You should all be in the meeting, without your iPhones, but just in case…
Elder Russell M. Nelson: Be Thou an Example of the Believers
[it would be interesting to see how often this scripture gets used in the Priesthood session compared to other times...]
Each member can be an example of the believers. Brethren, as followers of Jesus Christ, each of you can live in accord with His teachings. You can have “a pure heart and clean hands.” You can have “the image of God engraven upon your countenance.” Your good works will be evident to others. The light of the Lord can beam from your eyes. With that radiance, you had better prepare for questions. The Apostle Peter so counseled: “Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you.”
Let your response be warm and joyful. And let your response be relevant to that individual.
After your initial response, be ready to take the next step.
As a member of the Church, reach out to those you do not know, and greet them warmly. Each day of your life, strive to enlarge your own circle of friendship.
Now in this day of the Internet, there are new and exciting ways you can do missionary work. You can invite friends and neighbors to visit the new mormon.org website. And there you can create your own personal profile. Because this is a new feature, most of these profiles are available in English. Profiles in other languages will follow.
Elder Patrick Kearon: Come Unto Me with Full Purpose of Heart, and I Shall Heal You
Brethren, we find healing and relief only when we bring ourselves to the feet of the Great Physician, our Savior Jesus Christ. We must lay down our weapons of rebellion (and we each know what they are). We must lay down our sin, vanity, and pride. We must give up our desires to follow the world, and to be respected an lauded by the world. We must cease fighting against God and instead give our whole hearts to him, holding nothing back. Then, He can heal us. Then He can cleanse us from the venomous sting of sin.
Our Savior is the Prince of Peace, the great Healer, the only One who can truly cleanse us from the sting of sin and the poison of pride, and change our rebellious hearts into converted, covenant hearts. His Atonement is infinite and embraces us all.
Not one of you has thrown away your last chance. You can change, you can come back, you can claim mercy. Come unto the only One who can heal, and you will find peace.
Elder Juan A. Uceda
Brethren, our home has to be a place where the Holy Spirit may dwell. There is no place for the natural man in our homes.
The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Prince of Peace, teaches us how to establish peace in our homes. He teaches us to be submissive, to yield to the will or power of the Lord. He teaches us to meek, to be mild of temper, soft, gentle, not easily provoked, yielding, given to forbearance under injuries. He teaches us to be humble–lowly, modest, submissive. He teaches us to be patient–to have the quality of enduring evils without murmuring or fretfulness. He teaches us to be full of love.
He teaches us to become a saint through the Atonement of Christ the Lord. And then we will reconcile ourselves to God and we will become friends to God.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: “Pride and the Priesthood”
Every mortal has at least a casual if not an intimate relationship with the sin of pride. No one has avoided it; few overcome it. When I told my wife that this would be the topic of my talk, she smiled and said, “It is good that you talk about things you know so much about.”
When our hearts are filled with pride, we commit a grave sin, for we violate the two great commandments. Instead of worshipping God and loving our neighbor, we reveal the real object of our worship and love–the image we see in the mirror.
Pride is the great sin of self-elevation. It is, for so many, a personal Rameumptom, a holy stand that justifies envy, greed, and vanity.
Perhaps there is no better laboratory to observe the sin of pride than the world of sports (!)
As priesthood bearers, we must realize that all of God’s children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man. This mortal life is our playing field. Our goal is to learn to love God and to extend that same love toward our fellowman. We are hear to live according to his law and establish the kingdom of God. We are here to build, uplift, treat fairly, and encourage all of Heavenly Father’s children.
When I was called as a General Authority, I was blessed to be tutored by many of the senior Brethren. President Faust…explained how gracious the members of the Church are, especially to General Authorities. He said “They will treat you very kindly. They will say nice things about you.” He laughed a little and then said, “Dieter, be thankful for this. But don’t you ever inhale it.”
Pride is a switch that turns off priesthood power. Humility is a switch that turns it on.
