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, January 30, 2009

Week 5: 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, January 22, 2009

Week 4: Enduring Together

I've learned over the years how much we need each other. I loved this talk when I heard it over a year ago. I've experienced first hand the sacred blessing it is to be surrounded and supported by good neighbors, friends, family, ward, and community associates during the crisis of life. Tragedies and loss come but we can give unbelievable strength to those who are suffering. As we Endure Together we not only strengthen those in need but we strengthen ourselves, our homes, and our communities.

At this time I would like to request your prayers in behalf of Alida, one of our sweet contributor's. Her mother passed away and I am sure our prayers will be appreciated at this time. May we also offer up prayers of gratitude to a loving God the Father and Savior, Jesus Christ, who do not want us to be alone. They make every effort to surround each of us with the support we need.

My love goes to you Alida!


Enduring Together Richard Edgley.mp3 - Bishop Richard C. Edgley

Enduring Together
Bishop Richard C. Edgley
First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

The ward is organized to minister to the needs of those who face even the most difficult and heartbreaking trials.

A couple of years ago a humor columnist for a local newspaper wrote on a serious and thought-provoking subject. I quote from this article: “Being a go-to-church Mormon in Utah means living so close to fellow ward members that not much happens that the entire congregation doesn’t know about in five minutes tops.”

He continues: “This kind of cheek-to-jowl living can be intrusive. . . . It also happens to be one of our greatest strengths.”

The author goes on to say: “At work on Tuesday, I caught the noon news broadcast on television. A van had been obliterated in a traffic crash. A young mother and two small children were being rushed to emergency rooms by helicopter and ambulance. . . . Hours later I learned that the van belonged to the young couple living across the street from me in Herriman, Eric and Jeana Quigley.

“Not only do I see the Quigleys in church, . . . we ate dinner with them at a neighborhood party the night before the crash. Our grandkids played with daughters Bianca and Miranda. . . .

“Fourteen-month-old Miranda suffered serious head injuries and died three days later at Primary Children’s Hospital.

“Here’s where all that nosiness . . . pays off. Although the accident occurred several miles from home, the dust literally had not settled before someone from the ward stopped and was pulling through the wreckage. The rest of the ward knew about it before the cops and paramedics showed up.

“Ward members went to all three hospitals, contacted Eric at work, and organized into labor squads. People who didn’t get in on the immediate-need level were frantic for some way to help.

“In 48 hours, the Quigley yard was mowed, home cleaned, laundry done, refrigerator stocked, relatives fed and a trust fund set up at a local bank. We would have given their dog a bath if they had one.”

The author concludes with this insightful comment: “There is a positive side to the congregational microscope my ward lives under. . . . What happens to a few happens to all” (“Well-Being of Others Is Our Business,” Salt Lake Tribune, July 30, 2005, p. C1).

The compassion and service rendered by caring ward members as a result of this tragic accident are not unique to this particular incident. The Book of Mormon prophet Alma explained to prospective followers of Christ: “As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort,” then, as Alma explained, they were prepared for baptism (see Mosiah 18:8–9). This scripture lays the foundation for ministering and caring in a most compassionate way.

The ward is organized to minister to the needs of those who face even the most difficult and heartbreaking trials. The bishop, often considered the “father” of the ward, is there to provide counsel and resources. But also close at hand are Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthood leaders, the Relief Society presidency, home teachers, visiting teachers, and the ward members—always the ward members. All are there to administer comfort and show compassion in times of need.

In my own immediate neighborhood we have had our share of heart-wrenching tragedies. In October 1998, 19-year-old Zac Newton, who lived only three houses east of us, was killed in a tragic automobile accident.

Less than two years later, in July, 19-year-old Andrea Richards, who lived directly across from the Newtons, was killed in an automobile accident.

One Saturday afternoon in July 2006, Travis Bastian, a 28-year-old returned missionary, and his 15-year-old sister, Desiree, who lived across the street and two houses north of us, were killed in a terrible automobile accident.

One month later, in August 2006, 32-year-old Eric Gold, who grew up in the house next door to us, suffered a premature death. And others in this neighborhood have also suffered heart-wrenching experiences privately endured and known only to themselves and God.

With the loss of five young people, one might assume that this is an unusual number of trials for one small neighborhood. I choose to think the number only seems large because of a close, caring ward, whose members know when there is a pressing need. It is a ward with members who are following the admonition of Alma and the Savior—members who care and love and bear one another’s burdens, members who are willing to mourn with those that mourn, members who are willing to comfort those in need of comfort, members who endure together.

