Peace Within," Ensign (CR), May 1991, p.36
"Stated simply, charity means subordinating our interests and needs to those of others, as the Savior has done for all of us. The Apostle Paul wrote that of faith, hope, and charity, 'the greatest of these is charity' (1 Cor. 13:13), and Moroni wrote that 'except ye have charity ye can in nowise be saved in the kingdom of God' (Moro. 10:21). I believe that selfless service is a distinctive part of the gospel. As President Spencer W. Kimball said, welfare service 'is not a program, but the essence of the gospel. It is the gospel in action.'" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Fruits of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ," Ensign (CR), November 1991, p.15
"The prophets and other Church leaders have never misled the Latter-day Saints on a principle of righteousness. Every principle is for our benefit. However, if we choose to ignore the prophets, we choose the consequences that follow. We have the God-given agency to either follow the prophets or not, but we cannot choose the consequences of exercising that agency. They will follow with absolute certainty. If we ignore the prophets, we become like the people the Savior chastised when he said, 'Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?' (Luke 6:46.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding Peace in Our Lives," p.15
"I have known many great men and women. Although they have different backgrounds, talents, and perspectives, they all have this in common: they work diligently and persistently towards achieving their goals. It's easy to get distracted and lose focus on the things that are most important in life. I've tried to remember the lessons I learned from Coach Oswald and prioritize values that are important to me so that I can keep my eye focused on things that really matter.
"I urge you to examine your life. Determine where you are and what you need to do to be the kind of person you want to be. Create inspiring, noble, and righteous goals that fire your imagination and create excitement in your heart. And then keep your eye on them. Work consistently towards achieving them." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Life's Lessons Learned," General Conference, April 2007
"Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles. It leads us through valleys of darkness and through the veil of death. In the end love leads us to the glory and grandeur of eternal life." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Great Commandment," General Conference, 6 October 2007
“We believe the first principle of the gospel is ‘faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.’ (A of F 1:4.) ‘No [one] cometh unto the Father, but by [Him].’ (John 14:6.) As His disciples, we echo boldly the words of Peter’s resounding testimony to our Master: ‘Thou art the Christ.’ (Mark 8:29.) The burning witness of the Holy Spirit that we feel deep within our hearts prompts us to make this declaration humbly and gratefully. When we explain our regard for Jesus, we lovingly and plainly testify that He is ‘that Christ, the Son of the living God.’ (John 6:69.)” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Christians in Belief and Action,” Ensign (CR), November 1996, p.70
"We have little excuse for not choosing the way of the Lord. Do you suppose at the Day of Judgment our Savior will care one little bit about the wealth we have accumulated or the praise we have received? He wants us to come unto Him, to learn of Him, and to discover the pure love of Christ that comes through embracing His word and obeying His commandments." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Three Choices," Ensign (CR), November 2003, p.78
"Love the Lord with all your heart, might, mind, and strength. Enlist in great and noble causes. Create of your homes sanctuaries of holiness and strength. Magnify your callings in the Church. Fill your minds with learning. Strengthen your testimonies. Reach out to others.
"Create of your life a masterpiece.
"Brothers and sisters, the abundant life does not come to us packaged and ready-made. It's not something we can order and expect to find delivered with the afternoon mail. It does not come without hardship or sorrow.
"It comes through faith, hope, and charity. And it comes to those who, in spite of hardship and sorrow, understand the words of one writer who said, 'In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.' (Albert Camus, in John Bartlett, comp., Familiar Quotations, 16th ed. (1980), 732.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Abundant Life," CR April 2006
"No one is immune from Satan's influence and temptations. Do not be so proud to think that you are beyond the adversary's influence. Be watchful that you do not fall prey to his deceptions. Stay close to the Lord through daily scripture study and daily prayer. We cannot afford to sit back and take our salvation for granted. We must be anxiously engaged our whole lives. (See D&C 58:27.) These words of President Brigham Young motivate and remind us that we can never give up the fight to endure: 'The men and women, who desire to obtain seats in the celestial kingdom, will find that they must battle every day [for this sacred goal].' (Discourses of Brigham Young, sel. John A. Widtsoe (1954), 392.)" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Press On," Ensign (CR), November 2004, p.101
"Brothers and sisters, if only we had more compassion for those who are different from us, it would lighten many of the problems and sorrows in the world today. It would certainly make our families and the Church a more hallowed and heavenly place." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Concern for the One," General Conference, April 2008
"No matter your station, no matter your emotional or spiritual state of mind, I would like to offer counsel to you that may be of use, regardless of where you are in your sojourn through this mortal life.
