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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Let Us Rejoice Together

It has been a pleasure to share our testimonies with you over the past two years. We pray for you and your families to have a wonderful new year and that you will continue to feel the Savior's love through the talks we share.

Shauntell, Noni, Sarah, and Alida

This is the fifth Thursday of the month. Which means it is time to think about all the great talks and quotes you've heard recently and share with the rest of us. How you do that is you either write about it in the comments of this post or you can email it to me at talkoftheweek@gmail.com and I will put it in the comments for you.

Below are some great references in finding articles:
BYU Broadcasting

The opportunity to learn the gospel is just as important as the admonition to teach the gospel. In D&C 50: 22, we read the following: "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." Let us teach and receive of one another so we can ALL be edified and rejoice together in the sweetness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

I can't wait to be edified by you wonderful friends and family.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Week 52: Gifts

Recently I heard a friend complaining, “I feel guilty if I don’t buy presents for everyone and their brother.  I think I am going to start boycotting presents beginning next year!”
I agree that Christmas has become commercialized and that the true reason we celebrate Christmas has been all but forgotten by the mainstream. Our need to give lavish gifts and gifts in excess has created a "gimmee, gimmee" society that is not in sync with the true meaning of “Christmas Spirit.”   However, I think at the core giving gifts to the ones we love is a wonderful tradition when done meaningfully and without excess.  I think we would be remiss not to acknowledge the many God-given gifts that we have been given and that endure all time.  I also think it’s important to remember, as we share our love with others, the reason we do these things is in similitude of the ultimate gift that was given to us by our Heavenly Father.  He sent us his Son.  

This week’s talk was delivered during General Conference in April 1993 by President Thomas S. Monson and is simply entitled “Gifts”.  Unfortunately, the audio has not been archived for this specific General Conference and therefore it is only available in text format.  I could not pass it up.  Please take the time to read it; I know you will benefit from it as much as I have. 

This beautiful talk helps direct our thoughts to the gifts we’ve received from our Heavenly Father and reminds us that, as stated by President Harold B. Lee: “Life is God’s gift to man. What we do with our life is our gift to God.”

I want to wish a Merry Christmas to each of you.  I pray that as you go about this week you will remember Christ in everything you do.  

President David O. McKay would frequently suggest the need for us to turn from the hectic day-to-day schedule filled with letters to answer, calls to be made, people to see, meetings to attend, and take time to meditate, to ponder, and to reflect on the eternal truths and the sources of the joy and happiness which comprise each person’s quest.
When we do, the mundane, the mechanical, the repetitious patterns of our lives yield to the spiritual qualities, and we acquire a much-needed dimension which inspires our daily living. When I follow this counsel, thoughts of family, experiences with friends, and treasured memories of special days and quiet nights course through my mind and bring a sweet repose to my being.
The Christmas season, with its special meaning, inevitably prompts a tear, inspires a renewed commitment to God, and provides, borrowing the words from the lovely song “Calvary,” “rest to the weary and peace to the soul.”
I reflect on the contrasts of Christmas. The extravagant gifts, expensively packaged and professionally wrapped, reach their zenith in the famed commercial catalogs carrying the headline “For the person who has everything.” In one such reading I observed a four-thousand-square-foot home wrapped with a gigantic ribbon and comparable greeting card which said, “Merry Christmas.” Other items included diamond-studded clubs for the golfer, a Caribbean cruise for the traveler, and a luxury trip to the Swiss Alps for the adventurer. Such seemed to fit the theme of a Christmas cartoon which showed the Three Wise Men traveling to Bethlehem with gift boxes on their camels. One says, “Mark my words, Balthazar, we’re starting something with these gifts that’s going to get way out of hand!”
Then there is the remembered Christmas tale of O. Henry about a young husband and wife who lived in abject poverty yet who wanted to give one another a special gift. But they had nothing to give. Then the husband had a ray of inspiration: “I shall provide my dear wife a beautiful ornamental comb to adorn her magnificent long black hair.” The wife also received an idea: “I shall obtain a lovely chain for my husband’s prized watch which he values so highly.”
Christmas day came; the treasured gifts were exchanged. Then the surprise ending, so typical of O. Henry’s short stories: The wife had shorn her long hair and sold it to obtain funds to purchase the watch chain, only to discover that her husband had sold his watch, that he might purchase the comb to adorn her beautiful long hair, which now she did not have. 1  Go HERE for the rest of this article

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Week 51: Bring Him Home

Hi everyone – This was a Priesthood talk so there isn’t an MP3 but I really wanted to share it with you. I really wanted to get this out to you. “I’ll be home for Christmas…” It reminded me that we all long to be HOME – to return with Heavenly Father and with our Savior. Are we doing what we need to have the light of Christ shine through us?

This is oft times a times a min by min process. There have often been struggles in my home recently as I and my husband strive to be righteous empowering parents to our teen-age son and our other two children. I was humbled by the story of Jack and his father and reflected on how I was/am doing in my parenting.As I read Emily’s story I pondered on how I am doing in being the answer to the prayers of God’s children. I asked for forgiveness and offered a plea to help me do better.

I pray that we will strive to LIVE so that we may hear the affirming words and feel the Spirit bear witness – “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Bring Him Home

President Thomas S. Monson
First Counselor in the First Presidency

Thomas S. Monson, “Bring Him Home,” Ensign, Nov 2003, 56

We can, with the Lord’s help, reach out and rescue those for whom we have responsibility.

My dear brethren, it is a humbling experience to stand before you this evening and to realize that beyond the imposing audience in this, the Conference Center, many hundreds of thousands of priesthood bearers are similarly assembled throughout the world.