In each of these instances we saw an outpouring of love, service, and compassion that was inspirational to all. Bishops arrived, home and visiting teachers went into action, and Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthood quorums and Relief Societies organized to take care of both spiritual and temporal needs. Refrigerators were stocked, houses cleaned, lawns mowed, shrubs trimmed, fences painted, blessings given, and soft shoulders were available for crying on. Members were everywhere.

In every one of these instances, the families who lost a loved one expressed increased faith, increased love for the Savior, increased gratitude for the Atonement, and heartfelt thankfulness for an organization that responds to the deepest emotional and spiritual needs of its members. These families now speak about how they got to know the Lord through their adversity. They relate many sweet experiences that grew out of their pain. They testify that blessings can emerge from heartbreak. They give praise to the Lord and would echo the words of Job, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).

From bearing one another’s burdens as ward members, we have learned several lessons:

The Lord’s organization is fully adequate to know and care for those with even the most dire emotional and spiritual needs.
Adversity can bring us closer to God, with a renewed and enlightened appreciation for prayer and the Atonement, which covers pain and suffering in all their manifestations.
Members who suffer tragedy firsthand often experience an increased capacity for love, compassion, and understanding. They become the first, last, and often the most effective responders in giving comfort and showing compassion to others.
A ward, as well as a family, draws closer together as it endures together—what happens to one happens to all.
And perhaps most important, we can each be more compassionate and caring because we have each had our own personal trials and experiences to draw from. We can endure together.
I rejoice in belonging to such a loving and caring organization. No one knows better how to bear one another’s burdens, mourn with those who mourn, and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. I choose to call it “enduring together.” What happens to one happens to all. We endure together.

May we be an instrument in lightening the burden of others, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Week 3: Shine On

Dear Friends,

As I pondered my “word” to focus on this year the word that came to me was SHINE (and it nicely rhymes with 2009 – Shine in ’09 ). Since the beginning of January I have been studying this word. I couldn’t decide which talk to share with you since they are both great and oddly enough they both came from the same conference. I know these 2 talks speak mostly of Young Women but try to apply them to your own life as well. I also included the MP3 of the Primary song – Shine On. It has such a sweet message and was quoted in Sister Tanner’s talk. I pray that as Sister Dalton says – the Light of Christ will shine in our faces and that our examples will have a powerful for good on the in our OWN homes and in all the earth!

May God bless you abundantly this week to have a Spirit of Peace about you and to let the YOUR LIGHT SHINE!

Mp3 Links:
Each of our [Christlike] deeds may share only a pinpoint of light, but added together they begin to make a significant difference.

I remember a simple sampler that I cross-stitched as a young Primary girl. It said, “I will bring the light of the gospel into my home.” I wondered, “What is that light?” Jesus Christ Himself explained it best when He was teaching the Nephites. He said, “Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world.” Then He explained, “I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do” (3 Ne. 18:24; emphasis added).

What had the Nephites seen Him do, and could I possibly do those things in my home? When the people desired for Him to tarry with them a little longer, He had compassion upon them and lingered with them. Then He healed them, prayed with them, taught them, wept with them, blessed their little children one by one, fed them, and administered and shared the sacrament that they might covenant to always remember Him. His ministry among them was about teaching and caring for each individual, and about completing the work His Father had commanded Him to do. There was no thought for Himself. As I learned this, there began for me a lifelong quest to bring His light into my home through selfless, Christlike acts.

This is not an easy task. Good home life often goes unrecognized. It might be easier to “arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations” (D&C 115:5; emphasis added) rather than that your light may be a standard for your own families. Sometimes others don’t see us doing good, sharing our light in our individual homes. It is basic human nature to desire and seek praise and attention. Helaman taught his sons Nephi and Lehi to do the good works of their forefathers for whom they were named, “that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven” (Hel. 5:8). Good works should not be done for the purpose of receiving recognition.

Charles Dickens has a character in the book Bleak House, a Mrs. Jellyby, whose flaw he labels as “telescopic philanthropy.” She is so consumed with helping a suffering tribe in a distant land that she dismisses her own bruised and dirty child who comes to her in need of comfort. Mrs. Jellyby wants to make sure her good works are grandiose and visible to all. (See Charles Dickens, Bleak House [1985], 82–87.) Maybe some of us would rather help with hurricane relief than home relief. Now both are important, but home relief is our primary and eternal responsibility. “Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World,” Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).

