Welcome to the Talk Of The Week Club. I began this club as a way to share my love of learning and growing in the gospel of Jesus Christ through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My hope and desire is for you to learn and grow in your faith and love of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Each Thursday a new talk will be posted, come back, open your heart and mind, allow yourself to receive and I promise you will be spiritually fed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Week 45: Thanksgiving

I am thankful.

I am thankful that Heavenly Father has entrusted me with 5 of his choice spirits.

I am thankful for my husband and the ability that we had to enter into the temple and be sealed together, not just for time, for all eternity.

I am thankful for Christ’s atonement. I have seen it work wonders in my life. He died for my sins. He died for your sins. He died for the sins of the world. He did it all for us.

I am thankful for the Prophet Joseph Smith’s humble prayers to our Heavenly Father and for the restoration of the fullness of the Gospel on the earth.

I am thankful for the opportunity that the Lord has given me to serve as an instrument in his hands to further his work.

I am thankful for a loving father in Heaven who gave me EVERYTHING. Everything I have and everything I need.

Yes, I am thankful.


MP3 link
Thanksgiving - LeGrand Richards

I greet each one of you individually and feel proud to think that you would have enough interest to come here to this devotional and listen to the oldest living General Authority of the Church. I have outlived them all by many years.

I enjoyed the opening prayer, the beautiful music of the choir, the introduction given by your wonderful president, and your presence here this morning. What a beautiful day. What a glorious opportunity to be able to meet and worship in the name of the Lord, our God.
I have talked here so many times, I've almost run out of subjects. In trying to decide what I might say to you today that would be appropriate, I was reminded that next week we will celebrate Thanksgiving Day all over this great land of freedom and liberty in which we are privileged to live. And I thought of the words of the Lord to the Prophet Joseph contained in the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord said that "against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things" (D&C 52:21). If we stop to think about it, there isn't one thing that we have in this world that we are not indebted to the Lord for. He created the earth and placed everything upon it--the fish of the sea, the fowl of the air, the animals, the trees, the flowers, the fruit, the vegetables, the seeds with power to reproduce themselves. And then he created man and put him upon the earth and gave him dominion over it all. Isn't that wonderful? And then he enabled man and the animals and those other forms of life to reproduce themselves.......... To view more of this talk click here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Week 44: Gratitude: A Path to Happiness

Dear Talk-Of-The-Week Friends,

Yesterday I got a letter in the mail from a friend. She spoke of how the last year has been a year of trials for her. She spoke of how the thing that helped her stay afloat through all the turmoil was to remember her blessings and to focus on them. Inside was a blank list called “50 Things I am most Grateful for…”. It really inspired me to start thinking of all the things I am grateful for. When I woke early this morning I decided to continue my study of gratitude and happened upon this talk after listening to many others. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I recreated the Gratitude list and have included it for your own personal list. May we all be blessed with the abundance God has in store for us as we focus on the things we are most grateful for. I testify that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to open the windows of heaven for us! Have a wonderful week! I am off to search for our family “Blessing Basket”!


Challenge: Fill out this 50 things I am grateful for list.

MP3 Link

Gratitude: A Path to Happiness - Bonnie D. Parkin

Gratitude: A Path to Happiness

Bonnie D. Parkin
Recently Released Relief Society General President

Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God.

This afternoon I am honored to represent those Relief Society leaders who, here in this very Tabernacle, shared the doctrines of the kingdom, emphasized the significance of women's roles in the home and family, called each other to charitable service, and reminded their sisters of the joy that comes from righteous living.

From this pulpit in 1870, Eliza R. Snow asked thousands of women a question that I'd like to repeat today: "Do you know of any place on the face of the earth, where [a] woman has more liberty, and where she enjoys such high and glorious privileges as she does here, as a Latter-day Saint?"1 I bear witness that the women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints do enjoy grand and glorious privileges.

