The Bible tells us how God made a covenant with Abraham and promised him that through him all “families” or “nations” of the earth would be blessed. What we call the Abrahamic covenant opens the door for God’s choicest blessings to all of His children everywhere. The Bible teaches that “if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise”. The Book of Mormon promises that all who receive and act upon the Lord’s invitation to “repent and believe in his Son” become “the covenant people of the Lord”.
- President Dallin H. Oaks, All Men Everywhere
As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “we first pledge[d] our willingness to take upon us the name of Christ…by the ordinance of baptism.” Through this covenant, we promised to always remember Him, keep His commandments, and serve others...The name we were given at birth reflects our individual identity and gives us belonging within our earthly families. However, when we were “born again” at baptism, our understanding of who we are was enlarged...Thus, with covenant identity and belonging, we are called by the name of Jesus Christ.
-Lisa L. Harkness, Honoring His Name
Each choice you and I make is a test of our agency—whether we choose to be obedient or disobedient to the commandments of God is actually a choice between “liberty and eternal life” and “captivity and death.”...The world changes constantly and dramatically, but God, His commandments, and promised blessings do not change. They are immutable and unchanging. Men and women receive their agency as a gift from God, but their liberty and, in turn, their eternal happiness come from obedience to His laws.
- L. Tom Perry, Obedience to Law Is Liberty
The Apostle Paul taught that meekness is a fruit of the Spirit. Therefore, it can most easily be attained if we "live in the Spirit." And to live in the Spirit, our lifestyle must reflect righteousness before the Lord...."Christlike attributes are gifts from God. [These attributes] come as [we] use [our] agency righteously. …With a desire to please God, [we have to] recognize [our] weaknesses and be willing and anxious to improve."...Meekness was one of the most abundant attributes in the Savior’s life. He Himself taught His disciples, "Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart."
- Ulisses Soares, Be Meek and Lowly of Heart
In the inspired pamphlet For the Strength of Youth, we read that freedom of choice is a God-given, eternal principle that carries with it moral responsibilities for the choices made. "While [we] are free to choose for [ourselves], [we] are not free to choose the consequences of [our] actions. When [we] make a choice, [we] will receive the consequences of that choice." …Each one of us will receive the consequences of our choices when this life is over. The commandments are clear, they are protective—they are not restrictive—and the wonderful blessings of obedience are numberless!
- Mervyn B. Arnold, What Have You Done with My Name?
Paul was not at all backward in indicating what he thought of those who didn’t teach the truth that had come to them through the Savior and his teachings. Now I realize...I will come under the condemnation that Paul spoke of if I am not preaching the same gospel that Paul preached; but I bear witness to you today that we have the only true, living church upon the face of the earth that the Lord recognizes that has divine authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel…There has never been a time, when God has had a work in the earth, that he has recognized without a prophet at its head.
- LeGrand Richards, One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism
[I]n a great premortal existence... we developed our identities and increased our spiritual capabilities by exercising our agency and making important choices. We developed our intelligence and learned to love the truth, and we prepared to come to earth to continue our progress.
- President Howard W. Hunter, The Golden Thread of Choice
Unity requires effort. It develops when we cultivate the love of God in our hearts... our love of God and our discipleship of Jesus Christ generate genuine concern for others…When love of Christ envelops our lives, we approach disagreements with meekness, patience, and kindness. We worry less about our own sensitivities and more about our neighbor’s.
- Dale G. Renlund, The Peace of Christ Abolishes Enmity
The Church is more than the buildings and the ecclesiastical structure; the Church is us, the members. We are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with Christ at the head and the prophet as His mouthpiece... Sisters and brothers, let us realize how privileged we are to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ, where we can unite our faith, hearts, strengths, minds, and hands for Him to perform His mighty miracles. “For the body [of Christ’s Church] is not one member, but many.”
- Reyna I. Aburto, We Are The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The finest characteristic of any home is the image of Christ reflected in the home’s residents. What matters is the interior design of the souls of the inhabitants, not the structure itself. The attributes of Christ are acquired in the “process of time” by intentional progress along the covenant path. Christlike attributes adorn the lives of those who strive to live with goodness...The Savior is the perfect engineer, builder, and interior designer.
- L. Whitney Clayton, The Finest Homes
Just as Jesus used a child in His mortal ministry as an example for the people of the pure love they must and could have to be like Him, He has offered us the family as an example of an ideal setting in which we can learn how to love as He loves…here is my counsel to children. The Lord gave you a commandment with a promise: “Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.” It is the only one of the Ten Commandments with a promise.