Another literary figure comes to my mind who is quite the opposite of Dickens’s character. Dorothea is the heroine in one of my favorite novels, Middlemarch. She is remembered at the end of the book for her quiet, selfless deeds to family and friends. It says: “Her full nature … spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs” (George Eliot, Middlemarch [1986], 682).

In these preparatory years, you young women spend much of your time in schools or jobs where you receive accolades, honors, awards, ribbons, or trophies. When you move from that stage to young motherhood, there is a dramatic drop-off in outside commendation. Yet in no other capacity is there more opportunity to serve selflessly as Christ would do by taking care of hundreds of daily physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. You will bring the light of the gospel into your homes—not to be seen of others, but to build others—men and women of strength and light.

Homes are also private places, so unfortunately, we often let down. In our homes and with our families we sometimes become our worst selves with the people who matter the most in our lives. I distinctly remember one morning when I was 14 years old. Before I left for school, I was cross and unkind with my parents and my brothers. After I left the house, I was polite with the bus driver and friendly to my peers. I felt the discrepancy of my actions, and a huge feeling of remorse came over me. I asked the teacher if I could be excused for a few minutes to call home. I apologized to my mother for my behavior and told her how much I loved and appreciated her and promised to do better at showing it.

It is difficult for most of us to live even one day in our homes with no contention. The Nephite nation had a perfect society for 200 years with “no contention in the land. … And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God” (4 Ne. 1:15–16).

Some of us are born into families with very difficult problems. And even good families have many challenges. We must try to do in our homes what Christ did with the Nephites. As the proclamation on the family teaches, “Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ” (Liahona, Oct. 2004, 49; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102). We must be the light to help our families overcome sin, anger, envy, and fighting. We can pray together, weep for each other, heal each other’s wounds, and selflessly love and serve one another.

You young women are preparing now to strengthen your future homes and families by bringing the light of the gospel into your current homes and families. Small, seemingly insignificant things you do can make a big difference. I read about some small glowworms found in caves in New Zealand. Each one by itself produces only an insignificant pinpoint of light. But when millions of them light up a cave one by one, they produce enough light by which one can actually read. Likewise, each of our little deeds may share only a pinpoint of light, but added together they begin to make a significant difference. Tonight the choir will remind us of the importance of sharing our little lights as they sing “Shine On”:

My light is but a little one,
My light of faith and prayer;
But lo! it glows like God’s great sun,
For it was lighted there.

I may not hide my little light;
The Lord has told me so.
’Tis given me to keep in sight,
That all may see it glow.
Shine on, shine on, shine on bright and clear;
Shine on, shine on now the day is here.
(Children’s Songbook, 144)

We can shine on by tending a baby brother, eating lunch with a sister in the school cafeteria, doing household tasks, resisting the urge to quarrel, rejoicing in each other’s successes, sharing a treat, giving care when someone is sick, placing on a pillow at night a thank-you note to a parent, forgiving an offense, bearing our testimonies.

In Romania I met Raluca, a 17-year-old young woman who had recently joined the Church. Her baptism was a happy event because, among other things, her whole family attended. Her mother and sister felt the Spirit there and wanted to have the missionary discussions too. This concerned the father, for he felt he was losing all of his family to this unfamiliar church. So he did not allow it, and for a time there was a feeling of discord in their family. However, Raluca remembered that she had made a baptismal covenant to take upon her the name of Jesus Christ. She tried to hold up His light by doing in her home the things He would do. She was a peacemaker. She was an example. She was a teacher. She was a healer.

Eventually her father’s heart softened, and he allowed the others to learn more about the Church. Then they too were baptized. And finally, much to everyone’s joy, the father of the family also joined the Church. At his baptism he spoke and said that for a time their family had been as two hearts beating at a different rhythm in the same household. But now they were of one faith and one baptism, with their hearts knit together in unity and love. He gave thanks to the missionaries and members who had helped them. Then he paid a special tribute to his daughter Raluca for being so Christlike in their home during that difficult period, for being the peacemaker, the healer, the teacher, the example, and the light that eventually brought their entire family to the Church of Jesus Christ.