While contemplating the responsibility to speak to you, I recalled a definition of priesthood authority declared by President Stephen L Richards. Said he: “The Priesthood is usually simply defined as ‘the power of God delegated to man.’ This definition, I think, is accurate. But for practical purposes I like to define the Priesthood in terms of service and I frequently call it ‘the perfect plan of service.’ ” 1

To Read More Go HERE.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Week 50: The Power and Protection of Worthy Music

This is my favorite time of year. I couldn't help but to turn on Christmas music early in November. Before my family could tease me I declared to them that listening to Christmas music makes me happy. The music from this time of year is so ingrained in my mind and heart that it is the only music I can actually remember lyrics too year round! Many a late night feeding, and rocking of my children have been to the humming and singing of "Silent Night".

How blessed we are to have such beautiful music in our lives. Music has always been a powerful tool for healing in my life. I can list a song for almost every special memory that I have. Songs such as, "Be Still My Soul", "There is a Green Hill Far Away", "My Heavenly Father Loves Me", and " I am a Child of God", have at times come to my mind in answer to prayers. Beautiful music from modern LDS artist's like Jenny Phillips, Hillary Weeks, Jenny Jordan Frogley, Jon Schmidt, and Michael McLean have also given me courage and strength during great challenges and trials.

I would like to add my testimony to Elder Nelson's that worthy music does bring power and protection to our lives. May I challenge us all to review the music that we choose to listen too and remove music that does not invite worthy thoughts or the spirit to dwell in our hearts and minds. We can not be so brazen to think that listening to unclean music will not hurt us. Our minds are very tender and can be harmed by very small negative thoughts. Our only protection is to refuse to put anything that is unworthy into our ears. If you have had an experience with choosing worthy music and would like to share it with us please feel free to leave a comment.

May you all have a very blessed and enjoyable Christmas season and enjoy the precious music that testifies of our Savior, Jesus Christ's birth.

All my love,

MP3 Link

It is a joy for my wife, Wendy, and me to be with you, my dear brothers and sisters. From the BYU Marriott Center in Utah, we are broadcasting to many congregations throughout the world. Thanks to each of you for being with us.

We extend a special welcome to those who will soon be finishing high school and are attending a CES fireside broadcast for the first time. As you enroll in institutions of higher learning and continue your education, I hope you will participate in institute classes so that you may have this strong spiritual resource to balance your secular learning. You will also have opportunities to attend future CES firesides such as this. Take advantage of those occasions. They will enlighten and encourage you.

The title of my message tonight is “Power and Protection Provided by Worthy Music.” This topic is especially applicable to young adults. As you know, people of your age have made many significant contributions as writers, composers, and connoisseurs of worthy music.


The power of worthy music was felt tonight as we sang these words in our opening hymn:

Come, ye children of the Lord,
Let us sing with one accord.
Let us raise a joyful strain
To our Lord who soon will reign.1

Through music we raised our voices in powerful praise and prayer.

Such a hymn provides a pattern of worship that is pleasing to God. His prophet taught us to “praise the Lord with singing, with music, . . . and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving” (D&C 136:28). Read the entire talk HERE and a condensed version is found in the December 2009, Ensign, page 13-17.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Week 49: Opening the Heavens

Hello Friends!

As we welcome the Christmas Season, I have pondered how I can keep my
focus on the Savior and make it one where I am filled with the Spirit
and spiritually nurtured each day. I want so much to hear those quiet
promptings to assist others and to feel connected with My Heavenly
Father each day. I was deeply touched by Elder Kikuchi's article
"Opening the Heavens" in the August Ensign. His insights and testimony
are inspiring and encouraging. I also appreciate his tender sharing of
Elder Melvin J. Ballard's sacred dream. How I have come to treasure
those early morning minutes when I can enjoy my own "Sacred Grove" to
drink deeply from the scriptures and the words of Apostle's and
Prophets. I have found the early morning hours to be the time I am least
distracted by the cares of the day. How grateful I am that we have the
sweet privilege and opportunity of praying to our Father in Heaven
without restriction or limitation. I testify that He does rush to
answer every earnest prayer and that our Savior lives and He stands by
to lift and succor us. How grateful I am for the Gift of the Holy Ghost
in our lives to teach, testify, comfort, and sanctify us.

A blessed Christmas Season to each of you!

Much love,

MP3 Link

Do you want to feel the love of God more powerfully in your life? Do you want to feel more in tune with His Spirit? Do you want to have the heavens opened to you daily?

There is a way you can feel a daily renewal of God’s everlasting love and drink from “the fountain of living waters” (1 Nephi 11:25). It follows a pattern set by the Prophet Joseph Smith when he went to a grove of trees early one morning in 1820 seeking answers to his questions. I speak of a morning devotional time spent in prayer, meditation, and scripture study. If you have a devotional every morning, even if only for a few minutes, you will be deeply blessed. I know this to be true.

Continue reading this article HERE

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Week 48: Gratitude: A Path to Happiness **Repost**

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. (December is a great time to continue in Thanksgiving!)

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 12, 2009

Week 46: Be Still and Know God

This week I was late on posting but I believe it was for the best. Yesterday I was feeling very tormented about some things that are not within my control. Some things that have more to do with someone elses' agency than me fixing myself or the situation. Being in the spot of no control is a huge challenge for me.

While I was feeling the terrible weight of my concerns. I took a moment to pray and to listen. What came to my mind was these words, "Be Still and Know That I am God". I then felt prompted to listen to my favorite hymn " Be Still, My Soul", Hymn Number 124. These too messages brought me so much peace as I realized that God is my Heavenly Father and that his Son, my Savior will both lift me and lighten the burdens I am required to carry in his service.