- President Henry B. Eyring, Our Perfect Example
To maintain a firm stance for ourselves and help others stand firm, the message of the restored gospel must be firmly planted in our hearts and taught in our homes. In your own homes, give your children and loved ones the spiritual armor they will need as they leave you each day and venture away from the safe fortress of your home…The truths of the gospel and knowledge of the plan of salvation are weapons your family members can use for victory over Satan’s evil forces… Let us arm ourselves with faith and stand firm in our convictions.
- Virgina U. Jensen, Stand Firm
[T]he very first blessing coming from sacrifice is the joy that we can feel when we pay the price. Perhaps the very thought that the sacrifice itself could be a blessing becomes a blessing. When we have that kind of thought and feel the joy, we might have received a blessing already…do not be afraid of sacrifice. Please enjoy the happiness and blessings from the sacrifice itself.
- Won Yong Ko, Sacrifice Is a Joy and a Blessing
[T]he joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives. When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation…and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy… As our Savior becomes more and more real to us and as we plead for His joy to be given to us, our joy will increase.
- President Russell M. Nelson, Joy and Spiritual Survival
[I]ntegrity means always doing what is right and good, regardless of the immediate consequences. It means being righteous from the very depth of our soul, not only in our actions but, more importantly, in our thoughts and in our hearts. When virtue garnishes our thoughts unceasingly, our confidence is strong in the presence of God. When we are doing what is right, we will not feel timid and hesitant about seeking divine direction.
- President Howard W. Hunter, Personal Integrity
In January , Church leaders participated in a Face to Face broadcast with youth and their leaders and parents from around the world…At that broadcast, I said to the youth: “The leaders of this Church are no strangers to your issues, to your concerns, and to your challenges. We have children. We have grandchildren. We are often meeting with youth all over the world. And we’re praying for you, we’re talking about you in the most sacred places, and we love you.”
- Ronald A. Rasband, Standing with the Leaders of the Church
We realize that as evil increases in the world, our spiritual survival, and the spiritual survival of those we love, will require that we more fully nurture, fortify, and strengthen the roots of our faith in Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul counseled us to be rooted, grounded, and settled in our love for the Savior and our determination to follow Him. Today and the days ahead require more focused and concentrated effort, guarding against diversions and carelessness.
- Neil L. Andersen, Drawing Closer to the Savior
Covenant keeping leads us to seek after whatever invites the influence of the Spirit and reject whatever drives it away...This may mean that we have to change our vocabulary, using kinder words. It could mean replacing spiritually unhealthy habits with new habits that strengthen our relationship with the Lord
…the change that Jesus Christ brings is “a mighty change.” He changes our very natures; we become “new creatures.” We gradually become more like the Savior, filled with His pure love for all of God’s children.
- Milton Camargo, Focus on Jesus Christ
No matter how insignificant our efforts may seem, we must never underestimate the Savior’s power. A simple word of kindness, a brief but sincere ministering visit, or a Primary lesson lovingly taught can, with the Savior’s help, provide comfort, soften hearts, and change eternal lives...Regardless of how insignificant our efforts may seem, if we are sincere, the Savior will use us to accomplish His work. If we simply do the best we can and trust Him to make up the difference, we can become part of the miracles that surround us.
- Vern P. Stanfill, The Imperfect Harvest
Truly loving Christ provides the required strength to follow Him....The Savior’s question to Peter can also be asked of us: “Lovest thou me?” followed by the call to action: “Follow me....The way we treat others reflects to what extent we follow our Savior in loving one another. We show our love for Him when we stop to assist others, when we are “perfectly honest and upright in all things,” and when we make and keep covenants…Moroni pointed out that “the shedding of the blood of Christ…is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.”
- Walter F. Gonzalez, Followers of Christ
[T]he Lord’s way to help those in temporal need requires people who out of love have consecrated themselves and what they have to God and to His work. He has invited and commanded us to participate in His work to lift up those in need…all people are happier and feel more self-respect when they can provide for themselves and their family and then reach out to take care of others… When we join hands to serve people in need, the Lord unites our hearts.
