Archive for January 2010

"The Holocaust" : Project By Seth Adam Smith   Leave a comment

[ *As always noted, those whom receive e-mail messages concerning new posts to blog; You will need to visit the blog to watch the videos* ]

May we all remember, and never forget.


Another Great Video: "Have I Done Any Good in the World Today?"   Leave a comment

[ *As always noted, those whom receive e-mail messages concerning new posts to blog; You will need to visit the blog to watch the videos* ]

“Well Done, Thou Good And Faithful Servant…..”

Let us have the Love of the Lord present in ALL our daily activities!

" Life In The Covenant " – A Video By Brother Beardsley   Leave a comment

[ *As always noted, those whom receive e-mail messages concerning new posts to blog; You will need to visit the blog to watch the videos* ]

Or Go to The Beardsley Family You Tube Channel @

Plainview Texas Branch; Lubbock Stake Announcements;

** Sunday, January 31st : 5th Sunday Lesson – 1st) Sacrament 2nd) Sunday School [Old Testament] 3rd) Combined Priesthood & Relief Society 

President Monson Announces Temple in Payson, Utah   Leave a comment

A new temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to be built in Payson, Utah, it was announced today by Church President Thomas S. Monson.

The new temple will help meet the needs of a growing Church membership in the area and will ease the heavy use of the Provo temple, which is one of the busiest in the Church. The Payson temple will bring to 15 the number of operating and announced temples in Utah.


var videoArray = [ [“Why Mormons Build Temples“, “2010 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.”, “”, “”, “”, “”, “”] ]

<!––> <!––> audioOnLoad(0); trap();

The property for the Payson temple is located on gently sloping ground at approximately 930 West and 1550 South on the southwest side of Payson, a mile from the 800 South I-15 interchange.  The property offers scenic views of the area as well as easy access to the freeway.

The new temple will serve approximately 22 stakes from Spanish Fork to Nephi comprising approximately 78,000 Church members. Temple-going members have been driving to Provo or Manti for temple services. 
Artists’ renderings, the size of the temple, groundbreaking dates and other information will be released as they become available.
“Temples answer those soul-searching questions of the purpose of life, of why we are here and where we are going.  They are sanctuaries from the storms of life and bless the lives of members of the Church who worship within their sacred walls,” said President Monson.
Latter-day Saint temples provide a place where Church members make promises and commitments to God and where the highest sacraments of the faith occur such as the marriage of couples for eternity. Temples differ from the tens of thousands of local meetinghouses where members typically meet for Sunday worship services and midweek social activities.
The practice of temple building is rooted in both the Old and New Testaments, and from its historical beginnings to the present day the Church has constructed temples.
The first temple was built by the Church in Kirtland, Ohio.  The first Utah temple was completed in St. George in 1877, followed by Logan in 1884, Manti in 1888, and Salt Lake City in 1893.
The Payson temple will bring the total number of temples worldwide already in operation or in the planning and construction phases to 152. A letter was sent to local Church leaders today regarding the new temple.

Plainview Texas Branch; Lubbock Stake Announcements;

Look To The Light   Leave a comment

Look To The Light Video As Mentioned In Elders Quorum Today ( January 24th, 2010 )

Please, take the time, to pray before you watch this video. Then watch, and see how the Spirit burns within you!

[ *As always noted, those whom receive e-mail messages concerning new posts to blog; You will need to visit the blog to watch the videos* ]

Plainview Texas Branch; Lubbock Stake Announcements;

Posted January 25, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Look To The Light

That Your Burdens May Be Light   Leave a comment

That Your Burdens May Be Light

Elder L. Whitney Clayton
Of the Presidency of the Seventy
Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contribute to eventual perfection.
Elder L. Whitney ClaytonManyyears ago I walked at dawn through the narrow cobblestone streets ofCusco, Peru, high in the Andes Mountains. I saw a man from a localindigenous group walking down one of the streets. He was not a big manphysically, but he carried an immense load of firewood in a huge burlapsack on his back. The sack seemed to be as big as he was. The load musthave weighed as much as he did. He steadied it with a rope that loopedunder the bottom of the sack and circled up around his forehead. Hegripped the rope tightly on both sides of his head. He kept a rag onhis forehead underneath the rope to keep it from cutting into his skin.He leaned forward under his burden and walked with deliberate,difficult steps.