I found this beautiful talk given at BYU and can testify that the things she suggests to do can bring peace to our souls.

May you hall have a blessed week.

All my love,

MP3 Link

Video Link

Be Stil, My Soul -Hymn #124

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week 45: Mother's Who Know

Dear Friends,

As I pondered this week's talk, President Julie Beck's "Mothers Who Know" from the October 2007 General Conference kept coming to mind. As I had the privilege to hear President Beck speak not too long ago, the Spirit bore witness to me that she is indeed the one raised up by the Lord to direct us at this time. I was enlightened and encouraged by her insights, her enthusiasm, and her clarity of vision. I was filled with gratitude that she has been prepared "for such a time as this" to lead and direct us. "Mothers Who Know" gives us powerful and clear insights for our roles as mothers. I am grateful for President Beck's simple and detailed direction for how we can optimize our influences as mothers. I am grateful for the sweet privilege of being a mother in Israel during the winding up scenes. I know that what you and I do daily in our homes is truly on the front lines of the battle we are winning. Our living of the Gospel in our homes is essential for the exaltation of our children and ourselves. Our homes are where our influence is most needed and most profoundly felt. May you feel empowered by the Lord as you do His work in your home.

Much love,

MP3 Link

There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.

Julie B. BeckIn the Book of Mormon we read about 2,000 exemplary young men who were exceedingly valiant, courageous, and strong. "Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him" (Alma 53:21). These faithful young men paid tribute to their mothers. They said, "Our mothers knew it" (Alma 56:48). I would suspect that the mothers of Captain Moroni, Mosiah, Mormon, and other great leaders also knew.

The responsibility mothers have today has never required more vigilance. More than at any time in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being born into a world where they "wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12).1 However, mothers need not fear. When mothers know who they are and who God is and have made covenants with Him, they will have great power and influence for good on their children.

Mothers Who Know Bear Children

Mothers who know desire to bear children. Whereas in many cultures in the world children are "becoming less valued,"2 in the culture of the gospel we still believe in having children. Prophets, seers, and revelators who were sustained at this conference have declared that "God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force."3 President Ezra Taft Benson taught that young couples should not postpone having children and that "in the eternal perspective, children—not possessions, not position, not prestige—are our greatest jewels."4

Faithful daughters of God desire children. In the scriptures we read of Eve (see Moses 4:26), Sarah (see Genesis 17:16), Rebekah (see Genesis 24:60), and Mary (see 1 Nephi 11:13–20), who were foreordained to be mothers before children were born to them. Some women are not given the responsibility of bearing children in mortality, but just as Hannah of the Old Testament prayed fervently for her child (see 1 Samuel 1:11), the value women place on motherhood in this life and the attributes of motherhood they attain here will rise with them in the Resurrection (see D&C 130:18). Women who desire and work toward that blessing in this life are promised they will receive it for all eternity, and eternity is much, much longer than mortality. There is eternal influence and power in motherhood.

Mothers Who Know Honor Sacred Ordinances and Covenants

Mothers who know honor sacred ordinances and covenants. I have visited sacrament meetings in some of the poorest places on the earth where mothers have dressed with great care in their Sunday best despite walking for miles on dusty streets and using worn-out public transportation. They bring daughters in clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection; their sons wear white shirts and ties and have missionary haircuts. These mothers know they are going to sacrament meeting, where covenants are renewed. These mothers have made and honor temple covenants. They know that if they are not pointing their children to the temple, they are not pointing them toward desired eternal goals. These mothers have influence and power.

Mothers Who Know Are Nurturers

Mothers who know are nurturers. This is their special assignment and role under the plan of happiness.5 To nurture means to cultivate, care for, and make grow. Therefore, mothers who know create a climate for spiritual and temporal growth in their homes. Another word for nurturing is homemaking. Homemaking includes cooking, washing clothes and dishes, and keeping an orderly home. Home is where women have the most power and influence; therefore, Latter-day Saint women should be the best homemakers in the world. Working beside children in homemaking tasks creates opportunities to teach and model qualities children should emulate. Nurturing mothers are knowledgeable, but all the education women attain will avail them nothing if they do not have the skill to make a home that creates a climate for spiritual growth. Growth happens best in a "house of order," and women should pattern their homes after the Lord's house (see D&C 109). Nurturing requires organization, patience, love, and work. Helping growth occur through nurturing is truly a powerful and influential role bestowed on women.

Mothers Who Know Are Leaders

Mothers who know are leaders. In equal partnership with their husbands, they lead a great and eternal organization. These mothers plan for the future of their organization. They plan for missions, temple marriages, and education. They plan for prayer, scripture study, and family home evening. Mothers who know build children into future leaders and are the primary examples of what leaders look like. They do not abandon their plan by succumbing to social pressure and worldly models of parenting. These wise mothers who know are selective about their own activities and involvement to conserve their limited strength in order to maximize their influence where it matters most.

Mothers Who Know Are Teachers

Mothers who know are always teachers. Since they are not babysitters, they are never off duty. A well-taught friend told me that he did not learn anything at church that he had not already learned at home. His parents used family scripture study, prayer, family home evening, mealtimes, and other gatherings to teach. Think of the power of our future missionary force if mothers considered their homes as a pre–missionary training center. Then the doctrines of the gospel taught in the MTC would be a review and not a revelation. That is influence; that is power.

