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"When we regard our work in the Church, let us remember that we are working in the vineyard of the Lord, and that we are his servants,.... And remember, too, that if we esteem lightly the word of the Lord in the day of our prosperity, in the day of our trouble he may be slow to hearken unto our prayers, to answer us and provide for our needs." — "Conference Report," October 1944, p. 126
"As I reflect upon the youth of Zion, I reflect also upon the homes from which they come. I know that great homes produce great people. Those homes need not be rich in this world's goods, but if they are rich in the wisdom of God, they are rich indeed, and young people who grow up in homes such as those are great young people." — "Conference Report," April 1955, p. 54
"In my opinion, America needs a rebirth of honor more than it needs any other one thing. It needs honor more than it needs its atom bombs and nuclear submarines. Put weapons in the hands of dishonorable men and what have you? America needs honor more than it needs wealth and prosperity. Put wealth in the hands of dishonorable men, and what have you? America needs honor even more than it needs professions of religious piety. What good is a profession of religion in a man who has no honor? Such men lived in the days of Jesus. He called them scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites." — "Conference Report," April 1960, p. 37
"Usually when people speak of an apostasy from the truth they refer to changes in doctrines or a repudiation of certain beliefs. There has been an abundance of this. Such changes have resulted in the organization of hundreds of churches with different creeds rituals and ordinances, many of them being highly contradictory. But personal sin is as real an apostasy as any effort to change the law or break the everlasting covenant." — "Conference Report," April 1965, p. 35
"It is not enough merely to pray to the Lord, or to mention Him in our speeches, because neither prayer alone nor lip service will save anyone. The Lord is a God of works as well as of faith. Mere appeals for divine aid, urgent though they may seem to be, will not bring the desired results. Righteous works must accompany them." — "The Way to Peace," p. 94
"We live today in a time of research, discovery, and knowledge. The new knowledge bears testimony that both Nephites and Lamanites lived in ancient America. Regardless of the names given them by the scientists or the early Incas, to us they were Nephites and Lamanites.... It is glorious to see the confirming evidence as it comes forth from unexpected sources, sustaining in principle after principle our holy faith. We do not depend upon it for our faith at all, but we welcome its sustaining power nevertheless." — "Conference Report," April 1962, p. 115
"There is no reward for half-hearted obedience. We must become vigorous and enthusiastic about living our religion, for God commands that we serve him with all our heart, with all our might, with all our strength, and with the very best of our intelligence. With him there can be no halfway measures. We must be fully for him or we may be classed with those who are against him. Then what shall we do? Put on the whole armour of God--that is what we are to do." — Mark E. Petersen, "Where Do We Stand?" Ensign, May 1980, p. 70
"These are a few of the infallible signs of the true Church. But there are others. The Church of today must be of modern origin. Does that surprise you? Not an ancient church, but of modern origin. That is a vital sign of identification of the true church." — Mark E. Petersen, "Signs of the True Church," Ensign, May 1979, p. 23
"It is possible for us to become perfect like God, or the Savior would not have commanded it. It is something on which we must begin here and now, or the Savior would not have commanded it. It is not an impossible goal because the Lord will command nothing of the children of men save he shall prepare the way whereby they may accomplish it." — Mark E. Petersen, January 17, 1962, "BYU Speeches of the Year," p. 3
"We must take a positive approach to our religion and literally make it a way of life, a plan of daily action. We must reform ourselves day by day along gospel lines, for this is the time of our probation and it is now that we must prepare to meet our God. (See Alma 34:32.)" - Mark E. Petersen, "We Believe in Being Honest," Ensign, May 1982, pp. 15-16
"Latter-day Saints, of all people, should stand firm in defense of freedom. Free agency has a special meaning to us. We know that without free agency there would be no progress. We all know that the gospel itself is based upon the principle of free agency. Yet there are some among us who have allowed themselves to slip to one side or the other, and they need to reorient themselves in line with the divine revelations we have received concerning the principle of freedom." - Mark E. Petersen, "Conference Report," April 1946, Afternoon Meeting, p. 168
"So if you really desire to avoid deceptions, if you really desire to do that which is right and proper, then you take advantage of the safeguard that the Lord has given you in the organization of this Church. And you remember that if you will follow the teachings of your inspired prophets, seers, and revelators, of your apostles, of your pastors and teachers, your bishops and your stake presidents, you won't need to wonder whether or not such and such a doctrine is a deception, whether it is false or whether it is true, because those authorized servants of the Lord will lead you into paths of righteousness, and they will keep you on the right track." - Mark E. Petersen, "Conference Report," October 1945, Afternoon Meeting, p. 92
"It is evident from the scriptures that through the foreknowledge of God the ancient apostles were shown in advance that Christianity would be splintered, that its unity for which Christ had prayed would be destroyed, and that thus would come a general falling away from the original truth....
