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The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - M. Russell Ballard

"The war is not a hot one where there are guns and armaments; but the struggle between the forces of righteousness and of evil for the souls of our Heavenly Father's children is intense, and the conflict is very real." "The Making Of A Missionary" General Conference, October 1976

"We somehow need to realize the vital importance of feeling the blessings of the gospel and the peace of the Lord in our lives individually. That is much more significant than how well the mechanics of a program may be working in our wards and stakes. Oh, that every parent, teacher, and Church leader would know that we can bless each other when we administer the Savior's touch to the benefit of our fellowmen." — "The Savior's Touch," General Conference, October 1980

"You deceive yourself if you believe you can break the promises you have made with Heavenly Father and suffer no consequence." — "Keeping Covenants" General Conference, April 1993

"We do not need more members who question every detail; we need members who have felt with their hearts, who live close to the Spirit, and who follow its promptings joyfully. We need seeking hearts and minds that welcome gospel truths without argument or complaint and without requiring miraculous manifestation." — "Hyrum Smith: Firm As The Pillars Of Heaven," General Conference, October 1995

"For The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to fulfill its divine mission to assist in bringing 'to pass the immortality and eternal life of man,' all members need to generate an appetite for gospel sustenance. We must 'hunger and thirst after righteousness' before we can be filled." — "Feasting at the Lord's Table," General Conference, April 1996

"When we covenant in the waters of baptism to 'stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places,' we're not talking solely about fast and testimony meetings. It may not always be easy, convenient, or politically correct to stand for truth and right, but it is always the right thing to do. Always." — "Standing For Truth And Right," General Conference, October 1997

"Often the lack of clear direction and goals can waste away our time and energy and contribute to imbalance in our lives. A life that gets out of balance is much like a car tire that is out of balance. It will make the operation of the car rough and unsafe. Tires in perfect balance can give a smooth and comfortable ride. So it is with life. The ride through mortality can be smoother for us when we strive to stay in balance." — General Conference, April 1987

"Far too many people in the world are starving spiritually. Sadly, most of them have no idea where to find real spiritual nourishment. They wander to and fro . . . . Those who yearn for true spiritual light and knowledge can only find it through the power of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit enlightens and gives understanding of the eternal purpose of life. By the Spirit, Church members know the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is true. We should, therefore, feel compelled to share our spiritual knowledge with all of our Father's children by inviting them to pull a chair up to the Lord's table and feast on the words of Christ." — General Conference, April 1996

"It is only through the infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ that people can overcome the consequences of bad choices. Thus Nephi teaches us that it is ultimately by the grace of Christ that we are saved even after all that we can do (see 2 Ne. 25:23). No matter how hard we work, no matter how much we obey, no matter how many good things we do in this life, it would not be enough were it not for Jesus Christ and His loving grace. On our own we cannot earn the kingdom of God—no matter what we do." — M. Russell Ballard, "Building Bridges of Understanding," Ensign, June 1998, p. 65

"It is the parents’ duty to intervene when they see wrong choices being made. That doesn’t mean parents take from children the precious gift of agency. Because agency is a God-given gift, ultimately the choice of what they will do, how they will behave, and what they will believe will always be theirs. But as parents we need to make sure they understand appropriate behavior and the consequences to them if they pursue their wrongful course." — M. Russell Ballard, "Like a Flame Unquenchable," "Ensign," May 1999, p. 87

"From time to time, leaders of the Church endeavor to give you guidance for your spiritual and temporal welfare. One principle that we teach repeatedly is the value of the precious freedom the Lord has given to you to make your own decisions. Moral agency enables the children of God to choose what they will believe and how they will live in mortality. Based on your obedience in living gospel principles, you will be judged according to your works. With the marvelous gift of moral agency, you can study the scriptures and the teachings of the leaders of the Church and, through the promptings of the Spirit, make correct choices that will bring peace and eternal joy to your souls." — M. Russell Ballard, "Be an Example of the Believers," "Ensign," Nov. 1991, p. 96

"A fourth area of misunderstanding among some of our friends in Christianity is that they refer to us as 'polytheists,' meaning that we believe in a plurality of Gods. Much misunderstanding would be avoided if they understood that we worship only one Godhead, consisting of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. We believe that the biblical record teaches that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons. When the Savior was baptized, the Father spoke His approval from heaven, and the Holy Ghost was witnessed to be present by the sign of a dove (see Matt. 3:16-17). Likewise the Bible records the prayers of Jesus Christ to our Father in Heaven, a separate being (see John 17:3). We believe this doctrine is taught in the Bible despite what the creeds of other Christian denominations may teach." — M. Russell Ballard, "Building Bridges of Understanding," "Ensign," June 1998, p. 67-68

"Let us reach out in friendship and love to our neighbors, including those of other faiths, thus helping to build better family-to-family relationships and greater harmony in our neighborhoods. Remember, too often our behavior is a bigger deterrent to others than is our doctrine. In the spirit of love for all men, women, and children, help them to understand and to feel accepted and appreciated." — M. Russell Ballard, "Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers," "Ensign," Nov. 1999, p. 64

"Brothers and sisters, refuse to be used. Refuse to be manipulated. Refuse to support those programs that violate traditional family values. We may be a small voice to begin with; nevertheless, let us speak out and encourage a more uplifting, inspiring, and acceptable media." - M. Russell Ballard, "Let Our Voices Be Heard," General Conference, 4 October 2003

"Life isn't always easy. At some point in our journey we may feel much as the pioneers did as they crossed Iowa--up to our knees in mud, forced to bury some of our dreams along the way. We all face rocky ridges, with the wind in our face and winter coming on too soon. Sometimes it seems as though there is no end to the dust that stings our eyes and clouds our vision. Sharp edges of despair and discouragement jut out of the terrain to slow our passage. Always, there is a Devil's Gate, which will swing wide open to lure us in. Those who are wise and faithful will steer a course as far from such temptation as possible, while others--sometimes those who are nearest and dearest to us--succumb to the attraction of ease, comfort, convenience, and rest. Occasionally we reach the top of one summit in life, as the pioneers did, only to see more mountain peaks ahead, higher and more challenging than the one we have just traversed. Tapping unseen reservoirs of faith and endurance, we, as did our forebears, inch ever forward toward that day when our voices can join with those of all pioneers who have endured in faith, singing: 'All is well! All is well!' (Hymns, no. 30)." - M. Russell Ballard, "You Have Nothing to Fear from the Journey," General Conference, April 1997