Blessing Basket

Let me share a sweet story with you. A family was going through a difficult time. It was hard for them not to focus on their challenges. The mother wrote: "Our world had completely crumpled, so we turned to Heavenly Father for guidance. Almost immediately we realized that we were surrounded by goodness and were being cheered on from every side. We began as a family to express our gratitude to each other as well as to the Lord daily. A close friend pointed out to me that our family's 'blessing basket' was overflowing. From that conversation came a sort of game, which my children and I grew to love. Before family prayer each night we would talk about how our day had gone and then share with each other all of the many blessings that had been added to our 'blessing basket.' The more we expressed gratitude, the more there was to be grateful for. We felt the love of the Lord in a significant way as opportunities for growth presented themselves."2

What would a "blessing basket" add to your family?

A Spirit-Filled Principle

Gratitude requires awareness and effort, not only to feel it but to express it. Frequently we are oblivious to the Lord's hand. We murmur, complain, resist, criticize; so often we are not grateful. In the Book of Mormon, we learn that those who murmur do not know "the dealings of that God who . . . created them."3 The Lord counsels us not to murmur because it is then difficult for the Spirit to work with us.

Gratitude is a Spirit-filled principle. It opens our minds to a universe permeated with the richness of a living God. Through it, we become spiritually aware of the wonder of the smallest things, which gladden our hearts with their messages of God's love. This grateful awareness heightens our sensitivity to divine direction. When we communicate gratitude, we can be filled with the Spirit and connected to those around us and the Lord. Gratitude inspires happiness and carries divine influence. "Live in thanksgiving daily," said Amulek, "for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you."4

Mercies and blessings come in different forms—sometimes as hard things. Yet the Lord said, "Thou shalt thank the Lord thy God in all things."5 All things means just that: good things, difficult things—not just some things. He has commanded us to be grateful because He knows being grateful will make us happy. This is another evidence of His love.

How do you feel when someone expresses gratitude to you? One Sunday I sat next to a sister in Relief Society and got to know her a little better. A few days later I received an e-mail: "Thank you for sitting next to my daughter in Relief Society. You put your arm around her. You will never know how much that meant to her and to me."6 This mother's words surprised me and brought me happiness.

How do you feel when you express gratitude to another? I'd like to express gratitude to someone who cares about my grandchildren. A few months ago, while visiting in Texas, I asked six-year-old Thomas to tell me about his bishop. He said, "Oh, Grandmother, you will know him. He wears a dark suit, a white shirt like Papa, and he has shiny shoes and a red tie. He wears glasses and always has a smile." I recognized Thomas's bishop as soon as I saw him. My heart was filled with gratitude for him. Thank you, Bishop Goodman, and thank you, all you wonderful bishops.

An Expression of Faith

Luke chapter 17 records the experience of the Savior when He healed 10 lepers. As you recall, only one of the cleansed lepers returned to express his appreciation. Isn't it interesting that the Lord did not say, "Your gratitude has made you whole"? Instead, He said, "Thy faith hath made thee whole."7

The leper's expression of gratitude was recognized by the Savior as an expression of his faith. As we pray and express gratitude to a loving but unseen Heavenly Father, we are also expressing our faith in Him. Gratitude is our sweet acknowledgment of the Lord's hand in our lives; it is an expression of our faith.

Gratitude in Tribulations: Hidden Blessings

In 1832 the Lord saw the need to prepare the Church for coming tribulations. Tribulations are frightening. And yet the Lord said: "Be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours.

"And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious."8

The kind of gratitude that receives even tribulations with thanksgiving requires a broken heart and a contrite spirit, humility to accept that which we cannot change, willingness to turn everything over to the Lord—even when we do not understand, thankfulness for hidden opportunities yet to be revealed. Then comes a sense of peace.

When was the last time you thanked the Lord for a trial or tribulation? Adversity compels us to go to our knees; does gratitude for adversity do that as well?

President David O. McKay observed, "We find in the bitter chill of adversity the real test of our gratitude . . . , which . . . goes beneath the surface of life, whether sad or joyous."9


To my remarkable, faithful sisters of the Church, I thank you for the ways you extend the Lord's love through your service: your care for families at the death of a loved one, your watchcare as you visit teach, your willingness to build testimonies in children as you serve in Primary, your time preparing young women for womanhood. Thank you for your devotion. I have experienced the love of the Lord through your faithfulness. I have been blessed to serve among you; my heart is brimming over with gratitude and love for each of you. I have deep gratitude for the priesthood brethren with whom I've served.

