1. “All too soon, our time is finished. While we can – while we have the time to complete our work – let us walk in the right direction, taking one step after another. That is easy enough. We don’t have to be perfect today. We don’t have to be better than someone else. All we have to do is to be the very best we can.” (Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, Conference Report Oct. 2001)
2. President Marion G. Romney, “I feel certain that if, in our homes, parents will read from the Book of Mormon prayerfully and regularly, both by themselves and with their children, the spirit of that great book will come to permeate our homes and all who dwell therein. The spirit of reverence will increase; mutual respect and consideration for each other will grow. The spirit of contention will depart. Parents will counsel their children in greater love and wisdom. Children will be more responsive and submissive to the counsel of their parents. Righteousness will increase. Faith, hope, and charity—the pure love of Christ—will abound in our homes and lives, bringing in their wake peace, joy, and happiness” (Conference Report, Apr. 1980, 90)
3. When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the gospel — you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave. (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, 6:306)
4. “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.”(CS Lewis, Mere Christianity p 174)
5. If you are ever saved, you have got to take a course to draw near to the throne of God; and how can you draw near to the throne of God, except you draw near to those men who are placed as His representatives in the flesh? The same principles, the same order, the same Priesthood, the same gifts, and the same powers are instituted, established and organized in our day as they were in the days of Jesus, and all the reason that the people do not see it is because of their traditions; the veil of darkness is over their minds, and they cannot see it. (Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, 4:120) Also see Alma 34:14-16.
6. “In addition to giving ourselves, and giving our services, the Lord has asked us to give of our means and our substance. We have men in the Church who give their time, they will go when they are asked to preach, they will perform a public duty, but it is hard to do the little duty that is seen in secret by them and God alone and their presiding officers. And so we are asked to contribute our tithes and offerings, not only because the Church needs money to build itself, for before there was an organization of the Church, God introduced the principle of sacrifice in order that his servants and his children might be tested, that they should bring the best of their lands and of their herds; and, because the Church did not need these things, and there were no poor to feed, they were burned upon the altar of sacrifice; but the giving sanctified the souls of those who gave. …”The prophet Malachi declared that in the last days the Lord should send his messenger to prepared the way before him, and he called upon Israel, and I interpret that to mean latter-day Israel, to return unto him and promised that he would return unto them, and they said: “Wherein shall we return unto Thee?” And he said: ‘In your tithes and offerings … for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house.'”And I want to say to you, my brethren and sisters, that we need the tithes of the Saints in order that the kingdom might go on, for it shall be builded just as rapidly as the faith of the Saints can build it, and it is retarded when there is a lack of faith.” (Elder LeGrand Richards, Conference Report, Apr. 1939, pp. 44–45.)
7. “What is the cost of discipleship? It is primarily obedience. It is the forsaking of many things. But since everything in life has a price, it is a price worth paying, considering that the great promise of the Savior is for peace in this life and eternal life in the life to come. It is a price we cannot afford not to pay.
“Jesus is the head of this Church. It is His work, and He is watching over it. I know that God speaks; He has spoken to me, and He will speak to you, for He is no respecter of persons. May we live so that this will be possible, and may we render obedience and faithfulness unto His commandments and to His living prophets, so that we fully and willingly pay the price required of His disciples and move forward His work in all the world.” (James E. Faust, “The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign, Apr. 1999, 4)
8. We all seek acceptance and recognition as we enter the adult world. Adulthood comes to us one way or another if we live long enough. True manhood, however, comes only if and when we earn it. . . . . . . Let me give you my two criteria for true manhood:
— A true man is strong enough to withstand the wiles of Satan.
— A true man is humble enough to submit himself to the redemptive powers of the Savior…
I know a young man who was thrilled to be selected for an all-star basketball team to play in a tournament in another state. The first evening at the hotel, the other roommates decided to watch pornographic movies. This boy left the room and walked the city by himself well into the night until the movies were over. I am sure it was embarrassing, lonely, and challenging. But that is courage; that is manhood in its truest sense. And I say, “Behold a man”–an 18-year-old boy turned man.
I know hundreds of young men who have withstood ridicule and embarrassment to turn down drugs, alcohol, and illicit sex in order to turn to serve one another, provide a righteous example, or defend the principles of righteousness. All young men must face the wiles of Satan. It is impossible to escape this fight. But it is always possible to come out victorious. Yes, a true man is strong enough to withstand the wiles of Satan. Some burdens that we are called to bear are so heavy that we can only conquer them through humility, submissiveness, and contrition. That sounds like a contradiction, doesn’t it–gaining strength and power through humility, submissiveness, and contrition. But that is one of the great ironies of life–we can receive power beyond our natural ability by submitting our will to the Father. We all fall victim to the tempter to some degree. Sometimes we even get entangled in serious transgression– transgression that has eternal consequences. Those who have committed serious transgressions must follow the carefully planned path of repentance provided by the Savior and often guided by a bishop or stake president. This becomes the true test of manhood, and not all are man enough to meet this challenge. . . (Richard C. Edgley, Adapted from The New Era, May 2000, 4)