"The doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding grace is forthright. We understand that since we have all become spiritually unclean because of sin (see 1 Jn. 1:8), and since 'there cannot any unclean thing enter into the kingdom of God' (1 Ne. 15:34), no individual can receive eternal life solely on the merits of his or her own effort. We believe that only as we rely on the Savior's grace and demonstrate our changed nature through obedience to His laws and ordinances may we receive eternal life." - M. Russell Ballard, "Building Bridges of Understanding," Ensign, June 1998, p. 65

"How can they [children] know of these most important matters unless we teach them? According to the scriptures, parents should teach children 'that all men, everywhere, must repent, or they can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God' (Moses 6:57). Children should learn 'to pray, and to walk uprightly before the Lord' (D&C 68:28), and 'to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; . to love one another, and to serve one another' (Mosiah 4:15). Our children should know 'to what source they may look for a remission of their sins' (2 Ne. 25:26), and they should learn that they are to 'love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might' (Deut. 6:5)." - M. Russell Ballard, "Great Shall Be the Peace of Thy Children," Ensign, Apr. 1994, p. 60

"One of the best ways to be sure we are keeping the first great commandment is to keep the second great commandment. The Master Himself taught that 'inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me' (Matt. 25:40) and that 'when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God' (Mosiah 2:17). The degree of our love for the Lord and for our fellowman can be measured by what we are willing to sacrifice for them. Sacrifice is a demonstration of pure love." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Law of Sacrifice," Ensign, October 1998, pp. 10-11

"But how is that possible? How can Jesus Christ be both the Father and the Son? It really isn't as complicated as it sounds. Though He is the Son of God, He is the head of the Church, which is the family of believers. When we are spiritually born again, we are adopted into His family. He becomes our Father or leader. To further explain this concept of Jesus also being our 'Father,' let me use an analogy and say that seven of my premortal spirit brothers and sisters were born to my wife, Barbara, and me. We are therefore their premortal spiritual brother and sister and also their earthly physical father and mother. Similarly, Christ is our spiritual Elder Brother and the Son of God, but He is also our Father or leader and our God. King Benjamin taught his faithful followers that 'because of the covenant which ye have made [through the baptism of fire, or spiritual rebirth] ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters' (Mosiah 5:7)." - M. Russell Ballard, "Building Bridges of Understanding," Ensign, June 1998, pp. 66-67

"Though this world has a way of diminishing and demeaning men and women, the reality is we are all of royal, divine lineage. In that unprecedented appearance of the Father and the Son in the Sacred Grove, the very first word spoken by the Father of us all was the personal name of Joseph. Such is our Father's personal relationship with each of us. He knows our names and yearns for us to become worthy to return to live with Him." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Atonement and the Value of One Soul," General Conference, April 2004

"Professional advancement, increased income, bigger homes, or newer cars and recreational equipment do not bring lasting peace and happiness. Happiness comes from understanding God and knowing that He has a plan for our eternal joy and peace. Happiness comes from knowing and loving the Savior and living our lives in accordance with His teachings. Happiness comes from strong family and Church relationships based on gospel values." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work," General Conference, April 2003

"Listen to the language of the scriptures as they describe the level of sacrifice the Lord requires of us: 'Offer your whole souls as an offering unto [God]' (Omni 1:26; see also Mosiah 2:24). 'Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God' (Rom. 12:1). The Lord Himself has said that we should keep our 'covenants by sacrifice-yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command' (D&C 97:8). The sacrifice the Lord asks of us is to wholly rid ourselves of the 'natural man' (Mosiah 3:19) and all the ungodliness associated with it. When we completely surrender ourselves to the Lord, then He will cause a mighty change in us and we will become a new person, justified, sanctified, and born again with His image in our countenances (see Mosiah 5:2; Alma 5:14; Moses 6:59-60)." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Law of Sacrifice," Ensign, October 1998, p. 13

"Samuel Adams, who is sometimes called the father of the American Revolution, wrote: 'I thank God that I have lived to see my country independent and free. She may long enjoy her independence and freedom if she will. It depends upon her virtue.' (Wells, The Life of Samuel Adams, 3:175.)" - M. Russell Ballard, "Religion in a Free Society," Ensign, October 1992, p. 68

"Truly, the heavens and the earth and all things in them evidence the handiwork of God, their Creator. In the Book of Mormon we learn of Korihor, an anti-Christ who was brought to the Prophet Alma. He asked for a sign of God's existence before he would believe. 'But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator' (Alma 30:44). These eternal evidences continue to testify to us today." - M. Russell Ballard, "God's Love for His Children," Ensign, May 1988, pp. 57-58

"Now, my dear young friends, I understand the struggles you face every day in keeping the commandments of the Lord. The battle for your souls is increasingly fierce. The adversary is strong and cunning. However, you have within your physical body the powerful spirit of a son or daughter of God. Because He loves you and wants you to come home to Him, our Father in Heaven has given you a conscience that tells your spirit when you are keeping the Lord's commandments and when you are not. If you will pay more attention to your spiritual self, which is eternal, than to your mortal self, which is temporary, you can always resist the temptations of Satan and conquer his efforts to take you into his power." - M. Russell Ballard, "Keeping Covenants," Ensign, May 1993, 7

"That means it depends on us. If we would maintain the independence and freedom the Founding Fathers intended, we must work to preserve and protect the moral foundation upon which they built the U. S. government. We must stand boldly for righteousness and truth, and must defend the cause of honor, decency, and personal freedom espoused by Washington, Madison, Adams, Lincoln, and other leaders who acknowledged and loved God. Otherwise, we will find ourselves in the same predicament President Lincoln observed in 1863.