But the Lord was not content to abandon a shattered Christianity. He was still determined to save mankind if they would obey him. Therefore, knowing in advance that a falling away would take place, he provided for a restoration of the original truth in the latter days. This was voiced through the apostle Peter as one day he discoursed upon the second coming of the Lord. He explained that the Lord’s second coming would be preceded in the latter days by a restoration of the gospel which would be so extensive as to return all that God had spoken by the mouth of his holy prophets from the beginning of the world. (See Acts 3.)" - Mark E. Petersen, “The Message of Elijah,” Ensign, May 1976, p. 14
“'Why are ye ashamed to take upon you the name of Christ?' he asked, speaking to modern America, knowing full well that many might profess to believe in him and yet refuse to do his works (Morm. 8:38). It is by engaging in his works that we truly take his name upon us. It is not through lip service. Moroni knew that faith without works is dead. And so likewise should we." - Mark E. Petersen, “The Last Words of Moroni,” Ensign, November 1978, p. 58
"The Lord also teaches that, over the ages, if angels have ceased to appear, it is because of unbelief and the spirit of apostasy among men. But where there is faith, the ministry of angels will last as long as the earth shall stand or 'there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved.' (Moro. 7:36.) Because the Lord desires to save mankind, even until the end, He revealed to John the Revelator that in the latter days angels would again fly through the midst of heaven as emissaries of the Almighty. John saw that one of these angels would fly from heaven to earth and would bring the everlasting gospel back to earth, it having been lost to mankind over the ages. (See Rev. 14:6.)" - Mark E. Petersen, "The Angel Moroni Came!" Ensign, November 1983, p. 29
"Our inconsistency in the present situation is frightening. While millions accept promiscuity as a new way of life and excuse adultery even though it wrecks marriages and breaks up homes, at the same time we make it illegal to offer a prayer in some of our public places. While we teach sex in schools and publicly portray the vilest of filth on the movie screen, we virtually make a criminal of a schoolteacher who would bring a Bible into the classroom or who might ask the students to recite the Lord's Prayer. So far have we lost our sense of values! Some Americans protest reference to the Almighty in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, while others would eliminate 'In God We Trust' from our coins. Church attendance in most denominations is falling off at a rapid rate. Bible sales are down 25 percent, and some members of the clergy have lost their faith. The Almighty provided that we should observe a sacred Sabbath each week. We have flouted this law to his face, and most of us have turned his holy day into one of pleasure or of 'business as usual,' and yet the Sabbath was given as a symbol of allegiance to our Creator. How true it is that 'first we pity, then endure, then embrace' the repeated and relentless incursions of iniquity." - Mark E. Petersen, "Warnings from the Past," Ensign, June 1971, p. 47
"Dishonesty is directly related to selfishness, which is its origin and source. Selfishness is at the root of nearly all the disorders that afflict us, and man's inhumanity to man continues to make countless thousands mourn.
"If all mankind were honest, we could have heaven here on earth. We would have no need for armies or navies, nor even a policeman in the smallest community, for there would be no crime, no invasion of other people's rights, no violence of one person against another.
"There would be no grounds for divorce, nor would we have errant husbands or unfaithful wives. Conflict between children and parents would disappear, and juvenile delinquency would come to an end.
"But in our society is there anything more widespread than the tendency to lie and deceive?" - Mark E. Petersen, "Honesty, a Principle of Salvation," Ensign, Dec. 1971, p. 72
"It is no easy matter to live the gospel as we should. But unless we do, we cannot receive the blessings. It is no easy matter to become perfect in anything. Perfection requires devotion, long-suffering, persistence, willingness to sacrifice, and constant concentration. Imperfection can produce only further imperfection.
