I’ve been thinking lately about a few conference talks. For a variety of reasons, Elder Nelson’s talk from last fall, Jesus Christ, the Master Healer, has been especially on my mind this Easter season. Let me share a few snippets.

Elder Nelson speaks of the hurts, difficulties, and sadness that life sometimes brings. He testifies of the power of prayer and faith in the face of such trials, writing:

Our prayers are never ignored. Our faith is never unappreciated. I know that an all-wise Heavenly Father’s perspective is much broader than is ours. While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time.

Later, he offers these comforting words:

The gift of resurrection is the Lord’s consummate act of healing. Thanks to Him, each body will be restored to its proper and perfect frame. Thanks to Him, no condition is hopeless. Thanks to Him, brighter days are ahead, both here and hereafter. Real joy awaits each of us—on the other side of sorrow.

The doctrine may be unremarkable — it’s nothing I didn’t know already. But Elder Nelson’s confidence and caring show through, and his words resonate with me. His assurances just sound right to me, and that means a lot at times. I’m especially grateful to the Lord for the words of His servant.

One other snippet comes from President Hinckley’s memorable talk about forgiveness. In his talk, President Hickley calls forgiveness “the greatest virtue on earth, and certainly the most needed.” And he places the Atonement at the center of the forgiveness narrative:

The great Atonement was the supreme act of forgiveness. The magnitude of that Atonement is beyond our ability to completely understand. I know only that it happened, and that it was for me and for you. . . . It is through Him that there comes the certain promise that all mankind will be granted the blessings of salvation, with resurrection from the dead. It is through Him and His great overarching sacrifice that we are offered the opportunity through obedience of exaltation and eternal life.

As with Elder Nelson’s talk, this talk struck a chord with me. I like the stories, as well as the doctrinal discussion. More than that, this talk gives me hope and desire to better include forgiveness in my own life – an improvement I could certainly use.

What snippets from scripture or talk have been on your mind lately? Please share.

9 comments for “Snippets

  1. May 6, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    Elder Wood’s compelling talk, “Instruments of the Lord’s Peace”, in which he encourages us to pursue the intellectual high road, as it were, in our various discourses one with another.

    “Wherever we live in the world, we have been molded as a people to be the instruments of the Lord’s peace. In the words of Peter, we have been claimed by God for His own, to proclaim the triumph of Him “who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God.” We cannot afford to be caught up in a world prone to give and to take offense. Rather, as the Lord revealed to both Paul and Mormon, we must neither envy nor be puffed up in pride. We are not easily provoked, nor do we behave unseemly. We rejoice not in iniquity but in the truth. Surely this is the pure love of Christ which we represent.”

    I think this talk got hashed out a little bit on T&S on the day it was given. With the arrival of the Ensign this week I returned to read it, and the hope of putting it into practice has again brought me a sense of calm and intellectual confidence.

  2. Téa
    May 6, 2006 at 4:14 pm

    A snippet from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence
    “Beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now.”

    Even though I might be running for the hills and sounding the horn to fall back, it reminds me that self-doubt has no forward locomotion in my world.

  3. Adam Greenwood
    May 7, 2006 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for the snippets, Kaimi W., Michael, and Tea. This is one of those posts that don’t generate 200 heated comments but do generate 1,000 untyped Amens.

  4. mullingandmusing (m&m)
    May 8, 2006 at 1:31 am

    The first time around, my favorite talks were Elder Nelson’s talk on marriage (it was made that much more poignant when I learned of his own marriage that took place just days later) and Elder Stone’s talk on Zion in the midst of Babylon (that talk hit me like bricks).

    “Our culture tends to determine what foods we like, how we dress, what constitutes polite behavior, what sports we should follow, what our taste in music should be, the importance of education, and our attitudes toward honesty. It also influences men as to the importance of recreation or religion, influences women about the priority of career or childbearing, and has a powerful effect on how we approach procreation and moral issues. All too often, we are like puppets on a string, as our culture determines what is ‘cool.'”

    I wonder how often we get into puppet mode without realizing it.

    The second time around, I read a couple of the talks that I, er, dozed through. Elder Erying’s was particularly sobering.

    “Anyone with eyes to see the signs of the times and ears to hear the words of prophets knows that the peril is great. The peril comes from the forces of wickedness. Those forces are increasing. And so it will become harder, not easier, to keep the covenants we must make to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

    It makes me want to be sure I have “ears to year and eyes to see” — and I got the feeling those attuned ears and eyes are going to be more and more important as times goes on. I love talks that remind me of the importance of following the prophets, and strengthen my resolve to do so. It seems to be a key in these last days to staying safe (and knowing for sure where Zion is and is not).