"Said Lincoln:'We have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of their own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!' (A Proclamation 'to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation.')" - M. Russell Ballard, "Religion in a Free Society," Ensign, Oct. 1992, 68–69

"How can we as Latter-day Saints be sure that we make a significant contribution to strengthening the Lord's church? If our testimonies and service can equal that of the founders of the Church, tomorrow will be secure and strong. May their examples give us courage so that we will always be trustworthy and steadfast in our stewardships as we serve God our Eternal Father. Remember the statement of the Prophet Joseph Smith: 'If we start right, it is easy to go right all the time' (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 343). We must live by this legacy of faith and must pass this legacy on to our children so the Church will always have faithful men and women who can continue to prepare for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." - M. Russell Ballard, "Anchored by Faith and Commitment," Ensign, July 1995, 19

"We sometimes feel great respect and reverence for creative genius as expressed in great art or music. How much more should we revere the power and majesty of our Divine Creator? We may stand in awe of man’s creations of beautiful buildings or bridges. But remember the Apostle Paul's words to the Hebrews: 'He who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

"'For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God' (Heb. 3:3–4).

"Those who feel no reverence for the creations and the divine attributes of God likely will have little appreciation for other sacred things. Such a lack of veneration for God's creations may diminish until a person becomes totally insensitive to the feelings of others. This, I am afraid, is the condition in some parts of the world." - M. Russell Ballard, "God's Love for His Children," Ensign, May 1988, 58

"We understand the struggles you face every day in keeping the commandments of the Lord. The battle for your souls is increasingly fierce. The adversary is strong and cunning. However, you have within your physical body the powerful spirit of a son or daughter of God. Because He loves you and wants you to come home to Him, our Father in Heaven has given you a conscience that tells your spirit when you are keeping the Lord's commandments and when you are not. If you will pay more attention to your spiritual self, which is eternal, than to your mortal self, which is temporary, you can always resist the temptations of Satan and conquer his efforts to take you into his power." - M. Russell Ballard, "You Promised," New Era, Feb. 1994, 6

"Doubtless this thought hung heavily in Carthage Jail that June morning as Joseph and Hyrum awaited their fate. Willard Richards and John Taylor were visitors in their cell. It is significant to me that at this particular moment in time, with death looming imminently, Brother Taylor sang 'A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief,' a hymn based on the Savior's teaching that 'inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me' (Matthew 25:40)....

"After Brother Taylor finished singing the song, Joseph asked him to sing it again. I can't help but think that Joseph and Hyrum both found peace and comfort in the song's message, knowing they had done their best to serve others and they could face their Master with 'a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards all men' (D&C 135:4).

"It is interesting—and I don't think at all coincidental—that the Lord Jesus Christ was similarly focused on compassionate service as he neared the end of His mortal ministry. And why not? He was about to undertake the most powerfully compassionate service ever performed in the history of mankind as He walked through the excruciatingly painful steps and processes of the Atonement. It seems natural and appropriate that His last instructions to His disciples would include counsel on the need to serve one another, even as He was about to serve them in ways they could not comprehend." - M. Russell Ballard, "When Thou Art Converted"

"Let us remember that the Savior is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and there can be no greater promise than to know that if we are faithful and true, we will one day be safely encircled in the arms of His love (see D&C 6:20). He is always there to give encouragement, to forgive, and to rescue. Therefore, as we exercise faith and are diligent in keeping the commandments, we have nothing to fear from the journey." - M. Russell Ballard, "You Have Nothing to Fear from the Journey," Ensign (CR), May 1997, p.59

"Perhaps the most important lesson young Joseph learned in the Sacred Grove is this significant eternal truth: the heavens are not sealed. God does communicate with mortals. He loves us today just as much as He loved those who lived anciently. What comfort that sweet assurance provides in a world filled with confusion and discouragement! What peace and security come to the heart that understands that God in heaven knows us and cares about us, individually and collectively, and that He communicates with us, either directly or through His living prophets, according to our needs." - M. Russell Ballard, "Restored Truth," Ensign (CR), November 1994, p.65

"Simply stated, testimony—real testimony, born of the Spirit and confirmed by the Holy Ghost—changes lives. It changes how you think and what you do. It changes what you say. It affects every priority you set and every choice you make. To have a real and abiding testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be 'spiritually... born of God,' to '[receive] his image in your countenances,' and to experience a 'mighty change in your hearts' (Alma 5:14)." - M. Russell Ballard, "Pure Testimony," Ensign (CR), November 2004, p.40

"Brothers and sisters, how can every member enjoy the thrill and the blessing that comes from making a sacrifice to help the work? The answer is very simple, as are most answers in the Church. Every member of the Church can pay a full, honest tithing and can attend tithing settlement. The Lord said, 'Verily [now] is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people' (D&C 64:23)." - M. Russell Ballard, "Sacrifice and Self-Sufficiency," Ensign (CR), November 1987, p.78

"In my judgment, the greatest motivator that we have in the Church is to have Church members understand the plan of salvation." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Kingdom Rolls Forth in South America," Ensign (CR), May 1986, p.12

"The prophet Alma summarized the importance of prayer in these words: 'But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering '(Alma 13:28). When I am in tune spiritually, I find that I can balance everything in my life much more easily.

"I realize, brothers and sisters, that other suggestions could be added to these. However, I believe that when we focus on a few basic objectives, we are more likely to be able to manage the many demands that life makes on us. Remember, too much of anything in life can throw us off-balance. At the same time, too little of the important things can do the same thing. King Benjamin counseled 'that all these things are done in wisdom and order' (Mosiah 4:27)." - M. Russell Ballard, "Keeping Life's Demands in Balance," Ensign (CR), May 1987, p.13

"'Agree with thine adversary' (Matt. 5:25).

"'Love your enemies' (Matt. 5:44).

"'Judge not' (Matt. 7:1).

"'Love thy neighbour as thyself' (Matt. 22:39).

"'Condemn not' (Luke 6:37).

"'Forgive' (Luke 6:37).

"'Love one another' (John 13:34).