The man was carrying the firewood to the marketplace, where itwould be sold. In an average day he might make just two or threeround-trips across the town to deliver similarly awkward, heavy loads.
The memory of him bent forward, struggling down the street hasbecome increasingly meaningful for me with the passage of years. Howlong could he continue to carry such burdens?

Life presses all kinds of burdens on each of us, some light butothers relentless and heavy. People struggle every day under burdensthat tax their souls. Many of us struggle under such burdens.They can be emotionally or physically ponderous. They can be worrisome,oppressive, and exhausting. And they can continue for years.

In a general sense, our burdens come from three sources. Someburdens are the natural product of the conditions of the world in whichwe live. Illness, physical disability, hurricanes, and earthquakes comefrom time to time through no fault of our own. We can prepare for theserisks and sometimes we can predict them, but in the natural pattern oflife we will all confront some of these challenges.

Other burdens are imposed on us by the misconduct of others. Abuseand addictions can make home anything but a heaven on earth forinnocent family members. Sin, incorrect traditions, repression, andcrime scatter burdened victims along the pathways of life. Evenless-serious misdeeds such as gossip and unkindness can cause othersgenuine suffering.

Our own mistakes and shortcomings produce many of our problems andcan place heavy burdens on our own shoulders. The most onerous burdenwe impose upon ourselves is the burden of sin. We have all known theremorse and pain which inevitably follow our failure to keep thecommandments.

No matter the burdens we face in life as a consequence of naturalconditions, the misconduct of others, or our own mistakes andshortcomings, we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, who sentus to earth as part of His eternal plan for our growth and progress.Our unique individual experiences can help us prepare to return to Him.The adversity and afflictions that are ours, however difficult to bear,last, from heaven’s perspective, for “but a small moment; and then, if[we] endure it well, God shall exalt [us] on high.”1 We must do everything we can to bear our burdens “well” for however long our “small moment” carrying them lasts.
Burdens provide opportunities to practice virtues that contributeto eventual perfection. They invite us to yield “to the enticings ofthe Holy Spirit, and [put] off the natural man and [become] a saintthrough the atonement of Christ the Lord, and [become] as a child,submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit toall things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as achild doth submit to his father.”2Thus burdens become blessings, though often such blessings are welldisguised and may require time, effort, and faith to accept andunderstand. Four examples may help explain this:

  • First, Adam was told, “Cursed shall be the ground for thysake,” which meant for his benefit, and “by the sweat of thy face shaltthou eat bread.”3 Work is a continual burden, but it is also a continual blessing “for [our] sake,” for it teaches lessons we can learn only “by the sweat of [our] face.”
  • Second, Alma observed that the poverty and “afflictions [of the pooramong the Zoramites] had truly humbled them, and that they were in apreparation to hear the word.”4 He added, “Because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye.”5 Our economic challenges may help prepare us to hear the word of the Lord.
  • Third, because of the “exceedingly great length of [their] war,” manyNephites and Lamanites “were softened because of their afflictions,insomuch that they did humble themselves before God, even in the depthof humility.”6Political unrest, social disorder, and, in some areas of the world,modern Gadianton robbers may humble us and motivate us to seek heavenlyshelter from societal storms.
  • Fourth,Joseph Smith was told that the terrible things he suffered for years atthe hands of his enemies would “give [him] experience, and . . . be for[his] good.”7The suffering we experience through the offenses of others is avaluable, though painful, school for improving our own behavior.

Further, bearing up under our own burdens can help us develop areservoir of empathy for the problems others face. The Apostle Paultaught that we should “bear . . . one another’s burdens, and so fulfilthe law of Christ.”8Accordingly, our baptismal covenants require that we should be “willingto bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; yea, and [be]willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those thatstand in need of comfort.”9

Keeping our baptismal covenants helps relieve our own burdens as well as those of burdened souls we serve.10 Those who offer such assistance to others stand on holy ground. In explaining this, the Savior taught:
“When saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