"Certainly we have much to be grateful for. And I think if we will consider the blessings we have, we will forget some of our worries. Certainly serenity and joy will come to you if you realize the blessings we have as a Church.... It will help us a great deal." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "One Step after Another," Ensign (CR), November 2001, p.25
"Weekly sacrament meeting attendance helps us strengthen our resolve to keep our personal windows of heaven free from the obscuring haze of earthly distractions and temptations. By partaking of the sacrament worthily to renew our baptismal covenants, we clarify our view of life’s eternal purpose and divine priorities. The sacrament prayers invite personal introspection, repentance, and rededication as we pledge our willingness to remember our Savior, Jesus the Christ. This commitment to become like Christ, repeated weekly, defines the supreme aspiration of Latter-day Saint life." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Windows of Light and Truth," Ensign (CR), November 1995, p.75
"In any pursuit and under any condition, we can ask ourselves what would Jesus do and then determine our own course accordingly. For example, what sort of home teacher would the Savior be? Would He occasionally miss visiting families? Would He visit them without a message? Or would He minister to His families like the Good Shepherd that He is, with constant watch care and loving kindness? Deep in our hearts we know what kind of home teacher Jesus would be, just as we know what kind of bishop, teacher, Primary leader, clerk, or youth adviser He would be. Even though we could never in this life measure up completely to His standard of excellence, our attempt to do so will lead us to do far better than otherwise." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony," Ensign (CR), November 1992, p.34
"Have you ever seen an angry driver who, when someone else makes a mistake, reacts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam? Or have you had an encounter with an overhanging cupboard door left open at the wrong place and the wrong time which has been cursed, condemned, and avenged by a sore-headed victim?
"There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh....
"The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Come What May, and Love It," General Conference, October 2008
"A certain amount of impatience may be useful to stimulate and motivate us to action. However, I believe that a lack of patience is a major cause of the difficulties and unhappiness in the world today. Too often, we are impatient with ourselves, with our family members and friends, and even with the Lord. We seem to demand what we want right now, regardless of whether we have earned it, whether it would be good for us, or whether it is right. Some seek immediate gratification or numbing of every impulse by turning to alcohol and drugs, while others seek instant material wealth by questionable investments or by dishonesty, with little or no regard for the consequences. Perhaps the practice of patience is more difficult, yet more necessary, now than at any previous time." — Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Patience, a Key to Happiness," Ensign (CR), May 1987, p.30
"Brothers and sisters, the Savior, who set the pattern for us, is pleased with those who 'remember in all things the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.' He is pleased with those who hearken to His admonition to 'succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.'" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Inspired Church Welfare," Ensign (CR), May 1999, p.76
“As spirit children of our Heavenly Father, we should seek always to recognize the divine potential within us and never restrict our perspective to the limited scope of mortal life.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Seeking the Good,” Ensign (CR), May 1992, p. 86
“Obedience to the law of chastity would diminish cries for abortion and would go a long way toward controlling sexually transmitted disease. Total fidelity in marriage would eliminate a major cause of divorce, with its consequent pain and sadness inflicted especially upon innocent children.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Fruits of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ,” Ensign (CR), November 1991, p. 15
“Marathon runners set explicit goals. You should look ahead now and decide what you want to do with your lives. Fix clearly in your mind what you want to be one year from now, five years, ten years, and beyond. Receive your patriarchal blessing and strive to live worthy of its promises. A patriarchal blessing is one of the most important guides in life that members of the Church enjoy. Write your goals and review them regularly. Keep them before you constantly, record your progress, and revise them as circumstances dictate. Your ultimate goal should be eternal life—the kind of life God lives, the greatest of all the gifts of God.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Running Your Marathon,” Ensign (CR), November 1989, p. 73
“If we had slipped away then, where are we forty years later? In 1947, television and computers were in their infancies. We had no satellite broadcasts or videotapes and no computer fraud. Certainly our moral standards of decency and propriety have slipped from where they were in 1947. The obscenity, nudity, and other forms of pornography that would have made us blush and turn away in shame in 1947 are now thrust at us openly in printed and audiovisual material. They are even paraded through our homes unless we are careful to keep them out. As a people, we are slipping further from our old moorings today because we are not following our prophets.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Patience, a Key to Happiness,” Ensign (CR), May 1987, p. 30
“At the final day the Savior will not ask about the nature of our callings. He will not inquire about our material possessions or fame. He will ask if we ministered to the sick, gave food and drink to the hungry, visited those in prison, or gave succor to the weak. When we reach out to assist the least of Heavenly Father's children, we do it unto Him. That is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment,” CR October 2007
“Brothers and sisters, you are not alone. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today, millions of people stand beside you. Those who follow the teachings and example of the Savior are ‘willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.’
