To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better; whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success.
Because love is the great commandment, it ought to be at the center of all and everything we do in our own family, in our Church callings, and in our livelihood. Love is the healing balm that repairs rifts in personal and family relationships. It is the bond that unites families, communities, and nations. Love is the power that initiates friendship, tolerance, civility, and respect. It is the source that overcomes divisiveness and hate. Love is the fire that warms our lives with unparalleled joy and divine hope. Love should be our walk and our talk.
When we truly understand what it means to love as Jesus Christ loves us, the confusion clears and our priorities align. Our walk as disciples of Christ becomes more joyful. Our lives take on new meaning. Our relationship with our Heavenly Father becomes more profound. Obedience becomes a joy rather than a burden.
If our definition or concept of ourself comes from what others think of us, we will find ourselves gearing our lives to their wants and their expectations; and the more we live in terms of what others expect of us, the more insecure we become. Expectations change. Opinion is fickle. One person or one group may expect certain things while another individual or group expects other things. Which should you please? The teen-age son may desire to please both his parents and the peer group to which he seeks belonging, but they demand different things; they hold different standards. If he is true to one, he us untrue to the other; but if he learns to pretend or to put on appearances, he might be able to get by, so he thinks. However, in the long run he discovers that by trying to become "all things to all people," he eventually is discovered for what he is, and he loses the respect of others as well as of himself. The only sure anchor to personal security is in God and in God's definition of man.
This is what many people, very influential powerful people, want you to believe - that you are just a computer robot. One of the ways that they try to convince you that you are a computer robot is by trying to convince you that computer robots are persons.
In "The Family: A Proclamation to the World," the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles declare that "successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities" (Liahona, Oct. 1998, 24; Ensign, Nov. 1995, 102).
By analyzing these principles, we can see that the majority of them are related to and complement each other and that the power that makes it possible for them to be incorporated into our lives comes from the atoning sacrifice of our Redeemer and Savior Jesus Christ.
These principles, once applied, will act as a light that will illuminate each member of the family and, in a progressive way, will lead us to integrate other related values and principles which will strengthen family relationships. We know that "he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day" (D&C 50:24).
If we succeed in establishing and maintaining our families by applying these principles, we will be able to observe the powerful impact that these will have in situations that affect our homes day by day. Any hurts caused by the friction of living together will heal. Offenses will be forgiven. Pride and selfishness will be replaced by humility, compassion, and love.
The principles that we choose to incorporate into our lives will determine the spirit that we contribute in our relationships with others. When we adopt a principle, its influence radiates from us and can be felt by others.
1. Can I be my own self in this relationship?
2. Am I emotionally honest in expressing my affection?
3. Are we friends first? Romance always follows, it never precedes friendship in a proper relationship.
4. Are we entitled to the presence of the Holy Spirit in our relationship?
5. Am I dating someone I already know I would never marry?
6. Am I the person I know I am when in their presence?
7. Does being with them make me feel ennobled, that I can be better than I am?
8. Am I being real in this relationship?
9. Does this relationship allow me to express my needs and concerns in my own way?
10. Is this relationship built on respect?
CONCLUSION: Selecting an eternal companion is the freest decision we will ever make in mortality. It therefore requires the most effort in making the determination that we will then counsel with the Lord about. We need to bend every effort to learn if our potential companion is what and who we want eternally. Then, and only then, can you expect confirmation from the Lord concerning your decision.
Never forget that you came to earth as a child of the divine Father, with something of divinity in your very makeup. The Lord did not send you here to fail. He did not give you life to waste it. He bestowed upon you the gift of mortality that you might gain experience—positive, wonderful, purposeful experience—that will lead to life eternal. He has given you this glorious Church, His Church, to guide you and direct you, to give you opportunity for growth and experience, to teach you and lead you and encourage you, to bless you with eternal marriage, to seal upon you a covenant between you and Him that will make of you His chosen daughter, one upon whom He may look with love and with a desire to help.
The nature of law is to maintain justice. This is so much the case that, in the minds of the people, law and justice are one and the same thing. There is in all of us a strong disposition to believe that anything lawful is also legitimate. This belief is so widespread that many persons have erroneously held that things are "just" because law makes them so. Thus, in order to make plunder appear just and sacred to many consciences, it is only necessary for the law to decree and sanction it. Slavery, restrictions, and monopoly find defenders not only among those who profit from them but also among those who suffer from them.