Hot Wheels

I’ve always loved cars. When I was young I had an impressive Matchbox / Hot Wheels car collection. I liked the Mustangs, Camaros, Cougars, Impalas, Chevelles, Chargers, Challengers, and Bel Airs.  I really took good care of them. My family would laugh because at a pretty young age I could tell what the make and model were of other cars that we’d see.  When I was 16 I bought my first car, a 1976 Chevy Nova for $500. My car was not super flashy, but I slowly started fixing it up. I took auto mechanics all three years of high school and even got a job at a Texaco service station pumping gas and working on cars.

I learned that the automobile is an amazing machine, but you have to take care of it. Particularly important is taking care of what is under the hood. As the internal combustion engine runs, it pulls in outside air which is needed to burn the fuel and keep the pistons firing. We would have cars come into the express lube on a regular basis. I was always surprised at how dirty some of the air filters were when they’d come in. You would hold it up to the sun and if you could see light coming through, you knew that there was air flowing. If you couldn’t see light, the car was not getting enough air through the filter and it wouldn’t run properly. Next we’d change the oil. This too would sometimes be very dark from contaminants pollutants.  If the oil and oil filter were not changed, the protection to the engine parts would be diminished and it would eventually damage the engine and would likely stop running altogether. Maintenance is a big deal for cars.  Do proper and frequent maintenance, and your car will last a very long time. We would check the fuel filter when it was visible.  Sometimes it would be discolored or plugged up from putting bad gas in. It’s important to put good fuel into your car. Lastly we’d make sure all the other important fluids were full such as washer, transmission, brake, power steering, and antifreeze. We would then put a sticker in the window to remind them to come back in 3 months or 3,000 miles. I noticed that most often, those who ended up stranded on the side of the road had become casual at checking under the hood and had neglected regular maintenance.

I’ve thought a lot about the comparison of maintaining your car and maintaining faith. We live in a world with a lot of spiritual pollution.  There are things that we see and hear every day in person or on social media that can start to cloud our spiritual vision and drain or contaminate our spiritual fluids. Satan is working hard to plug up the air filter and keep us from feeling the influence of the Spirit. Satan is trying to tear down families and confuse us with other values, opinions, and outright criticism of our faith. As we pick up pollutants it can cause the protection of the Holy Ghost to leave us. Lastly what we put into our gas tanks needs to be clean and of a high quality. We need to be careful what we put into our minds whether this be movies, TV, books, computer games, or things we see or read on the internet or social media. Satan delights when he can put things into our mind that will cause the Spirit to leave us and which will cause our faith to fade.

Faith can only be developed and nurtured by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to be obedient. We must follow Christ. Faith requires us to follow the Lord’s chosen prophet, Thomas S. Monson. It is necessary to sustain our local leaders. We can check under the hood for our faith maintenance with daily prayer, repentance, reading the Book of Mormon, We fill our cup and spiritual fluids with weekly sacrament meeting, frequent temple attendance, reading the Ensign & conference talks, listening to others bear their testimony, and bearing your own testimony. I hope you have accepted President Kent’s invitation to read the Book of Mormon in 100 days. I know it will bless your life. It will bless you two-fold; One because reading the Book of Mormon will increase your faith and will bring the Spirit into your life and two because you are being obedient and that will bring blessings upon you and your family. We have the opportunity to watch General Conference soon. Do not neglect this important scheduled maintenance of your faith.

I bear you my testimony that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can purify us of any pollutants no matter how long we’ve neglected maintenance. We need it more often than every 3,000 miles or 3 months. We need to maintain our faith daily. We live in the last days. We cannot let go of the iron rod and be casual in the maintenance of our faith.  

Love, Brother Bringhurst

This was taken from a bishopric message which I wrote in April 2017

Changes in life

As I was flying from Atlanta to Salt Lake Sunday evening, I was reading some of my journal entries. I often take time during flights to write in my journal. I had just finished writing and came across this sweet experience in my journal from 3 years ago. 9/7/14 Julienne had locked her keys in the car the first time she had taken the car out by herself after getting a driver’s license. “I went and unlocked the car with a spare key I had just had made a couple days before. She followed me home. At a stop light I looked in the rear-view mirror of the van and saw all the empty seats, and then I saw Julienne in the driver’s seat of the car behind me. It really struck me. Her whole life, I’d looked in the rear-view mirror and she was in the seat of our car. Now she was 16 and off on her own driving. Life was changing forever.