Mothers Who Know Do Less

Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world's goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all. Their goal is to prepare a rising generation of children who will take the gospel of Jesus Christ into the entire world. Their goal is to prepare future fathers and mothers who will be builders of the Lord's kingdom for the next 50 years. That is influence; that is power.

Mothers Who Know Stand Strong and Immovable

Who will prepare this righteous generation of sons and daughters? Latter-day Saint women will do this—women who know and love the Lord and bear testimony of Him, women who are strong and immovable and who do not give up during difficult and discouraging times. We are led by an inspired prophet of God who has called upon the women of the Church to "stand strong and immovable for that which is correct and proper under the plan of the Lord."6 He has asked us to "begin in [our] own homes"7 to teach children the ways of truth.

Latter-day Saint women should be the very best in the world at upholding, nurturing, and protecting families. I have every confidence that our women will do this and will come to be known as mothers who "knew" (Alma 56:48). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

1. See Gordon B. Hinckley, "Standing Strong and Immovable," Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 21.
2. James E. Faust, "Challenges Facing the Family," Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 2.
3. "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102.
4. To the Mothers in Zion (pamphlet, 1987), 3.
5. See "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."
6. Gordon B. Hinckley, Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 20.
7. Gordon B. Hinckley, Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 20.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week 44: Let Us Rejoice Together

This is the fifth Thursday of the month. Which means it is time to think about all the great talks and quotes you've heard recently and share with the rest of us. How you do that is you either write about it in the comments of this post or you can email it to me at talkoftheweek@gmail.com and I will put it in the comments for you.

Below are some great references in finding articles:
BYU Broadcasting

The opportunity to learn the gospel is just as important as the admonition to teach the gospel. In D&C 50: 22, we read the following: "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." Let us teach and receive of one another so we can ALL be edified and rejoice together in the sweetness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

I can't wait to be edified by you wonderful friends and family.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week 43: Come What May and Love It

I love the advice Elder Joseph B. Worthlin's mother gave to him when dealing with adversity, "Come what may, and love it!" If you've read or received the Talk of the Week for some time you may have realized that I am constantly seeking to improve my home life, my family, and myself. It's a common thread that flows through each of my monthly postings. Often when faced with adversity, or when I am discouraged I tend to be disheartened, saddened, and I fail to remember that we are here to be tried and tested. We ARE here to grow and learn. Elder Worthlin says, "If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth." We need to remember to make the best of any situation thrown at us, come what may.....and LOVE IT.

MP3 Link of entire talk

To read the full message as given click here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Week 42: Your Mission Will Change Everything

Hi Friends –

I am sharing this talk with you because I have really been pondering on CHANGE and on my MISSION(s) in life. This talk confirmed to me that my MISSION whether it is a “called” mission or one that is given to me via a Spiritual confirmation, will cause CHANGE to take place – in me and in those that are in my sphere to serve. This talk also reminded me to feel joy in serving. I was again reminded by this talk to continue to raise the bar for myself and for my children so that we can serve more fully and more successfully. I love what President Hinckley said about being happy. "You want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause, and bend your efforts to helping people." There are lots of gems in this talk! I hope you enjoy it!