“When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

“Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

“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.”11

Through it all, the Savior offers us sustaining strength andsupport, and in His own time and way, He offers deliverance. When Almaand his followers escaped from the armies of King Noah, theyestablished a community named Helam. They began to till the ground,build buildings, and prosper.12 Without warning, an army of the Lamanites brought them into bondage, and “none could deliver them but the Lord their God.”13 That deliverance, however, did not come immediately.
Their enemies began to “put tasks upon them, and put taskmasters over them.”14 Although they were threatened with death for praying,15 Alma and his people “did pour out their hearts to [God]; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.”16 Because of their goodness and their obedience to their baptismal covenants,17 they were delivered in stages. The Lord said to them:
“I will . . . ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders,that . . . you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are inbondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for mehereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, dovisit my people in their afflictions.
“And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Almaand his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen themthat they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submitcheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.
“And it came to pass that so great was their faith and theirpatience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be ofgood comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you out of bondage.”18
Mercifully, the Son of God offers us deliverance from the bondageof our sins, which are among the heaviest of all the burdens we bear.During His Atonement He suffered “according to the flesh that he mighttake upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out theirtransgressions according to the power of his deliverance.”19 Christ “suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.”20When we repent and keep the commandments, forgiveness and relief fromour burdened conscience come with the help that only the Savior offers,for “surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy.”21
I remember that man in Peru, hunched over and struggling to carrythat enormous sack of firewood on his back. For me, he is an image ofus all as we struggle with the burdens of life. I know that as we keepthe commandments of God and our covenants, He helps us with ourburdens. He strengthens us. When we repent, He forgives us and blessesus with peace of conscience and joy.22 May we then submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord, I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

1. D&C 121:7–8.
2. Mosiah 3:19.
3. Moses 4:23, 25.
4. Alma 32:6.
5. Alma 32:13.
6. Alma 62:41.
7. D&C 122:7.
8. Galatians 6:2.
9. Mosiah 18:8–9.
10. See Matthew 10:39; 11:28–30; Mosiah 2:22.
11. See Matthew 25:35–40.
12. See Mosiah 23:5, 19–20.
13. See Mosiah 23:23–26.
14. Mosiah 24:9.
15. See Mosiah 24:10–11.
16. Mosiah 24:12.
17. See Mosiah 18:8–10; 24:13.
18. Mosiah 24:14–16.
19. Alma 7:13.
20. D&C 19:16.
21. Alma 32:13.
22. See Mosiah 4:3; Alma 36:19–21.

© 2009 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.   Rights and use information.  Privacy policy

Posted January 24, 2010 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Uncategorized

Preparing for Your Spiritual Destiny   Leave a comment

“Preparing for Your Spiritual Destiny” 
CES Fireside for Young Adults • January 10, 2010 • Brigham Young University

My dear young brothers and sisters, I cannot see all of your faceshere in the Marriott Center and, of course, I cannot see your faces inthe thousands of chapels across the world, but I can feel of yourgoodness, your desire to do right, and your love of the Lord and Hisrestored gospel. One of the blessings of being a General Authority isthat we have the opportunity of being with you across the world. In thepast few months, we have seen your faces and shaken your hands in manylocations in the United States. We traveled with President and SisterUchtdorf last June to Eastern Europe, Russia, and the United Kingdom.In October we were in South Africa and West Africa. In November wereturned from Central America. There is a great power of righteousnessamong the young adults and youth of this Church. Take comfort inknowing that you are joined by thousands and hundreds of thousands inthe challenges you face and in the important purposes you feel. I loveyou and pray that the Spirit of the Lord will be with us as we discussthings that are important to you tonight.
I have lived in this mortal life three to four decades longer thanmost of you, but it is not my experience that brings me before you.Realizing my own weaknesses, I stand before you as an Apostle of theLord Jesus Christ, ordained and commissioned to testify of Him and tospeak the things He would speak. My assignment tonight comes from theSavior’s chief Apostle, President Thomas S. Monson.
As I look at you, I think of myself 37 years ago. I had justreturned from a mission to France. With few resources other than alittle borrowed money, I had come to Brigham Young University. I hadfound work as a window washer on the campus. It would be another yearbefore I would meet the light of my life, Kathy Williams. I feltsomewhat alone and unsure about the road ahead. I remember thinking,“What is in my future, and how should I prepare for it?”
Remembering these thoughts, I have entitled my message tonight “Preparing for Your Spiritual Destiny.”
When Jesus was upon the earth, He would often speak of tangibleobjects to help His disciples better understand the intangible, thespiritual. He spoke of seeds and grain and barns and hens and flowersand foxes and dozens of other physical objects to help peopleunderstand more about faith and repentance, spiritual power andsalvation.
He did not speak of airplanes, as they were not a part of Hissociety, but President Uchtdorf has made up for that in the last fewyears and has given us wonderful teachings from his own experiences asa pilot.
I have an airplane story tonight that will teach us about preparing for our spiritual destiny.

