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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Back to Basics

To some, the events unfolding in the world today are frightening. This is not a time to panic, but it is definitely a time to prepare. What can we do to better prepare ourselves for that which is at our doorstep? It is simple. We need to get back to basics and "learn obedience,." When we are obedient, we follow the first principles of the gospel and place our faith in our Lord and Savior; we repent of our sins; we are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost to guide us. We read and ponder the scriptures, pray for direction in our lives, and look for ways to help others who are going through difficult times. We share the gospel with people living on earth and make it possible for saving ordinances to be performed for those who have passed beyond the veil. — Glenn L. Pace, "Spiritual Revival, " Ensign, November 1992

Parents who really want to receive assistance must return to the basics — the fundamentals of the gospel. Among all that could be said, here are four specific suggestions that, if applied, can make a positive difference: First, do not be afraid to set clear moral standards and guidelines. Be sure to say no when it is needed....

Second, teach your children to work and to take responsibility....

Third, create an environment in your family in which spiritual experiences can occur. For example: Remember family prayer every day. With schedules as they are, you may need to have more than one prayer. Sending children out of your home without the spiritual protection of prayer is like sending them out into a blizzard without sufficient clothing....

Fourth, follow the counsel of the prophets. Listen to their messages at this conference and re-read their counsel to us from prior occasions. If your personal and family practices do not conform to the counsel received, then, for your own family's sake, make some changes. — Joe J. Christensen, "Rearing Children in a Polluted Environment," Ensign, November 1993

We have no controversy with the world, but, as I say, we make a definite and a positive statement with reference to the fundamentals of our faith. We know that if people will obey them in their lives that they will receive the witness of the spirit that it is the power of God unto salvation. We are not afraid to make that statement. We lay down the gauntlet to the world and declare upon their obedience to the fundamentals of the gospel they shall know whether it is of God or whether we speak of ourselves. I thank the Lord for all of these blessings. I pray that his Spirit may attend us that we may have a desire always to serve him and to keep his commandments and that we may be loyal to the presiding authorities of the Church, and that when they give us counsel and advice and instruction we will reduce it to practice in our daily lives. — John M. Knight, Conference Report, October 1922, p.43

I have learned that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to unclutter one's life by starting at the top of the pile with the idea that the solution is to just get things sorted and better organized. It is nice to get better organized, but that is not enough. Much has to be discarded. We must actually get rid of it. To do this we need to develop a list of basics, a list of those things that are indispensable to our mortal welfare and happiness and our eternal salvation. This list must follow the gospel pattern and contain the elements needed for our sanctification and perfection. It must be the product of inspiration and prayerful judgment between the things we really need and the things we just want. It should separate need from greed. It must be our best understanding of those things that are important as opposed to those things that are just interesting. It should have nothing to do with trying to stay in the fast lane. We need to examine all the ways we use our time: our work, our ambitions, our affiliations, and the habits that drive our actions. As we make such a study, we will be able to better understand what we should really be spending our time doing. — William R. Bradford, "Unclutter Your Life," Ensign, May 1992

"As I think of the world that I knew when I was young, the basics that we talk about were in place then. With all of the things that I've seen happen since I've lived upon the earth, nothing has come along to change the basics. We now have the great ability to communicate as rapidly as we do and in the various ways that we do. We can travel faster--through the air, in automobiles, and so on--but the basics, the eternal principles, haven't changed a bit." — David B. Haight, "The Basics Have Not Changed," General Conference, April 1997

"As we seek to understand the Father's will, it may be well for us to keep in mind some well-known fundamentals. The first to which I invite your attention is that the rules of conduct prescribed for us in the revelations contained in the Doctrine and Covenants are statements of the Father's will as to how we should live our mortal lives, and that these standards were not formulated by men, and therefore men cannot change them. Their observance is a purifying and sanctifying process, by which we come into union with God and thereby enjoy peace and happiness. To know them and fail to strive to live them is to invite certain distress and unhappiness.
" — Marion G. Romney, "Conference Report," April 1945, Afternoon Meeting, p.88

“… our knowledge of God does not depend on the amount of information we accumulate. After all, all the knowledge of the gospel which is meaningful for our salvation can be summarized in a few points of doctrine, principles, and essential commandments, which are already there in the missionary lessons we receive before baptism. Knowing God is a matter of opening our hearts to gain a spiritual understanding and a fervent testimony of the truth of these few fundamental points of doctrine. Knowing God is having a testimony of His existence and feeling in one's heart that He loves us. It is accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior and having a fervent desire to follow His example. In serving God and our neighbor, we witness of Christ and allow those around us to get to know Him better.” — Gérald Caussé, “Even a Child Can Understand,” Ensign, October 2008

“We have been urged by previous speakers to adhere to fundamentals. Such admonition, it seems to me, is timely in a day of war and upheaval. It is so easy for a people to side-step fundamentals. This is especially true in times of stress when they become impatient and lose their powers of endurance. What could be more fundamental than the doctrine of the resurrection, discussed with such force and eloquence this morning? What could be more fundamental than the Ten Commandments mentioned by President George Albert Smith, and by Elder Spencer W. Kimball this afternoon? The violation of these commandments has brought destruction and sorrow, not only to men, but nations. What could be more practical and fundamental than the Sermon on the Mount, quoted in part by President McKay the other evening?” — Alma Sonne, “Conference Report,” April 1944, Afternoon Meeting, p. 147

"Brothers and sisters, indeed we have great reason to rejoice. If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.

"Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Things That Matter Most," Ensign (CR) October 2010

In today’s complicated world with its diversity of demands and sometimes distracting voices, it is so important for us to keep our eyes upon the basic things that matter most and that will have the greatest eternal consequence for us. - Dean L. Larson, "Looking beyond the Mark," Ensign (CR) November 1987

A loving Heavenly Father knew we would need help to learn again the basic things we had once been taught in the heavenly councils. So He gave us the gift of the Holy Ghost to bring all things to our remembrance, and living prophets to direct us. He also provided scriptures to teach us, commandments to help us become like the Savior, and covenants to remind us of our solemn responsibility to remember Him. - Joanne B. Doxey, "Remember Him," Ensign (CR) November 1989

Brothers and sisters, if you ever think that the gospel isn’t working so well for you, I invite you to step back, look at your life from a higher plane, and simplify your approach to discipleship. Focus on the basic doctrines, principles, and applications of the gospel. I promise that God will guide and bless you on your path to a fulfilling life, and the gospel will definitely work better for you. - Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “It Works Wonderfully!” Ensign (CR) November 2015

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R. Scott Birk
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