"Those are but a few of the scriptural instructions clearly indicating that Gods peace is not to be hoarded. Rather, it is to be shared liberally with our families, our friends, and our communities. It is to be shared with the Church as well as those who are not members of our Church. While those around us may not choose to taste the sweetness and peace of the fulness of the restored gospel for themselves, surely they will be blessed by seeing it in our lives and feeling the peace of the gospel in our presence. The message of peace will grow and expand through our example." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p.87

"The Lord in His infinite wisdom has designed His Church to operate with a lay ministry. ... almost always there is sincere effort to provide meaningful gospel service.

"Occasionally we find some who become so energetic in their Church service that their lives become unbalanced. They start believing that the programs they administer are more important than the people they serve. ...

"As a result of their focusing too much time and energy on their Church service, eternal family relationships can deteriorate. Employment performance can suffer. This is not healthy, spiritually or otherwise. While there may be times when our Church callings require more intense effort and unusual focus, we need to strive to keep things in proper balance. We should never allow our service to replace the attention needed by other important priorities in our lives. Remember King Benjamin's counsel: 'And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength' (Mosiah 4:27)." - M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, November 2006

"First, focus on people and principles—not on programs. One of the most important things we do through the gospel of Jesus Christ is to build people. Properly serving others requires effort to understand them as individuals ... so that the correct help and support can be provided. ... The primary purpose of Church leadership meetings should be to discuss how to minister to people....

"Our goal should always be to use the programs of the Church as a means to lift, encourage, assist, teach, love, and perfect people. 'Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God' (D&C 18:10). Programs are tools. Their management and staffing must not take priority over the needs of the people they are designed to bless and to serve." - M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, November 2006

"Second, be innovative. As we work to magnify our callings, we should seek the inspiration of the Spirit to solve problems in ways that will best help the people we serve. We have handbooks of instruction, and their guidelines should be followed. But within that framework are substantial opportunities to think, to be creative, and to make use of individual talents. The instruction to magnify our callings is not a command to embellish and complicate them. To innovate does not necessarily mean to expand; very often it means to simplify.

"Being innovative also means that we do not have to be told everything we should do. The Lord said, 'It is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant' (D&C 58:26). We trust you, brothers and sisters, to use inspiration. We trust that you will do so within the framework of Church policies and principles. We trust that you will be wise in counseling together to help build faith and testimony in the lives of those whom you serve." - M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, November 2006

"Third, divide the work and delegate responsibility. There is a difference between being responsible for getting the work done and doing the work yourself. For example, gone should be the days when the elders quorum president feels he needs to personally finish the home teaching visits that others have missed. Home teaching is about love of people and service to and watch care over our Heavenly Father's children.

"Assignments should be made, responsibilities should be delegated, and members should be allowed to fulfill their stewardship as best they can. Counsel, advise, persuade, motivate—but don't do the work for them. Allow others to progress and grow, even if it means sometimes getting less-than-perfect results on the reports." - M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, November 2006

"Fifth, we need to thoughtfully allocate our resources of time, income, and energy. I would like to let you in on a little secret. Some of you have already learned it. If you haven't, it's time you knew. No matter what your family needs are or your responsibilities in the Church, there is no such thing as 'done.' There will always be more we can do. There is always another family matter that needs attention, another lesson to prepare, another interview to conduct, another meeting to attend. We just need to be wise in protecting our health and in following the counsel that President Hinckley has given often to just do the best that we can.

"The key, it seems to me, is to know and understand your own capabilities and limitations and then to pace yourself, allocating and prioritizing your time, your attention, and your resources to wisely help others, including your family, in their quest for eternal life." - M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, November 2006

"Sixth, a word to you leaders about extending responsibilities to members and especially to recent converts. President Hinckley said that every new member of the Church needs a responsibility.  Whatever responsibility may be extended should not overwhelm new members but should give them ample opportunity to become comfortable in the Church by learning its doctrine and by rubbing shoulders with friendly members. It should anchor them to the restored gospel through increasing their testimony and giving meaningful service." - M. Russell Ballard, "O Be Wise," Ensign, November 2006

"It is no small thing, my brothers and sisters, to have a prophet of God in our midst. Great and wonderful are the blessings that come into our lives as we listen to the word of the Lord given to us through him. At the same time, knowing that President Gordon B. Hinckley is God's prophet also endows us with responsibility. When we hear the counsel of the Lord expressed through the words of the President of the Church, our response should be positive and prompt. History has shown that there is safety, peace, prosperity, and happiness in responding to prophetic counsel as did Nephi of old: 'I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded' (1 Ne. 3:7)." - M. Russell Ballard, "His Word Ye Shall Receive," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p.65

"While we should be pleased to testify to the truthfulness of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ to all who will hear our message, there are times when all that we can hope to accomplish is to help those who are not members of the Church better understand our basic beliefs. There are many people who know a little about us, who are curious and who wonder about us but who are not ready to change their lifestyle or make eternal commitments. We need to be prepared to teach them in ways that they can understand and appreciate, even if they are not prepared as yet to respond to spiritual promptings and to accept the gospel in their lives." - M. Russell Ballard, "How Is It with Us?," Ensign (CR), May 2000, p.31

"It is a miracle that we have the Bible's powerful doctrine, principles, poetry, and stories. But most of all, it is a wonderful miracle that we have the account of the life, ministry, and words of Jesus, which was protected through the Dark Ages and through the conflicts of countless generations so that we may have it today.

"It is a miracle that the Bible literally contains within its pages the converting, healing Spirit of Christ, which has turned men's hearts for centuries, leading them to pray, to choose right paths, and to search to find their Savior.

