“Whether you intend to or not, when you live as though the Savior and His teachings are only one of many other important priorities in your life, you are clearly on the road to disappointment and likely on the path to tragedy.”

Elder Richard G. Scott

The Generous One

“Have we ever felt such pure, unbounded thankfulness? During this Christmas season, and throughout the year, I pray that we will remember the Generous One—our God, our Father, our beloved Shepherd and Counselor.

For He is the Gift-Giver!

He is the Generous One!

When we, His children, plead for bread, He does not hand us a stone. Rather, He endows us with gifts so sublime and precious that they exceed our ability to fully comprehend and even imagine. He gives us:

  • Peace.
  • Joy.
  • Abundance.
  • Protection.
  • Provision.
  • Favor.
  • Hope.
  • Confidence.
  • Love.
  • Salvation.
  • Eternal life.

This Christmas season we celebrate the greatest gift of all, the one that makes all other gifts possible—the birth of the babe of Bethlehem. Because of Him, “the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened.”

I joyfully give thanks to God for His generosity.

He saves us from loneliness, emptiness, and unworthiness.

He opens our eyes and our ears. He transforms darkness to light, grief to hope, and loneliness to love.

He frees us from a past of slavery and selfishness and opens the path to a present of purpose and a future of fulfillment.

This is He whom we worship.

This is our God.

This is the Generous One.

This is He who loves His children so completely that He offered His Only Begotten Son that all who follow Him will not perish but have everlasting life.

Because of Jesus the Christ, we need never feel like strangers again. We will rise with the just when He returns! And because of His perfect life and eternal sacrifice, one day we can stand with the angels of heaven and receive with them an eternal gift.

May we, this Christmas season, remember our generous Heavenly Father and give profound and heartfelt thanks to our Almighty God, who has given all of His children wings to fly. This is my humble and sincere prayer and my heartfelt blessing to all at this Christmas time and always, in the name of our beloved Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Quiet Work

One lesson, Nature, let me learn of thee,
One lesson which in every wind is blown,
One lesson of two duties kept at one
Though the loud world proclaim their enmity—

Of toil unsever’d from tranquility!
Of labor, that in lasting fruit outgrows
Far noisier schemes, accomplish’d in repose,
Too great for haste, too high for rivalry.

Yes, while on earth a thousand discords ring,
Man’s fitful uproar mingling with his toil,
Still do thy sleepless ministers move on,

Their glorious tasks in silence perfecting;
Still working, blaming still our vain turmoil,
Laborers that shall not fail, when man is gone.

Matthew Arnold

The right not to know

“The press can both stimulate public opinion and mis-educate it. Thus we may see terrorists turned into heroes, or secret matters pertaining to one’s nation’s defense publicly revealed, or we may witness shameless intrusions on the privacy of well-known people under the slogan: ‘Everyone is entitled to know everything.’ But this is a false slogan, characteristic of a false era: people also have the right not to know, and it is a much more valuable one. The right not to have their divine souls stuffed with gossip, nonsense, vain talk. A person who works and leads a meaningful life does not need this excessive burdening flow of information.”

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Life Lesson: Simplicity

“While some very intelligent and insightful people might believe our more complex time demands ever more complex solutions, I am far from convinced they are right. Rather, I am of the frame of mind that today’s complexity demands greater simplicity…”

Elder L. Tom Perry (April 2014)

This post will be part of an ongoing examination of the quality or condition of simplicity. I am convinced that some of our biggest challenges in this modern era are immorality and life dilution. Regarding the latter, we chase after the wrong things, we over-complicate, and we get distracted. Life is far more simple than we are led to believe. The adversary wants us to be confused, muddled, overwhelmed, and fearful, but gospel light is pure, clean, and bright. It doesn’t resolve itself in complex, convoluted frequencies, but is calm and serene. It is simple.

I hope to continue to pare down our family’s distractions to focus on the very best and most important. I don’t want our children to think that life is a chaotic mess with thousands of concerns and matters to be addressed. A tight, simple focus on obedience and righteousness in clean, simple surroundings is a formula for peace. I believe this philosophy will simplify the challenges our kids will face and will be a reassuring force in their lives. The simpler our instruction and resolution, the clearer their choices will be. The more we panic, program, and “policize” (to coin a word), the more we inadvertently clutter their sphere of agency.