My most profound gratitude is for my Savior—an obedient Son, who did all that His Father asked and atoned for every one of us. As I remember Him and acknowledge His goodness, I desire to be like Him. May we be blessed to feel of His love in our lives daily. "Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."10 In His sacred name, Jesus Christ, amen.


1. In Jill C. Mulvay, "Eliza R. Snow and the Woman Question," Brigham Young University Studies, winter 1976, 251.
2. Personal correspondence.
3. 1 Nephi 2:12.
4. Alma 34:38.
5. D&C 59:7; emphasis added.
6. Personal correspondence.
7. Luke 17:19; emphasis added.
8. D&C 78:18–19; emphasis added.
9. Pathways to Happiness, comp. Llewelyn R. McKay (1957), 318.
10. 2 Corinthians 9:15.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Week 43: Being Missionary to Your Spouse

This talk was sent to me a few weeks ago.(Thanks Rebecca!) I loved it and felt that it held many answers to what I was seeking.

I have been asking Heavenly Father to help me understand the great changes he has required of me over the past few years. I wondered what it was that I was supposed to learn. One of the greatest answers for me has been the word Unity. I have felt that our families' recent moves have been provided to teach us unity. Unity as a family, as husband and wife, unity with God and the Savior. Trusting in their time, their love, their wisdom. Becoming one with them as we rely on them to get us through the challenges and changes.

I hope you will find the answers you seek. I know that as you unify yourself in love and gratitude with the Savior and our Heavenly Father you will be given answers when you need them most. I know that the principles of love, patience, long suffering and free agency bring unity to our lives as spouses, family members, church members, and members of society.

Have a blessed week,


NO MP3 this week

Being Missionary to Your Spouse
By Mollie H. Sorensen
Ensign, Sep 1983, 58
“By Gentleness and Love Unfeigned …”