It’s weird to experience sadness and happiness at the same time. But I did. Sad that my little girl was no longer little. Happy that she seemed so happy off in her car singing with the radio. Getting old is interesting. It makes me sentimental and reflective. I hope I’ve done all I can to teach my kids what is truly important; that God is our Father in Heaven and loves us. That His Son Jesus Christ came to earth, atoned for our sins, died on the cross, and was resurrected, enabling all of us to have the ability to do the same; to rise again from the dead. I hope that they know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, chosen to translate the Book of Mormon by the gift and power of God, and to bring back to earth the Church of Jesus Christ, the Priesthood, the holy temple, and all of the fullness of the gospel with its saving ordinances. It’s all true. It’s all for us. A living prophet is on earth. 12 Apostles walk the earth again teaching of Jesus Christ. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today. God lives & loves us. He provided the Plan of Salvation. We are His children. The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ. Modern-day prophets and apostles lead us today in truth & righteousness. I know it. I KNOW IT! I’m blessed beyond anything I could have ever imagined, with 6 amazing children, a wonderful wife, a good home, a safe place to live, modern-day comforts, & a business that provides for us. We have what we need. Xavier is getting the medical treatment needed. #blessed I try to keep my family my top priority. I hope they feel that.”

Originally written by me and posted to Facebook August 15, 2017

Angelic Music Touches My Soul

The music during General Conference is always uplifting. It has a way of touching my soul on a deep level. Today’s music was heavenly and angelic. During the second session, the choir was from the Missionary Training Center (MTC). I have fond memories of being a missionary and singing in the choir with my good friend and companion. In a little over a month, my oldest daughter will be in the MTC and will be in the choir with her beautiful voice. Today this song in particular brought me to tears. I think this next 18 months will be hard for me. But like many things that are hard, this will be worth it. I’m excited for her.

If you want to be uplifted, watch this video and look at the faces of these amazing young missionaries who willingly give up a couple years of their life to serve God. The song is about Joseph Smith’s prayer as a young boy. I know that not many people speak about God and Jesus on social media or really any media without being labeled a fanatic or nut. But I invite you to listen to the music and the words. We are not here on earth as a random event by some scientific chance of fate. There is much much more. God speaks to man through His prophets.

(This was a Facebook post I wrote October 1, 2016)


Grandmother’s influence


January 1, 1918 is a special day for me. That is the day my grandmother was born. She told me that her mother had said that they could still hear fireworks going off and people celebrating the coming of the New Year when she was born. She played a very important role in my life, so much so, that we named our daughter Maggie after her.  

Life doesn’t always go as you would like it to, and I’m sure that is true for both my grandmother and my mother. My grandfather passed away three years before I was born. My grandmother spent 30 years as a widow. My mother raised me as a single mom. Luckily for me, my grandmother was there to help raise me while my mom worked. She probably didn’t think that her golden years would be spent raising another child, but I’m sure glad she did. Most of what I know about the gospel, I learned at her knee.  

Some of my earliest memories were of playing with my Hot Wheels cars under a huge quilt the relief society sisters had set up in her front room. They made a lot of quilts. I knew all of the elderly sisters in the ward. It seems like we were often at the church to help with funeral luncheons. I’d help set up chairs then go find something to do.  I often found myself going on visiting teaching assignments with my grandmother to some of the other sisters in the ward. Tuesdays I’d walk to primary. Most Sundays I’d go to church with my grandmother at her ward.  My mother was not active in the church when I was growing up. I remember my grandmother singing the alto part in the choir. Thinking back on it, she served a lot in the church. There were a lot of widows in the ward and they were all busy doing things to help others out. We often refer to them as the greatest generation. They lived through the great depression, world war II, and they were strong and capable of anything. She would tell me stories of her father, who owned the Burgon Market in Union, right up the street from her home. At his funeral, several of the neighbors told her that they would have starved during the great depression had it not been for him giving them food from the market at no charge. I remember feeling proud of my great-grandfather and his generosity. I remember my grandmother telling me of paying tithing when there was no food in the fridge or pantry. She said the next morning she woke up and there was a sack of potatoes on the front porch. She said she never went without because she was always sure to pay her tithing. She taught me about prayer. I often would walk into her bedroom and find her kneeling by the side of her bed. I’d listen for her praying about a couple wayward children, one of whom she would never in mortality see come back to the church, but whom I have seen come back to the church and saw him serve in the bishopric and now serves as a temple worker. She taught me about fasting. She taught me about how the prophet would never lead us astray and how she knew that Spencer W. Kimball was a prophet. She taught me about the importance of reading the scriptures. Hers were well-read and well-marked and sat next to her chair on the end table. They were always there. We’d read them together. We also listened to some dramatic cassette tapes of the Book of Mormon. We even had a scripture game called “Seek” that we’d play.  I got to know the Book of Mormon really well. She taught me about baptism, the Holy Ghost, the importance of going to church and taking the sacrament, about being a missionary, and about the temple.  I remember that she’d prepare a little suitcase and go to the temple.   She told me stories of how her grandfather was a stone mason and carved the sun, moon, and stars on the Salt Lake Temple. She had memories of him pointing to them with pride and telling of how he had worked on the temple.

