Elder M. Russell Ballard - Communication Between Fathers and Sons
Priesthood and family are two of the most powerful things in the gospel.
Fathers and sons - how to talk to each other. We are all on a journey of becoming who we will become someday. No one has arrived yet. Fathers are the primary model of manhood for their sons.
Sons - how to take full advantage of your relationship with your father.
- Trust your father. He is not perfect but can help you. Talk to him, let him know your thoughts and dreams. You dad wants you to be happy and successful.
- Take an interest in your father's life and his job and who he is. Find out what you don't know about him.
- Ask your father for his advice on friends, dating, school, church, and so forth. This can also motivate him to give better advice and be a better person.
- Listen to your sons. Ask the right kind of questions. Need to know what is going on in his life. Don't assume you know how he feels or is thinking. Find a best way to connect. Have a one on one relationship. At least one really good conversation per month. Ask about feelings as often as you can without overdoing it. Listen more than you talk.
- Pray with and for your sons. Give them blessings. Share your testimony. Never give up even when fervent prayer in behalf of any who wander is all you can do.
- Have the big talks with your sons - drugs, girls, gospel, sex, pornography. Have open and frequent conversations on these topics. Talk about wholesome sexual relationships within marriage.
The most important decision for returned missionaries is to marry the right girl in the temple. Court and date and do not just "hang out". Do not go the way of the world.
Honor your priesthood and love one another by making relationships with each other.
Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf - Adversity and Work
The brethren pray always for us. Winter will always give way to Spring. Remain steadfast in hope.
Shared story when he was 11 and living in the loft/attic of a barn. He was a refuge for the 2nd time in a few years. Boys made fun of him because of his East German accent. Now he can look back and see the great personal growth he made in the midst of that adversity.
Two important principles that sustain through adversity.
1. Work. Keep working, regardless of what you do. His parents worked various jobs to survive - truck driving, mining, laundry. Work kept their minds off their difficult circumstances. As they kept working, things got better. Those who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work are a benefit to all. Don't compare your efforts to others. Just do the best we can. Work is an ointment for anxiety.
If stuck in the mud, the Lord will be more willing to him who gets out and pushes instead of just praying. The righteous work we do in our homes cannot be delegated. Do not devote ourselves solely to worldly things.
Retirement is not part of the Lord's plan of happiness. We need to consecrate everything to the Lord's word. Endure joyfully to the end. Whether you are the youngest Deacon or the oldest High Priest, there is work to do.
2. Learn. Education is not the filling of a bucket, it is the lighting of a fire. Learning is not merely a good idea, it is a commandment. You do not progress faster than you gain knowledge. Knowledge does away with darkness, anxiety, and doubt.
Books can become your university. Seek knowledge by study and faith. Apply faith to your study. It will amplify your intellectual capacity. Do not neglect the fountain of revelation. Seek out the knowledge that leads to peace and truth.
It is often in the trial of adversity that we learn the most important things.
Pres. Henry B. Eyring - Spiritual Preparation
His containers of consecrated olive oil. Be prepared for any emergencies. When the call comes be ready. Preparation begins long before the crises that we might face.
Make choices to rise to your destiny as children of God. We don't know what will come but know what you need to be ready.
1. Have faith. Priesthood is power to act in the name of God. You have to have faith that God lives and has confidence in you. Faith dies not come on a moment, it comes from courageous and sustained labor in the Lord's Kingdom.
Deacons and Teachers an Priests can give as inspired and powerful talks as you hear in General Conference.
Some do not prepare as they should. We will be held accountable if we can help and do not.
2. Confidence to live up to the promises and blessings. Courage to stand firm in the face of temptations and adversities. We can be examples for the youth. D&C 121 - pattern of righteous priesthood action.
Be unwearying in the Lord's work. No lights out method of shepherding the youth.
Don't tell your kids to do something or make a sacrifice you are not willing to do yourself. Have a feeling of wanting to do more to rise to the occasion and he prepared.
Pres. Thomas S. Monson - Anger
Anger is the root of many of the tragic stories in the news. Cease from anger and forsake wrath.
Story of husband and wife arguing in the car, thrown toy that was aimed at wife but hit the 18 month old son and damaged his brain.
Anger doesn't solve anything. It doesn't build anything and can destroy everything.
There are many causes for anger. We can get upset for perceived wrongs or insult. A man is a fool who takes an insult where none is intended.
Can you be angry and not sin? Can you feel the Spirit when you are angry? No. The spirit of contention is of the Devil. God's doctrine is to do away with anger.
No one can make us angry - it is a choice. Becoming angry is following the influence of the devil.
Shared story of Elder Marsh's wife saving the strippings of the milk. Thomas B. Marsh became angrier and angrier and swore before a magistrate that the Mormons were dangerous. This was a factor in Bogg's extermination order. 19 years later Marsh came back, saying he had lost much because of his choices.
Don't given in to the feelings that lead to anger - irritation and so forth. Think of the consequence of anger. Leave unsaid the harmful and hurtful things you might say. School thy feelings.
The Oath & Covenant of the priesthood applies to all of us priesthood holders. Great promises await us if we are true to the Oath & Covenant of the priesthood. Harbor no animosity but be peacemakers.