President Boyd K. Packer

Quorum of the Twelve

Parenthood stands among the most important activities to which Latter-day Saints may devote themselves.

"Many members face conflicts as they struggle to balance their responsibility as parents together with faithful activity in the church. There are things vital to the well-being of a family which can be found only by going to church. There is the priesthood, which empowers a man to lead and bless his wife and children, and covenants which bind them together forever."

The entire curriculum and all activities of the church have been restructured and correlated with the home.

"How easy it is, in our desire to provide a schedule of programs and activities, to overlook the responsibilities of the parents and the essential need for families to have time together.

"We must be careful lest programs and activities of the church become too heavy for some families to carry. The principles of the gospel, where understood and applied, strengthen and protect both individuals and families. Devotion to the family and devotion to the church are not different and separate things."

Elder David B. Haight

Quorum of the Twelve

"The gospel is true. It is the hope of the world. It will move forward to accomplish all that it must do."

It is an honor to stand and bear testimony and to encourage members of the church in the great work that all are so blessed to be a part of throughout the world.

As members of the church raise their hands to sustain the prophet they are saying that they will listen to him, follow his direction, that they will counsel together, pray and be especially mindful of what the prophet says.

As individuals learn more, as the years go by and as they become more "sensitive to the spiritual direction in this work, we sense and feel the hand of the Lord in it."

It's an honor to have "raised my hand in sustaining President Gordon Bitner Hinckley as president of the church and his counselors, Thomas S. Monson and James E. Faust, to the presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve and all the other general authorities.

"I leave my love, my witness, my knowledge, my testimony that God lives. He is our Father . . . we are children of God."

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

Quorum of the Twelve

Individuals will attain new levels of spirituality and place their lives in closer harmony with the Savior based on how fully the principles of faith, hope and charity become integral components of their lives.

These are divine attributes, all essential as one prepares for the return of the Savior to the Earth.

"As I read and ponder the scriptures, I see that developing faith, hope and charity within ourselves is a step-by-step process. Faith begets hope, and together they foster charity."

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints guides people to Christ, helping them to develop, nurture and strengthen these divine attributes.

"Charity is given only to those who seek it, only to those who earnestly pray for it, only to those who are disciples of Christ. Before we can be filled with this pure love, we must start at the beginning with the first principle of the gospel. We must have `first, faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ.' "

When individuals face adversities in life their faith can keep them anchored to hope.

Elder Henry B. Eyring

Quorum of the Twelve

Love, example and testimony are all vital elements in sharing the gospel with friends, neighbors and family members.

"The duty to warn our neighbor falls on all of us who have accepted the covenant of baptism. We are to talk with non-member friends and relatives about the gospel. Our purpose is to invite them to be taught by the full-time missionaries who are called and set apart to teach. When a person has chosen to accept our invitation to be taught, a `referral' of great promise has been created, far more likely to enter the waters of baptism and then to remain faithful."

The Lord has promised that those who share the gospel will find great joy with those who accept his teachings.

Love always comes first in extending an invitation to be taught the gospel. But those who extend the invitation "need to be better examples of what we invite others to do.

"Love and example will open the way, but we still have to open our mouths and bear testimony."

Elder Athos M. Amorim

Quorums of the Seventy

Obedience is a great virtue, essential to one's spiritual progress.

"I'm not talking about blind obedience that makes a robot of men, but the obedience that allows us to reach a higher and more spiritual level in life, using our agency to do the will of the Lord."

The scriptures teach that obedience brings great blessings. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that "when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated."

Marvelous examples of obedience and service are often given by ordinary, humble people who "would not be noticed if the Lord had not opened our eyes so that we could learn from their example."

Sister Ana Rita de Jesus, an elderly widow in Brazil, is an example. She could not read or write but was loving and kind and relied on the missionaries to help her fill out a tithing slip.

"Sometimes, her tithing and offerings were not more than a few cents, but she knew the law and wanted to obey it."

Elder E. Ray Bateman

Quorums of the Seventy

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a responsibility to gather descendants of the prophet Abraham and bring them unto Christ.

Finding them should be easy, for they are as "numerous as the sands of the sea shore. That really means they are all around us. Are we looking? Are we asking? Are our good friends or the people we work with who are nonmembers the seed of Abraham? Are we opening our mouth to see if we can find out?

"The seed of Abraham hear his voice and will not harden their hearts. Do we invite them to come unto Christ? Are we allowing them to hear his voice?"

All the grains of sand referred to in scripture are Abraham's children. They need to be cultured to become pearls. They need friends who will help them grow in service and nourish them with charity.

"Brothers and sisters, let us renew our commitment to seek the spirit to help us find those who are Abraham's seed. Then let us open our mouths, friendship them, invite them to come unto Christ."

Elder Val R. Christensen

Quorums of the Seventy

Working to change one's attitude, learning to accept help from others and developing trust in the Lord go a long way in overcoming discouraging problems in life.

Many people face significant challenges in life, but there are steps that may be taken when striving to overcome discouragement:

"You can work on changing your attitude toward the problem. Even though you can't change the circumstances in which you work or live, you can always change your attitude. You can receive help from those who are close to you - your family, friends and ward members - those who love you the most. You can develop a more powerful and complete trust in the Lord Jesus Christ."

Sometimes problems require a long time before solutions are found. Striving to develop more patience is often an important part of the process.

"If we place a little more patience in the process and a greater amount of trust in the Lord, our challenges will find their way toward successful conclusions."