"Could you sisters bake a good cake if you did not follow the recipe? Could you brethren build a house or a highway, or make a clock, or send a man to the moon if you ignored the formula provided for such achievements? Could you become a doctor if you did not follow the prescribed course in a medical school? Could you become an engineer if you ignored the principles of engineering?
"Then can we expect to achieve perfection like that of Almighty God if we fail to follow the course He lays out for us?
"The gospel will do us little good if we do not live it." - Mark E. Petersen, "Believers and Doers," Ensign, Nov. 1982, 18
"Almost like children, we fret over our fuel shortages and other inconveniences. We resent restrictions upon our pleasure-seeking activities. Why don’t we admit like grown men and women that a rejection of God is at the very root of all of our troubles? Why do we refuse to wake up to the facts in our situation? Why must we blindly plunge on into catastrophe?
"Should we not take right and proper steps to overcome our conflicts, our crimes, and all of our corruptions?
"There is but one sure and certain way: return to God! And that must include a sincere acceptance of the Lord Jesus Christ, with full obedience to his precepts." - Mark E. Petersen, “O America, America,” Ensign, Nov. 1979, 14
"What do we mean by the grace of God?
"Jesus is gracious—that is, He is kind, merciful, compassionate. It is out of His grace, His compassion and His love for us, His mercy, His kindness, His desire for us to become like Him, that He provides for us His glorious gospel.
"But to reject His truth is to reject His grace, His mercy, His kindness, His compassion. It is to say that we want none of it. And of one thing we may be sure: if such is our attitude, we most certainly shall have none of it.
"Obedience is the thing. What did Samuel say to Saul when he tried to serve two masters? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. (1 Sam. 15:22.)" - Mark E. Petersen, "We Believe in Being Honest," Ensign (CR), May 1982, p.14
"The First Epistle of John tells us that if we do not have good relationships with our neighbors, whom we have seen, we cannot rightfully claim to love God, whom we have not seen. (1 Jn. 4:20.)
"Do we take time occasionally to read the Sermon on the Mount? It refers largely to our relationships with one another. Let me mention just a few of its principles." - Mark E. Petersen, "Do Unto Others...," Ensign (CR), May 1977, p.73
"In the first section of the Doctrine and Covenants we read 'that the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.' (D&C 1:10.)
"This teaching deserves the most careful consideration, for on judgment day the Lord will mete out to us precisely as we have dealt with our fellowmen, unless we have fully repented. It is a staggering thought, and yet it is an integral factor in the Lords method of judgment. Do we realize its broad significance? Do we see how we shall reap what we sow?
"This principle, showing the manner by which God will judge us, puts a new light upon the commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves, and should persuade us to take that law seriously.
"It also helps us to understand the deep meaning of the Golden Rule: 'All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.' This is a commandment, and to further emphasize it the Lord said: 'This is the law and the prophets.' (3 Ne. 14:12.)" - Mark E. Petersen, "Do Unto Others...," Ensign (CR), May 1977, p.73
"We must take a positive approach to our religion and literally make it a way of life, a plan of daily action. We must reform ourselves day by day along gospel lines, for this is the time of our probation and it is now that we must prepare to meet our God. (See Alma 34:32.)" - Mark E. Petersen, "We Believe in Being Honest," Ensign (CR), May 1982, p.14
“The divine gospel was lost over the centuries, human philosophies displaced revealed doctrine, and the holy priesthood was taken away. But now it is all restored! We testify that it is restored! Revelation again comes from heaven. Prophets once more walk among us, and the truth is offered freely to all who will listen. God’s modern dispensation now shines as a brilliant ensign to the nations, just as the prophets foretold.” - Mark E. Petersen, “Where Do We Stand?,” Ensign (CR), May 1980, p. 68
"We cannot reach perfection by imperfect means. Being lax in our attention to the Lord and slovenly in our obedience to him spell nothing but imperfection and failure.
