This is the fifth Thursday of the month. This year we wanted to hear more from you readers so we asked for talk suggestions or posts to me emailed in. We got a few responses and would like to encourage you to continue sending things in. Think about all the great talks and quotes you've heard recently and how they have helped you or a family member then email the talk with a link, if possible and if you want a little snippet about how it has helped you to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will let you know when your talk suggestions will be shared.
Below are some great references in finding articles:
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!
This week's talk was suggested by my dear friend Rebecca. Thanks for sharing this talk with all of us!
....The battle for our souls is no less important that the battle fought by David. The enemy is no less formidable, the help of Almighty God no farther away. What will our action be? Like David of old, “our cause is just.” We have been placed upon earth not to fail or fall victim to temptation’s snare, but rather to succeed. Our giant, our Goliath, a.d. must be conquered.
David went to the brook and carefully selected five smooth stones with which he might meet his enemy. He was deliberate in his selection, for there could be no turning back, no second chance—this battle was to be decisive.
Just as David went to the brook, well might we go to our source of supply—the Lord. What polished stones will you select to defeat the Goliath that is robbing you of your happiness by smothering your opportunities? May I offer suggestions.
The stone of COURAGE will be essential to your victory. As we survey the challenges of life, that which is easy is rarely right. In fact, the course that we should properly follow appears at times impossible, impenetrable, hopeless.
Such did the way appear to Laman and Lemuel. When they looked upon their assignment to go unto the house of Laban and seek the records according to God’s command, they murmured, saying it was a hard thing that was required of them. Thus, a lack of courage took from them their opportunity, and it was given to courageous Nephi, who responded, “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.” (1 Ne. 3:7.) The stone of courage is needed.
Next, I select the stone of EFFORT—mental effort and physical effort.
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
(Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “The Ladder of St. Augustine.”)
Then there must be in our selection the stone of HUMILITY, for haven’t we been told through divine revelation that when we are humble, the Lord, our God, will lead us by the hand and give us answer to our prayers?
And who would go forth to battle his Goliath without the stone of PRAYER, remembering that the recognition of a power higher than oneself is in no way debasing; rather, it exalts.
Finally, let us choose the stone of LOVE OF DUTY. Duty is not merely to do the thing we ought to do, but to do it when we should, whether we like it or not.
Armed with this selection of five polished stones to be propelled by the mighty sling of faith, we need then but take the staff of virtue to steady us, and we are ready to meet the giant Goliath, wherever, and whenever, and however we find him.
For the stone of COURAGE will melt the Goliath of fear. The stone of EFFORT will bring down the Goliath of indecision and procrastination. And the Goliaths of pride, of envy, of lack of self-respect will not stand before the power of the stones of HUMILITY, PRAYER, and DUTY.
Above all else, may we ever remember that we do not go forth alone to battle the Goliaths of our lives. As David declared to Israel, so might we echo the knowledge, “The battle is the Lord’s, and he will give [Goliath] into our hands.” (1 Sam. 17:47.)
But the battle must be fought. Victory cannot come by default. So it is in the battles of life. Life will never spread itself in an unobstructed view before us. We must anticipate the approaching forks and turnings in the road. We cannot hope to reach our desired journey’s end if we think aimlessly about whether to go east or west. We must make our decisions purposefully. Our most significant opportunities will be found in times of greatest difficulty.
The vast, uncharted expanse of the Atlantic Ocean stood as a Goliath between Christopher Columbus and the New World. The hearts of his comrades became faint, their courage dimmed, hopelessness engulfed them; but Columbus prevailed with his watchword, “Westward, ever Westward, sail on, sail on.” (See Joaquin Miller, “Columbus,” in Ralph Henry and Lucile Pannell, comps., My American Heritage, New York: Rand McNally and Company, 1949, pp. 153–154.)
Carthage Jail, an angry mob with painted faces, and certain death faced the Prophet Joseph Smith. But from the wellsprings of his abundant faith he calmly met the Goliath of death. “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter,” he had said over a month earlier, “but I am calm as a summer’s morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men.” (History of the Church, 6:555.)
Gethsemane, Golgotha, intense pain and suffering beyond the comprehension of mortal man stood between Jesus the Master and victory over the grave. Yet he lovingly assured us, “I go to prepare a place for you … that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2–3.)
And what is the significance of these accounts? Had there been no ocean, there would have been no Columbus. No jail, no Joseph. No mob, no martyr. No cross, no Christ!
Should there be a Goliath in our lives, or a giant called by any other name, we need not “flee” or be “sore afraid” as we go up to battle against him. Rather we can find assurance and receive divine help from Him of whom David wrote in his inspired psalm: “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. … Yea, though I walk through the valley of shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” (Ps. 23:1, 4.)
Victory will be ours.