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Archive for the ‘President David O. McKay’ Category

Last Sunday I gave a talk in my church at the request of my bishop. The assigned topic was “The Five Elements of Missionary Preparation,” presumably for the benefit of young men and women.

I have been concerned, however, that many of our young people who earnestly want to serve missions cannot do so for medical and other reasons beyond their control. They often feel disheartened as a result. I thus wanted to reassure them that there are plenty of other ways for them to serve the Lord and their fellow man.

From there, it was an easy step to reach out to all those in the congregation who are suffering from health problems or other afflictions.

I am including a link to my written talk. The one I actually gave had some minor variations. And I gave the talk with a depth of emotion that the written words may be unable to convey.

Yes, I strayed from the assigned topic, but several of the members were moved to tears. We are a very perfection-driven people in my church. We need to pause and admit that we are imperfect people living in a fallen world. And acknowledge that salvation comes only through the grace of Jesus Christ.

Download Link/Tom_talk2013.pdf

– Tom Irvine

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As a young man, President David O. McKay prayed for a witness of the truthfulness of the gospel. Many years later, while he was serving his mission in Scotland, that witness finally came. Later he wrote, “It was an assurance to me that sincere prayer is answered ‘sometime, somewhere.’”

We may not know when or how the Lord’s answers will be given, but in His time and His way, I testify, His answers will come. For some answers we may have to wait until the hereafter.

– Elder Robert D. Hales, Waiting upon the Lord: Thy Will Be Done, October 2011
* * *

“If God answers your prayer, He is increasing your faith.
If He delays, He is increasing your patience.
If He doesn’t answer, He knows you can handle it.”

– Unknown

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The poet Lon Woodrum wrote:

I met a stranger in the night,
Whose lamp had ceased to shine;
I paused and let him light
His lamp from mine.

A tempest sprang up later on,
And shook the world about,
And when the wind was gone,
My lamp was out.

But back came to me the stranger
His lamp was glowing fine;
He held the precious flame
And lighted mine.

* * *

Jesus Christ taught in Matthew 25

[31] When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
[32] And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
[33] And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
[34] Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
[35] For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
[36] Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
[37] Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
[38] When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
[39] Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
[40] And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Let us remember that as we serve our fellow man, we are serving our God.

* * *

Man’s greatest happiness comes from losing himself for the good of others.
– President David O. McKay, General Conference, October 1963

* * *

Service changes people. It refines, purifies, gives a finer perspective, and brings out the best in each one of us. It gets us looking outward instead of inward. It prompts us to consider others’ needs ahead of our own. Righteous service is the expression of true charity, such as the Savior showed.

First, service helps us establish true values and priorities by distinguishing between the worth of material things that pass, and those things of lasting, even eternal, value. Our beloved prophet counsels: “If you would find yourself, learn to deny yourself for the blessing of others. Forget yourself and find someone who needs your service, and you will discover the secret to the happy, fulfilled life.” (Ezra Taft Benson, Ensign, May 1979, p. 34.)

“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.” (D&C 58:26–27.)

Derek A. Cuthbert, The Spirituality of Service, LDS General Conference April 1990

* * *

May the Lord bless you,
Tom Irvine

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We are the summation of our thoughts, words, and actions.

Our words and deeds arise from our thoughts.

What we do and say also shapes our thoughts.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has given us many scriptures on these topics through his apostles and prophets. Here are sample scriptures and some verses from hymns.

Thoughts

Jesus, the very thought of thee, With sweetness fills my breast;
But sweeter far thy face to see, And in thy presence rest.

1 Chronicles 28

[9]  And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.

Poverbs 23:7

For as he (a man) thinketh in his heart, so is he.

Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Doctrine & Covenants 121:45

Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God.

Words

Psalm 139:4

For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

Proverbs 16:24

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Matthew 12:36-37

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Ephesians 4:29-31

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice.

1 Peter 3:10

For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile.

We sometime sing a hymn in my church that has the lines:

Let us oft speak kind words to each other
At home or where’er we may be;

Let us oft speak kind words to each other;
Kind words are sweet tones of the heart.

Deeds

Psalm 15:1-2

Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart.

Proverbs 20:11

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Hebrews 10:24

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works.

James 1:22

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only

Another hymn ask the questions:

Have I done any good in the world today?
Have I helped anyone in need?
Have I cheered up the sad and made someone feel glad?
If not, I have failed indeed.
Has anyone’s burden been lighter today
Because I was willing to share?
Have the sick and the weary been helped on their way?
When they needed my help was I there?

[Chorus]
Then wake up and do something more
Than dream of your mansion above.
Doing good is a pleasure, a joy beyond measure,
A blessing of duty and love.

* * *

The apostle Paul taught that gratitude should accompany our thoughts, words, and deeds.

And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father by him.

– Colossians 3:17

* * *

“In this long eternal quest to be more like our Savior, may we try to be “perfect” men and women in at least this one way now-by offending not in word, or more positively put, by speaking with a new tongue, the tongue of angels. Our words, like our deeds, should be filled with faith and hope and charity, the three great Christian imperatives so desperately needed in the world today.”

–Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Tongue of Angels,” Ensign, May 2007

* * *

“The kind of life you live, your disposition, your very nature, will be determined by your thoughts, of which your acts are but the outward expression. Thought is the seed of action.”

–President David O. McKay, “Developing a Christlike Character,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay

* * *

“We sow our thoughts, and we reap our actions; we sow our actions, and we reap our habits; we sow our habits, and we reap our characters; we sow our characters, and we reap our destiny.”

–President David O. McKay
(C. A. Hall, The Home Book of Quotations, New York: Dodd, Mead & Company, 1935, p. 845.)

* * *

“The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.”

― Albert Schweitzer

* * *

“As the plant springs from, and could not be without, the seed, so every act of a man springs from the hidden seeds of thought, and could not have appeared without them. This applies equally to those acts called ‘spontaneous’ and ‘unpremeditated’ as to those which are deliberately executed. …

“In the armoury of thought he forges the weapons by which he destroys himself; he also fashions the tools with which he builds for himself heavenly mansions of joy and strength and peace. … Between these two extremes are all the grades of character, and man is their maker and master. … Man is the master of thought, the moulder of character, and the maker and shaper of condition, environment, and destiny.”

“Let a man radically alter his thoughts, and he will be astonished at the rapid transformation it will effect in the material conditions of his life. Men imagine that thought can be kept secret, but it cannot; it rapidly crystallizes into habit, and habit solidifies into circumstance.”

– James Allen, As a Man Thinketh, excerpts

* * *

“That which dominates our imaginations and our thoughts will determine our lives, and our character.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

* * *

May we glorify God through our thoughts, words, and deeds.

And may God bless you,

Tom Irvine

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