Each of you has light. As I look into your faces here tonight and as I remember your faces that I have seen as I have traveled throughout the world, I see light glowing in your countenances, “even as the faces of angels” (Hel. 5:36). In a world overshadowed with the darkness of sin, the faces of Nephi and Lehi, Helaman’s sons, “did shine exceedingly” (Hel. 5:36). Those surrounding them wanted that same light and inquired, “What shall we do, that this cloud of darkness may be removed from overshadowing us?” (Hel. 5:40). They were taught to repent and have faith in Jesus Christ. As they did this, the cloud of darkness dispersed and they were encircled with light, a pillar of fire, and filled with unspeakable joy from the Holy Spirit (see Hel. 5:43–45).

As you share your light, others will find greater light too. Is there anyone who needs your light as much as your families? I see you remarkable young women with your glowing countenances as the strength of the present and the hope of the future in your homes and in the Church.

Jesus Christ is the light that we must hold up. “He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come” (“The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles,” Liahona and Ensign, Apr. 2000, 2–3). May we each shine on with His light, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

“Shine On,” Children’s Songbook of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 144

Sing Happily

1. My light is but a little one,
My light of faith and prayer;
But lo! it glows like God’s great sun,
For it was lighted there.

2. I may not hide my little light;
The Lord has told me so.
’Tis given me to keep in sight,
That all may see it glow.

Shine on, shine on, shine on bright and clear;
Shine on, shine on now the day is here.

Words and music: Joseph Ballantyne, 1868–1944

Matthew 5:14–16

It Shows in Your Face
Elaine S. Dalton
Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidenc

You reflect His light. Your example will have a powerful effect for good on the earth.

There has never been a better time to live on the earth than this. These are "days never to be forgotten."1 These are your days, and they are amazing. You are amazing! As I look into your eyes and see your shining faces, I marvel that you can be so good, so strong, and so pure in a world that is so challenging. I am reminded of a poem my grandfather used to say to me when I was about your age. He said:

You don't have to tell how you live each day;
You don't have to tell if you work or play;
A tried and true barometer stands in its place—
You don't have to tell, it will show in your face. . . .
If you live close to God and His infinite grace—
You won't have to tell, it will show in your face.2

I have never forgotten that simple poem, and I have always tried to live in such a way that it would show in my face. I can see that you are doing that also. The light in your countenance comes because you have made and kept covenants with our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, and you have made choices which qualify you to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I express my admiration for each one of you.

President Gordon B. Hinckley has said of you, "You are . . . the finest [and strongest] generation of young people ever in the history of this Church."3 I believe you have been prepared and reserved to be on the earth at this time when the challenges and opportunities are the greatest. I believe that the Lord is counting on you to be a leader for righteousness and to stand as a witness "at all times and in all things, and in all places."4 Indeed, it can be said of you that you are the "bright shining hope" of the future.5

I believe that you are included in those spoken of by the Apostle Peter when he said, "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light."6

That light is the Savior's light. It is the light of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. By the way you live the gospel, you reflect His light. Your example will have a powerful effect for good on the earth. "Arise and shine forth, that thy light may be a standard for the nations"7 is a call to each of you. It is a call to move to higher ground. It is a call to leadership—to lead out in decency, purity, modesty, and holiness. It is a call to share this light with others. It is time to "arise and shine forth."

Can one righteous young woman change the world? The answer is a resounding "yes!" You have the Holy Ghost as your guide, and He "will show . . . you all things . . . [you] should do."8 It is the daily consistent things you do that will strengthen you to be a leader and an example—daily prayer, daily scripture study, daily obedience, daily service to others. As you do these things, you will grow closer to the Savior and become more and more like Him. Like Moses and Abinadi and other faithful leaders,9 your face will glow with the fire of your faith. "Have ye received his image in your countenances?"10 "Arise and shine forth."

In 1856, at age 13, Mary joined the Church with her family in England, traveled to America, and joined the Martin handcart company. In her personal history she recounts the difficulty of the journey—the loss of her baby brother and older brother, the freezing of her own feet, and finally the death of an infant sister and her mother. When she arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, the doctor amputated her toes, but she was promised by the prophet, Brigham Young, that she would not have to have any more of her feet cut off. She recounts: "One day I sat . . . crying. My feet were hurting me so—when a little old woman knocked at the door She said she had felt someone needed her there for a number of days. . . . I showed her my feet. . . . She said, 'Yes, and with the help of the Lord we will save them yet.' She made a poultice and put on my feet and every day after the doctor had gone she would come and change the poultice. At the end of three months my feet were well."11

But Mary had sat in her chair so long that the cords of her legs had become stiff and she could not straighten them. When her father saw her condition, he cried. He rubbed her legs with oil and tried to straighten them, but it was of no use. One day he said, "Mary I have thought of a plan to help you. I will nail a shelf on the wall and while I am away to work you try to reach it." She said that she tried all day for several days and at last she could reach the shelf. Then her father put the shelf a little higher. This went on for another three months, and through her daily diligence her legs were straightened and she learned to walk again.12

I believe that you are learning, like Mary Goble, to reach just a little higher to the shelf our leaders have raised for us, and that if you will reach higher as those ideals are raised, you will become able to walk into the future with confidence.