“The question Cain asked of the Lord, ‘Am I my brother's keeper?’ has been answered by prophets in these latter days. ‘Yes, we are our brothers’ keepers,’ President Thomas S. Monson has said. When we work together to benefit those in need, ‘we eliminate the weakness of one person standing alone and substitute the strength of many serving together. While we may not be able to do everything, we can and must do something.’
“Bishops, home teachers, visiting teachers, and members of priesthood quorums and of Relief Societies and other auxiliary organizations all stand ready to help. The Savior’s teachings and the Church constitute our best safe harbor—yes, our most secure ‘refuge from the storm.’
“Of course, your brothers and sisters in the Church are not to solve your problems for you. It has been my experience that when we do for others what they can and ought to do for themselves, we often weaken rather than strengthen them. But your brothers and sisters will be at your side to strengthen you, encourage you, and help you.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Finding a Safe Harbor,” Ensign (CR), May 2000, p. 59
“Since most people find it relatively easy and convenient to pray, if only mechanically, and to perform in some areas, if only listlessly, I want to emphasize the pondering element. I testify that when the quality of the pondering improves, the quality of prayers and performance improves also.
“It was in solitude, pondering, and praying that Jesus made ready to battle Satan face to face and resist and overcome all of his enticements. It is not in the hurly-burly of everyday life, amid the pressures of business, society, and even family, that we marshal our greatest strengths, discern our hidden resources, and learn how to utilize our God-given powers in order to fight and vanquish the enemy. It is only in solitude, pondering, and meditating that we live in closest relationship with our Lord. It is also in pondering that we can relive the example of those noble souls of the past who are motivation for us, models of the exemplary life, leaders who have received the revelations and the lofty thought of inspiration.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Finding Peace in Our Lives,” p. 37
“These latter days are a time of great spiritual thirst. Many in the world are searching, often intensely, for a source of refreshment that will quench their yearning for meaning and direction in their lives. They crave a cool, satisfying drink of insight and knowledge that will soothe their parched souls. Their spirits cry out for life-sustaining experiences of peace and calm to nourish and enliven their withering hearts.
“Indeed, ‘there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it.’ Let us work with all our heart, might, mind, and strength to show our thirsty brothers and sisters where they may find the living water of the gospel, that they may come to drink of the water that springs ‘up unto everlasting life.’” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Living Water to Quench Spiritual Thirst,” Ensign (CR), May 1995, p. 18
"Use your ingenuity, your strength, your might to resolve your challenges. Do all you can do and then leave the rest to the Lord. President Howard W. Hunter said: 'If our lives and our faith are centered on Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right.'" - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding a Safe Harbor," Ensign (CR), May 2000, p. 59
"As we progress and become more like the Savior, we can strengthen every group with whom we associate, including families and friends. The Lord places us in these communities of Saints where we can learn and apply gospel principles to our everyday lives. These groups are at the same time both a school, a proving ground, and a laboratory where we both learn and do as we practice living the gospel." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Time to Prepare," Ensign (CR), May 1998, p. 14
"What can help us to strengthen our resolve to keep on the narrow path of righteousness and truth so our souls will welcome our day of judgment as a glorious day? May I offer five suggestions.
"First, the fundamental reason why the Lord has instructed us to conduct worthiness interviews in His Church is to teach us to keep the commitments we make....
"Second, in the Lord's Church, we are reminded of our sacred covenants every time we partake of the sacrament.
"Third, each time we return to the temple, we are reminded of the covenants we make when we receive our endowment.
"Fourth, in our home teaching and visiting teaching do we remember our promise to serve others?