I’m sure like all of us, she probably wondered at times what good she was doing, if I was listening, and if she could be doing more. I’m eternally grateful for a righteous grandmother who taught me about the gospel. I would not be who I am today without her teachings and influence. We cannot control the circumstances life gives to us. We can only determine how we respond to them. I know life throws us disappointments.  Turning to our Heavenly Father and asking in the name of Jesus Christ for the Comforter to be in our life and help us during difficult times is a magnificent blessing we have as members of His Church. Each of us needs the Spirit to be with us always. We need the sacrament. We need the power of the Book of Mormon in our life. We need the counsel of living prophets. I pray that we can be a light to others and pay it forward as surely we all have someone in our life who has given us the gift of the gospel. In this new year, let us share that gift with others, whether it be a grandchild, a child, a neighbor, a friend, a family member, or a coworker.

Love,  Brother Bringhurst

This was takenfrom a Bishopric Message which I wrote in January 2016



I love summer! I love all the seasons and the changes that each season brings, but most of all I really love summer.  What is surprising to me every year is how quickly weeds grow.  A few years ago I noticed a little green vine growing next to our driveway. I thought how it was an interesting looking little plant with pretty little yellow desert flowers. I thought that it would be nice to have some ground cover there instead of just bark so I did nothing about it.  I know nothing of gardening, and this was a hard lesson to be learned.  I let it grow, and grow it did, like crazy. It soon was everywhere. It would make me a little nervous as I’d come home and I’d see how quickly it was spreading. I would glance at it on my way into the house, then forget about it. Then the heat of the summer really came on and all of a sudden there were thousands of these horrible stickers everywhere. I couldn’t believe how bad it got. One day as I walked by the area and I lifted the bottom of my shoe so I could see it, and there was not an inch not covered by these stickers.  I had unknowingly let Puncturevine (a.k.a. Goatheads) into our yard, let them take root, and let them go wild.  Puncturevine, or Tribulus terrestris is a dreadful weed. These sharp long multi-pronged stickers were in our socks, in our shoes, in our shoelaces, and covered the soles of our shoes poking deep into them. They were tracked into the cars, into the garage, into the house, and on to the carpet. I had to use needle-nose pliers to pull them out of the soles of our shoes one by one.  This thing was nasty and I knew I had to confront it because we were all miserable. So I got knee pads, gloves, a shovel, and started removing it. I would feel the bite of the stickers poking through the gloves into the skin. I also have terrible allergies, and I’m allergic to all types of weeds, goathead being no exception, so that just added to my torture as I was battling the biblical plague of noxious weeds next to our driveway. Finally, with a lot of work we were able to get rid of them.

So that’s a great story Brother Bringhurst, but what does it have to do with the Bishopric message? Well I’ve thought a lot about that experience, and now every year when I see a goathead plant poking up, I’m quick to kill it. No Mr. Nice Guy. I want it gone. I want the root gone. I don’t want any sign of it around. I know what it will turn into if I don’t get rid of it immediately.

I think this is similar to sin. Sometimes we might think some sin is a minor thing that won’t hurt anyone or that some commandments are not that big of a deal. An all-knowing Heavenly Father has given us commandments for wise purposes. He has given us prophets and apostles to teach us the commandments and give us warnings. They are not trying to restrict our freedom, but they help guide us to set up barriers of protection from the painful stickers that come from the harmful weeds of sin. Sometimes sin appears to be attractive at first. It’s enticing. It might just seem like fun. It might appear to cause no harm or seem exciting.  But what we don’t see is how it can quickly spread and lead to other sin and take over eventually causing us grief and pain as we try to rid ourselves of it.  Just like malicious weeds, we can’t allow sins into our life and expect that they will easily go away. We can’t sin a little and expect the Holy Ghost to still be our companion. Weeds choke out the flowers and good plants.  Sin chokes out the light of the gospel and the desire to have goodness and righteousness in our life. Every night we need to kneel down in prayer and repentance and pull the spiritual weeds from our life that will block us from having the companionship of the Holy Ghost.  If we wait a week, or two, or a few months, it becomes much much harder. When the feelings of the Spirit have been dulled because of sin, we find ourselves not wanting to pray.  When we don’t feel like praying, that is exactly when we really need to pray.