Captain Sullenberger and US Airways Flight 1549

Exactly one year ago this week—January 15, 2009—US Airways Flight1549 took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City and liftedquickly into the sky on what was expected to be an uneventful trip toCharlotte, North Carolina, along the eastern coast of the UnitedStates. The airplane captain was Captain Chesley B. “Sully”Sullenberger. He had more than 19,000 hours of flying behind him, andhe expected the next hour and a half would be very routine.

Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger

As the Airbus A320 climbed to 3,000 feet, the unexpected wassuddenly right in front of him. A flock of mammoth Canadian geese withsix-foot wing spans was directly in the path of the airplane. The largebirds hit the plane. Worse still, the giant engines on the two wings,drawing air into their turbines with enormous force, drew as well thegeese in the path of the plane. There was a terrible grinding sound asthe birds were sucked into the engines. Then, a deafening silence—theengines had stopped.

Flight path of US Airways Flight 1549 before crash landing in the Hudson River

Captain Sullenberger immediately began determining how he couldsafely land the plane. He first considered returning to the airport,and then to a different airport not far away. The dangers and riskswere enormous. He did not know how long he could glide the planewithout engine power. He had only a moment to decide. CaptainSullenberger determined his best chance was to land the plane in theHudson River, a river that runs close to New York City. In those fewseconds all his training as an airline captain, all his judgment, hisinstincts, and his talents were brought to bear on the emergencylanding ahead of him.

US Airways Flight 1549 glided only 900 feet above the George Washington Bridge.
On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 landed in the Hudson River, New York.

With skyscrapers outside the windows, the plane dropped quickly,flying only 900 feet above the George Washington Bridge. Then, with theplane flying as slowly as possible and with the wings perfectlystraight across the water, he pulled the nose up and glided the bellyof the plane onto the water. The plane, weighing 120 tons, skippedacross the water and then safely stopped fully intact.

Passengers of US Airways Flight 1549 awaiting rescue; Reuters/Jane Doe

Winter weather was well below freezing, and the captain knew theplane would begin sinking. The passengers were quickly assisted out theemergency exits onto the wings. The plane’s life rafts were inflated,and boats from the shore moved quickly to rescue the passengers. Thenews was almost unbelievable. While a $60-million plane had been lost,Captain Sullenberger had landed safely, and all of the 154 passengersand crew were safe, as well as Captain Sullenberger.
As Jesus did in His teachings, let’s relate the tangible with theintangible, the material to the spiritual. Let’s discuss three areaswhere our spiritual destiny—your spiritual destiny—can be seen in theflight of US Airways #1549. First, you are on a journey throughmortality. Second, you are to be a captain in the Lord’s cause with aspecific mission to accomplish. Third, your sacred duty is to returnsafely and bring many with you.

Journey through Mortality

Number 1: You are on a journey through mortality.
The passengers of Flight 1549 did not begin their existence as theyentered the plane in New York. They were on a journey. Much hadoccurred in their lives prior to the flight, and much would occurfollowing the flight. Likewise, this mortal life is not where we begannor is it where we will end. We are on a journey. This journey began avery long time ago in a premortal state where we received our “firstlessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in thedue time of the Lord” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:56).We are literally spirit sons and daughters of heavenly parents. TheLord has said, “I am God; I made the world, and men before they were inthe flesh” (Moses 6:51), “for in heaven created I them” (Moses 3:5).
The poet William Wordsworth wrote these beautiful words:

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home.1

Our premortal life was not a passive existence. We had choices tomake there as we do here. We had progressed and were in need of aphysical body and the experiences of mortality. We needed to prove ourwillingness to live by faith. Our Heavenly Father presented a plan tous. Central to that plan was the role of His Only Begotten Son toprovide a way back for us. We accepted the Father’s plan and rejoicedin the chosen Savior. Our foreordained opportunities andresponsibilities help shape what we are to do in mortality. In ways notfully understood, “our actions in the spirit world influence us inmortality.”2
We are now here—in our long-awaited mortality. Although we have nopresent memory of our premortal life, it rings true to us. Even in thislife we don’t remember all the things that are important. For example,do you remember speaking your first words or taking your first steps?Do you remember thinking, “You know, my mother is not carrying mearound as much as she used to. So, if I am going to move around like Iwant to, I better get up and walk”? It is not difficult for us to sensedeep inside that who we are did not begin with our birth intomortality. We are sons and daughters of God. There is a passage in Almathat describes the role of the scriptures to “[enlarge] the memory ofthis people” (Alma 37:8). Our memories have been enlarged, and we know that we prepared for the life we are now living.
Just as our life began before our birth into mortality, our lifedoes not end with the stopping of a heartbeat. We will continue on. Whoyou are—you, the distinct individual—you will always be you. Some maysay, “I don’t like myself.” Sorry. You can shape who you become, youcan be more than you are today, but you will always be you.

