Following are the remarks offered by President Thomas S. Monson during the Priesthood Session of the Church’s 187th Annual General Conference on Saturday, April 1:
My dear brethren, I am honored by the privilege to address you in this worldwide gathering of faithful holders of the priesthood of God. This evening, I reference a topic about which I have spoken before.
The prophet Mormon outlined one of the key characteristics of the Savior, and which is to be emulated by His disciples. Said he: “And if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked
“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail —
“But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him” (Moroni 7:44-47).
Brethren, we do not honor the priesthood of God if we are not kind to others.
My dear friend and associate, Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, was truly a kind man. Said he: “Kindness is the essence of a celestial life. Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others. Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes. Jesus, our Savior, was the epitome of kindness and compassion” (“The Virtue of Kindness,” April 2005 general conference).
The scriptures teach us that the righteous exercise of the priesthood is dependent upon our living the principles of kindness, charity, and love. In the Doctrine and Covenants we read:
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;
“By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile” (Doctrine and Covenants 121:41-42).
Brethren, let us examine our lives and determine to follow the Savior’s example by being kind, loving, and charitable. As we do so, we will be in a better position to call down the powers of heaven for ourselves, for our families, and for our fellow travelers in this sometimes difficult journey back to our heavenly home.
I so pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Lord, amen.
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