    But, lest I get discouraged or afraid of all this last days stuff, I remember Pres. Packer from 2004, who said (after speaking of his dear 2-year-old grandson:
    Everywhere we go fathers and mothers worry about the future of their children in this very troubled world.
    But then a feeling of assurance came over me. My fear of the future faded.
    That guiding, comforting Spirit, with which we in the Church are so familiar, brought to my remembrance what I already knew. The fear of the future was gone. That bright-eyed, little two-year-old can have a good life—a very good life—and so can his children and his grandchildren, even though they will live in a world where there is much of wickedness.
    They will see many events transpire in the course of their lifetime. Some of these shall tax their courage and extend their faith. But if they seek prayerfully for help and guidance, they shall be given power over adverse things. Such trials shall not be permitted to stand in the way of their progress, but instead shall act as stepping-stones to greater knowledge.

    To further reduce my fear, I hear once again that reminder of the way to stay safe and sure-footed in these last days:

    Follow the leaders who are called to preside over you, for the promise is given: “If my people will hearken unto my voice, and unto the voice of my servants whom I have appointed to lead my people, behold, verily I say unto you, they shall not be moved out of their place� (D&C 124:45).

    I just love knowing of that simple recipe for and assurance of safety.

    Finally, I appreciate his reminder that my personal battlefields have a purpose, too…which is a good reminder, since sometimes I get discouraged at the micro and personal) level as well.

    Life will not be free from challenges, some of them bitter and hard to bear. We may wish to be spared all the trials of life, but that would be contrary to the great plan of happiness, “for it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things� (2 Ne. 2:11). This testing is the source of our strength.

    If I have the right glasses on, I feel that growth, but I need help to keep that focus during a difficult time in my life.

    I love the words of the prophets and our other leaders. They really are my lifeline. Some talks I have clung to for years, such as Elder Oaks’ talk on becoming and Elder Eyring’s talk on finding safety in counsel. I suppose I will be looking back on a few of these more recent talks, too, for years to come.

  5. john scherer
    May 8, 2006 at 9:21 am

    It’s not very recent, but I’ve found alot of inspiration and encouragement lately from Elder Maxwell’s October 1976 talk “Notwithstanding My Weakness”.

    ” The scriptural advice, “Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength”(D&C 10:4) suggests a paced progress, much as God used seven creative periods in preparing man and this earth. There is a difference between being “anxiously engaged” and being over-anxious and thus underengaged.

    Some of us who would not chastise an neighbor for his frailties have a field day with our own. Some of us stand before no more harsh a judge than ourselves, a judge who stubbornly refuses to admit much happy evidence and who cares nothing for due process. Fortunately, the Lord loves us more than we love ourselves. A constuctive critic truly cares for that which he criticizes, including himself, whereas self-pity is the most condescending form of pity; it soon cannibalizes all other concerns.”
    Spiritual food for a frustrated Elder’s Quorum president. :)

  6. manaen
    May 8, 2006 at 7:40 pm

    As I’ve written elsewhere, I’m in an extended (10+ years, so far) journey towards refellowshipment. During this time, I’ve learned about love, service, and unity from the people who helped me and from the people I’ve been able to help. My ex-wife and children left the Church during this time, which causes me heartbreak and gives poignancy to any joys that I find. I couldn’t continue without the abiding love and support I feel from God. A special earthly friend has been invaluable for the last seven years – would that she were LDS!

    Here are some Conference thoughts and some scriptural verses I’ve picked-up along the way:

    # # # # #

    I glory in plainness; I glory in truth; I glory in my Jesus, for he hath redeemed my soul from hell.
    – 2 Ne 33:6

    Your Heavenly Father wants you to pray about your hopes and fears, your friends and family, your school and work, and the needs of those around you. Most of all, you should pray to be filled with the love of Christ. This love is given to those who are true followers of Jesus Christ, who ask for it with all the energy of their heart. This love is the fruit of the tree of life, and tasting it is a major part of your conversion because once you have felt your Savior’s love for you, even the smallest part, you will feel secure, and a love for Him and for your Heavenly Father will grow within you. In your heart you will want to do what these holy beings ask of you.
    – D. Todd Christofferson, 4/2004 (See entire talk on how to become converted, “When Thou Art Convertedâ€?)