Unspeakable joy came over me as my husband walked to the stand to be sustained second counselor in the stake presidency. As he bore his testimony of his love for the Savior and of the gospel, he also gave thanks for his wife. I recalled the time I came home and found a poster tacked up on the dining room wall, proclaiming, “I love my wife because she has faith in me!”
It seemed not long ago that he emphatically announced, “They’d better not ever ask me to give a sacrament meeting talk, because that’s something I’ll never do.” He now is one of the favorite speakers in the stake.
I remembered, too, that my husband had said: “Just because you’re into dramatics, don’t think you can persuade me to be in a play. I’m just not an actor.” He was great in the lead part of a stake play.
“I’m not a reader,” he had insisted. Now he reads the scriptures faithfully every day and teaches them to all of us each morning.
“I don’t understand how to use the priesthood,” he once said. But since then he has blessed our family with the power of the priesthood on numerous occasions.
Yes, my husband has changed! Sixteen years ago he was a prospective elder.
What brought about this mighty change? For my sisters who stand in the perplexing situation of being missionary to their husbands, I would like to share a few insights. Since I speak from experience, I speak as a wife. But the principles could be used as well by a husband who has need of being missionary to his wife.
It is not easy to have faith in your spouse if he has disappointed you over and over. And for the woman who enjoys spiritual truths, it is frustrating not to be able to openly share them. Her desire to have her husband understand and appreciate the gospel becomes almost unbearable at times. And this is normal; for having achieved great joy, the natural consequence is to want to share it with loved ones.
But in these cases, a very delicate situation can arise. The man is the head of the house—the one who should lead, not be led. The woman, while being an equal partner in the marriage, should support and sustain her husband in his leadership role. But if he is not active or isn’t a member of the Church, she is placed in a very frustrating position. Often, if she wants Sabbath attendance, family home evenings, and other Church activities, she faces an inner battle and may even have open conflict with her husband—thus defeating her purpose to bring unity and spirituality into the home.
Where can a woman go for guidance and direction in her role as missionary to her husband? Great insights can be found through studying the scriptures. For example, I learned an important lesson when I studied about the council in heaven and the issues discussed there.
Satan proposed a plan of forcing everyone to obey the principles of their Father in Heaven. “I will redeem all mankind,” he said, “that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it.”
But Heavenly Father did not want “to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him.” Instead, he made available the plan of salvation through his Only Begotten Son, whereby we could enjoy freedom of choice. (See Moses 4:1–4.)
From this scriptural account we can conclude that trying to force another to accept the gospel is not pleasing to our Father. He cares not only that they return again to him, but also that they do so of their own free will and choice. He wants them to discover for themselves that the truths he has given are right and good and will bring the greatest joy. In order to do this, everyone needs to be free to experience and discover for himself.
Some true methods of exerting influence are listed in the Doctrine and Covenants:
“Only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
“By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile.” (D&C 121:41–42.)
These qualities, the Lord’s methods of persuasion, can become part of our very nature if we live worthy to obtain an endowment of his Spirit. I’ve learned that although a wife can encourage and be a light unto her husband, it is still the Spirit of the Lord that changes lives.
In Galatians 5:22–23 we find: “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” [Gal. 5:22–23]
There are those who would counsel wives to pretend to have these qualities of love, gentleness, and meekness in order to establish a better relationship with their husbands. But in this pretense or guile, they bypass the Savior, who condemned hypocrisy.
I have found that the very core of our being must be purged of its natural inclination to criticize and to lose faith. To do this, we must obtain greater power than we alone possess. Heavenly Father can give us this ability to change—to make a faultfinding, sour disposition sweet again, as a little child’s. “Create in me a clean heart, O God,” we might plead; “and renew a right spirit within me.” (Ps. 51:10.) He can bless us with the ability to see better, to uncover beautiful and lovable qualities of character in our spouses.
Although it may not be easy to love those who have disappointed us, we are promised that the Spirit can endow us with the power to love even those whose actions make them difficult to love:
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ.” (Moro. 7:48.)
One woman who attained this loving nature with the Spirit’s help expressed it in this way: “There was a time when I was so frustrated with what my husband wasn’t doing that I didn’t appreciate the good he was doing. I was hung up on the letter of the law and forgot the more important things, such as love, patience, forgiveness, and faith. I seemed obsessed with impatience for him to change.
“Then, somehow, I realized I was wrong. I knew my attitude towards my husband was without hope. I sought Heavenly Father for a change of heart, praying and fasting. Like a miracle, gradually my heart began to change. The more I felt the warmth of the Spirit in my life, the more I lost the compulsion to criticize. Not only that, but I was able to love and respect him in ways that I had overlooked before. I began deeply appreciating his patience with the children, his tolerance for others, his cheerful disposition, and his way of working with his hands—he could accomplish in one hour what many men would in half a day!
“Oh, of course I still wish he would become active in the Church, but I’ve gained a real tolerance for him to grow in his own way, and I pray that I will be the example of love that he needs in order to feel free to grow. I want him to see by my actions that the gospel of Jesus Christ is really wonderful, sweet, and exciting.”
Contrast this with the woman who uses bitterness, anger, hopelessness, and the spirit of contention as her tools of persuasion. In her frustration to have things right, she displays an example of what the gospel of Jesus Christ is not—pushing her husband further away and leaving him without a taste of its goodness.
Satan would thwart us in our attempts to influence with love, for it is truly our most powerful tool. He would have us be contentious and exercise coercion. He would have us neglect our own spiritual nourishment—prayer, fasting, study—for a fury of impatience. He would have us be as the Pharisees, nit-picking over practices and forgetting principles.
It is right, for example, to have family home evenings. But it is not right for a wife to force her husband, through embarrassment, into this practice. There are times when wives of inactive or nonmember husbands must be content to leave part of the law undone and patiently wait for their husbands to lead the way. In such cases, the “weightier matters of the law” (Matt. 23:23) need not be left undone—for these are the gifts of the Spirit, which will help a wife “have no more disposition to do evil [nag, preach, judge], but to do good continually” to her husband. (see Mosiah 5:2).
We have all probably experienced being caught up in the spirit of a meeting and enjoying the feelings of warmth and love. As we drive home, the feeling lingers. The whole world looks different—filled with love, excitement, and promise. The same children whose prattlings may have disturbed us on the way to the meeting now seem to glow with angelic countenance.
Such is the influence of the Spirit, which is love, peace, and joy. We should plead for this influence daily. Only with it are we able to overcome and block Satan’s efforts to destroy our marriages.
One woman came up to me in tears after Relief Society one day and said, “I’m about ready to give up on him. I thought a year would bring some changes, but he’s no more ready to become active than he was last year. I feel like the Lord has failed me. Why should I keep trying if he’ll never change?”
After listening and searching for understanding, I asked, “You say you are still trying. Have you been devoting yourself to your own spiritual nourishment lately, as you were a year ago when you felt such promise for the relationship?”
“No,” she answered, “I haven’t felt like praying, and with moving to another home, I haven’t felt like I’ve had time for studying.”
“Well,” I confided, “I know that when I begin to lose faith in my husband and in our relationship, or when I start to become critical, I find that I have been starving my own spirit. But as I begin to restore a sweet spirit within me, I see my husband with new faith and love.”
A few weeks later, this woman called to tell me that through recommitting herself to a program of spiritual feedings, she once again had hope in her husband and in their marriage. She said, “I was wrong. There has been a change in him. It is so slight that I had overlooked it before.”
Each week when we partake of the bread and water in remembrance of the Savior, we are given the promise that if we keep his commandments, we will have his Spirit to be with us. And with his Spirit, spouses may know how best to truly be a help and a strength to each other.

