I feel prompted to share the words in Doctrine and Covenants 121:45–46. They are for those who are called and chosen and who endure valiantly. They are for you in these trying days, just as they were for Joseph Smith and the Saints in those trying days of the early Church: “Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God [and] the Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion.”
When we are virtuous, we are promised we shall confidently stand in His presence—holy and like Him. We are promised priesthood power, the very power of godliness, because we are virtuous! We are promised the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, who testifies, directs, warns, comforts, and sanctifies. And finally, we are promised that we shall have eternal life, the greatest of all God’s gifts. We will be gods, living a godlike life, when we are virtuous. We will be like Him—pure even as He is pure.
The journey to Zion—the pure in heart—will take everything you and I have. I pray that each one of us will have the desire and strength to move out of our comfort zones as we prepare for the run of our lives and, like Agnes Caldwell, reach up and take the Master’s hand. His promise is for each of us: “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88). I testify that our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, live and They will prepare us for the great work to be done in the holy temples of our Lord in preparation not only for the Savior’s Second Coming but also for our eternal exaltation.
As you live a virtuous life, you will have the confidence, power, and strength necessary to climb. You will also be blessed with the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Follow the promptings that you receive. Act upon them. Like the cairns on a trail less traveled, the Holy Ghost will show you all things you should do (see 2 Nephi 32:5). He will teach and testify of Christ, who has “marked the path and led the way” (“How Great the Wisdom and the Love,” Hymns, no. 195).
Your personal virtue will not only enable you to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost, but it will also enable you to make the decisions that will help you be worthy to enter the temple and there make and keep sacred covenants and receive the blessings of exaltation. Prepare yourselves spiritually, and qualify to enter into our Heavenly Father’s presence. Prepare now for the temple, the mountain of the Lord. Never allow the goal of the temple to be out of your sight. Walk into His presence in purity and virtue, and receive His blessings—even “all that he hath” (Luke 12:44). Within His holy house you will be cleansed, taught, and endowed with power, and His “angels [will] have charge over [you]” (D&C 109:22).
We must know and realize that, just as Winston Churchill said in a critical hour during World War II, “to every man [and young woman] there comes . . . that special moment when [they are] figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing unique to [them]. . . . What a tragedy if that moment finds [them] unprepared or unqualified for [that] which [could have been their] finest hour” (see Jeffrey R. Holland, “Sanctify Yourselves,” Liahona, Jan. 2001, 49; Ensign, Nov. 2000, 40). This is a critical time. You are being tapped on the shoulder. You are preparing now for that work which will be your finest hour. You are preparing for eternity.
We are carrying a message of self-reliance throughout the Church. Self-reliance cannot obtain when there is serious debt hanging over a household. One has neither independence nor freedom from bondage when he is obligated to others.
In managing the affairs of the Church, we have tried to set an example. We have, as a matter of policy, stringently followed the practice of setting aside each year a percentage of the income of the Church against a possible day of need.
I am grateful to be able to say that the Church in all its operations, in all its undertakings, in all of its departments, is able to function without borrowed money. If we cannot get along, we will curtail our programs. We will shrink expenditures to fit the income. We will not borrow.
To be prepared for war, is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.
Parents owe much to children, and children owe much to parents, and future parents owe much to those whom they will bring into the world. Remember that “all the rules will be fair” with “wonderful surprises.” Leave with your Heavenly Father the questions that may disturb you about parents and families who are not perfect and about “eternal families” and other matters which you cannot accomplish yourself. In God’s good time they will be answered on the basis of God’s love and man’s continuing eternal agency.
And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things you stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.
And see that you have faith, hope and charity, and then ye will always abound in good works.
Reading your scriptures everyday.
Twice daily prayer.
Coming up with a list of questions that you would like answered.
Go to the temple the week before conference.
Pray to the Lord the types of questions you should have answered.
Go to bed early so that you can stay awake during the conference sessions
Get dressed (even if you are home).
Go to a ward building or stake center.
Read “The Family a Proclamation to the World” before conference.
Have an open heart and be teachable.
Pray for the speakers and all the participants of the conference sessions.
Write down personal thoughts you have while listening to talks and music numbers.
Set aside a special notebook/journal specifically for conference.
Make a personal commitment before conference to listen to the words spoken and follow through with the guidance and commandments given during conference.
Review last conference sessions talks. (online, Ensign, cds)
The words are repeated once again
this sacred Sabbath time;
words I can trace
through the week,
but this time unique,
in youthful intonation
and the nourishment
is proffered me
by a boy's hand
in exchange for my changing.
You faithful sisters, married or unmarried, who move daily (and hardly with a break) from the garden plot to the crucial minutia of food labels to the cups and measures of cookery; you, who struggle and preside in the kitchen and keep vigil; you, who reach out to the perennial needs of your family and loved ones; you, who with artistry gather flowers and turn an ordinary table into an altar that summons prayer and thanksgiving; you, who by your very presence, turn eating into a feast--into dining in the name of the Lord, and who, therefore, bring a bountiful measure of grace to your table, lend your faith to boys and sometimes inept men who officiate at the sacrament table. Let the tables turn on your serving. Lend your faith to our trying to act as you do in Christlike dignity. For this is as close as we may ever come to your divine calling to give and to nurture life itself.