A Captain in the Lord’s Cause

Number 2: You are to be a spiritual captain in the Lord’s cause, with a specific mission to accomplish.
You and I have a spiritual destiny, and it does not allow us to ridepassively in the back of the plane traveling through mortality. TheLord promised Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earthwould be blessed (see Genesis 22:18; Abraham 2:9).He was speaking of the spiritual blessing brought to the world throughus, whom He referred to as “children of the covenant” (3 Nephi 20:26). Alma described some as “called and prepared from the foundation of the world according to the foreknowledge of God” (Alma 13:3).
Have you ever wondered: Why is it that I am who I am? Why is it Ifeel the way I feel? Why have I chosen to believe so fully in the LordJesus Christ? Why do I choose to keep His commandments when others donot care about them? Why do I feel the way I do about the Book ofMormon? Why do the words come off the page of scripture and go directlyinto my heart when others are almost indifferent about this sacredbook? Why have I been willing to make sacred covenants through baptism,make covenants in the temple, and—for many of you—serve a mission?
You were chosen and foreordained to have the gospel in your life and to be a leader in the cause of the restored gospel.
Captain Sullenberger had more than 19,000 hours of flying at thetime of Flight 1549. In reflecting about his decision to become apilot, he said that at age 16, after less than 8 hours of flying in asmall single-engine plane, he knew that flying would be a part of hisdestiny.3
Accept that you have an eternally important destiny, a spiritualdestiny. Read your patriarchal blessing. As was said of Queen Esther ofold, “Thou art come … for such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Believe it, and embrace it!
Realizing who you are and who you are supposed to be doesn’t makeyou a captain in the Lord’s cause. There are obstacles and temptationsmuch more treacherous than a flock of giant Canadian geese that wouldkeep you from your destiny. You must be on guard. To be a captain inthe Lord’s cause, there needs to be preparation. And that preparationisn’t easy! The Savior said, “If any man will come after me, let himdeny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24).He further explained that “for a man to take up his cross, [means he]is to deny himself [of] all ungodliness, and every worldly lust, and[to] keep [the Lord’s] commandments” (Matthew 16:24, footnote d; from Joseph Smith Translation, Matthew 16:26).
In reflecting on his time in training at the Air Force Academy, Captain Sullenberger said:
“It was an intense experience. … We were being tested, … challenged.And we had to watch a number of those in our ranks fall away. …
“… It made me realize that if I dug deep enough, I could findstrength I didn’t know I had. If I hadn’t been forced to pushmyself … , I would never have known the full extent of what innerresources I had to draw upon.”4
Spiritual preparation will uncover your own inner resources. Thereis power in prayer. There is strength in the scriptures. We learn tostep forward in faith and to be more fully obedient. Worthily preparingfor and taking the sacrament each week renews and protects us. Wereceive the priceless gift of the Holy Ghost. This heavenly gift isreal and absolutely essential to keeping us safe.
In talking about being an airline captain, Captain Sullenberger warned:
“Not every situation can be forseen or anticipated. There isn’t a checklist for everything. 5
“You have to know what you know and what you don’t know. …
“You also need to understand how judgment can be affected by circumstances.”6
These same principles apply to our spiritual mission. Personalrevelation received through the gift of the Holy Ghost guides usthrough the unforeseen in accomplishing what we are here to do. Andpersonal righteousness is essential to having the gift of the HolyGhost. We will not be guided by the Holy Ghost if we are casual aboutour obedience.
Central to all that we think and do is the Lord Jesus Christ. Hislife is our model. It is because of Him that we will live again. It isby the power of His Atonement that we can stand clean in the presenceof our Father. We learn to love our Heavenly Father and His Son, JesusChrist, with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. I like thestatement “He loves the Lord with all his heart who loves nothing incomparison of him, and nothing but in reference to him.”7 Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).
There are many good people upon the earth. There are many unselfishpeople. There are others who believe in Christ as we do. We are notalone in praying to our Heavenly Father or in receiving answers to ourprayers; our Father loves all of His children. But we must never forgetthat only in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is thepriesthood of God. Only here is the Lord’s prophet. Only here is thesacred sealing power that allows families to continue as familiesforever.
Although this broadcast is being transmitted in 33 languages, we arefew in number compared to the billions upon the earth. Peter called us“a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, … a peculiar people” (1 Peter 2:9).Do not dismiss nor diminish the specific role and responsibility thathas been given you. You are to be a captain in the Lord’s cause,charged with holding the banner of the restored gospel high, for theLord has said that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints willbe “a messenger before [His] face to prepare the way before [Him]” (Doctrine and Covenants 45:9).