"The Lord knows this. Because he wants us to become like him, he requires that we follow his formula, and that requires consistent daily obedience, the living of his kind of life, the thinking of his kind of thoughts, in order that 'the works that I do shall [ye] do also,' and 'greater works than these shall [ye] do.' (John 14:12.)" - Mark E. Petersen, "Moses: Man of Miracles," p. 127
"Becoming Christlike is a matter of daily spiritual growth. As a flower develops from a seed, as a mature adult develops from a tiny child, so we can grow spiritually day by day, eventually into Christlike personalities." - Mark E. Petersen, "Believers and Doers," Ensign (CR) October 1982
The Saints today need instruction from God through his prophets just as did the members of the ancient church. We of this dispensation also must depend upon inspired direction in the work of the ministry and upon constant divine guidance on our way to perfection.
In many ways conditions now are much the same as they were anciently. The attitudes of the people—then and now—are not essentially different, neither are their basic problems, such as immorality.
The Lord has given us modern prophets as part of his modern Church, and their duties are like those of the ancient ones. - Mark E. Petersen, "Follow the Prophets," Ensign (CR) October 1981
Do we appreciate what this earth really means to us? Do we see why it was made? Do we understand its purpose? Do we see that there was nothing accidental or spontaneous about its origin? Do we see that its creation was literally and truly, completely and exclusively, an act of God?
And who was the Creator?
Our Heavenly Father declares that it was His own Beloved Son who accomplished the mighty task. - Mark E. Petersen, "Creator and Savior," Ensign (CR) April 1983
Many people no longer believe in the ministry of angels. But God does! He has used this means of communication from the days of Adam. Is there any reason why He should not continue the procedure in our day? - Mark E. Petersen, "The Angel Moroni Came!" Ensign (CR) November 1983
Few modern people, whether Jewish or Christian, realize that there are living prophets on earth today, men who hold the same gifts and powers that characterized the prophets of old. But they are here, alive and alert. They are modern men, well educated and fully oriented to present-day conditions. They give the word of God as it is received now, just as Moses and Isaiah, Peter and Paul ministered in their day.
Try to realize it if you will. God does speak to us now. He manifests himself through prophets whom he has raised up for this day…—for present-day people—to help them to successfully combat the seductions of a decadent and blinded world. - Mark E. Petersen, "A People of Sound Judgment," Ensign (CR) June 1972
If we believe in the restoration of the gospel at all, we must believe also in the mission of Elijah. We declare that he has come to earth and delivered the keys of his ministry to the Prophet Joseph Smith. As a result of his labors, the hearts of both the fathers and the children are now turning to each other, and this vital work is being done.
But each of us must do our part for our own deceased relatives. It is so essential that it must be given a high priority in our daily lives. - Mark E. Petersen, "The Message of Elijah," Ensign (CR) May 1976
Jesus is gracious—that is, He is kind, merciful, compassionate. It is out of His grace, His compassion and His love for us, His mercy, His kindness, His desire for us to become like Him, that He provides for us His glorious gospel.
But to reject His truth is to reject His grace, His mercy, His kindness, His compassion. It is to say that we want none of it. And of one thing we may be sure: if such is our attitude, we most certainly shall have none of it.
Obedience is the thing. - Mark E. Petersen, "We Believe in Being Honest," Ensign (CR) May 1982
We must open our eyes to the fact that to serve God is the greatest career in the world. - Mark E. Petersen, “What Will a Man Give?” Ensign (CR) November 1973
Inasmuch as God has given us our free agency to do as we please, He expects us to use our intelligence and ingenuity to improve our circumstances both spiritually and temporally. He wants us to be successful in life and desires to help us. Man really is that he might have joy. (See 2 Ne. 2:25.) - Mark E. Petersen, “Blessings in Self-Reliance,” Ensign (CR) May 1981
The scriptures warn that the devil will make war with the Saints of God, but he never can and he never will overcome them. He will attack them with all the wicked devices his pornographic mind can devise, but he never will stop God’s work.
This is not a war for territory or wealth; it is a contest for the eternal souls of men and women, boys and girls, the literal offspring of God, our Heavenly Father.