    Ye endeavored to believe that ye should receive the blessing which was offered unto you; but behold, verily I say unto you there were fears in your hearts, and verily this is the reason that ye did not receive.
    – D&C 67:3

    Conversion does not normally come all at once, even though the scriptures give us dramatic accounts. It comes in stages, until a person becomes at heart a new person. Being “born again” is the scriptural term. It is a change of both how we think and how we feel. […]
    Somebody once asked President Romney how one could know when he is converted. President Romney answered: “He may be assured of it when by the power of the Holy Spirit his soul is healed. When this occurs, he will recognize it by the way he feels, for he will feel as the people of Benjamin felt when they received remission of sins. The record says, ‘ . . . the Spirit of the Lord came upon them, and they were filled with joy, having received a remission of their sins, and having peace of conscience. . . . ‘ (Mosiah 4:3.)”
    – Elder Dale E. Miller

    A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. – Ezekiel 37:26-27

    The Spirit of God never generates contention. It never generates the feelings of distinctions between people which lead to strife. It leads to personal peace and a feeling of union with others. It unifies souls. A unified family, a unified Church, and a world at peace depend on unified souls. – Henry B. Eyring

    When we are willing to restore to others that which we have not taken, or heal wounds that we did not inflict, or pay a debt that we did not incur, we are emulating His part in the Atonement.
    – Boyd K. Packer

    And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.
    – 2 Tim 2:24-26

    He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
    – 1 John 4:8

    To have the fellowship of the saints while we are working on our problems is a great, great blessing. President Gordon B. Hinckley visited our stake several years ago and dedicated a chapel. He said an appropriate message might be if there were a large sign on the outside of the building that said, “Smokers Welcome.�
    We have found in our activation efforts that that welcome and acceptance and love is so valuable, and not pressure for them to give up their habits first. When we extend that unqualified welcome and love, we can create an atmosphere where the Holy Ghost can bear witness to their hearts. And herein is the spiritual key to activation: like missionary work, simple teaching, fellowship, and a humble testimony allowed the Holy Ghost to bear testimony and recreate the conversion process.
    – C. Terry Graff, 4/1985 (Leadership Session)

    Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
    – Hebrews 12:12-15

    From such teachings we conclude that the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts–what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts–what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.
    – Dallin Oaks, 10/2000 (See entire talk, “The Challenge of Becomingâ€?)

    The secret to solve problems in your life will be found in understanding and in using the external beneficial interaction of your agency and His truth.
    – Richard G. Scott, 10/1992

    One of the greatest of all God’s revelations is Father Lehi’s teaching that “men are, that they might have joy.� (2 Ne. 2:25.) Joy is more than happiness. Joy is the ultimate sensation of well-being. It comes from being complete and in harmony with our Creator and his eternal laws.
    The opposite of joy is misery. Misery is more than unhappiness, sorrow, or suffering. Misery is the ultimate state of disharmony with God and his laws.
    Joy and misery are eternal emotions whose ultimate extent we are not likely to experience in mortality. In this life we have some mortal simulations, which we call happiness or pleasure and unhappiness or pain. In the midst of these emotions is suffering. Some suffering comes from our own sins or those of others, but much suffering is simply an inevitable part of the mortal condition, like an accidental injury.
    – Dallin Oaks 10/1991

    And the remission of sins bringeth meekness and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God.
    – Moroni 8:26

    Work becomes service when it is given gladly.
    – Barbara B. Smith 10/1981

    Sometimes guilt controls our minds and takes us prisoner in our thoughts. How foolish to remain in prison when the door stands open. Now, don’t tell yourself that sin doesn’t matter. That won’t help; repentance will.
    – Boyd K. Packer, 10/1999

    Pain brings you to a humility that allows you to ponder.
    – Robert D. Hales, upon returning from a 1-1/2-year hiatus to fight his cancer

    We cannot have the companionship of the Holy Ghost – the medium of individual revelation – if we are in transgression or if we are angry.
    – Dallin Oaks

    The putting-off of the natural man makes possible the putting-on of the whole armor of God, which would not have fit before.
    – Neal A. Maxwell, 4/2001

    By the way, let us not – as some do – make the mistake of thinking the chips we place on our shoulders are crosses.
    – Neal A. Maxwell, 4/2001

    My grandfather used to say to his family, “There is a line of demarcation, well-defined, between the Lord’s territory and the devil’s. If you will stay on the Lord’s side of the line, you will be under his influence and will have no desire to do wrong, but if you cross to the devil’s side of the line one inch, you are in the tempter’s power, and if he is successful, you will not be able to think or even reason properly, because you will have lost the Spirit of the Lord.
    – George Albert Smith, Prophet