I believe there is a difference between being proud of certain things and being prideful. I am proud of many things. I am proud of my wife. I am proud of our children and grandchildren. I am proud of the youth of the Church, and I rejoice in their goodness. I am proud of you, my dear and faithful brethren. I am proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as a bearer of the holy priesthood of God.
When we see the world around us through the lens of the pure love of Christ, we begin to understand humility.
Some suppose that humility is about beating ourselves up. Humility does not mean convincing ourselves that we are worthless, meaningless or of little value. We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves.
My beloved brethren, let us follow the example of our Savior and reach out and serve rather than seeking the praise and honor of men. It is my prayer that we will recognize and root out unrighteous pride in our hearts and that we will replace it with “righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness.”
President Henry B. Eyring: Serve with the Spirit
Let us do whatever is required to qualify for the Holy Ghost as our companion and then let us go forward fearlessly that we will be given the powers to do whatever the Lord calls us to do. That growth in power to serve may come slowly, it may come in small steps that are difficult for you to see, but it will come.
We cultivate spiritual gifts by keeping the commandments and trying to live a blameless life. That requires faith in Jesus Christ to repent and be cleansed through His Atonement.
Just as we must be cleansed of sin to have the Spirit with us, we must be humble enough before God to recognize our need for it.
As the humble servants of the Savior, we should pray for the manifestations of the Holy Ghost to come to us in our service and to those we serve.
Somewhere in the world this week, there will be a deacon asked by his quorum president to invite a member of their quorum whom they have never seen to a meeting. The thirteen-year-old president is not likely to use the words “warn, exhort and teach” to the boy he was sent to invite. But that is what the Lord expects of the deacon assigned to go to the rescue.
To the deacon who receives the call, I will make three promises. First, as you pray for help the Spirit will calm your fears. Second, you will be surprised that you know what to say when you get to his home and during the walk with him to the church. What you say may seem jumbled to you. But you will feel that words were given to you at the moment you needed them. And, third, you will feel the approval of the Lord who called you, through your president, whatever the outcome.
[I love this. I think there may be nowhere on earth where 13-year-old boys are valued as partners in work of such significance, where they are seen for the magnificent beings they are (at least when they've showered).]
…whether we are called to teach the gospel by the Spirit or go with the Holy Ghost to those with feeble knees and hands that hang down. Our priesthood service will be strengthened, people will be blessed, and the light of heaven will be there.
Quoting George Q. Cannon: “It is our privilege to have that Holy Ghost reign within us, so that from the morning till night and from night till morning we shall have the joy, the light and the revelation thereof.”
President Thomas S. Monson: The Three R’s of Choice
The Three R’s of Choice
First, the right of choice; second, the responsibility of choice; and third, the results of choice.
Quoting President McKay: “Next to the bestowal of life itself, the right to direct that life is God’s greatest gift to man.” …within the confines of whatever circumstances we find ourselves, we will always have the right to choose.
With the right of choice comes the responsibility to choose. We cannot be neutral; there is no middle ground. …Let us not find ourselves as indecisive as is Alice in Lewis Carroll’s classic Alice inWonderland. You will remember that she comes to a crossroads with two paths before her, each stretching onward but in opposite directions. She is confronted by the Cheshire cat, of whom Alice asks “Which path shall I follow?” The cat answers, “That depends where you want to go. If you do not know where you want to go, it doesn’t matter what path you take. Unlike Alice, we all know where we want to go, and it does matter which way we go, for by choosing our path, we choose our destination.
Finally, I speak of the results of choice. All of our choices have consequences, some of which have little or nothing to do with our eternal salvation and others of which have everything to do with it.
References Clayton Christensen’s life. [This is a good place to note that Elder Christensen once commented on BCC :) http://bycommonconsent.com/2009/05/17/in-memoriam-the-cambridge-mass-chapel/#comment-137318 OK, it's not really a good place, but we don't need much of an excuse]
My beloved brethren, may we be filled with gratitude for the right of choice, accept the responsibility of choice and ever be conscious of the results of choice. As bearers of the priesthood, all of us united as one can qualify for the guiding influence of our Heavenly Father as we choose carefully and correctly.