It has been a year since I was sustained in general conference. I am grateful for this year and for all that I have experienced. I love the Lord and am so very grateful for His sacrifice and for His gospel. I love President Hinckley and sustain him as the Lord's prophet on the earth. Together with faithful Saints everywhere, I testify of prophets and apostles in our time and pledge my life to His cause.
A few years ago, I was interviewing missionaries. A winter storm was blowing in as missionaries came and went throughout the day. The storm changed from icy rain to snow and back again. Some missionaries arrived by train from nearby cities and walked to the church through the storm. Others rode their bicycles. Almost without exception they were cheerful and happy. They were the Lord's missionaries. They had His Spirit and felt joy in His service regardless of their circumstances.
As each companionship concluded their interviews, I will never forget watching them go back out into the storm to preach the gospel and do what the Lord had called them to do. I could see their commitment and dedication. I could feel the love they had for the people and for the Lord. As I watched them leave, I felt an overwhelming love for them and for what they were doing.
Later that night, I attended a priesthood meeting in the same city. The storm had continued and was now mostly snow. During the opening song, the branch president of the smallest and farthest branch and his two missionary counselors, Elder Warner and Elder Karpowitz, came into the chapel. As they got ready to sit down, these two wonderful missionaries took off their winter hats and gloves. They took off their outer coats. Then they each took off a second winter coat and sat down. Like the missionaries earlier in the day, despite the weather these missionaries were happy. They felt the Spirit of the Lord in their lives. Through service in the Lord's cause, they felt a certain love and warmth and joy that are difficult to describe.
As I watched these great young missionaries that evening, I had a remarkable experience. In my mind's eye, I saw missionaries throughout the mission going out into that winter night. Some were knocking doors and facing rejection as they sought to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. Some were in homes or apartments teaching individuals and families. In spite of the conditions they faced, they were doing what they could to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to those who would listen, and they were happy. Into my heart came a feeling that I cannot fully explain.
By a wonderful gift of the Spirit, I felt His love, the pure love of Christ that He has for faithful missionaries everywhere, and it changed me forever. I understood how precious each missionary is to Him. I caught a glimpse of what prophets would describe as the "greatest generation of missionaries" the world has ever known (see M. Russell Ballard, "The Greatest Generation of Missionaries," Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 47). I began to understand why it was necessary to raise the bar so that missionaries everywhere would be entitled to the protection, direction, and happiness that accompany the Spirit of the Lord. I also began to understand why—as parents, bishops, stake presidents, and other leaders—we must do everything we can to help the young people of the Church become worthy of the blessings of missionary service.
President Hinckley described what happens to the heart of every missionary who commits his or her life and work to the Lord when he talked about his own missionary experiences. It was early in his mission, and he was discouraged. The work was hard, and the people were not receptive. However, there came a time when discouragement turned to commitment. For him, the beginning was a letter from his father in which he read: "Dear Gordon, I have your letter. . . . I have only one suggestion: Forget yourself and go to work." In describing what happened next, he said: "I got on my knees in that little bedroom . . . and made a pledge that I would try to give myself unto the Lord.
"The whole world changed. The fog lifted. The sun began to shine in my life. I had a new interest. I saw the beauty of this land. I saw the greatness of the people. . . . Everything that has happened to me since that's been good I can trace to that decision made in that little house" (in Mike Cannon, "Missionary Theme Was Pervasive during Visit of President Hinckley," Church News, Sept. 9, 1995, 4).
President Hinckley continued by saying: "You want to be happy? Forget yourself and get lost in this great cause, and bend your efforts to helping people" (in Church News, Sept. 9, 1995, 4).
To every young man I would say, do you want to be happy? If so, come and join with us, 52,000 strong and counting, and serve your fellow man as a missionary for the Lord. Make the commitment to give two years of your life to the Lord. It will change everything. You will be happy. The fog will lift. You will come to love the culture and the people you are called to serve. The work will be difficult, but there will also be great satisfaction and joy as you serve. If you are faithful during your mission and thereafter, you will look back on your life and say with President Hinckley, "Everything that has happened to me since that's been good I can trace to that decision to serve a mission and give my life to the Lord."
President Hinckley has reminded us that it is not only young elders who are entitled to these blessings. Couples serve wonderfully and are needed so very much. While young sisters are not obligated to serve, the President has said: "We need some young women. They perform a remarkable work" ("To the Bishops of the Church," Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, June 19, 2004, 27). We also know that there are some who, for health or other reasons, are honorably excused from service. We love them and know that our Heavenly Father will provide compensating blessings in their lives as they serve in other ways and live faithfully.
A year ago, Elder Ballard asked that parents, bishops, and branch presidents work together and help at least one more young man, in addition to those who would normally be prepared to serve, become worthy and be called from each ward and branch of the Church (see "One More," Liahona and Ensign, May 2005, 71). Many have responded. As leaders, we should all recommit ourselves to following this inspired request.
Brothers and sisters, many good bishops have been doing for a long time what Elder Ballard asked. Thirty-six years ago, Bishop Matheson called my home and invited me to his office. Because of world circumstances, the number of missionaries any ward could send was limited, but an additional space had become available, and he had the responsibility to recommend one more missionary. He told me he and his counselors had been praying. He told me that he was impressed that now was the time that the Lord wanted me to serve my mission. I was stunned. Never before had anyone said to me that the Lord had something He wanted me to do. I felt the Spirit of the Lord testify to me that I should go and that I should go now. I said to the bishop, "If the Lord wants me to serve, then I will go."
For me, everything changed. The fog really did lift, and happiness and joy came into my life. In one way or another, every good thing that has happened to me since that day has come because of the commitment made to serve the Lord and His children and give two years of my life in His service.
I say again: Come and join with us. Come and be clean. Come and be happy. Come and experience the very thing that the Lord has said is of "most worth" (D&C 15:6) to you at this time in your life. Come and be part of the greatest generation of missionaries the world has ever known.
This is the work of the Lord. Our Father in Heaven lives, and His Son, Jesus Christ, leads and directs this work today. Of this I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Week 41: May You Have Courage

I have found myself using this talk several times over the last few months. I found President Monson's counsel to the Young Women of the church to be also somethign that I, as I am now considered an old woman of the church according to my children, could use. I hope you will take into your lives his counsel to have courage to not judge, be virtuous and to stand for truth and rightessnous. I know if we can all work on this together we will be a happier and more blessed people.