"The Holy Bible is well named. It is holy because it teaches truth, holy because it warms us with its spirit, holy because it teaches us to know God and understand His dealings with men, and holy because it testifies throughout its pages of the Lord Jesus Christ." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Miracle of the Holy Bible," General Conference, April 2007

"We need to remember Edmund Burke's statement: 'The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.' We need to raise our voices with other concerned citizens throughout the world in opposition to current trends. We need to tell the sponsors of offensive media that we have had enough. We need to support programs and products that are positive and uplifting. Joining together with neighbors and friends who share our concerns, we can send a clear message to those responsible. The Internet Web sites and their local affiliates will have their addresses. Letters and e-mails have more effect than most people realize, especially those like one sent by a Relief Society sister that stated, 'I represent a group of over a hundred women that meets every week and often talks about the harm your program is doing to our children.'" - M. Russell Ballard, "
Let Our Voices Be Heard," Ensign (CR), November 2003, p.16

"The growing prominence of the Church and the increasing inquiries from others present us with great opportunities to build bridges, make friends, and pass on accurate information. But it can also present a greater possibility of misunderstanding and sometimes even prejudice if we allow others to define who we are and what we believe rather than presenting it ourselves.

"Generally, there is no problem with those who are personally acquainted with our members. But there are millions upon millions who are not acquainted with any members of our faith. I would hope that those who know very little about the Church would seek to learn more about us. I would hope they would get to know our members rather than judging us by the misinformation given by those who do not know and in some cases by those who would deliberately mislead or defame.

"You as members can help this to happen by reaching out and sharing with others the basic information found in the Articles of Faith, along with such things as the facts, faith, families, and fruits of the gospel.

"We should also remember that sometimes the best way to answer people’s interest can be by how we live, how we radiate the joy of the gospel in our lives, how we treat others, and how sincerely we follow the teachings of Christ." - M. Russell Ballard, "Faith, Family, Facts and Fruits," General Conference, 6 October 2007

"There are as many different kinds of family councils as there are different kinds of families. Family councils can consist of one parent and one child, one parent and several children, two parents and one child, two parents and several children, or just two parents. Regardless of the size or makeup of the family council, the things that really matter are loving motivations, an atmosphere that encourages free and open discussion, and a willingness to listen to the honest input of all council members-as well as to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as it comes to confirm truth and direction." - M. Russell Ballard, "Counseling with Our Councils: Learning to Minister Together in the Church and in the Family," p.157

"When we truly understand how great a blessing the gospel of Jesus Christ is in our lives, when we accept and embrace these eternal truths and allow them to sink deep into our hearts and souls, we experience a 'mighty change' (Alma 5:14) in our hearts. We are filled with love and gratitude. As the prophet Alma wrote, we feel 'to sing the song of redeeming love' (Alma 5:26) to all who will hear it." - M. Russell Ballard"Creating a Gospel-Sharing Home," CR April 2006

"Because we love the Lord, we should be spiritually sensitive to moments when the powerful and important truths of the gospel can be shared with others. Perhaps more importantly, however, we should seek at all times to purify ourselves and to lead such worthy lives that the Light of Christ emanates from us in all that we say and do. Our day-to-day lives should stand as immutable witness of our faith in Christ. In the words of the Apostle Paul, 'Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.' (1 Tim. 4:12)" - M. Russell Ballard, "How Is It with Us?," Ensign (CR), May 2000, p.31

"At one time or another I believe everyone yearns for the 'peace of God, which passeth all understanding' (Philip. 4:7). That peace for our troubled hearts only comes to us as we follow the Light of Christ, which is 'given to every man, that he may know good from evil' (Moro. 7:16), as it leads us to repent of sins and seek forgiveness. For all there is a hunger to know 'the peaceable things of the kingdom' (D&C 36:2) and to taste 'the fruit[s] of righteousness,' which are 'sown in peace of them that make peace' (James 3:18). In every home, neighborhood, and community, we ought to strive for peace and never be party to stirring up contention or division.
" - M. Russell Ballard, "The Peaceable Things of the Kingdom," Ensign (CR), May 2002, p.87

"This is God’s work, and God’s work will not be frustrated. But there is still much to be done before the Great Jehovah can announce that the work is done. While we praise and honor those faithful Saints who have brought us to this point of public prominence, we cannot afford, my brothers and sisters, to be comfortable or content.

"We are all needed to finish the work that was begun by those pioneering Saints over 175 years ago and carried out through the subsequent decades by faithful Saints of every generation. We need to believe as they believed. We need to work as they worked. We need to serve as they served. And we need to overcome as they overcame." - M. Russell Ballard, "The Truth of God Shall Go Forth," General Conference, October 2008

"If we keep the eye of faith focused on Christ, we gain a broader view and an eternal perspective. With that perspective, we can understand adversity from within the context of Heavenly Father's eternal plan for all of His children. We can find balance and comfort in this life in the eternal safety, peace, joy, and security that He promises." - M. Russell Ballard, "When Thou Art Converted"

"Astronauts viewing the earth from space have stated how incredibly beautiful it is and how alive it appears. United States Senator Jake Garn wrote of his experience in space: 'It is impossible for me to describe the beauty of the earth. It is a breathtaking, awe-inspiring, spiritual experience to view the earth from space while traveling at twenty-five times the speed of sound. I could also look into the blackness of the vacuum of space and see billions of stars and galaxies millions of light-years away. The universe is so vast as to be impossible to comprehend. But I did comprehend the hand of God in all things. I felt his presence throughout my seven days in space. I know that God created this earth and the universe. I know that we are his children wherever we live on the earth, without regard to our nationality or the color of our skin. Most important, I know that God lives and is the Creator of us all' (letter to M. Russell Ballard, 3 March 1988)." - M. Russell Ballard, "God's Love for His Children," Ensign (CR), May 1988, p.57

“So let the power of love guide us in sharing the gospel with family members, friends, neighbors, business associates, and any other people we encounter as we go through life. Most everyone wants to enjoy peace and happiness. That is a natural human desire. People want to find answers to the problems they face. This is increasingly true in the world we now live in.” - M. Russell Ballard, “The Essential Role of Member Missionary Work,” Ensign (CR), May 2003, p. 37

“False prophets and false teachers are also those who attempt to change the God-given and scripturally based doctrines that protect the sanctity of marriage, the divine nature of the family, and the essential doctrine of personal morality. They advocate a redefinition of morality to justify fornication, adultery, and homosexual relationships. Some openly champion the legalization of so-called same-gender marriages. To justify their rejection of God's immutable laws that protect the family, these false prophets and false teachers even attack the inspired proclamation on the family issued to the world in 1995 by the First Presidency and the Twelve Apostles.” -
M. Russell Ballard, “Beware of False Prophets and False Teachers,” Ensign (CR), November 1999, p. 62

