Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thomas S. Monson General Conference Highlights: October 1991 - April 1994

More Thomas S. Monson highlights, from the last three years when he and Pres. Hinckley did their best while Pres. Ezra Taft Benson's health prevented him from ever speaking at Conference again.

OCTOBER 1991 - "Called to Serve" (from Priesthood session)

Through humble prayer, diligent preparation, and faithful service we can succeed in our sacred callings. Some priesthood bearers are gifted with the ability to reach out to the less active and renew the faith and rekindle the desire to once again return to the fold. Give such specially endowed brethren an assignment which will utilize this talent. Other brethren have the ability to work with youth, to win their respect, prompt their determination to overcome temptation, and lead with love these choice young spirits as they travel along that pathway which, when followed, provides eternal life. The Lord will hear your prayers and guide your decisions, for this is His work in which we are engaged.

I have frequently said that there is no feeling to surpass that feeling which engulfs us when we recognize that we have been on the Lord’s errand and He has allowed us to help fulfill His purposes.

Every bishop can testify to the promptings which attend calls to serve in the Church. Frequently the call seems to be for the benefit not so much of those to be taught or led as for the person who is to teach or lead.

OCT91 - "Precious Children - A Gift from God"

Most of these little ones come to parents who eagerly await their arrival, mothers and fathers who rejoice to be a part of that miracle we call birth. No sacrifice is too great, no pain too severe, no waiting too long.

No wonder we are shocked when a wire story originating from a city in America informs that “a newborn girl who was wrapped in a paper bag and dumped in a garbage can is under close observation at a hospital. The child is doing well. ‘She’s a real beautiful, healthy baby,’ a hospital spokesman said Wednesday. Police said the infant was discovered after trash men emptied the garbage can into the back end of their dump truck and saw something move in the debris. Authorities are looking for the mother.”

It is our solemn duty, our precious privilege—even our sacred opportunity—to welcome to our homes and to our hearts the children who grace our lives...

If only all children had loving parents, safe homes, and caring friends, what a wonderful world would be theirs. Unfortunately, not all children are so bounteously blessed. Some children witness their fathers savagely beating their mothers, while others are on the receiving end of such abuse. What cowardice, what depravity, what shame!

Local hospitals everywhere receive these little ones, bruised and battered, accompanied by bald-faced lies that the child “ran into the door” or “fell down the stairs.” Liars, bullies who abuse children, they will one day reap the whirlwind of their foul deeds. The quiet, the hurt, the offended child victim of abuse, and at times incest, must receive help.

A district judge, in a letter to me, declared, “Sexual abuse of children is one of the most depraved, destructive, and demoralizing crimes in civilized society. There is an alarming increase of reported physical, psychological, and sexual abuse of children. Our courts are becoming inundated with this repulsive behavior.”

The Church does not condone such heinous and vile conduct. Rather, we condemn in the harshest of terms such treatment of God’s precious children. Let the child be rescued, nurtured, loved, and healed. Let the offender be brought to justice, to accountability, for his actions and receive professional treatment to curtail such wicked and devilish conduct. When you and I know of such conduct and fail to take action to eradicate it, we become part of the problem. We share part of the guilt. We experience part of the punishment.

OCT91 - "The Lord Bless You"

President Benson receives many letters from children. Sometimes they are humorous, other times tender. When President Benson was hospitalized and the doctors provided a pacemaker to help regulate his heart, one little girl wrote in and said, “Dear President Benson, I know you will be all right because the Bible says, ‘Blessed are the pacemakers.’”

He wept when I shared with him a letter I received from a child’s father. The letter began, “This past April, my wife and I were watching the Sunday afternoon session of conference. Our three-year-old son, Christopher, was standing on a chair at the kitchen counter playing with Play-Doh, listening to conference on the radio. As we entered the kitchen at the end of President Benson’s comments to the children, Christopher reported excitedly, ‘That man on the radio said that even when we make mistakes, our Heavenly Father still loves us.’ That simple statement has left a lasting and meaningful impression on our young son. I can still ask him today what President Benson said and receive the same enthusiastic reply. It is a comfort to him to know that he has a kind and loving Father in Heaven.”

