The LDS Daily WOOL© Archive - Work

More than 6,000 years ago, Father Adam received the commandment, "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread." (Gen. 3:19.) Some 2,700 years ago, a Greek poet observed that "in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat, and long and steep is the way to it." (Hesiod, Works and Days, 1. 287; as cited in John Bartlett, Familiar Quotations, 14th ed., Boston: Little, Brown and Co., 1968, p. 67.) My young friends of the Aaronic Priesthood and you trainers of this great army of Christ, the principle of work has been taught from the foundation of the world. It is the bottom line of any forward motion of success. The frightening disappearance of work as a part of our basic ethic is alarming. We constantly hear the statements, "It's too hard," "Give me something easier," "I want it now," "I can't wait that long," coming from our young people. The ugly disease of "nothing to do" is growing in epidemic proportions among us. It undermines the basic fabric of our nations. The prophet Ezekiel clearly defined iniquity as an "abundance of idleness." (Ezek. 16:49.)--Elder F. David Stanley, General Conference, April 1993

There are several principles which undergird the significance of work in the Lord's plan. First, as the covenant people we must be as self-sufficient as possible. We are to be free from dependence upon a dole or any program that might endanger our free agency. Second, we must work to support the families with which the Lord has blessed us. Every true son of God wants to care for his own, and many a noble mother, from whom a husband has been taken, struggles to support her children, both as a breadwinner and a single parent. Finally, we work so that we may have the necessities of life, conserving time and energy left over for service in the Lord's work. Sometimes it seems that the men who work the hardest at their occupations are the men most willing to devote time to church service.--Elder Howard W. Hunter, General Conference Welfare Session, October 1975

An essential part of teaching children to be disciplined and responsible is to have them learn to work. As we grow up, many of us are like the man who said, "I like work; it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours" (Jerome Klapka Jerome, in The International Dictionary of Thoughts, comp. John P. Bradley, Leo F. Daniels, and Thomas C. Jones [Chicago: J. G. Ferguson Publishing Co., 1969], p. 782). Again, the best teachers of the principle of work are the parents themselves. For me, work became a joy when I first worked alongside my father, grandfather, uncles, and brothers. I am sure that I was often more of an aggravation than a help, but the memories are sweet and the lessons learned are valuable. Children need to learn responsibility and independence. Are the parents personally taking the time to show and demonstrate and explain so that children can, as Lehi taught, "act for themselves and not ... be acted upon"? (2 Nephi 2:26).--Elder James E. Faust, General Conference, October 1990

The remarks of President J. Reuben Clark, Jr., given fifty-six years ago, are instructive today. He said: "It is the eternal, inescapable law that growth comes only from work and preparation, whether the growth be material, mental, or spiritual. Work has no substitute" (in Conference Report, Apr. 1933, p. 103). More recently, Elder Howard W. Hunter counseled: "The first recorded instruction given to Adam after the Fall dealt with the eternal principle of work. The Lord said: 'In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.' (Gen. 3:19.) Our Heavenly Father loves us so completely that he has given us a commandment to work. This is one of the keys to eternal life. He knows that we will learn more, grow more, achieve more, serve more, and benefit more from a life of industry than from a life of ease" (Ensign, Nov. 1975, p. 122).--Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, General Conference, April 1989

(1/13/97)Among the saddest of events to all mission presidents is to observe elders and sisters coming into the mission field not having learned how to work. President Ezra Taft Benson gave us a powerful key in one of his addresses on missionary work: "One of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work! If a missionary works, he will get the Spirit; if he gets the Spirit, he will teach by the Spirit; and if he teaches by the Spirit, he will touch the hearts of the people and he will be happy. There will be no homesickness, no worrying about families, for [he will have] all [his] time and talents and interest ... centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work--there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988, p. 200.) There you have it, fathers and trainers of future missionaries. There you have it, my young friends who are now preparing for your missions and you who are currently serving. If you want to be successful, start with the bottom line of work. Recently, we noticed a surge in baptisms in one of our missions. The mission president was asked the reason for the surge. He said, "Baptisms come from hard work. We must work smarter and much harder."--Elder F. David Stanley, General Conference, April 1993

One of the eternal gospel principles and one that is basic in the development of men and women is the law of work, because it is only through work that human beings grow mentally and spiritually. God's commandment to the father of the human family—which commandment applied to all of Adam's descendants—was that all of them who were mentally and physically able were to work all the days of their lives, except on the Sabbath, until they should "return unto the ground." It is the law of God that each person work sufficiently to support himself or herself. The Pearl of Great Price declares that Adam and Eve were obedient to the commandment to work. In fact, the foregoing scripture states: "Adam began to till the earth … and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow … and Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him."--Milton R. Hunter, Pearl of Great Price Commentary, p.153

"We live in a world of entertainment in full color with a lot of fast action, a world in which many children grow up thinking that if it isn't fun, it is boring and not worthwhile. Even in family activities, we need to strike a balance between play and work. Some of my most memorable experiences while growing up centered around family activities: learning how to shingle a roof, build a fence, or working in the garden. Rather than being all work and no play, for many of our children it is almost all play and very little work." - Joe J. Christensen, "Greed, Selfishness, and Overindulgence," Ensign (CR), May 1999, p.9

"Work brings happiness, self-esteem, and prosperity. It is the means of all accomplishment; it is the opposite of idleness. We are commanded to work. (See Gen. 3:19.) Attempts to obtain our temporal, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being by means of a dole violate the divine mandate that we should work for what we receive. Work should be the ruling principle in the lives of our Church membership. (See D&C 42:42; D&C 75:29; D&C 68:30-32; D&C 56:17.)" - Spencer W. Kimball, "Welfare Services: The Gospel in Action," Ensign (CR), November 1977, p.76