Amulek said, ” I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed” (Alma 34:32–33).

We love each you. We pray for you. You are remarkable. May the Lord’s blessing be upon you this beautiful summer.

Love, Brother Bringhurst

This was taken from a bishopric message which I wrote in July 2016:

Being Anxiously Engaged

Being Anxiously Engaged in Highland, Utah

I loved being a missionary in France. One thing that was great about being a missionary was that we were so involved in the branch or ward. We were a part of activities, in teaching, in reactivation, in family home evenings, in blessing the sick and the afflicted, in helping the branch president, bishop, elders quorum president, high priest group leader, ward mission leader, and relief society president. We often taught the gospel principles class. We taught an English class during the week at the church. We did service for members and non-members alike. We gave talks in church, sang musical numbers, planned soirees and firesides. We cleaned the church and the church grounds. We set up the font for baptisms. We planned and printed the baptismal programs. We helped teach the new member lessons with other members. We attended youth activities. We put on skits. We were active participants in Sunday School and Priesthood classes. We helped with the Christmas program. We baked cakes and cookies and visited the homes of the members. Sundays we were the first to church and often the last to leave. We were anxiously engaged in the gospel. Our little yellow paper day planners were packed one way or another with studying, teaching, preaching or service in the gospel. When we laid down at night we were so tired, but it was always a good tired. Missions are wonderful because you are never focused on yourself.

So how about now? What can we do to be anxiously engaged as a member in Highland, Utah? Well, we need to make sure we are adding studying, teaching, preaching, and service to our yellow planners (now smartphones).

Mornings as a missionary are for personal and companion study and prayer. Can we get up a little earlier to read the Book of Mormon personally or with our family? Can we find time in the morning to kneel with our family and pray over our children and for our neighbors? During the day while at home or work do we seek after things that are virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy? Do we hold family home evening on Mondays even if we do not have children at home or even if our children are very young? Do we encourage our children to attend their mutual activities? Do we fulfill our home teaching and visiting teaching responsibilities? Do we look after the sick, the poor, and the afflicted? Do we make time for the temple? Do we make it a priority to attend ward and stake activities?  While we were travelling this summer we attended church in Nebraska and the speaker asked, “Do you just show up to ward activities, or do you stay and clean up?” Do we keep the commandments and reverently attend sacrament meeting each Sunday? Are we anxiously engaged in all the meetings including our Sunday School and Priesthood or Relief Society classes? Are we listening, pondering, and praying? Do we sing the hymns in our homes and listen to uplifting music? At the end of each day do we kneel in prayer as a family and individually and give thanks to the Lord?

In D&C 58:27 we read, “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.”  and we read in James 1:22  “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,”   

President Hinckley said, “Let us all try to stand a little taller, rise a little higher, be a little better. Make the extra effort. You will be happier. You will know a new satisfaction, a new gladness in your heart.”  There is a time and a season for everything. We can’t all be full time missionaries. I’m sure we are all doing better than we think.  If there is room for improvement in your life, even in a small thing, let’s do it.  Let’s be anxiously engaged in the gospel of Jesus Christ and stretch ourselves to reach our full potential. The Lord promises, And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.” D&C 58:28.  

We love you and want you to all enjoy the blessings that Father in Heaven has for His children who are anxiously engaged in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love, Brother Bringhurst

This was taken from a bishopric message which I wrote in October 2016

Cleave unto charity

While reading 1 Corinthians chapter 13, I was pondering how this scripture seemed to directly apply to those who have doubts about Joseph Smith, the prophets & apostles, the Church, the Book of Mormon, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Charity is not just about giving to the poor, it is also defined as: lenient judgment of others,  kindness and tolerance in judging others,  forbearance, and love of humankind.

