Some have come to think of activity in the Church as the ultimate goal. Therein lies a danger. It is possible to be active in the Church and less active in the gospel. Let me stress: activity in the Church is a highly desirable goal; however, it is insufficient. Activity in the Church is an outward indication of our spiritual desire. If we attend our meetings, hold and fulfill Church responsibilities, and serve others, it is publicly observed.
By contrast, the things of the gospel are usually less visible and more difficult to measure, but they are of greater eternal importance. For example, how much faith do we really have? How repentant are we? How meaningful are the ordinances in our lives? How focused are we on our covenants?
I repeat: we need the gospel and the Church. In fact, the purpose of the Church is to help us live the gospel. We often wonder: How can someone be fully active in the Church as a youth and then not be when they are older? How can an adult who has regularly attended and served stop coming? How can a person who was disappointed by a leader or another member allow that to end their Church participation? Perhaps the reason is they were not sufficiently converted to the gospel--the things of eternity.
- Donald L. Hallstrom, “Converted to his Gospel through His Church“, April 2012 General Conference
As we seek to draw closer to God and taste the fruits of applying his teachings in our lives, we must ever be mindful that God expects us to apply our knowledge in our daily lives in service to others. - Marion G. Romney, “Receiving and Applying Spiritual Truth,” Ensign, February 1984
Our first priority should go to spiritual learning. For us, reading the scriptures would come before reading history books. Prayer would come before memorizing those Spanish verbs. A temple recommend would be worth more than standing first in our graduating class. But it is also clear that spiritual learning would not replace our drive for secular learning. - Henry B. Eyring, “Real-Life Education,” Ensign, April 2009
There is so much we can learn from the example of the young Prophet Joseph Smith, whose persistent, prayerful study of the Holy Bible compelled him to seek the God of Heaven for divine guidance. This brought him to the threshold of the greatest revelation ever given to man since the mortal ministry of the Savior Himself. Throughout the Prophet’s life, he continued to probe and ponder until he gained a mastery of the scriptures. - J. Richard Clarke, “My Soul Delighteth in the Scriptures“, Ensign (CR), November 1982, p.13
Always the thoughtful mind discerns the need for revelation and divine guidance. All that we see about us in science, technology, architecture, agriculture--civlization in general--can be truly said to be the fruit of history in the broadest sense. Where revelation and divine guidance have been absent, or ignored, we see the stark contrasts in history. - G. Homer Durham, “Why Study History?” Ensign, September 1978
These three elements of faith--assurance, action, and evidence--are not separate and discrete; rather, they are interrelated and continuous and cycle upward. And the faith that fuels this ongoing process develops, evolves, and changes. As we again turn and face forward toward an uncertain future, assurance leads to action and produces evidence, which further increases assurance. Our confidence waxes stronger, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little. - David A. Bednar, “Seek Learning By Faith,” Liahona, September 2007
The spiritual body and the mind, like the physical body, are made up of what they feed upon. On a trip some years ago, my wife and I drank some water that we were unused to, and we were sick for several weeks. The mind is like that. It, too, is made up of what it feeds upon. The spirit is influenced by what the body and the mind feed upon. - James M. Paramore, “Hold On!” Ensign, February 2002
We are promised great blessings in this life also, if we will study and live the word of the Lord. Here are just a few of the blessings we may receive:
1. Power to live righteously2. Power to overcome evil3. Power to change the heart and attitude4. Increase in hope and joy5. Increase in knowledge and understanding6. Increase in testimony
Jay E. Jensen, “Promises,” Friend, August 1995
As has always been true, there is an opposing power. It is the power of sin, and it is visibly accelerating. I will not try to bring examples to your minds. The media and what you see in the lives of those around you present you with tragedy enough. And even in your experience, you surely must sense the ominous increase of toleration and even encouragement of the powers of sin to corrupt and torment.
The Master not only foresees perfectly the growing power of the opposing forces but also knows what it is like to be mortal. He knows what it is like to have the cares of life press upon us. He knows that we are to eat bread by the sweat of our brows and of the cares, concerns, and even sorrows that come from the command to bring children to the earth. And He knows that the trials we face and our human powers to deal with them ebb and flow. - Henry B. Eyring, “Remembering Him Always,” Liahona, December 2005
There are two patterns for making decisions in life: (1) decisions based upon circumstance and (2) decisions based upon eternal truth. Satan encourages choices to be made according to circumstance. That is: What are others doing? What seems to be socially or politically acceptable? What will bring the quickest, most satisfying response? That pattern gives Satan the broadest opportunity to tempt an individual to make decisions that will be harmful and destructive, even though they may appear most appealing when a decision is made. With this approach there is no underlying set of values or standards used to consistently guide those decisions. Each one is made for what appears to be the most attractive choice at the moment. Those who choose this path cannot expect the help of the Lord but are left to their own strength and to that of others influenced to act in their favor. Sadly, most of God's children make decisions this way. That is why the world is in such turmoil. -Richard G. Scott, “Living Right,” Ensign, January 2007