This touching account is representative of the personal influence for good President Benson has ever been. He is gentle. He is kind. He is loving. He is your friend and my friend, and he knows the Lord, our Savior.

APRIL 1992 - "Memories of Yesterday, Counsel of Today"

Thinking of the example of his own mother and that of his beloved and faithful wife, Flora, President Benson has offered ten specific suggestions for mothers as they guide their precious children:

1. Take time to always be at the crossroads in the lives of your children, whether they be six or sixteen.
2. Take time to be a real friend to your children.
3. Take time to read to your children. Remember what the poet wrote:
4. Take time to pray with your children.
5. Take time to have a meaningful weekly home evening. Make this one of your great family traditions.
6. Take time to be together at mealtimes as often as possible.
7. Take time daily to read the scriptures together as a family.
8. Take time to do things together as a family.
9. Take time to teach your children.
10. Take time to truly love your children. A mother’s unqualified love approaches Christlike love.

Though President Benson has addressed these suggestions primarily to mothers, I am confident he would expect those of us who are men and fathers bearing the holy priesthood to do our part, along with each son and daughter, to implement them and bring to fruition their divine objectives.

APR92 - "To Learn, To Do, To Be" (from Priesthood session)

Let us make of our homes sanctuaries of righteousness, places of prayer, and abodes of love, that we might merit the blessings that can come only from our Heavenly Father. We need His guidance in our daily lives.

In this vast throng is priesthood power and the capacity to reach out and share the glorious gospel with others. We have the hands to lift others from complacency and inactivity. We have the hearts to serve faithfully in our priesthood callings and thereby inspire others to walk on higher ground and to avoid the swamps of sin which threaten to engulf so many. The worth of souls is indeed great in the sight of God. Ours is the precious privilege, armed with this knowledge, to make a difference in the lives of others. The words found in Ezekiel could well pertain to all of us who follow the Savior in this sacred work:

“A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you. …
“And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.
“And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” (Ezek. 36:26–28.)

APR92 - "An Attitude of Gratitude"

This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help.

We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts an attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues...

First, there is gratitude for our mothers.  Mother, who willingly made that personal journey into the valley of the shadow of death to take us by the hand and introduce us to birth—even to mortal life—deserves our undying gratitude. One writer summed up our love for mother when he declared, “God could not be everywhere, and so He gave us mothers.”

While on the cruel cross of Calvary, suffering intense pain and anguish, Jesus “saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother!” (John 19:26–27.) What a divine example of gratitude and love!

My own mother may not have read to me from the scriptures; rather, she taught me by her life and actions what the “Good Book” contains. Care for the poor, the sick, the needy were everyday dramas never to be forgotten.

Second, let us reflect gratitude for our fathers. Father, like Mother, is ever willing to sacrifice his own comfort for that of his children. Daily he toils to provide the necessities of life, never complaining, ever concerned for the well-being of his family. This love for children, this desire to see them well and happy, is a constant in a time of change.

On occasion I have observed parents shopping to clothe a son about to enter missionary service. The new suits are fitted, the new shoes are laced, and shirts, socks, and ties are bought in quantity. I met one father who said to me, “Brother Monson, I want you to meet my son.” Pride popped his buttons; the cost of the clothing emptied his wallet; love filled his heart. Tears filled my eyes when I noticed that his suit was old, his shoes well worn; but he felt no deprivation. The glow on his face was a memory to cherish.

As I reflect on my own father, I remember he yielded his minuscule discretionary time to caring for a crippled uncle, aged aunts, and his family. He served in the ward Sunday School presidency, always preferring to work with the children. He, like the Master, loved children. I never heard from his lips one word of criticism of another. He personified in his life the work ethic. I join you in an expression of gratitude for our fathers.

APR92 - "The Spirit of Relief Society" (from Relief Society session)

The Apostle Paul gave us this caution: “The letter [of the law] killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” (2 Cor. 3:6.) The spirit of Relief Society is being made manifest today, in our time. We see stirrings of strength, we hear the rustling of a resurrection, we observe the dawning of a new day.