I’ve always known that we need to have charity towards our fellowmen, but as I’ve been pondering this, it is not just charity towards our neighbors or strangers, and it’s not just towards the poor, although that is all very good as well. As I read this chapter in the New Testament, I thought of how we need to have charity towards Joseph Smith, how we need charity towards the modern-day prophets and apostles, and we really need to have charity towards our local leaders. We cannot let our pride get in the way of this charity. Might it be that some who recently have taken issue with the Church, its policies, and some of the history might just lack charity?  This charity that is required, suffers long and causes us to be forgiving and tolerant in our judgement of others.

Maybe it’s just me, but I had never thought of charity in this respect before. I’ve always equated it with we need to be charitable to the poor and needy.  You may read these verses differently too in this context.  So, I invite you to read this in the context of having charity towards Joseph Smith and the Latter-day prophets and apostles of Jesus Christ in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In verse 1, 2 and 3, the “I” is you and me.

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;

7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

1 Corinthians 13

Verse 9. I also read this verse differently for the first time. Right now we only know in part. Joseph Smith was forbidden to share everything with us, just as other prophets have been forbidden to write things, as we read in the Book of Mormon.  When asked about the translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith simply said it was done by “by the gift and power of God.” He did not elaborate. He was not supposed to.

I’ve heard a lot of arguments trying to discredit Joseph Smith through the years. The truth is, nobody knows what Joseph Smith went through. We weren’t there in the sacred grove. We weren’t there when Moroni appeared to him. We weren’t there for the translation of the Book of Mormon and all of the revelations.  We were not there with the  three witnesses who were shown the gold plates by the power of God, nor were we with the eight witnesses who also saw the gold plates. We are left to rely on faith and charity.

So what do I know? Well, I know that speaking about the first vision, Joseph Smith said, “For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”  (Introduction to the Book of Mormon) What more could you say if you had seen a vision than what Joseph Smith said here?  I believe Joseph Smith.

Verse 10. When that which is perfect is come.  When Jesus Christ comes again, we shall know the whole truth. That which is in part will be done away.  We will stand at the bar of God with Moroni. We shall know the truth.

I remember on my mission being asked if I had ever seen the gold plates. I haven’t. So, what do I know then about this Book of Mormon? Well, I know that Moroni, the final prophet-writer in the Book of Mormon,  with as much conviction as the written language can possible convey, said, “The time speedily cometh that ye shall know that I lie not, for ye shall see me at the bar of God; and the Lord God will say unto you: Did I not declare my words unto you, which were written by this man, like as one crying from the dead, yea, even as one speaking out of the dust?” Moroni 10:27  These words are so powerful. What could he say more than this to try and convince us and anyone who reads his writing, of the truthfulness of his words? I believe Moroni. In fact while some may say that I can not know, I will indeed say not only do I believe, but I know this to be true. Yes, I know it. I can and do know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God by the Holy Ghost which has testified its truthfulness to my heart. This is how God communicates with me.

There is no shortage of those trying to find fault with Joseph Smith. However, instead being critical of Joseph Smith or of the Book of Mormon or of the prophet and apostles, charity would have us “Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

My heart at times is heavy as I look in my family, as I look at some of my friends, and as I look at  some of my neighbors who have for one reason or another, decided the Church is not for them.  It’s a heartbreaking time. It is the last days. I am seeing far too many fellow saints leave the Church. I know I should not be surprised since we are in the last days, but it’s hard to be in it and see it happening. So many are being led astray. Their faith has faltered. It seems the very elect of God are having their hearts fail them. Oh how we need charity now more than ever.

46 Cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail

47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.  Moroni 7:46-47

I’m trying to have more charity towards others. I’m trying to criticize less. I’m trying to be less judgmental.

After writing this post, I discovered this talk which I love by President Hinckley. I’ve listened to it several times now. He also talks about having patience and less criticism towards others. You can read it here on this link or watch it below:  Charity never faileth. Gordon B. Hinckley

Love One Another

As I have been pondering a bit today driving from Pennsylvania to New Jersey from one meeting to another, I have been thinking about a friend who has been questioning his faith in the gospel, particularly his faith in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or the Mormon faith.  We are very good friends.  The last time we met he told me about his doubts and I honestly was crushed.  I was depressed for several days. We had served a mission together in France. We had been companions. We had been roommates at BYU. We had married our sweethearts in the temple a month apart.  We had children almost the same ages. We had both served faithfully in callings. Now after all these years, he seemed to be leaving the faith over some things he’s read online and various places. He said that he “can’t put the genie back into the bottle.”  As we were having dinner I was praying that I would know exactly what to say.  I bore testimony. I encouraged him not to give up and to keep going to church. I sent him a book and some other material to read, but told him his answers could only come from God through prayer. That was the only formula for a concrete answer.