    Several years ago, I made a covenant with the Lord. I promised to give him anything he should require of me, and prayed this gesture might warrant forgiveness of my transgressions. Yesterday I gave the only thing I had left. It was something I cherished. I held on to it until the very last moment. I never thought of it as a selfish possession. That of which I speak flew out the window of my home when I turned on the television to watch the news and saw my picture on the television screen. I speak of my prized remaining possession—anonymity.
    I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I love the transformation his atonement has wrought in me. Earlier speakers have spoken of him with such eloquence. How I wish I had command of the language which would enable me to express my feelings on this Easter afternoon. May I add my simple testimony to those who have spoken articulately. I once was in darkness, and now see light. I once lost all of my confidence, and now know all things are possible in the Lord. I once felt shame and now am “filled with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.� (2 Ne. 4:21.) “I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.� (2 Ne. 1:15.)
    – Glenn L. Pace, upon being called as a GA, 4/1985

    We have seen only the foreshadowing of the mighty force for good that this Church will become.
    – Gordon B. Hinckley, 10/2001

    When we have a sincere desire to share the gospel with others, and when we have sought divine assistance in our efforts, what should we do? How should we proceed? We begin by beginning. We should not wait for a further invitation from heaven. Revelation comes most often when we are on the move.
    – Dallin Oaks, 10/2002

    When obedience ceases to become an irritant and becomes a quest, in that moment the Lord will endow us with power.
    – Gordon B. Hinckley

    The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature.
    – Ezra Taft Benson

    Mark it down, brothers and sisters, people too caught up in themselves will inevitably let other people down!
    – Neal A. Maxwell, 10/2000

    True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior. Preoccupation with unworthy behavior can lead to unworthy behavior. That is why we stress so forcefully the study of doctrines of the gospel.
    – Boyd K. Packer, 10/1986

    A stumbling block appears when we serve God generously with time and checkbooks but still withhold portions of ourselves, signifying that we are not yet fully his!
    – Neal A. Maxwell, 4/2002

    If you follow the prophet, you will arrive where he is going.
    – Spencer W. Kimball

    I have learned that selfishness has more to do with how we feel about our possessions that how much we have. […] A poor man can be selfish and a rich man generous, but a person obsessed only with getting will have a hard time finding peace in this life.
    – James A. Faust, 10, 2002

    Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
    – Phil 4:11

    And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not
    – Jer 45:5

    Nothing happens in this Church unless you work. It is like a wheelbarrow. It doesn’t move until you get a hold of the two handles and push. Hard work moves the work of the Lord forward, and if you have learned to work with real integrity it will bless your lives forever. I mean that with all my heart. It will bless your lives forever.
    – Gordon B. Hinckley, missionary meeting, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 6 Aug. 1998. (Ensign, 8/2000)

    We are living, my brothers and sisters, in the day of prophecy fulfilled. This is the greatest season in the history of the Church. There never before was a time like this. We are larger in numbers, a great family of 10 million people scattered over 160 nations. The media treat us honestly and generously and right. We have a good reputation among most people. … This is a wonderful time to be alive. It is a wonderful time to be a member of this Church. I envy these young people who are here today. Their lives are ahead of them. They will see marvelous things in the years that lie ahead. I have no doubt of it whatever. The Church will grow and grow and grow, and no force under the heavens can stop itâ€? – Gordon B. Hinckley, meeting, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 8 Aug. 1998 (Ensign, 8/2000)

    Wise is the man who says all that needs to be said, but not all that could be said.
    – Marvin J. Ashton, 10/1976

    If your neighbors talk about you, and you think that they do wrong in speaking evil of you, do not let them know that you ever heard a word and conduct yourselves as if they always did right, and it will mortify them, and they will say, “We’ll not try this game any longer.�
    – Brigham Young, JD 19:70

    To live with the Saints in heaven is bliss and glory
    To live with the Saints on earth is another story
    – Brigham Young

    If you want something to last forever, you treat it differently. You shield it and protect it. You never abuse it. You don’t expose it to the elements. You don’t make it common or ordinary. If it ever becomes tarnished, you lovingly polish it until it gleams like new. It becomes special because you have made it so, and precious as time goes by.
    – F. Burton Howard, 4/2003