Mollie H. Sorensen, mother of ten and a 1982 graduate of Brigham Young University, teaches Sunday School in her Napa, California, ward.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Week 42: To Learn and to Teach More Effectively

Hello Friends,

As I pondered what talk to share this week, Elder Scott's 2007 BYU Education Week address "To Learn and to Teach More Effectively" came to mind. My greatest desires are to hear, feel, and heed the promptings of the Holy Ghost and to be an instrument in furthering the Lord's work here on earth. This talk gave precious insights to me for both of these quests. I hope it assists in your learning and growth at this time also. We each have daily opportunities to be teachers, I think some of our greatest come as we fulfill our roles as mothers. Of all the things I hope to instill in my children, the Gift of utilizing the Holy Ghost is the most important to me. I really appreciate Elder Scott's insights about how we can do this. If we consistently and prayerfully use this gift, our passage through this life will be a safe and joyful one. I am so grateful for the great blessing we have to be led by a Prophet and Apostles-they truly are master teachers who show us the way to live happily and return safely Home.

Much love to each of you and a joyful week ahead,

To Learn and To Teach More Effectively - Richard G. Scott

MP3 Link

Richard G. Scott was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when this devotional address was given on 21 August 2007 during Campus Education Week

With you I sense the excitement and anticipation of inspiring events as we begin the 85th annual BYU Campus Education Week. I congratulate you for your decision to participate in this extraordinary activity that you may learn and develop from the experience shared here. There is nothing quite like it in scope and quality in all the world. I share with you a constant, continuing thirst to improve and grow through all of the various means of learning that the Lord has provided for us.
As I travel throughout the world, it is evident that knowledge is power. Some use it to their own personal advantage. Many of these employ knowledge improperly, severely limiting others in the use of their agency. Yet there are those whose learning, experience, and talent are used to lift, encourage, motivate, and bless others around them. I feel confident that you are among that group. Not only will you benefit from your invested time and effort here, but others will likewise be helped by how you apply and share what you learn. You are following the admonition of the Lord: “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.”1
As this activity begins, I express gratitude to President Cecil O. Samuelson, Vice Presidents K. Fred Skousen and Sandra Rogers, and Brother Neil Carlile, director of BYU Campus Education Week, for making this event possible. I likewise thank each of the nearly 200 individuals who have invested themselves in thorough, devoted preparation to bless lives in the almost 1,000 classes and activities which are the focus of this week. I congratulate you for being here. May this be an enriching experience for each of us.
This year’s theme, “The Dawning of a Brighter Day,” is so appropriate. It emphasizes the wonder of the Restoration of the gospel in this dispensation. Any student of history is aware that the Restoration of the Church with its pure doctrine, priesthood authority, and divine guidance initiated an avalanche of discovery, enlightenment, and inventions that continue to powerfully lift mankind. How grateful I am to our Holy Father for the restoration of truth that came through the Prophet Joseph Smith to benefit all mankind. Joseph Smith is a motivating example of an individual who throughout his brief life continually sought knowledge and willingly shared it with others, even though it would cost him his life to do so.
My intent is to share thoughts of how to learn and how to teach effectively.........

For Full Text click Here