- President Henry B. Eyring, Opportunities to Do Good
What if the day of His coming were tomorrow? If we knew that we would meet the Lord tomorrow—through our premature death or through His unexpected coming—what would we do today? ...We need to make both temporal and spiritual preparation for the events prophesied at the time of the Second Coming…We are surrounded by challenges on all sides. But with faith in God, we trust the blessings He has promised those who keep His commandments. We have faith in the future, and we are preparing for that future.
- President Dallin H. Oaks, Preparation for the Second Coming
The central purpose of every commandment, principle, covenant, and ordinance is to build faith and trust in Christ. Our determination to center our lives on Christ, therefore, must be consistent—not conditional, situational, or superficial...As harsh and hateful criticism is increasingly leveled at the Savior’s Church and those who follow Him, our discipleship will require a greater willingness to straighten and strengthen our spiritual spines and heed them not…If our spiritual foundation is built solidly on Jesus Christ, we will not fall and we need not fear.
- Kevin W. Pearson, Are You Still Willing?
Following the Savior’s death and those of His Apostles, doctrines and ordinances were changed, and apostasy set in again. This time spiritual darkness lasted for hundreds of years before rays of light would once more penetrate the earth. The Apostle Peter knew of this Apostasy and prophesied following the Savior’s Ascension that the Lord would not return for His Second Coming until there was a “restitution of all things”. The Apostle Paul also prophesied of a time when the members would “not endure sound doctrine” and that a “falling away” would precede the Second Coming of Christ.
- Merrill J. Batemen, A Pattern for All
Ours is the opportunity to “be…an example of the believers”, and the Savior has promised that “all things are possible to him that believeth”. So believe in yourselves. Believe that you are never alone. Believe that you will always be guided...Your righteous example as one of the believers will make a difference in the world, so “be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work”… As you strive to be an example of the believers, you may feel that you are standing alone...But you are not alone. There are thousands…like you all over the world who are striving to be an example of the believers.
- Elaine S. Dalton, Believe!
Out of necessity, most of us are involved in earning money and acquiring some of the world’s goods to be able to sustain our families. It requires a good part of our time and attention. There is no end to what the world has to offer, so it is critical that we learn to recognize when we have enough. If we are not careful, we will begin to chase after the temporal more than the spiritual. Our pursuit for the spiritual and eternal will then take a backseat, instead of the other way around. Sadly, there appears to be a strong inclination to acquire more and more and to own the latest and the most sophisticated.
- Michael John U. Teh, Where Your Treasure Is
We should listen intently to the prophet as we make choices…Over and over again he has told us that if we would live a principle, we would gain a testimony of the truthfulness of that principle, which would in turn increase our faith… As we follow this counsel, our faith [will] increase and our fears decrease…When we choose to follow Christ in faith rather than choosing another path out of fear, we are blessed with a consequence that is consistent with our choice..May we choose to have conviction at the crossroads of life and exercise faith in Jesus Christ. My prayer is that we will live by faith and not by fear.
- Quentin L. Cook, Live by Faith and Not by Fear
When adversity comes, don’t let something you don’t fully understand unravel everything you do know. Be patient, cling to truth; understanding will come…To heed is to give careful attention. Heeding those who do not believe in Christ will not help you find Him…Only the Savior has “the words of eternal life.”...If you lose the Spirit, you are lost. Don’t be distracted and deceived. True disciples continue to awaken unto God each day in meaningful personal prayer, earnest scripture study, personal obedience, and selfless service.
- Kevin W. Pearson, Stay by the Tree
Bishops, you stand as watchmen on the tower of the wards over which you preside...You must see that their love for the Lord strengthens and manifests itself in greater love for one another…The sound of your trumpet must be certain and unequivocal. In your ward you stand as the head of the army of the Lord, leading them on to victory in the conquest against sin, indifference, and apostasy...Though your days be long and wearisome, may your rest be sweet and in your hearts may you know that peace which comes alone from God to those who serve Him.
- President Gordon B. Hinckley, The Shepherds of Israel
As disciples of Christ, we are invited to increase our faith in, and love for, our spiritual brother- and sisterhood by genuinely knitting our hearts together in unity and love, regardless of our differences, thereby increasing our ability to promote respect for the dignity of all the sons and daughters of God…During His earthly ministry, Jesus so perfectly exemplified this principle as He “went about doing good” unto all people, inviting them to come unto Him and partake of His goodness...He denied none but treated them with equity and love, for He saw them as His brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of the same Father.
- Ulisses Soares, Brothers and Sisters in Christ