    The life of a Saint is not simply a personal perfecting, it is also a factor in the entire scheme of earth’s redemption. No one can be saved alone, by himself or herself, unassisted by or unassisting others. The weight of our influence must be either for good or harm, be an aid or an injury to the work of human regeneration, and as we assume responsibilities, form ties, enter into covenants, beget children, accumulate families, so does the weight of our influence increase, so does its extent broaden and deepen.
    – John Taylor

    In the healthy family, first and best, we can learn to listen, forgive, praise, and to rejoice in the achievements of others. There also we can learn to tame our egos, work, repent, and love. In families with spiritual perspective, yesterday need not hold tomorrow hostage. If we sometimes act the fool, loving families know this is not our last act, the curtain is not rung down.
    – Neal A. Maxwell, 4/1994

    Forgiveness of others for wrongs—imaginary or real—often does more for the forgiver than for the forgiven. That person who has not forgiven a wrong or an injury has not yet tasted of one of the sublime enjoyments of life. The human soul seldom reaches such heights of strength or nobility as when it removes all resentments and forgives error or malice. No one can be classed as a true follower of the Savior who is not in the process of removing from his heart and mind every feeling of ill will, bitterness, hatred, envy, or jealousy toward another.
    – H. Burke Peterson, 10/1983

    Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.
    – James 1:19-20

    The Prophet Joseph Smith declared—and he never taught more comforting doctrine—that the eternal sealings of faithful parents and the divine promises made to them for valiant service in the Cause of Truth, would save not only themselves, but likewise their posterity. Though some of the sheep may wander, the eye of the Shepherd is upon them, and sooner or later they will feel the tentacles of Divine Providence reaching out after them and drawing them back to the fold. Either in this life or the life to come, they will return. They will have to pay their debt to justice; they will suffer for their sins; and may tread a thorny path; but if it leads them at last, like the penitent Prodigal, to a loving and forgiving father’s heart and home, the painful experience will not have been in vain. Pray for your careless and disobedient children; hold on to them with your faith. Hope on, trust on, till you see the salvation of God.
    – Orson F. Whitney, 4/1929, p. 110

    A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.
    – Joseph Smith, TPJS p. 174

    When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble and you’ll be right more than half the time.
    – Henry D. Eyring, 4/2004

    I’ve wept in the night
    For the shortness of sight
    That to somebody’s need made me blind.
    But, I never have yet
    Felt a tinge of regret
    For being a little too kind.
    – Thomas S. Monson

    You won’t survive spiritually unless you know how to receive revelation. […] It’s a noisy world, and you’re going to have to learn first […] that revelation comes in the quiet times. It will come when the Lord can speak to our feelings.
    Go quietly into the world. Go quietly about your affairs, and learn that in the still, small hours of the morning the Lord will speak to you. He will never fail to answer your prayers.
    – Boyd K. Packer, 12/2005 BYU-H commencement

    While we cannot agree with others on certain matters, we must never be disagreeable. We must be friendly, soft-spoken, neighborly, and understanding.
    – Gordon B. Hinckely, 10/2003

    When filled with God’s love, we can do and see and understand things that we could not otherwise do or see or understand. Filled with His love, we can endure pain, quell fear, forgive freely, avoid contention, renew strength, and bless and help others in ways surprising even to us.
    – John Groberg, 10/2004

  7. mullingandmusing (m&m)
    May 9, 2006 at 1:46 am

    Thanks for sharing that little spiritual feast. Godspeed on your journey.

  8. Daniel
    May 9, 2006 at 12:30 pm

    Amen. Thanks, manaen.

  9. Islandgirl
    May 12, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    Many years ago, I was recovering from a serious illness. The doctor told my parents I could not work or go to school for a few months-I just had to rest. I went to my institute director, Doug Brinley, and asked him for something to do during my recuperation that would keep me busy. I had been a member of the Church for about 6 years, but was not very well-versed in the scriptures or in gospel knowledge. Brother Brinley gave me several copies of the conference issues of the Ensign and said I should read each talk and find the theme and then see how it applied to me in my own life. It was one of the greatest assignments I’ve ever had and to this day, I get my own copy of the conference Ensign and read each talk over and over and underline and highlight those words that apply to me and principles that I need to work on in my life. Sometimes I highlight almost the whole talk, somtimes just a sentence or two; but in the process, I am growing and my testimony is strengthened. I am ever grateful for Brother Brinley’s timely advice and that over the years the spirit has guided me to find those nuggets of truth and glimpses of the gospel that have brought me to where I am now in my life.
    Also, thanks to manaen for the wonderful thoughts shared.

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