In the Church News, Sister Irene Maximova, Relief Society president in the St. Petersburg (Russia) Ward, reported some changes she sees in the lives of women after they join the Church: “They have more compassion for other people. I see increased consideration and respect. They are more occupied with scriptures and spiritual matters. … As Church members in Russia, we must always remember the Lord’s commandments to love God and to love our neighbors. … For 70 years our society lost those good qualities.” 2

In that same issue of the Church News was the dramatic announcement that three new missions would soon be opened in what was the Soviet Union. This has now been accomplished. Branches of the Church will be organized, the waters of baptism will welcome those who are prepared, Relief Society membership will soar, and souls will be saved.

OCTOBER 1992 - "The Priesthood in Action" (from Priesthood session)

Most of you young men will one day receive a call to serve a mission. How I pray that your response will be as was Samuel’s: “Here am I. … Speak; for thy servant heareth.” Then will heavenly help be yours. Every missionary strives to be the missionary his mother thinks he is, the missionary his father hopes he is—even the missionary the Lord knows he can become.

I remember a missionary recommendation for one young man on which the bishop had written: “This candidate is the finest I have ever recommended. He has served as an officer in the deacons, teachers, and priests quorums of which he has been a member. He excelled scholastically and athletically in high school. I know of no finer young man. P. S. I am proud to be his father.” President Spencer W. Kimball, then chairman of the Missionary Committee, mused, “I hope his parents will be content with his assigned mission. I know of no opening for him this morning in the celestial kingdom.”

Yes, sometimes expectations of those who love us are a bit beyond our capacity. Years ago, before a temple was completed in South Africa, the Saints planning to visit a temple had to travel the long and costly route to London, England, or, later, to São Paulo, Brazil. When I visited South Africa, they, with all the strength of their hearts and souls, petitioned me to importune President Kimball to seek the heavenly inspiration to erect a temple in their country. I assured them this was a matter for the Lord and His prophet. They responded, “We have faith in you, Brother Monson. Please help us.”

Upon returning to Salt Lake City, I discovered that a proposed temple for South Africa had already been approved and was to be announced immediately. When this occurred, I received a telegram from our members in South Africa. It read, “Thank you, Elder Monson. We knew you could do it!” You know, I believe I never did convince them that though I approved the proposal, I did not bring it about.

OCT92 - "Miracles Then and Now"

My heart fills with gratitude to the Lord for His divine intervention to relieve the suffering, heal the sick, and raise the dead. I grieve, however, for the many, similarly afflicted, who knew not how to find the Master, to learn of His teachings, and to become the beneficiaries of His power. I remember that President Clark himself suffered heartache and pain in the tragic death at Pearl Harbor of his son-in-law, Mervyn S. Bennion, captain of the battleship West Virginia. That day there had been no ram in the thicket, no steel to stop the shrapnel, no miracle to heal the wounds of war. But faith never wavered, and answered prayers provided the courage to carry on.

So it is today. In our lives, sickness comes to loved ones, accidents leave their cruel marks of remembrance, and tiny legs that once ran are imprisoned in a wheelchair.

Mothers and fathers who anxiously await the arrival of a precious child sometimes learn that all is not well with this tiny infant. A missing limb, sightless eyes, a damaged brain, or the term “Down’s syndrome” greets the parents, leaving them baffled, filled with sorrow, and reaching out for hope.

There follows the inevitable blaming of oneself, the condemnation of a careless action, and the perennial questions: “Why such a tragedy in our family?” “Why didn’t I keep her home?” “If only he hadn’t gone to that party.” “How did this happen?” “Where was God?” “Where was a protecting angel?” If, why, where, how—those recurring words—do not bring back the lost son, the perfect body, the plans of parents, or the dreams of youth. Self-pity, personal withdrawal, or deep despair will not bring the peace, the assurance, or help which are needed. Rather, we must go forward, look upward, move onward, and rise heavenward...