"Fifth, the Savior Himself knew, as we should also know, that He was accountable to His Father." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "True to the Truth," Ensign (CR), May 1997, p. 15
The exciting global growth of the Church has focused our attention on the prophesied glorious future of the kingdom. At the same time that we look ahead with optimism, we should pause and look back on the faith of our humble pioneer forefathers. Their faith built the foundation on which the Church continues to flourish. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Faith of Our Fathers," Ensign (CR) May 1996
The only way to find peace, happiness, and security and to overcome the evils of the world and temptations of this generation is in the gospel of Jesus Christ. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Our Lord and Savior," Ensign (CR) November 1983
Our challenges today are different from those of our ancestors. Many of them lived lives of poverty and hardship; some among us, however, are affluent and complacent. Wealth, abundance, and easy living do not help us develop the ability to flourish when faced with the rigors and reversals of life. Rather than seeking ease, we must plant, cultivate, and nourish within ourselves the seeds that will enable us to withstand the winds and heat of temptation, sin, and evil and that will help us live successful, happy, and pure lives. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Seeds of Renewal," Ensign (CR) May 1989
If we are true to our covenants, our Father in Heaven will grant us the blessing of “eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” “All that [the] Father hath” is promised to those who walk the path of faith and remain true to their covenants. Those “who [do] the works of righteousness shall receive [their] reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "True to the Truth," Ensign (CR) May 1997
Love is the greatest of all the commandments—all others hang upon it. It is our focus as followers of the living Christ. It is the one trait that, if developed, will most improve our lives. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Great Commandment," Ensign (CR) November 2012
We can compare our lives with the flight of a spaceship. When its motor is started up, its trajectory is monitored precisely. Any deviation from its decreed course is corrected immediately. Even a fraction of a degree off course would carry it many miles from its destination if not corrected. The longer the correction is delayed, the greater will be the required adjustment. Can you imagine how far off course we can become without course corrections?
The Lord has provided for us prophets, scriptures, parents, and other wise leaders to teach us the course we should be following. They can help us monitor our progress and correct the direction we are going when necessary, much the same as tracking stations monitor a satellite's progress and keep it on the right path. Our course on earth is so important. It is determined by the decisions we make each day. We cannot separate our thoughts and actions now from their effects on the future. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Time to Prepare," Ensign (CR), May 1998, p.14
We become masters of our lives in the same way--by focusing on first things first. We all have a pretty good idea of the most important decisions we need to make--decisions that will improve our lives and bring us greater happiness and peace. That is where we should start. That is where we should place our greatest effort. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Three Choices," Ensign (CR), November 2003, p.78
In the plan of salvation, all families are precious instruments in the Lord’s hands to help direct His children toward a celestial destination. The righteous molding of an immortal soul is the highest work we can do, and the home is the place to do it. To accomplish this eternal work, we should make our homes gospel centered. When peace and harmony abound, the Holy Spirit will ever be present. The storms of the evil one can be stopped at the very entrance of our homes. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Spiritually Strong Homes and Families," Ensign (CR) May 1993
No one is immune from Satan’s influence and temptations. Do not be so proud to think that you are beyond the adversary’s influence. Be watchful that you do not fall prey to his deceptions. Stay close to the Lord through daily scripture study and daily prayer. We cannot afford to sit back and take our salvation for granted. We must be anxiously engaged our whole lives. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Press On," Ensign (CR) November 2004
As at Jacob’s well, so today the Lord Jesus Christ is the only source of living water. It will quench the thirst of those suffering from the drought of divine truth that so afflicts the world. The words of the Lord to ancient Israel spoken by the prophet Jeremiah describe the condition of many of God’s children in our own day: “My people … have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out … broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Too many of our Heavenly Father’s children spend their precious lives carving out broken cisterns of worldly gain that cannot hold the living water that satisfies fully their natural thirst for everlasting truth. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Living Water to Quench Spiritual Thirst,” Ensign (CR) May 1995
Love is the beginning, the middle, and the end of the pathway of discipleship. It comforts, counsels, cures, and consoles. It leads us through valleys of darkness and through the veil of death. In the end love leads us to the glory and grandeur of eternal life. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment,” Ensign (CR) November 2007
Too often today, we do not rely on faith so much as on our own ability to reason and solve problems. If we become ill, modern medicine can work healing miracles. We can travel great distances in a short time. We have at our fingertips information that 500 years ago would have made the poorest man a prince.