The faces of the young women in West Africa shine with the radiant light of the Holy Ghost. They live the standards in the For the Strength of Youth pamphlet, they are guided by the Spirit, and they are preparing to be leaders. They love the Lord and are grateful for His light in their lives. Some of these young women walked three hours to share their testimonies with me. Because of them, I will never be the same.

When I was in South America, the young women and their leaders sang, "I'm Trying to Be like Jesus."13 They not only sang the words, but they meant it. In Asia and India, young women are examples of faith, modest dress, and purity. Their eyes shine and they are happy. The young women in England, Ireland, and Wales are standing for truth and righteousness in their schools. In an ever-darkening world, they are making a difference. Some of you are the only members in your family or your school. You are making a difference. You are leading in righteous ways.

Not so long ago, I hiked with a group of youth to the top of Ensign Peak. There we looked at the city of Salt Lake and the temple and talked of the sacrifice so many had made for the gospel. Then each of the youth unfurled a banner. On their banners they had drawn symbols of their message to the world—what they wanted to stand for in these latter days. It was thrilling to hear the commitment and testimony of each one. Then we sang "High on the Mountain Top"14 and the youth cheered together, "Hurrah for Israel!"15 I echo those words today. Hurrah for you! I hope you will never hesitate to "let your light so shine . . . that [others will] see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven."16 I hope you too will raise your banners high. I know that as you lead in righteousness, this scripture in Isaiah will be fulfilled: "For, behold, . . . the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee."17 It will be discernable, and "the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising."18

I can see a day when the world will look to you and say: "Who are you? Who are these young women who radiate this light? Why are you so happy? Why do you know your direction in such a confusing world?" And you will arise and stand on your feet and say with conviction: "We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. We will 'stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places.' "19

My call to you is the same as Moroni's call: "Awake, and arise . . . , O daughter[s] of Zion."20 He saw you. He saw this day. These are your days! It is up to you to decide that you will "arise and shine forth." I believe that as you awake and arise, your light will be a standard to the nations, but I also believe your standards will be a light to the nations. You are set apart. You distinguished yourselves in the premortal existence. Your lineage carries with it a covenant and promises. You have inherited the spiritual attributes of the faithful—even Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Your very nature reflects your divine heritage and destiny. The fact that you were born a girl is not by chance. Your divine characteristics will be magnified as you lead others and arise to your divine potential. Draw close to the Savior. He lives! He is the light, life, and hope of the world. He will lead you and give you courage to share your light. As my grandfather taught me, "When you live close to God and His infinite grace, you won't have to tell, it will show in your face." In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.


1. Oliver Cowdery, in Joseph Smith—History, 1:71, footnote.
2. Author unknown.
3. Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley (1997), 714.
4. Mosiah 18:9.
5. Gordon B. Hinckley, "Standing Strong and Immovable," Worldwide Leadership Training Meeting, Jan. 10, 2004, 20.
6. 1 Peter 2:9.
7. D&C 115:5.
8. 2 Nephi 32:5.
9. See Exodus 34:30; Mosiah 13:5; Matthew 17:1–2.
10. Alma 5:14.
11. Eugene England, "Utah, a Centennial Celebration," This People, spring 1996, 21.
12. See England, This People, 21–22.
13. See Children's Songbook, 78.
14. See Hymns, no. 5.
15. See Orson F. Whitney, Life of Heber C. Kimball (1945), 266.
16. Matthew 5:16.
17. Isaiah 60:2.
18. Isaiah 60:3.
19. Young Women theme; see also Mosiah 18:9.
20. Moroni 10:31.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Week 2: Quick to Observe

Dear Friends,

I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful New Year! I recently read Elder Bednar’s devotional address, “Quick to Observe” and feel inspired to share it with you this week. I am grateful to have this master teacher as one of our Apostles. I am grateful for his ability to teach simple, but profound doctrine in a way that I can embrace and observe it. One of my goals this New Year is to more fully access the Gifts of the Spirit available to us. I am grateful for Elder Bednar’s careful and detailed teaching about the blessings of being quick to observe and how this brings the gift of discernment. When we have this gift, we are able to be greater instruments in the hands of the Lord as we discern truth and error, good and evil, and uncover for ourselves and others our better natures. I hope Elder Bednar’s words will lift, inspire, and encourage you as they have me.