“Miraculous things happen when members join with missionaries and share pure testimony with those who are not members of the Church. For example, while many people were touched by Alma’s testimony in the land of Ammonihah, when Amulek stood and added his testimony to Alma’s, ‘the people began to be astonished, seeing there was more than one witness who testified’ (Alma 10:12). The same thing can happen with us today. As we stand together the Lord will help us find many more of His sheep who will know His voice as we unitedly share our testimonies with them.” - M. Russell Ballard, “Pure Testimony,” Ensign (CR), November 2004, p. 40

“What a wonderful, warm, and reassuring thing it is to know that the primary objective of the very God of heaven is ‘the immortality and eternal life of man’ (Moses 1:39), or, in other words, our eternal happiness and joy. Sometimes I wonder if we really appreciate what that means and how it should affect our lives. We must give adequate attention to the doctrines of happiness–real happiness, infinite and eternal. They should be the objective of everything we teach in the Church and of everything we do.” - M. Russell Ballard, “Answers to Life’s Questions,” Ensign (CR), May 1995, p. 22

“True conversion comes through the power of the Spirit. When the Spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed. When individuals, both members and investigators, feel the Spirit working with them, or when they see the evidence of the Lord's love and mercy in their lives, they are edified and strengthened spiritually and their faith in Him increases. These experiences with the Spirit follow naturally when a person is willing to experiment upon the word. This is how we come to feel the gospel is true.” - M. Russell Ballard, “Now Is the Time,” Ensign (CR), November 2000, p. 75

“Tonight I want to give you young men three simple suggestions on how to take full advantage of your relationship with your dad. And then I want to give you fathers three suggestions about relating to and communicating with your sons.

“To you Aaronic Priesthood holders, I believe that by doing these three simple things you can make your relationship with your father even better than it is right now.

“First, trust your father….

“Second, take an interest in your father’s life….

“And third, ask your father for advice….

“First, fathers, listen to your sons—really listen to them….

“Second, pray with and for your sons….

“Third, dare to have the “big talks” with your sons.” – M. Russell Ballard, “Fathers and Sons: A Remarkable Relationship,” Ensign, November 2009

“In today’s world, where Satan’s aggression against the family is so prevalent, parents must do all they can to fortify and defend their families. But their efforts may not be enough. Our most basic institution of family desperately needs help and support from the extended family and the public institutions that surround us. Brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins can make a powerful difference in the lives of children. Remember that the expression of love and encouragement from an extended family member will often provide the right influence and help a child at a critical time.” – M. Russell Ballard, “What Matters Most Is What Lasts Longest,” CR October 2005

"Good families face very significant challenges in controlling the use of television and videotapes in their homes. I agree with Dr. Victor B. Cline when he said, 'I am convinced by a vast amount of research that the images, fantasies, and models which we are repeatedly exposed to in advertisements, entertainment, novels, motion pictures, and other works of art can and do... affect the self-image and, later, the behavior of nearly all young people and adults too.' (Address at Tidewater Assembly on Family Life, Norfolk, Virginia.)

"On another occasion, Dr. Cline said that the mental diet is as important as the nutritional diet. 'The amount of violence a child sees at 7 predicts how violent he will be at 17, 27, and 37.... Children's minds are like banks—whatever you put in, you get back 10 years later with interest.' He said that violent television teaches children, step-by-step, 'how to commit violent acts, and it desensitizes them to the horror of such behavior and to the feelings of victims.' Dr. Cline said that America is suffering from 'an explosion of interpersonal violence like we have never seen before.... The violence is because of violence in our entertainment.' (See "Therapist says children who view TV violence tend to become violent," Deseret News, 24 Mar. 1989, p. 2B.)" - M. Russell Ballard, "The Effects of Television," Ensign (CR), May 1989, p. 78

"The Church will help wherever we can. We are there to support and sustain you as parents and as children. But the home is the most important place to prepare the youth of today to lead the families and the Church of tomorrow. It rests upon each one of us as mothers and fathers to do all we can to prepare our youth to be faithful, righteous men and women. It is in the home where we must teach the gospel by precept and by example." - M. Russell Ballard, "Mothers and Daughters," Ensign (CR) May 2010

"Great and marvelous events seem to motivate us, but small things often do not hold our attention. Noting that the Liahona worked by faith, Alma stated, 'Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means … [the people of Lehi] were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey.' (Alma 37:41.)

"Is our journey sometimes impeded when we forget the importance of small things? (See Alma 37:46.)" - M. Russell Ballard, "Small and Simple Things," Ensign (CR) April 1990

We take the name of Christ upon us in the waters of baptism. We renew the effect of that baptism each week as we partake of the sacrament, signifying our willingness to take His name upon us and promising always to remember Him (see D&C 20:77, 79).

Do we realize how blessed we are to take upon us the name of God’s Beloved and Only Begotten Son? Do we understand how significant that is? The Savior’s name is the only name under heaven by which man can be saved (see 2 Nephi 31:21). - M. Russell Ballard, "The Importance of a Name," Ensign (CR) October 2011

Remember, brothers and sisters, through our faith, our trust in the Lord, and our good works, we can bring many souls unto the Lord. We can enjoy the blessings of living with them in the kingdom of our Father. - M. Russell Ballard, "We Proclaim the Gospel," Ensign (CR) October 1986

… either the Book of Mormon is the word of God and is another testament of Jesus Christ or it is not. Either it is the record of the Lord’s dealings with the people on the American continent from 600 B.C. to A.D. 421 or it is not. Either it is a translation from gold plates, completed by Joseph Smith under divine guidance, or it is not. The issue is that simple and that profound. If the Book of Mormon is, in fact, the word of God, as I testify that it is, then the question of whether or not we should apply its principles and teachings in our own lives is already decided, isn’t it? - M. Russell Ballard, "Steadfast in Christ," Ensign, December 1993