MP3 Link

My dear young sisters, what a glorious sight you are. I realize that beyond this magnificent Conference Center many thousands are assembled in chapels and in other settings throughout much of the world. I pray for heavenly help as I respond to the opportunity to address you.
We have heard timely, inspiring messages from your general Young Women leaders. These are choice women, called and set apart to guide and teach you. They love you, as do I.
You have come to this earth at a glorious time. The opportunities before you are nearly limitless. Almost all of you live in comfortable homes, with loving families, adequate food, and sufficient clothing. In addition, most of you have access to amazing technological advances. You communicate through cell phones, text messaging, instant messaging, e-mailing, blogging, Facebook, and other such means. You listen to music on your iPods and MP3 players. This list, of course, represents but a few of the technologies which are available to you.
All of this is a little daunting to someone such as I, who grew up when radios were generally large floor models and when there were no televisions to speak of, let alone computers or cell phones. In fact, when I was your age, telephone lines were mostly shared. In our family, if we wanted to make a telephone call, we would have to pick up the phone and listen first to make certain no other family was using the line, for several families shared one line.
I could go on all night talking about the differences between my generation and yours. Suffice it to say that much has changed between the time I was your age and the present.
Although this is a remarkable period when opportunities abound, you also face challenges which are unique to this time. For instance, the very technological tools I have mentioned provide opportunities for the adversary to tempt you and to ensnare you in his web of deceit, thereby hoping to take possession of your destiny.
As I contemplate all that you face in the world today, one word comes to my mind. It describes an attribute needed by all of us but one which you—at this time of your life and in this world—will need particularly. That attribute is courage.
Tonight I’d like to talk with you about the courage you will need in three aspects of your lives:
First, the courage to refrain from judging others;
Second, the courage to be chaste and virtuous; and
Third, the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness.
May I speak first about the courage to refrain from judging others. Oh, you may ask, “Does this really take courage?” And I would reply that I believe there are many times when refraining from judgment—or gossip or criticism, which are certainly akin to judgment—takes an act of courage.
Unfortunately, there are those who feel it necessary to criticize and to belittle others. You have, no doubt, been with such people, as you will be in the future. My dear young friends, we are not left to wonder what our behavior should be in such situations. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior declared, “Judge not.”1 At a later time He admonished, “Cease to find fault one with another.”2 It will take real courage when you are surrounded by your peers and feeling the pressure to participate in such criticisms and judgments to refrain from joining in.
I would venture to say that there are young women around you who, because of your unkind comments and criticism, are often left out. It seems to be the pattern, particularly at this time in your lives, to avoid or to be unkind to those who might be judged different, those who don’t fit the mold of what we or others think they should be.
The Savior said:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another. . . .
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”3
Mother Teresa, a Catholic nun who worked among the poor in India most of her life, spoke this truth: “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”
A friend told me of an experience she had many years ago when she was a teenager. In her ward was a young woman named Sandra who had suffered an injury at birth, resulting in her being somewhat mentally handicapped. Sandra longed to be included with the other girls, but she looked handicapped. She acted handicapped. Her clothing was always ill fitting. She sometimes made inappropriate comments. Although Sandra attended their Mutual activities, it was always the responsibility of the teacher to keep her company and to try to make her feel welcome and valued, since the girls did not.
Then something happened: a new girl of the same age moved into the ward. Nancy was a cute, redheaded, self-confident, popular girl who fit in easily. All the girls wanted to be her friend, but Nancy didn’t limit her friendships. In fact, she went out of her way to befriend Sandra and to make certain she always felt included in everything. Nancy seemed to genuinely like Sandra.
Of course the other girls took note and began wondering why they hadn’t ever befriended Sandra. It now seemed not only acceptable but desirable. Eventually they began to realize what Nancy, by her example, was teaching them: that Sandra was a valuable daughter of our Heavenly Father, that she had a contribution to make, and that she deserved to be treated with love and kindness and positive attention.
By the time Nancy and her family moved from the neighborhood a year or so later, Sandra was a permanent part of the group of young women. My friend said that from then on she and the other girls made certain no one was ever left out, regardless of what might make her different. A valuable, eternal lesson had been learned.
True love can alter human lives and change human nature.
My precious young sisters, I plead with you to have the courage to refrain from judging and criticizing those around you, as well as the courage to make certain everyone is included and feels loved and valued.
I turn next to the courage you will need to be chaste and virtuous. You live in a world where moral values have, in great measure, been tossed aside, where sin is flagrantly on display, and where temptations to stray from the strait and narrow path surround you. Many are the voices telling you that you are far too provincial or that there is something wrong with you if you still believe there is such a thing as immoral behavior.
Isaiah declared, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness.”4
Great courage will be required as you remain chaste and virtuous amid the accepted thinking of the times.
In the world’s view today there is little thought that young men and young women will remain morally clean and pure before marriage. Does this make immoral behavior acceptable? Absolutely not!
The commandments of our Heavenly Father are not negotiable!
Powerful is this quote from news commentator Ted Koppel, host of ABC’s Nightline program for many years. Said he:
“We have actually convinced ourselves that slogans will save us. ‘Shoot up if you must; but use a clean needle.’ ‘Enjoy sex whenever with whomever you wish; but [protect yourself].’
“No. The answer is no. Not no because it isn’t cool or smart or because you might end up in jail or dying in an AIDS ward—but no, because it’s wrong. . . .
“What Moses brought down from Mt. Sinai were not the Ten Suggestions, they are Commandments. Are, not were.”5
My sweet young sisters, maintain an eternal perspective. Be alert to anything that would rob you of the blessings of eternity.
Help in maintaining the proper perspective in these permissive times can come to you from many sources. One valuable resource is your patriarchal blessing. Read it frequently. Study it carefully. Be guided by its cautions. Live to merit its promises. If you have not yet received your patriarchal blessing, plan for the time when you will receive it, and then cherish it.