To all who have suffered silently from sickness, to you who have cared for those with physical or mental impairment, who have borne a heavy burden day by day, year by year, and to you noble mothers and dedicated fathers—I salute you and pray God’s blessings to ever attend you. To the children, particularly they who cannot run and play and frolic, come the reassuring words: “Dearest children, God is near you, Watching o’er you day and night.” (Hymns, 1985, no. 96.)

There will surely come that day, even the fulfillment of the precious promise from the Book of Mormon:

“The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame. …
“And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God.” (Alma 40:23, 25.)

OCT92 - "At Parting"

President Benson’s chair has remained unoccupied during the conference sessions, which brings some sadness to our hearts. His ready smile, the wave of his hand, the declarations of truth that have marked his influence have been missed. However, President Benson, we are pleased and grateful that you have been a part of the conference through television. Our hearts go out to you in the passing of your beloved eternal companion, Flora. How thankful we are for the sacred covenant that binds you two sweethearts together for all eternity! The entire Church joins in a mighty prayer to our Heavenly Father that you may be cradled in the palm of His hand and blessed according to your need and His divine purposes. We sustain you. We follow you. We love you—our Prophet.

President Benson revered President David O. McKay, who supervised his missionary labors in Great Britain those long years ago. President McKay closed a conference with these words: “As we come to this parting hour, I hope that the teachings and life of the Master seem to you all to be more beautiful, more necessary, and more applicable to human happiness than ever before. … Accepting him as my Redeemer, Savior, and Lord, I accept his gospel as the plan of salvation, as the one perfect way to human happiness and peace.”

APRIL 1993 - "The Temple of the Lord"

President Benson instructed us: “Sometimes in the peace of lovely temples, the serious problems of life find their solutions. [At times] pure knowledge flows to us there under the influence of the Spirit.” Said he: “I am grateful to the Lord for temples. The blessings of the House of the Lord are eternal. They are of the highest importance to us because it is in the temples that we obtain God’s greatest blessings pertaining to eternal life. Temples really are the gateways to heaven.”

He said: “May we remember always, as we [visit and work in these glorious temples], that the veil may become very thin between this world and the spirit world. I know this is true.” He declared, “It is well also that we keep in mind that it is all one great program on both sides of the veil and it is not too important whether we serve here or over there, as long as we serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.”

President Benson, your words are welcomed. We have heard them. We shall follow them. They, like the temples you so much love, are as a refuge from life’s storms—even a never-failing beacon guiding us to safety.

APR93 - "Search and Rescue"

Tonight I express the gratitude of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles and all the General Authorities of the Church to members worldwide for your generosity and sacrifice in contributing your time, talents, and means through fast offerings and other service to alleviate suffering and to bless lives.

In the past twelve months, for example, the LDS Church participated in more that 350 hunger relief, community development, and in-kind projects in Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States and Canada.

Included in the 1992 projects were such diverse activities as shipping more than 7.6 million pounds of sorted, used clothing—more than 190 container loads—to overseas and domestic destinations for distribution to refugees, displaced families, and other needy. Special attention was given to needs in Africa, where clothing, blankets and other supplies, and more than a million pounds of food were authorized for famine relief and community development. Another half-million pounds of food were contributed to food banks and feeding programs for the homeless and other needs in the United States and abroad.

Couples are now serving on full-time humanitarian service missions in Europe, Africa, Asia, Mongolia, and Latin America. Individual doctors, nurses, educators, and others have served on short-term consulting assignments with government ministries, hospitals, schools, and other institutions in many countries. Some projects have attacked the causes of poverty and suffering by supporting community development efforts of the local people.

APR93 - "Gifts"

For a few moments, may we set aside the catalogs of Christmas, with their gifts of exotic description. Let’s even turn from the flowers for Mother, the special tie for Father, the cute doll, the train that whistles, the long-awaited bicycle—even the “Star Trek” books and videos—and direct our thoughts to those God-given gifts that endure. I have chosen from a long list just four:

1. The gift of birth.
2. The gift of peace.
3. The gift of love.
4. The gift of life eternal.

First, the gift of birth. It has been universally bestowed on each of us. Ours was the divine privilege to depart our heavenly home to tabernacle in the flesh and to demonstrate by our lives our worthiness and qualifications to one day return to Him, precious loved ones, and a kingdom called celestial. Our mothers and our fathers bestowed this marvelous gift on us. Ours is the responsibility to show our gratitude by the actions of our lives...