"Ralph Waldo Emerson pointed out one of our biggest problems when he said that primarily we are parlor soldiers. We like to dine nicely and sleep warm, but we shun the vigorous battle of life where strength is born. The divine law that the Lord always fits the back to the burden embodies one of the greatest benefits that ever uplifts our lives. If we want to get a strong back, the best way is to get a big load to carry. The way to get more is to give more. If you want to see your own problem solved, learn how to solve the problems of other people. If you will effectively do the Lord's work, he will help you to do your own much better." - Sterling W. Sill, "That Ye Might Have Life," p.152

"Your Heavenly Father will help you find the right path as you seek His guidance. Remember though, after you pray you must get off your knees and start doing something positive; head in the right direction! He will send people along the way who will assist you, but you must be doing your part as well. By the gift and power of the Holy Ghost, you can be guided in your trip through life." - Margaret D. Nadauld, "A Comforter, a Guide, a Testifier," Ensign (CR), May 2001, p.90

"Great athletes are hard workers. Points, rebounds, assists, tackles, goals, and home runs are all the result of long hours of painstaking practice and hard work. The bulk of that practice will always be on your own, away from the coach. Victory is brought to pass by one’s personal diligence and commitment to hard work. The view of a champion, and the glory that surrounds him, must never be overshadowed by the long process of becoming one. There is a time of preparation and a time of victory. The second mile of hard work is what makes the difference between the exhilaration of achievement and the acceptance of mediocrity." - F. David Stanley, "The Principle of Work," Ensign (CR), May 1993, p.44

“Every child, of course, is different, and what works for one may not elicit the correct response from another. However, I believe that second only to ensuring that every child receives an understanding of the gospel of our Lord and Savior is teaching them the joy of honest labor.” - L. Tom Perry, “The Joy of Honest Labor,” Ensign (CR), November 1986, p. 62

“I have learned that when people of goodwill labor cooperatively in an honest and dedicated way, there is no end to what they can accomplish.” - Gordon B. Hinckley, “Some Lessons I Learned as a Boy,” Ensign (CR), May 1993, p. 52

"A consecrated life is a life of labor. Beginning early in His life, Jesus was about His Father's business (see Luke 2:48–49). God Himself is glorified by His work of bringing to pass the immortality and eternal life of His children (see Moses 1:39). We naturally desire to participate with Him in His work, and in so doing, we ought to recognize that all honest work is the work of God. In the words of Thomas Carlyle: 'All true Work is sacred; in all true Work, were it but true hand-labour, there is something of divineness. Labour, wide as the Earth, has its summit in Heaven.'

"God has designed this mortal existence to require nearly constant exertion." - D. Todd Christofferson, 'Reflections on a Consecrated Life," Ensign (CR) October 2010

"A consecrated life respects the incomparable gift of one's physical body, a divine creation in the very image of God. A central purpose of the mortal experience is that each spirit should receive such a body and learn to exercise moral agency in a tabernacle of flesh. A physical body is also essential for exaltation, which comes only in the perfect combination of the physical and the spiritual, as we see in our beloved, resurrected Lord. In this fallen world, some lives will be painfully brief; some bodies will be malformed, broken, or barely adequate to maintain life; yet life will be long enough for each spirit, and each body will qualify for resurrection." - D. Todd Christofferson, "Reflections on a Consecrated Life," Ensign (CR) October 2010

Prominently displayed on President Kimball’s desk is a slogan which reads simply, “DO IT.” With this inspired leader, personal convenience comes second. Everything is done to meet the Lord's convenience. His example for work has become legend and establishes an example for us all to follow. - Robert L. Simpson, "Do It," Ensign (CR) November 1975

To get all there is out of living, we must employ our time wisely, never being in too much of a hurry to stop and sip life, but never losing our sense of the enormous value of a minute. - John Longden, February 17, 1960, "BYU Speeches of the Year," 1960, p.3

We are all church workers; those with specific assignments and those with none are required by revelation to go to the house of prayer weekly to offer up their oblations. We then renew our pledges to remember him who is our Savior and to keep his commandments, the second one of which is to remember to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Having entered into this covenant, it is our responsibility to seek diligently to show this love through our deeds. - S. Dilworth Young, "By Love, Serve One Another," General Conference, October 1971

Some of us are too content with what we may already be doing. We stand back in the “eat, drink, and be merry” mode when opportunities for growth and development abound. We miss opportunities to build up the kingdom of God because we have the passive notion that someone else will take care of it. The Lord tells us that He will give more to those who are willing. They will be magnified in their efforts, like the little blue engine as it pulled the train up the mountain. But to those who say, “We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.” - James E. Faust, “I Believe I Can, I Knew I Could,” Ensign (CR) November 2002

We have a moral obligation to exercise our personal capabilities of mind, muscle, and spirit in a way that will return to the Lord, our families, and our society the fruits of our best efforts. To do less is to live our lives unfulfilled. It is to deny ourselves and those dependent upon us opportunity and advantage. We work to earn a living, it is true; but as we toil, let us also remember that we are building a life. Our work determines what that life will be. - J. Richard Clarke, “The Value of Work,” Ensign (CR) May 1982

My brethren and sisters, the responsibility of doing this individual work is upon us today, not at some far distant time, and I am wondering, and have wondered, during the services of this conference, how many of us are going home and reduce to practice the admonitions and instructions that have been given us fro the servants of the Lord. After all we have each and every one an individual work to perform. I think it was Emerson who said: "No man is born into this world whose work is not born with him." No one is born into the work of God whose work is not born with him. - Harry L. Payne, "Conference Report," April 1925, Closing Session, p. 147

The LDS Daily WOOL Home Page