"The just shall live by faith," we are told in holy writ. I ask again, What is faith?
Faith exists when absolute confidence in that which we cannot see combines with action that is in absolute conformity to the will of our Heavenly Father. Without all three—first, absolute confidence; second, action; and third, absolute conformity—without these three all we have is a counterfeit, a weak and watered-down faith. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Shall He Find Faith on the Earth?" Ensign (CR), November 2002, p.82
We can fill our lives with good, leaving no room for anything else. We have so much good from which to choose that we need never partake of evil. Elder Richard L. Evans declared: “There is evil in the world. There is also good. It is for us to learn and choose between the two; to increase in self-discipline, in competence, in kindness; to keep going—putting one foot in front of the other—one day, one hour, one moment, one task at a time.” (Richard L. Evans, Thoughts for One Hundred Days, 5 vols., Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1970, 4:199.) - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Seeking the Good,” Ensign (CR) May 1992
Enduring to the end means that we have planted our lives firmly on gospel soil, staying in the mainstream of the Church, humbly serving our fellow men, living Christlike lives, and keeping our covenants. Those who endure are balanced, consistent, humble, constantly improving, and without guile. Their testimony is not based on worldly reasons—it is based on truth, knowledge, experience, and the Spirit. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Press On,” Ensign (CR) November 2004
An eternal principle is revealed in holy writ: “It is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize.”
We don’t have to be fast; we simply have to be steady and move in the right direction. We have to do the best we can, one step after another. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “One Step After Another,” Ensign (CR) October 2001
At this very hour on this very day, some members even in our Church are praying for the miracle that would allow them to surmount the suffering that surrounds them. If, while we have the means to do so, we do not have compassion for them and spring to their aid, we are in danger of being among those the prophet Moroni spoke of when he said, “Behold, ye do love money, and your substance, and your fine apparel … more than ye love the poor and the needy, the sick and the afflicted.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Law of the Fast,” Ensign (CR) April 2001
Each one of us will travel a different road during this life. Each progresses at a different rate. Temptations that trouble your brother may not challenge you at all. Strengths that you possess may seem impossible to another.
Never look down on those who are less perfect than you. Don’t be upset because someone can’t sew as well as you, can’t throw as well as you, can’t row or hoe as well as you.
We are all children of our Heavenly Father. And we are here with the same purpose: to learn to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Virtue of Kindness,” Ensign (CR) April 2005
We live in perilous times. The influence of Satan often appears to be unchecked and overwhelming. Remember the promise that God has given to those who build and maintain brightly burning bonfires of testimony to counter the wolves that threaten us. This is His promise: “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will … uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa. 41:10.) - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony,” Ensign (CR) October 1992
Our homes need to be more Christ-centered. We should spend more time at the temple and less time in the pursuit of pleasure. We should lower the noise level in our homes so that the noise of the world will not overpower the still, small voice of the Holy Ghost. One of our greatest goals as parents should be to enjoy the power and influence of the Holy Ghost in our homes. We should pray and study the scriptures. We could sing the hymns of the Restoration to invite the Holy Ghost into our home. Regular family home evening will also help. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Unspeakable Gift,” Ensign (CR) April 2003
To all who are weary, let the comforting words of the Savior console you: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Let us rely on that promise. The power of God can infuse our spirits and bodies with energy and vigor. I urge you to seek this blessing from the Lord. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Concern for the One,” Ensign (CR) April 2008
How do we know if we are wise or foolish? When we hear inspired counsel, we obey. That is the test of wise or foolish. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Life's Lessons Learned,” Ensign (CR) April 2007
As the clatter and clamor of life bustle about us, we hear shouting to "come here" and to "go there." In the midst of the noise and seductive voices that compete for our time and interest, a solitary figure stands on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, calling quietly to us, "Follow me." - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Follow Me," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p.15
How can we ever repay the debt we owe to the Savior? He paid a debt He did not owe to free us from a debt we can never pay. Because of Him, we will live forever. Because of His infinite Atonement, our sins can be swept away, allowing us to experience the greatest of all the gifts of God: eternal life. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Earthly Debts, Heavenly Debts," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p. 40
In both His Old and New World ministries, the Savior commanded, "Be ye therefore perfect.” A footnote explains that the Greek word translated as perfect means "complete, finished, fully developed." Our Heavenly Father wants us to use this mortal probation to "fully develop" ourselves, to make the most of our talents and abilities. If we do so, when final judgment comes we will experience the joy of standing before our Father in Heaven as "complete" and "finished" sons and daughters, polished by obedience and worthy of the inheritance that He has promised to the faithful. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Time to Prepare," Ensign (CR), May 1998, p. 14
While traveling along a mountainous road one evening through a driving rainstorm punctuated with frequent claps of thunder and flashes of lightning, Sister Wirthlin and I could barely see the road, either in front of us or to the right and the left. I watched the white lines on that road more intently than ever before. Staying within the lines kept us from going onto the shoulder and into the deep canyon on one side and helped us avoid a head-on collision on the other. To wander over either line could have been very dangerous. Then I thought, "Would a right-thinking person deviate to the left or the right of a traffic lane if he knew the result would be fatal? If he valued his mortal life, certainly he would stay between these lines."