Second, the gift of peace. In the raucous world in which we live, the din of traffic, the blaring commercials of the media, and the sheer demands placed on our time—to say nothing of the problems of the world—cause headache, inflict pain, and sap our strength to cope. The burden of sickness or the grief of mourning a loved one departed brings us to our knees seeking heavenly help. With the ancients we may wonder, “Is there no balm in Gilead?”...

He who was burdened with sorrow and acquainted with grief speaks to every troubled heart and bestows the gift of peace. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”...

Third, the gift of love. “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?” queried the lawyer who spoke to Jesus. Came the prompt reply: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

On another occasion, the Lord taught, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.” The scriptures are filled with the importance of love and its relevance in our lives. The Book of Mormon teaches that charity is the pure love of Christ. 13 The Master Himself provided an ideal pattern for us to follow. Of Him it was said that He “went about doing good … ; for God was with him...

Fourth, the gift of life—even immortality. Our Heavenly Father’s plan contains the ultimate expressions of true love. All that we hold dear, even our families, our friends, our joy, our knowledge, our testimonies, would vanish were it not for our Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Among the most cherished thoughts and writings in this world is the divine statement of truth: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

OCTOBER 1993 - "The Upward Reach" (from Priesthood session)

The Aaronic Priesthood prepares boys for manhood and the weightier duties of the Melchizedek Priesthood. Scouting helps our boys to walk uprightly the priesthood path to exaltation. Along that path there will be turns and detours, requiring decisions of utmost importance. Heavenly inspiration will provide a road map that will ensure the accuracy of our choices. There comes a time in the life of every young man for serious contemplation and wise evaluation concerning his future—for decisions determine destiny.

Tonight in this vast priesthood audience are those who have successfully navigated the pathways of their youth. Such men of experience and faith are needed as examples for those who look to them for guidance and safety. Brethren, are we prepared for our leadership opportunity—even our life-saving privilege? The need for our help is here and now.

In cities across the land and in nations throughout the world, there has occurred a deterioration of the home and family. Abandoned in many instances is the safety net of personal and family prayer. A macho-inspired attitude of “I can go it alone” or “I don’t need the help of anyone” dominates the daily philosophy of many. Frequently there is a rebellion against long-established traditions of decency and order, and the temptation to run with the crowd is overwhelming. Such a destructive philosophy, this formula for failure, can lead to ruin unless men of faith, filled with love, step forward to show a faltering boy the right way to go.

OCT93 - "Meeting Life's Challenges"

At times illness and accident take the lives of those whom they strike. Place and station, age and whereabouts make no difference. Death comes to the aged as they walk on faltering feet. Its summons is heard by those who have scarcely reached midway in life’s journey, and often it hushes the laughter of little children.

Throughout the world there is enacted daily the sorrowful scene of loved ones mourning as they bid farewell to a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister, a mother, a father, or a cherished friend.

Let us look in on one such scene which took place just last month in the Sunset Gardens Cemetery. Gathered were friends and family of Roger S. Olson, whose casket, bedecked with flowers, contained his earthly body. Claudia, his wife, six precious children, and family, friends, and associates stood in silence.

Just a few days earlier, Roger had left for his work, where he was a talented and recognized authority in his field of specialized photography. An accident resulted in the helicopter crash which took his life—all in the twinkling of an eye and without advance warning. Filled with grief but comforted by faith, those who had loved and lived together had bid but a temporary farewell to husband and father. They are sustained by the knowledge the skeptic rejects. They treasure the account recorded in Luke which describes that most significant event following the crucifixion and burial of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:

“Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, [Mary Magdalene and the other Mary] came unto the sepulchre.” To their astonishment, the body of their Lord was gone. Luke records that two men in shining garments stood by them and said, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen.”