Tonight we are to have dinner again together. As I was thinking of what to say today, I had the impression to let the Savior do the saving. I’ve simply been commanded to love.  I keep thinking of this over and over as it has been on my mind today. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

I don’t need to have the perfect thing to say. I just need to love. Let the Savior do the saving. The Lord can touch my friend’s heart. He knows him better than I do. God will know when his heart is ready. I just need to love him and by this he will know that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

“Love … is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Yet it is more than the end of the rainbow. Love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arches across the sky on a stormy day. Love is the security for which children weep, the yearning of youth, the adhesive that binds marriage, and the lubricant that prevents devastating friction in the home; it is the peace of old age, the sunlight of hope shining through death. How rich are those who enjoy it in their associations with family, friends, church, and neighbors.”  –  President Gordon B. Hinckley

Love is the very essence of the gospel, the noblest attribute of the human soul. Love is the remedy for ailing families, ill communities, and sick nations. Love is a smile, a wave, a kind comment, and a compliment. Love is sacrifice, service, and selflessness. – President Thomas S. Monson

Liahona – As I have Loved You

As I have loved you – Primary Song

All you need is love –  The Beatles

Sweetness of the Spirit

Every year as General Conference approaches I get excited. I love General Conference. I love listening to the prophet, the apostles, and other leaders of the Church. My mission president is now an apostle, Elder Neil L. Andersen. He once told us missionaries that when Elder Oaks came to Bordeaux during the creation of the Bordeaux stake, he happened to ask him how long it took him to prepare a General Conference talk. Elder Oaks said that he pretty much started preparing the next General Conference talk right after General Conference, so he would have plenty of time to find the will of the Lord. He wanted every word to be correct. He would revise the talk 9-10 times.  Then, Elder Andersen asked us, how much time do we think we should put into preparing to hear the words of the prophets at General Conference, and how much time should we spend re-reading and studying their words after conference?

I’ve thought about that a lot. God speaks to us in many ways. But if we learn to prepare ourselves for those times when He is most likely to communicate with us, I think our personal revelation will be even greater. It requires us to sanctify ourselves and be in tune with the Spirit the best we can.  

I grew up listening to AM radios in cars. You would turn the knob on the right ever so slowly to tune in the best signal you could to hear the radio station with little or no interference.  We need to slow down and make a conscious effort to tune in to the Spirit. What a great opportunity conference is.

I have tried to explain and define the feeling that I get while listening to General Conference. I think we are limited as mortals with our language. You will see in the scriptures where they say that they could not write down the things which were said.  (See 3 Nephi 19:32) Sometime I think they are commanded not to write sacred things. Other times, I think we just simply cannot communicate through mortal words Spiritual things. It’s on a higher plane. So the word I’ve come up with is, “sweetness”. There is a sweetness that comes into my life when I hear the prophets speak. They have prepared themselves to speak the word of the Lord. That is communicated to me through words, but also that sweetness.  That sweetness testifies stronger than the words themselves of the truthfulness of the message.  The Spirit can work on the soul. Words just enter the mind. God’s ways are not our ways. I’m looking forward to every minute of conference coming in just over 3 weeks from now.  

Tune in and watch at  or watch/read/listen to previous conferences 

Gaining a testimony

I think this is the perfect explanation of how we gain a testimony or gain a spiritual understanding. It doesn’t operate like traditional learning. Brigham Young said about his conversion, “If all the talent, tact, wisdom, and refinement of the world had been sent to me with the Book of Mormon, and had declared, in the most exalted of earthly eloquence, the truth of it, undertaking to prove it by learning and worldly wisdom, they would have been to me like the smoke which arises only to vanish away. But when I saw a man without eloquence, or talents for public speaking, who could only say, ‘I know, by the power of the Holy Ghost, that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord,’ the Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminated my understanding, and light, glory, and immortality were before me. I was
encircled by them, filled with them, and I knew for myself that the testimony of the man was true…. My own judgment, natural endowments, and education bowed to this simple, but mighty testimony. There sits the man who baptized me, (brother Eleazer Miller.) It filled my system with light, and my soul with joy. The world, with all its wisdom and power, and with all the glory and gilded show of its kings or potentates, sinks into perfect insignificance, compared with the simple, unadorned testimony of the servant of God.”

Originally posted to Facebook August 30, 2014

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