Now, brothers and sisters, we have available to us a tool even more remarkable than the best GPS. Everyone loses his or her way at some point, to some degree. It is through the promptings of the Holy Ghost that we can be brought safely back onto the right path, and it is the atoning sacrifice of the Savior that can return us home. - M. Russell Ballard, "That the Lost May Be Found," Ensign (CR) May 2012

The light of the Lord is real, my brethren. He will lead every soul out of the clouds of darkness and away from the fog of doubt and uncertainty with a perfect eternal signal that will guarantee safety, peace, and confidence. He said to all the world, “Come, … follow me” (Mark 10:21), and “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). - M. Russell Ballard, "You Can Be the Voice," Ensign (CR) May 1980

Our President is dynamically out in front, showing the way. The question we must all ask ourselves is, “Are we keeping pace with him?” Each one of us must be prepared to answer that question. I can assure you that it is a subject of considerable discussion among the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I hope the same is true of every council in every ward and stake in the Church. This is not the time to relax or to coast in our callings. Every council of the Church should be working together on ways to be more effective in preparing our members to be worthy to enjoy all the blessings of the Church and especially the blessings of the temple. - M. Russell Ballad, "Are We Keeping Pace?, Ensign (CR) November 1998

My message to you today, my brothers and sisters, is simply this: the Lord is in control. He knows the end from the beginning. He has given us adequate instruction that, if followed, will see us safely through any crisis. His purposes will be fulfilled, and someday we will understand the eternal reasons for all of these events. Therefore, today we must be careful to not overreact, nor should we be caught up in extreme preparations; but what we must do is keep the commandments of God and never lose hope! - M. Russell Ballard, "The Joy of Hope Fulfilled," Ensign (CR) November 1992

All of this symbolism attests to one fact: great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27). Imagine what the millions of Latter-day Saints could accomplish in the world if we functioned like a beehive in our focused, concentrated commitment to the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. - M. Russell Ballard, "Be Anxiously Engaged," Ensign (CR) November 2012

What comfort and security come from knowing that we have a purpose for being! What a blessing to have the solid anchor of specific values by which to live! How exciting to understand our ultimate, divine potential! How reassuring to realize there is a source of power much greater than our own, which can be accessed through personal faith and prayer and through the righteous exercise of God's priesthood authority! And how encouraging to know that there is a source of strength that can help us cope with daily trials and find peace in a troubled, turbulent world! - M. Russell Ballard, "Our Search for Happiness: An Invitation to Understand The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints," p.104

Often the lack of clear direction and goals can waste our time and energy and contribute to imbalance in our lives. A life that gets out of balance is much like a car tire that is out of balance. It will make the operation of the car rough and unsafe. Tires in perfect balance can give a smooth and comfortable ride. So it is with life. The ride through mortality can be smoother for us when we strive to stay in balance. Our main goal should be to seek “immortality and eternal life” (Moses 1:39). With this as our goal, why not eliminate from our lives the things that clamor for and consume our thoughts, feelings, and energies without contributing to our reaching that goal? - M. Russell Ballard, "Keeping Your Life In Balance," Ensign September 2012

A periodic review of the covenants we have made with the Lord will help us with our priorities and with balance in our lives. This review will help us see where we need to repent and change our lives to ensure that we are worthy of the promises that accompany our covenants and sacred ordinances. Working out our own salvation requires good planning and a deliberate, valiant effort. - M. Russell Ballard, "Keeping Life's Demands in Balance," Ensign (CR) May 1987

What a wonderful, warm, and reassuring thing it is to know that the primary objective of the very God of heaven is “the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39), or, in other words, our eternal happiness and joy. Sometimes I wonder if we really appreciate what that means and how it should affect our lives. We must give adequate attention to the doctrines of happiness—real happiness, infinite and eternal. They should be the objective of everything we teach in the Church and of everything we do. - M. Russell Ballard, "Answers to Life's Questions," Ensign (CR) May 1995

That is what Jesus taught His disciples—including “a certain lawyer”—through the parable of the good Samaritan. And that is what He is teaching us today through living prophets and apostles. Love one another. Be kind to one another despite our deepest differences. Treat one another with respect and civility. - M. Russell Ballard, "Doctrine of Inclusion," Ensign (CR) November 2001

With all my heart I hope and pray that you will be wise enough to learn the lessons of the past. You don’t have to spend time as a Laman or a Lemuel in order to know that it’s much better to be a Nephi or a Jacob. You don’t have to follow the path of Cain or Gadianton in order to realize that “wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). And you don’t have to allow your community to become like Sodom or Gomorrah in order to understand that it isn’t a good place to raise a family. - M. Russell Ballard, "Learning the Lessons of the Past," Ensign (CR) May 2009

The most important, life-changing information that I know of is the knowledge that we are truly children of God our Eternal Father. This is not only doctrinally correct, it is spiritually vital. Said the Savior in His powerful intercessory prayer, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). To know Heavenly Father and to understand our relationship to Him as our Father and our God is to find meaning in this life and hope in the life to come. Our families need to know He is real, that we are in fact His sons and His daughters and heirs to all that He has, now and forever. Secure in that knowledge, family members will be less likely to look for devilish diversions and more likely to look to God and live (see Num. 21:8). - M. Russell Ballard, "Like a Flame Unquenchable," Ensign (CR) May 1999

True conversion comes through the power of the Spirit. When the Spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed. When individuals, both members and investigators, feel the Spirit working with them, or when they see the evidence of the Lord’s love and mercy in their lives, they are edified and strengthened spiritually and their faith in Him increases. These experiences with the Spirit follow naturally when a person is willing to experiment upon the word. This is how we come to feel the gospel is true. - M. Russell Ballard, “Now Is the Time,” Ensign (CR) November 2000