Your Sacred Duty

Number 3: Your sacred duty is to return safely and bring many with you.
Much of your spiritual destiny will be etched in the lives of thoseyou help spiritually. What made Captain Sullenberger a hero? What madehim respected and appreciated? Was it that he could think quickly? Thathe made the right choices when the engines stopped? Was it that he knewhow to keep the wings perfectly level as he landed in the water? Well,it was all of that! But most importantly, 154 lives could have easilybeen lost, and he saved them. And in saving them, he also saved himself.
Captain Sullenberger said of saving the physical lives of hispassengers: “In the abstract, 155 is just a number. But looking intothe faces of all of those passengers—and then the faces of all theirloved ones—it brought home to me how profoundly wonderful it was thatwe had such a good outcome on Flight 1549.”8
Can we apply this to our mission? Members of this Church areenormously generous in helping the poor and needy both in the Churchand across the world. However, our divine mission, the blessing theLord said would come through the posterity of Abraham to the world, isprimarily spiritual.
We are to turn our lives outward, helping others to return to our Heavenly Father with us.
The Lord has said, “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39). Let me read from Matthew 25, thinking about our role as spiritual captains, inserting the word spiritually:
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, yeblessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from thefoundation of the world:
“For I was an hungred [spiritually], and ye gave me meat: I wasthirsty [spiritually], and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger[spiritually], and ye took me in. …
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we theean hungred [spiritually], and fed thee? or thirsty [spiritually], andgave thee drink? …
“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” (Matthew 25:34–35, 37, 40).
Who are you to bring with you? First of all, for all who have theopportunity, you are to marry and bring your spouse and your family.This is your first responsibility. Families are the organization ofheaven.
To appreciate this responsibility we look far beyond what we seeright in front of us. The spiritual effect of raising a righteousfamily is only understood as we look through our generations to ourgrandchildren, great-grandchildren, and beyond. Captain Sullenbergerunderstood this principle even in saving the physical lives of hispassengers. He said: “I don’t know the good things still to beaccomplished by the 154 people on my flight. I can’t fathom whatcontributions might be made to the world by their children,grandchildren, and great-grandchildren yet to be born.”9
Let me share with you the effects of spiritually preparing a family through many generations.

Henry Arline

Henry Arline lived from 1841 to 1919. In 1898, at 57 years old, heheard the missionaries preach the gospel in a schoolhouse in the stateof Florida in the United States. He told his wife, “For the first time,I have heard the truth.” He and his family were baptized. A few yearslater they traveled by train to Utah, a trip of more than 2,000 miles,so they could receive the sealing ordinances of the temple. He returnedto Florida and remained true and faithful the remainder of his life.

Sophronia Arline Williams

His daughter was Sophronia Arline Williams, and her son was JamesBernard Williams. Bernard Williams met a beautiful young lady, MarthaAman. She honestly investigated the Church, developed a firm testimony,and was baptized.

Wedding photograph of James Bernard and Martha Aman Williams
J. Bernard and Martha Williams family photograph with Sister Kathy Williams Andersen as a young child

Eight years after their marriage, they were sealed in the Salt LakeTemple with their three children. Their little daughter was KathyWilliams, whom I met years later at BYU and begged her to be my wife.We now have 4 children and 13 grandchildren.