Much love,


MP3 Link

Quick to Observe Bednar.mp3 - David A. Bednar

“Quick to Observe”
David A. Bednar 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 at Brigham Young University on 10 May 2005.
© Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
Complete volumes of Speeches are available wherever LDS books are sold.
For further information contact:Speeches, 218 University Press Building, Provo, Utah 84602.(801) 422-2299 / E-mail: speeches@byu.edu / Speeches Home Page

Sister Bednar and I are delighted to be with you. She and I have been anxiously engaged in university life for more than 30 years, and we love the young people of the Church. Time spent with you this morning is a sacred privilege for us. I now seek for and invite the assistance of the Holy Ghost as I speak with you about essential spiritual truths.

In October 1987 Elder Marvin J. Ashton, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, spoke in general conference about spiritual gifts. I recall with fondness the impact his message had upon me at that time, and the things he taught then continue to influence me today. In his message Elder Ashton detailed and described a number of less conspicuous spiritual gifts—attributes and abilities that many of us might not have considered being spiritual gifts. For example, Elder Ashton highlighted the gifts of asking; of listening; of hearing and using a still, small voice; of being able to weep; of avoiding contention; of being agreeable; of avoiding vain repetition; of seeking that which is righteous; of looking to God for guidance; of being a disciple; of caring for others; of being able to ponder; of bearing mighty testimony; and of receiving the Holy Ghost (see Marvin J. Ashton, “There Are Many Gifts,” Ensign, November 1987, 20–22).

This morning I want to talk with you about another seemingly simple and perhaps underappreciated spiritual gift—the capacity of being “quick to observe.” I will also attempt to explain why appropriately seeking for this blessing is vitally important for you and for me in the world in which we do now and will yet live...... For the rest of this talk click this LINK

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Volume II Week 1: Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come From a Store

I am just so grateful for the daily miracles and interactions with Christ over the past month or so. His presence has made such a positive impact on my outlook of life lately. I feel like he has truly just taken the reins and has led me down a fruitful and prosperous path. I've fought for many years to keep the reins in my care and control. I've fought until I was so tired and weak that I had two choices- curl up in a ball and quit, or to turn the reins over to Him. He has embraced me in His arms of mercy, comforting my heart and whispering to my mind, that I am his dear child, that He promises he will take care of me. He reminds me of all the times that he has taken care of me and finally I can see it. Finally, I trust in Him enough to just LET GO.

"As He surrounded you with His loving embrace, the Spirit sweetly reminds you of the time before your birth. He held you gently, whispering loving words of assurance, "I will not forget thee, nor forsake thee. I will not fail thee . . ." And then you were born." Painting and quote by Derek Hegsted

For this new year I hope that you all will come to know the Savior personally in your lives. I hope you will feel his presence and see his kind acts of love and support daily. He IS real. He IS there. He IS our master our salvation. He WILL NOT fail you.

This week's talk was one that had a profound effect on me this Christmas season. I still feel like we can celebrate the reason fro the season. I hope you all had a merry Christmas and that you each will have a very wonderful, faith promoting 2009.

If there is a subject you would like covered for next year feel free to email me at talkoftheweek@gmail.com with a suggestion or a topic.

"Maybe Christmas Doesn't Come From a Store"

Elder Jeffery R. Holland

Ensign, Dec 1977, 63–65

..........Part of the purpose for telling the story of Christmas is to remind us that Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Indeed, however delightful we feel about it, even as children, each year it “means a little bit more.” And no matter how many times we read the biblical account of that evening in Bethlehem, we always come away with a thought—or two—we haven’t had before.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the sacred account of Christ’s birth that we always hesitate to emphasize one at the expense of all the others. Forgive me while I do just that in the time we have together here.
One impression which has persisted with me recently is that this is a story—in profound paradox with our own times—that this is a story of intense poverty. I wonder if Luke did not have some special meaning when he wrote not “there was no room in the inn” but specifically that “there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:7; italics added.) We cannot be certain, but it is my guess that money could talk in those days as well as in our own. I think if Joseph and Mary had been people of influence or means, they would have found lodging even at that busy time of year....... to read more of this talk click this link.

I thought this video was a very good reminder too. Enjoy!