Our forces are strong. We have had many glorious victories and will yet have more. Our task is to save all who will listen. - Mark E. Petersen, “Where Do We Stand?” Ensign (CR) April 1980
The Lord teaches that unless we are valiant in his service, we surrender the opportunity for celestial glory. To be valiant means to be anxiously engaged in the good cause. It means to serve him in all diligence, with an eye single to his glory, and to labor in his kingdom with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. - Mark E. Petersen, “What Will a Man Give?” Ensign (CR) October 1973
We are told to love Him so much that we will hunger and thirst after righteousness. (See Matt. 5:6.) Can we understand what that means? He is completely righteous. We wish to become like Him. But is our desire so deep that we actually hunger and thirst for it? - Mark E. Petersen, “Believers and Doers,” Ensign (CR) October 1982
Our great Redeemer calls us to be loyal as we take up the torch of our destiny. Let us never disappoint Him. Though evil abounds in the world and violence grows by the day, He will watch over us if we are true. He has pledged to protect the righteous even if He must send down fire from heaven to do so. (See D&C 35:14.) - Mark E. Petersen, “Even As I Am,” Ensign (CR) April 1982
No one needs to be grouchy. No one needs to be unpleasant. Everyone can control his emotions if he wants to, just as he can control his appetites. - Mark E. Petersen, "Conference Report," October 1961, Second Day—Morning Meeting, p. 49
The crux of our message is that Jesus of Nazareth is Christ the Lord, the Redeemer of all mankind, the Savior of the Christians and the Messiah of the Jews. We affirm most solemnly that this same Jesus was the literal begotten Son of God, born of Mary, and that without him there is no Savior. - Mark E. Petersen, "Hear Ye Him!" Ensign (CR), November 1975, p.63
Think for a moment of the second great commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Matt. 22:38, 39.) How many observe it? Keep in mind that the Lord said it is of like importance to the first great commandment, which is to love God with all our heart and soul. - Mark E. Petersen, "Do Unto Others… ," Ensign (CR), May 1977, p.73
What is the purpose of our existence? Can a man who thinks that life came about by chance on a globe that was made by accident have any overlying purpose to guide him?
Can a man who thinks he evolved from the lowest forms of life have any lofty aspirations?
Does the idea that we are descendants of ape-like ancestors inspire us to any great heights of achievement?
The importance of having purpose in life cannot be overstated. - Mark E. Petersen, “Conference Report,” October 1968, General Priesthood Meeting, p.99
His existence in Palestine was to be physical, in a body of flesh and bones like our own. On this earth He would endure the physical suffering of crucifixion. He would die physically, and then—how glorious it was—He would bring about a physical resurrection.
Therefore, a physical earth was essential to His mission. There was nothing ethereal about His work here on earth. It was not to be accomplished in some intangible or mystical way.
His life on earth was real and physical. His death was real and physical, as was His resurrection, all taking place on this very real and physical planet. It fully demonstrated His genuine reality as a physical being. – Mark E. Petersen, “Creator and Savior,” Ensign (CR) May 1983
As members of the Church, by voting to sustain our new President, we have placed ourselves under a solemn covenant to give diligent heed to the words of eternal life as he gives them to us.
The modern word of the Lord says, “… You shall live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God.” (D&C 84:44.)
And how are we to receive that word? Through his prophet!
That has been the divine pattern from the beginning. Through Amos came the revelation saying, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7.) – Mark E. Petersen, “The People Say ‘Amen’,” Ensign (CR) May 1974
It was the Lord himself who installed Apostles and prophets in this modern Church. It is, therefore, no idle gesture by which we sustain the First Presidency and the Twelve as prophets, seers, and revelators, for so they are, divinely chosen, duly ordained and set apart by the laying on of hands by those authorized to do so.
were called of God as was Aaron (see Heb.
5:4), according to the pattern described by the Apostle Paul in
his epistle to the Hebrews. They were appointed by revelation, ordained
by other living prophets, and fully commissioned to act in the name of
the Lord. – Mark E. Petersen, “Follow
Prophets,” Ensign (CR) November 1981
And then we have the words from James that faith without works is dead. We must combine our faith with our works and our works with our faith to be Christians indeed, and our works must be works of truth. (See James 2:17–18.)
The Spirit of God is the spirit of truth. The Savior is the personification of truth. Describing himself he said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6.) – Mark E. Petersen, “Honesty, a Principle of Salvation,” Ensign (CR) November 1971
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