If any has stumbled in her journey, there is a way back. The process is called repentance. Our Savior died to provide you and me that blessed gift. The path may be difficult, but the promise is real: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.”6 “And I will remember [them] no more.”7
Some years ago another First Presidency made this statement, and your First Presidency today echoes the appeal. I quote: “To the youth . . . , we plead with you to live clean [lives], for the unclean life leads only to suffering, misery, and woe physically,—and spiritually it is the path to destruction. How glorious and near to the angels is youth that is clean; this youth has joy unspeakable here and eternal happiness hereafter. Sexual purity is youth’s most precious possession; it is the foundation of all righteousness.”8
May you have the courage to be chaste and virtuous.
My final plea tonight is that you have the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness. Because the trend in society today is away from the values and principles the Lord has given us, you will almost certainly be called upon to defend that which you believe. Unless the roots of your testimony are firmly planted, it will be difficult for you to withstand the ridicule of those who challenge your faith. When firmly planted, your testimony of the gospel, of the Savior, and of our Heavenly Father will influence all that you do throughout your life. The adversary would like nothing better than for you to allow derisive comments and criticism of the Church to cause you to question and doubt. Your testimony, when constantly nourished, will keep you safe.
Recall with me Lehi’s vision of the tree of life. He saw that many who had held to the iron rod and had made their way through the mists of darkness, arriving at last at the tree of life and partaking of the fruit of the tree, did then “cast their eyes about as if they were ashamed.”9 Lehi wondered as to the cause of their embarrassment. As he looked about, he “beheld, on the other side of the river of water, a great and spacious building. . . .
“And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who . . . were partaking of the fruit.”10
The great and spacious building in Lehi’s vision represents those in the world who mock God’s word and who ridicule those who embrace it and who love the Savior and live the commandments. What happens to those who are ashamed when the mocking occurs? Lehi tells us, “And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.”11
My beloved young sisters, with the courage of your convictions, may you declare with the Apostle Paul, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.”12
Lest you feel inadequate for the tasks which lie ahead, I remind you of another of the Apostle Paul’s stirring statements from which we might draw courage: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”13
In closing may I share with you the account of a brave young woman whose experience has stood through the ages as an example of the courage to stand for truth and righteousness.
Most of you are familiar with the Old Testament account of Esther. It is a very interesting and inspiring record of a beautiful young Jewish girl whose parents had died, leaving her to be raised by an older cousin, Mordecai, and his wife.
Mordecai worked for the king of Persia, and when the king was looking for a queen, Mordecai took Esther to the palace and presented her as a candidate, advising her not to reveal that she was Jewish. The king was pleased with Esther above all the others and made Esther his queen.
Haman, the chief prince in the king’s court, became increasingly angry with Mordecai because Mordecai would not bow down and pay homage to him. In retribution, Haman convinced the king—in a rather devious manner—that there were “certain people” in all 127 provinces of the kingdom whose laws were different from others’ and that they would not obey the king’s laws and should be destroyed.14 Without naming these people to the king, Haman was, of course, referring to the Jews, including Mordecai.
With the king’s permission to handle the matter, Haman sent letters to the governors of all of the provinces, instructing them “to destroy, to kill, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, . . . [on] the thirteenth day of the twelfth month.”15
Through a servant, Mordecai sent word to Esther concerning the decree against the Jews, requesting that she go in to the king to plead for her people. Esther was at first reluctant, reminding Mordecai that it was against the law for anyone to go unbidden into the inner court of the king. Punishment by death would be the result—unless the king were to hold out his golden scepter, allowing the person to live.
Mordecai’s response to Esther’s hesitation was to the point. He replied to her thus:
“Think not . . . that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.
“For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, . . . thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed.”16
And then he added this searching question: “Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”17
In response, Esther asked Mordecai to gather all the Jews he could and to ask them to fast three days for her and said that she and her handmaids would do the same. She declared, “I [will] go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”18 Esther had gathered her courage and would stand firm and immovable for that which was right.
Physically, emotionally, and spiritually prepared, Esther stood in the inner court of the king’s house. When the king saw her, he held out his golden scepter, telling her that he would grant whatever request she had. She invited the king to a feast she had arranged, and during the feast she revealed that she was a Jew. She also exposed Haman’s underhanded plot to exterminate all of the Jews in the kingdom. Esther’s plea to save herself and her people was granted.19
Esther, through fasting, faith, and courage, had saved a nation.
You will probably not be called upon to put your life on the line, as did Esther, for that which you believe. You will, however, most likely find yourself in situations where great courage will be required as you stand firm for truth and righteousness.
Again, my dear young sisters, although there have always been challenges in the world, many of those which you face are unique to this time. But you are some of our Heavenly Father’s strongest children, and He has saved you to come to the earth “for such a time as this.”20 With His help, you will have the courage to face whatever comes. Though the world may at times appear dark, you have the light of the gospel, which will be as a beacon to guide your way.
My earnest prayer is that you will have the courage required to refrain from judging others, the courage to be chaste and virtuous, and the courage to stand firm for truth and righteousness. As you do so, you will be “an example of the believers,”21 and your life will be filled with love and peace and joy. May this be so, my beloved young sisters, I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, amen.
NOTES1. Matthew 7:1.2. D&C 88:124.3. John 13:34–35.4. Isaiah 5:20.5. Ted Koppel, Duke University commencement address, 1987.6. Isaiah 1:18.7. Jeremiah 31:34.8. First Presidency, in Conference Report, Apr. 1942, 89.9. 1 Nephi 8:25.10. 1 Nephi 8:26–27.11. 1 Nephi 8:28.12. Romans 1:16.13. 2 Timothy 1:7.14. Esther 3:8.15. Esther 3:13.16. Esther 4:13–14.17. Esther 4:14.18. Esther 4:16.19. See Esther 5–8.20. Esther 4:14.21. 1 Timothy 4:12.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Week 40: My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord

Dear Sisters,
This week's talk is "My Soul Delighteth in the Things of the Lord" from the April 2008 General Conference by Susan W. Tanner. When I first heard Sister Tanner's talk, I was thrilled by her use of the word delight and puzzled over why I didn't use it more frequently in my vocabulary. If our purpose here on earth is to experience joy, surely the word delight would describe many of our experiences and associations here. I have also pondered over its inclusion of the word light. Imagine what it would do for our relationships with our children and others if we communicated our delight for them in both word and deed. What would it do for their self-esteem and their realization of who they really are if we honestly and enthusiastically say "I delight in you!"

As I look forward to Conference Weekend, I find delight a perfect description of the counsel and encouragement we will receive. I delight in having and hearing a prophet who speaks to us specific words of counsel straight from the Source. I delight in Apostles who lead and teach with example and fortitude. I delight in a weekend when we can sequester our families from the world to be renewed, inspired, and propelled to be more. I delight in the Savior who knows and loves each of us, better than we know and love ourselves. I delight in His restored Gospel that teaches of Him and shows us the way home.

A delightful Conference weekend to you!

Much love,


MP3 Link

In the Book of Mormon, Nephi speaks often of delight. He delights “in the things of the Lord,” “in the scriptures,” and “in the great and eternal plan” of our Father in Heaven (see 2 Nephi 4:15–16; 11:2–8). Notably, Nephi often remembers his sources of delight in the midst of affliction, serving to lift and focus his spirit on eternal blessings.
We too should delight in the things of the Lord for it will “lift” our hearts and give us cause to “rejoice” (2 Nephi 11:8). Let me mention a few of the things I delight in.
I delight in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Like Nephi, “I glory in my Jesus” (2 Nephi 33:6), in His ministering and saving roles upon the earth. He provides light and hope and has given us the Holy Ghost for further guidance and comfort along the pathway we should go. It is only through Him that we can return to our Father. “Salvation can come unto the children of men, only in and through the name of Christ” (Mosiah 3:17).
I delight in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets with whom I have had the blessed opportunity to serve. I testify that President Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s prophet on the earth today. I delight that he is truly a Christlike minister to the one, reaching out in warmth and love to each individual.
I delight in priesthood keys and temples that dot the earth, making available to each of us eternal ordinances and covenants. Some of my most celestial days recently have been my own children’s temple marriages, with my father performing that holy ordinance.
I delight in the strength of youth as I see them throng the temples to do baptisms for the dead. I love their worthy adherence to the standards leading to the temple and their preparation to be faithful missionaries and righteous mothers and fathers.
I delight that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father, who loves me. I learned of my divine identity in my earliest years at my mother’s side. Just recently I saw my then three-year-old granddaughter learning her identity from her mother. Eliza had gone to bed distraught. She could be comforted only as her mother again told Eliza’s favorite true story about the special night when Heavenly Father distinctly and clearly whispered to her mommy’s heart that Eliza was a special spirit with a noble mission ahead.
I take great delight in my role as a nurturer, which allows me to express my deepest identity as a woman. I never fail to be struck by the way that women, young women, and even little girls seem to have an instinctive interest and ability in nurturing. It is not only a mother’s primary responsibility but also part of our “individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). To nurture is to teach, to foster development, to promote growth, to feed, and to nourish. Who would not shout for joy at being given such a blessed role?
The scriptures use the word nurture only twice and in both cases speak of the responsibility of parents to raise their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4; Enos 1:1).
President Hinckley also admonished both men and women to be nurturers. He said, “How much more beautiful would be the . . . society in which we live if every father . . . and . . . mother regarded [their] children . . . as gifts from the God of heaven . . . and brought them up with true affection in the wisdom and admonition of the Lord” (“These, Our Little Ones,” Liahona, Dec. 2007, 7; Ensign, Dec. 2007, 9).
I delight in families. Recently I delighted in the birth of a new grandchild into a family that understands that parents have the solemn responsibility to rear their children in love and righteousness. The older siblings had a natural curiosity about their little sister’s entrance into this world. Their first lessons about this holy subject were taught by loving parents in a sacred family setting, in the celestial climate that accompanies a new soul’s birth into mortality, and in the context of our Father’s great eternal plan. By contrast, the next day upon returning home from kindergarten, our granddaughter reported that she had learned that day in class “a big new term called sexual abuse.” I felt concerned that at this early age children already have to be aware, for safety reasons, of the negative facets of the subject they had so beautifully talked of the night before. I delighted as never before in a nurturing family founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Jacob taught that the Lord delights “in the chastity of women” (Jacob 2:28). I delight in the chastity and purity of all women and men. How it must grieve the Lord to see virtue violated and modesty mocked on every side in this wicked world. The Lord has provided for His children great joy through intimate, loving relationships, as my grandchildren were learning. I delight in the clarity of the proclamation to the world on the family, which warns that “individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.”
I delight in the examples of those in the scriptures who walk by faith on their earthly journey. Each time I walk with Abraham and Isaac on the road to Mount Moriah, I weep, knowing that Abraham does not know that there will be an angel and a ram in the thicket at the end of the journey. We are each in the middle of our earthly path, and we don’t know the rest of our own stories. But we, as Abraham, are blessed with miracles.
I delight in the Lord’s mercies and miracles (see “Bless Our Fast, We Pray,” Hymns, no. 138). I know that His tender mercies and His miracles, large and small, are real. They come in His way and on His timetable. Sometimes it is not until we have reached our extremity. Jesus’s disciples on the Sea of Galilee had to toil in rowing against a contrary wind all through the night before Jesus finally came to their aid. He did not come until the “fourth watch,” meaning near dawn. Yet He did come. (See Mark 6:45–51.) My testimony is that miracles do come, though sometimes not until the fourth watch.
Right now I am exerting my faith and prayers and watching for miracles in behalf of loved ones who are physically sick, emotionally bereft, and spiritually astray. I delight in the Lord’s love for each of His children and in His wisdom to allow us individually tailored earthly experiences.
Finally, I delight in, more than I can express, the eternal love and constant help of my husband and the prayers and support of my children and parents during these years of my service as Young Women general president.
“My soul delighteth in the things of the Lord” (2 Nephi 4:16)—His law, His life, His love. To delight in Him is to acknowledge His hand in our lives. Our gospel duty is to do what is right and to love and delight in what is right. When we delight to serve Him, our Father in Heaven delights to bless us. “I, the Lord, . . . delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end” (D&C 76:5). I want to be worthy always of His delight. “I love the Lord, in Him my soul delights” (“I Love the Lord,” Jackman Music Corporation). In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.