Let me say again that the family is the main target of evil’s attack and must therefore be the main point of our protection and defense. As I said once before, when you stop and think about it from a diabolically tactical point of view, fighting the family makes sense to Satan. When he wants to disrupt the work of the Lord, he doesn’t poison the world’s peanut butter supply, thus bringing the Church’s missionary system to its collective knees. He doesn’t send a plague of laryngitis to afflict the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He doesn’t legislate against green Jell-O and casseroles. When evil wants to strike out and disrupt the essence of God’s work, it attacks the family. It does so by attempting to disregard the law of chastity, to confuse gender, to desensitize violence, to make crude and blasphemous language the norm, and to make immoral and deviant behavior seem like the rule rather than the exception. - M. Russell Ballard, “Let Our Voices Be Heard,” Ensign (CR) November 2003

But what? What is it that needs our personal attention? As I read and ponder the scriptures and carefully consider the Lord’s counsel to His followers in every dispensation of time, it appears to me that the most important thing every one of us can do is to examine our own commitment and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must carefully guard against spiritual apathy and work to maintain the full measure of our loving loyalty to the Lord. - M. Russell Ballard, “How Is It with Us?” Ensign (CR) May 2000

If members learn to use the correct name of the Church in connection with the word Mormon, it will underscore that we are Christians, members of the Savior’s Church.

Brothers and sisters, let us follow up and develop the habit of always making it clear that we belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. - M. Russell Ballard, "Following Up," Ensign (CR) May 2014

Men and women in all parts of the world have a desperate need to take time from their demanding routines of everyday life and to quietly observe God’s miracles taking place all around them. Think of what would happen if all of us took time to look carefully at the wonders of nature that surround us and devoted ourselves to learning more about this world that God created for us! - M. Russell Ballard, “God’s Love for His Children,” Ensign (CR) May 1988

We need to experience a continuing conversion by increasing our faith in Jesus Christ and our faithfulness to His gospel throughout our lives—not just once but regularly. Alma asked, “And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren [and sisters], if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?” - M. Russell Ballard, “Stay in the Boat and Hold On!” Ensign (CR) November 2014

When we covenant in the waters of baptism to “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places,” we’re not talking solely about fast and testimony meetings. It may not always be easy, convenient, or politically correct to stand for truth and right, but it is always the right thing to do. Always. - M. Russell Ballard, “Standing for Truth and Right,” Ensign (CR) October 1997

The older we grow, the more precious our family becomes to us. We come to see more clearly that all of the wealth, honor, and positions of the world pale in significance when compared to the precious souls of our loved ones. - M. Russell Ballard, "Teach the Children," Ensign (CR), May 1991

If I may paraphrase what I said to missionaries 13 years ago, what we need now is the greatest generation of young adults in the history of the Church. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate young adults who know how to listen and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit as you make your way through the daily trials and temptations of being a young, contemporary Latter-day Saint. - M. Russell Ballard, “The Greatest Generation of Young Adults,” Ensign (CR) April 2015

To you who feel harried and overwhelmed and who wonder whether you ever will be able to run fast enough to catch the departing train you think you should be on, I suggest that you learn to deal with each day as it comes, doing the best you can, without feelings of guilt or inadequacy. I saw a bumper sticker the other day, sisters, that may say it all:

"God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will never die!” - M. Russell Ballard, "Be an Example of the Believers," Ensign (CR), November 1991, p. 95

Looking for human weakness in others is rather easy. However, we make a serious mistake by noticing only the human nature of one another and then failing to see God’s hand working through those He has called. - M. Russell Ballard, “God Is at the Helm,” Ensign (CR) November 2015

Brothers and sisters, never hesitate to bear your testimony with sincerity and love. The power of personal testimony cannot be denied and often ignites in others the interest to know more. - M. Russell Ballard, "Faith, Family, Facts, and Fruits,” Ensign (CR), October 2007

If we truly understood the Atonement and the eternal value of each soul, we would seek out the wayward boy and girl and every other wayward child of God. We would help them to know of the love Christ has for them. We would do all that we can to help prepare them to receive the saving ordinances of the gospel. - M. Russell Ballard, "The Atonement and the Value of One Soul," Ensign (CR), May 2004, p.84

This is a great time to live, brothers and sisters, and it is up to us to carry on the rich tradition of devoted commitment that has been the hallmark of previous generations of Latter-day Saints. This is not a time for the spiritually faint of heart. We cannot afford to be superficially righteous. Our testimonies must run deep, with spiritual roots firmly embedded in the rock of revelation. And we must continue to move the work forward as a covenanted, consecrated people, with faith in every footstep, "till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.” - M. Russell Ballard, "The Truth of God Shall Go Forth,” Ensign (CR) October 2008

The mortal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was comparatively brief. He lived only thirty-three years, and His ministry was only three years. But in those three years He taught the human family everything that is necessary to receive all of the blessings our Father in Heaven has in store for His children. He concluded His mortal ministry with the single most compassionate and significant service in the history of the world: the Atonement. - M. Russell Ballard, “Restored Truth,” Ensign (CR), November 1994, p.65

From the Bible, the greatest teacher of all gave us the secret time and time again. He said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." (Mark 9:23.) - M. Russell Ballard, “Providing for Our Needs,” Ensign (CR), May 1981, p.85

Brothers and sisters, the Lord expects us to do something. I believe we are expected to increase our own faith, shake off any possible feelings of apathy, and by the power of the Holy Ghost reaffirm our commitment and intensify our service to the Lord. Then, when we seek to clarify someone's understanding of the Church, our lives—well and faithfully lived—can serve as a magnifying glass through which others can examine the impact of gospel living. Under the light of our good example, the Spirit can enlarge understanding of the Church and its mission to all with whom we have contact. - M. Russell Ballard, "How Is It with Us?” Ensign (CR), May 2000, p.31

Admittedly we have ample reason to be deeply concerned because we see no immediate answers to the seemingly unsolvable problems confronting the human family. But regardless of this dark picture, which will ultimately get worse, we must never allow ourselves to give up hope! Moroni, having seen our day, counseled, “Wherefore, there must be faith; and if there must be faith there must also be hope.” (Moro. 10:20.) – M. Russell Ballard, “The Joy of Hope Fulfilled,” Ensign (CR) November 1992

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