That experience traveling on this mountain road is so like life. If we stay within the lines that God has marked, he will protect us, and we can arrive safely at our destination. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Straight and Narrow Way," Ensign (CR), November 1990, p. 64
The Savior taught clearly the proper value of worldly possessions in his conversation with the rich young ruler who asked what more was required to have eternal life; he had kept all the commandments from his youth. He asked the Master what he still lacked. Jesus told him to sell all that he had and give to the poor, and come and follow Him. But the man went away sorrowing, for he loved his possessions. (See Matt. 19:16-22.) How many of us would pass this test? - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "The Straight and Narrow Way," Ensign (CR), November 1990, p.64
Life requires us to perform many duties—some routine, others more meaningful and important. An integral part of duty is to set the proper example and to take every opportunity to bolster others along this uphill road of life. This might be done with an encouraging word, a compliment, a handshake—any indication of caring. And we need to keep in mind that as we learn our duties well here, we also are preparing for the performance of eternal duties. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Let Every Man Learn His Duty," Ensign (CR), November 1980, p.69
We are all busy. It's easy to find excuses for not reaching out to others, but I imagine they will sound as hollow to our Heavenly Father as the elementary school boy who gave his teacher a note asking that he be excused from school March 30th through the 34th. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Abundant Life,” Ensign (CR) April 2006
No matter our age, circumstances, or abilities, each one of us can create something remarkable of his life. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Abundant Life,” Ensign (CR) April 2006
The Prophet Joseph Smith, who knew much about the storms of life, during one of his darkest moments, cried in anguish: “[My] God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?” Even as he lifted up his voice, the serene comfort of the Lord came to him: "Peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Finding a Safe Harbor,” Ensign (CR), May 2000, p.59
Oh, it is wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father loves us—even with all our flaws! His love is such that even should we give up on ourselves, He never will. - Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Great Commandment,” Ensign (CR) November 2007
I testify that in the eternities, as we look back upon our little span of existence here on this earth, we will lift our voices and rejoice that, in spite of the difficulties we encountered, we had the wisdom, the faith, and the courage to endure and press on. – Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Press On,” Ensign (CR) November 2004
I do not know of anything that members of the Church need more than they need the conviction and perseverance of Job. He was a just man who feared God and avoided evil. After the Lord allowed Satan to torment Job, his afflictions included the loss of his seven sons and three daughters, the loss of his wealth in flocks and herds and serious physical illnesses. Remaining faithful to the Lord through his indescribable sorrow and suffering, Job was able to say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21). “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. … He also shall be my salvation. … For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth … yet in my flesh shall I see God” (Job 13:15–16; Job 19:25–26). – Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Never Give Up,” Ensign (CR) November 1987
How can we keep ourselves on the straight and narrow way? The Lord gave the answer over and over again. We must learn the word of God by studying the scriptures and apply his word by praying daily to the Lord and serving our fellowmen. – Joseph B. Wirthlin, “The Straight and Narrow Way,” Ensign (CR) November 1990
What are the Latter-day Saints to do? The answer is plain. The Saints are to be absolutely without guile in every aspect of their lives: in their homes and families, Church callings, all business dealings, and, especially, the private and personal parts of their lives into which only they and the Lord see. – Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Without Guile,” Ensign (CR) May 1988
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