Neil and Kathy Andersen family portrait; Scott Breen Photography

I will forever be thankful for Kathy’s righteous mother and herrighteous great-grandfather who joined the Church and remained true andfaithful all the rest of their lives. These two people never knew eachother in mortality. They lived at different times. Yet they arecaptains in the Lord’s cause, helping to bring our family with thembecause of their spiritual choices.
It’s true that not all will have the opportunity to marry in thislife, but an eternal companion is promised in the eternities to therighteous who desire such a blessing. Those who do not marry can domuch in piloting the Lord’s cause and bringing souls with them. Thispast conference, Sister Barbara Thompson, who is in the Relief Societygeneral presidency and is single, shared these words:
“When I left high school, my goals were to attend college … , getmarried to a handsome man, and have four perfect, beautiful children. …
“Well, as you may know, many of my goals were not realized in theway I had hoped. I finished college, served a mission, got a job,continued on with my schooling … , and continued working in myprofession for many years. … But there was no handsome man, nomarriage, and no children. …
“One work colleague who was not a member of our Church said to me,‘Why do you continue to go to a church that puts so much emphasis onmarriage and families?’ My simple answer to her was, ‘Because it istrue!’ … With the Church and gospel of Jesus Christ in my life, I foundhappiness and I knew I was on the path the Savior would have me follow.”
She spoke of one way she could influence others spiritually whilebeing single: “I had the opportunity to serve many years in Young Womenand felt that gave me an opportunity to teach and testify to youngerwomen who were developing their testimonies.”10
Twenty-five years ago Sister Thompson was Shellie Nielson’s Laureladviser. Shellie Nielson—who is now Shellie Nielson Seager—wrote SisterThompson more than 20 years after being in her Laurel class, expressingher appreciation. Sister Seager wrote:
“I woke up at 5:15 a.m. and started thinking about you and what an impact you have had on my life. …
“… We were a priority to you. You always showed us so muchattention, care and love. You were always so much fun! … Mostimportantly, we knew you had a strong testimony of the Gospel of JesusChrist.”11
Sister Seager now has a family with five children. Sister Thompson’sinfluence for good will forever touch Sister Seager and the generationsthat follow.
The Lord said:
“Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. …
“And if it so be that you should labor all your days in cryingrepentance unto this people, [and crying repentance simply meanshelping people return to God] and bring, save it be one soul unto me,how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
“And now, if your joy will be great with one soul … , how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:10, 15–16).12
As we turn our attention to others—first our spouse, then ourfamily, and then to others—spiritually lifting them and helping themremain firm and steady, we are saving generations and fulfilling oureternal destiny.
Luciano Cascardi is president of the São Paulo Brazil IpirangaStake. Brother Cascardi was a six-year-old boy when his family wasbaptized in São Paulo, Brazil. President Cascardi came to the UnitedStates this past October looking for the missionary who had taught hisfamily 40 years before. He knew one thing for sure: the first name ofthe missionary was Elder.
Through a number of miracles, Brother Cascardi found him—BrotherLarry Wilson, a strong Church leader in northern California. In aletter to Brother Wilson, President Cascardi compared finding hismissionary with finding a lost father after many years. Then, referringto the spiritual seed that sprouted 40 years ago and has multiplied andtouched so many lives since, President Cascardi said, “You can countthe seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the apples in a seed.”13
We don’t have to be on a mission to strengthen and lift others.President Monson constantly teaches us to reach out and rescue thosearound us. Do you remember the story of him reaching out as a youngbishop to someone who was not attending church?
President Monson said:
“When I was called as a bishop, I recognized I was the president ofthe priests quorum, and I wanted to get every boy out. There was oneboy that never came, and I thought to myself: ‘I’m sitting here withthe priests. They’ve got an adviser. I’ll leave them to get the lessonfrom the adviser. I’m going to go find Richard Casto.’ And I went overto his home. His mother and dad were home, and they said he was workingover at the West Temple Garage.
“I went over to Fifth South and West Temple, and the door was openbut nobody [was] there. And so I started looking around, you know, andnobody. So I went around the back, and there was one of theseold-fashioned grease pits.
“And I looked down into the darkness, and I could see two eyeslooking at me. He said, ‘You got me, Bishop. I’ll come up.’ And he cameup out of the grease pit.
“And we had a nice little visit there together. And I said,‘Richard, we need you. You have a way with people. And I want to haveevery priest in attendance. Will you come?’ He said, ‘I’ll come.’ Andhe came.”
Years later, Richard Casto shared what happened after that incident:
“After that I served a mission. I was sealed to my wife in thetemple. We have five great children—two of them have served missions.I’ve served as a bishop twice. My children have a great love for him,and my wife has a great love for him because of what he did for me.It’s probably one of the greatest blessings that I had ever received inmy life.”14
In the October 2009 general conference, President Monson said: “Ibelieve the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves inservice to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those wholive only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively losetheir lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others growand flourish—and in effect save their lives.”15
You are to be a captain in the Lord’s cause, with a specific mission to return home safely and bring many with you.