Against the philosophy rampant in today’s world—a doubting of the authenticity of the Sermon on the Mount, an abandonment of Christ’s teaching, a denial of God, and a rejection of His laws—the Olsons and true believers everywhere treasure the testimonies of eyewitnesses to His resurrection. Stephen, doomed to the cruel death of a martyr, looked up to heaven and cried, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.”

APRIL 1994 - "The Priesthood - A Sacred Trust" (from Priesthood session)

I sincerely hope that each deacon, teacher, and priest is aware of the significance of his priesthood ordination and the privilege which is his to fulfill a vital role in the life of every member through his participation in administration and passing of the sacrament each Sunday.

At the time I held the Aaronic Priesthood, it seemed we always sang the same hymns during the opening exercises of priesthood meeting. They were: “Come, All Ye Sons of God”; “Come, All Ye Sons of Zion”; “How Firm a Foundation”; “Israel, Israel, God Is Calling”; and a few others. Our voices were not the best, nor was volume adequate, but we learned the words and remembered the message of each.

I smile when I reflect on an account I heard concerning Brother Thales Smith and his service in a bishopric with Bishop Israel Heaton. Sister Heaton called Brother Smith one Sunday morning and mentioned that her husband was ill and unable to attend priesthood meeting. Brother Smith reported this to the brethren assembled that morning and asked the brother who was to offer the invocation to remember Bishop Israel Heaton in the prayer. Then he announced that the opening hymn would be “Israel, Israel, God Is Calling.” I suppose the smiles outnumbered any frowns. By the way, Bishop Heaton recovered.

The opening exercises of priesthood meeting may be brief but should be held in each ward without fail. It brings to the hearts and souls of all assembled a spirit of unity, the brotherhood of priesthood, and a beautiful reminder of our sacred duties...

President John Taylor provided rather direct counsel to those of us who hold the priesthood: “If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.”

Somehow I feel that if we will always remember who it is we serve, and on whose errand we are, we will draw closer to the source of the inspiration we seek—even our Master and Savior.

APR94 - 'The Path to Peace"

The ravages of hunger in Somalia, the brutality of hate in Bosnia, and the ethnic struggles across the globe remind us that the peace we seek will not come without effort and determination. Anger, hatred, and contention are foes not easily subdued. These enemies inevitably leave in their destructive wake tears of sorrow, the pain of conflict, and the shattered hopes of what could have been. Their sphere of influence is not restricted to the battlefields of war but can be observed altogether too frequently in the home, around the hearth, and within the heart. So soon do many forget and so late do they remember the counsel of the Lord: “There shall be no disputations among you, …

“For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.
“Behold, this is not my doctrine, to stir up the hearts of men with anger, one against another; but this is my doctrine, that such things should be done away.”...

World peace, though a lofty goal, is but an outgrowth of the personal peace each individual seeks to attain. I speak not of the peace promoted by man, but peace as promised of God. I speak of peace in our homes, peace in our hearts, even peace in our lives. Peace after the way of man is perishable. Peace after the manner of God will prevail.

We are reminded that “anger doesn’t solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.” The consequences of conflict are so devastating that we yearn for guidance—even a way to insure our success as we seek the path to peace. What is the way to obtain such a universal blessing? Are there prerequisites? Let us remember that to obtain God’s blessings, one must do God’s bidding. May I suggest three ideas to prompt our thinking and guide our footsteps:

1. Search inward;
2. Reach outward; and
3. Look heavenward.

APR94 - "What He Would Have Us Do"

I like the thought, “Before Easter, there must be a cross.” And many have heavy crosses to bear. With the birth of the Babe in Bethlehem, there emerged a great endowment—a power stronger than weapons, a wealth more lasting than the coins of Caesar. He may come to us as one unknown, without a name, as by the lakeside He came to those men who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same words, “Follow thou me,” and sets us to the task which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands, and to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the sufferings that they shall pass through in His fellowship; and they shall learn in their own experience who He is.

May we praise His name, follow His example, and incorporate His truths into our lives, and then this conference will have been successful.

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