Endure with a Brightness of Hope

I close with a personal experience. It too is an airline story.
This past November 9, my wife, Kathy, and I were traveling back fromGuatemala City with a connecting flight in Miami, Florida. We had animportant appointment, and it was vital that we catch the plane inMiami. We started early that morning, leaving our hotel outside ofAntigua, Guatemala, for an 8:55 a.m. departure to Miami. As we traveledinto Guatemala City, the traffic was unusually congested. We wereconcerned about reaching the airport on time. We arrived with justenough time to catch our plane.
We rushed through immigration and toward the departure gate. At thegate, we learned that our plane would not be leaving for an hour and ahalf. It had arrived late the night before in turbulent weather. Thepilots and crew were required to have a certain amount of time to rest.With this delay, we worried about making our connection in Miami. Weboarded the plane an hour and a half later, but, after backing awayfrom the gate, we learned that there was an electronic malfunction inthe cockpit. This delayed us another 40 minutes. We took a deep breath,wondering if there was any possibility of making our connection.
The plane made good time between Guatemala City and Miami. Wearrived in Miami with only 30 minutes before our connecting plane wasscheduled to leave. Thirty minutes did not seem long enough, but wewere determined to try. We ran as fast as we could. Surprisingly, theline at Immigration was short. We headed for U.S. Customs, silentlypraying that the luggage we were pulling behind us would not be chosenfor inspection. Our prayers were answered. Glancing at the airportmonitors, I noted that our airplane was at Gate D-3. After running tothe D concourse came the painful process of security screening: Offwith the shoes. Liquids in a plastic bag. Laptop separate. Hope thatthe security monitor doesn’t buzz when moving through the screener.
Completing the security check, we had only 10 minutes before thescheduled departure. I looked up at the monitor again. To my horror, Ihad made a mistake—the plane was not leaving from D-3 but from E-3. Wewere in the wrong concourse. We were out of breath. The plane doorswere probably already closed, and we were several hundred yards away.We thought about giving up. But, receiving encouragement from eachother, we pushed ourselves toward the finish. Off we sprinted, rollingbags right behind. As we rounded the turn to Gate E-3, we heard themcall our names. It was a miracle. The door was still open. We made it!
Your spiritual destiny will have obstacles, delays, and equipmentmalfunctions. There will be mistakes. You may wonder if you are goingto make it. Don’t be discouraged! You will also have moments of hopeand faith as doors open and obstacles are overcome. Continue, persist,above all, believe in Christ and learn to follow Him and His prophets;endure, as Nephi said, with a “brightness of hope” (2 Nephi 31:20). As you do, I promise you, one day you will hear your name. You will make it.
Our Heavenly Father lives. We are His sons and His daughters. JesusChrist is our Savior and Redeemer. He restored His gospel through theProphet Joseph Smith. President Monson is His prophet today. I praythat all the blessings of heaven that await you may be yours as youprepare for your spiritual destiny. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
© 2010 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved. English approval: 5/09. PD50018081


1. William Wordsworth, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood,” in The Oxford Book of English Verse, ed. Christopher Ricks (1999), 351.

2. Dallin H. Oaks, in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 97; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 72.

3. See Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, with Jeffrey Zaslow, Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters (2009), 5, 10.

4. Sullenberger, Highest Duty, 93, 95.

5. Sullenberger, Highest Duty, 188.

6. Sullenberger, Highest Duty, 119–20.

7. Howard W. Hunter, in Conference Report, Apr. 1965, 58.

8. Sullenberger, Highest Duty, 286.

9. Sullenberger, Highest Duty, 264.

10. Barbara Thompson, “Mind the Gap,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 119.

11. Letter addressed to Barbara Thompson from Shellie Nielsen Seager, dated Apr. 2, 2007.

12. See Neil L. Andersen, “Repent … That I May Heal You,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 40–43.

13. From a personal letter from Larry Wilson, dated Nov. 14, 2009,and an e-mail message to the Wilson family from Luciano Cascardi, datedOct. 9, 2009, translated from Portuguese.

14. Transcribed from On the Lord’s Errand (DVD, 2008).

15. Thomas S. Monson, “What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 85.